It’s a first for Music Power Rankings. We rank a genre at the top spot. While rock seems to be languishing--Linkin Park was one of the few rock groups to top the Billboard 200 this year-- country is flourishing. The fourth country acts in five weeks will reach the summit next week when Sugarland comes in at No. 1. And, as you’ll read below, the domination ends no time soon.
1. Country Music (not ranked last week): With Sugarland in the lead to top the Billboard 200 next week, that will make four country acts to top the big chart in five weeks:, Zac Brown, Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith and now Sugarland. With Swift’s album out Oct. 25, there’s no question she’ll follow Sugarland into No. 1. The only question is how long she’ll stay.
2.Citi Bank (not ranked): The music and financial world are watching the Terra Firma/Citigroup Trial as EMI’s fate hangs in the balance.
3. Lil Wayne (No. 6): Yep, he’s still in the hoosegow, and yet he accomplishes what no artist has done in years. “I Am Not A Human Being” debuted at No. 2 two weeks ago based solely on digital sales. Two weeks later, Weezy added physical sales to the mix and that was enough to boost his rocket from 16-1. http://www.hitsdailydouble.com/news/rumormill.cgi
4.Taylor Swift (No. 1): Anticipation is building for her third album, “Speak Now,” as she releases one track a week on iTunes. Will “Speak Now” sell enough in less than two months to become the top seller of the year, topping Eminem’s “Recovery?” We’d never say never.
5.Kanye West (not ranked): The rapper continues the buzz for his forthcoming album, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” by previewing the accompanying 35-minute movie, “Runaway,” in both L.A. and N.Y. and then proceeds to go after a LA Times reporter via Twitter who accidentally leaves the word “beautiful” out of his story. This is the kinder, gentler Kanye?
6.Rihanna (not ranked): She changes management to Jay Z’s Roc Nation company just in time for the release of her new album, ‘’’. She’s also starting a new company called Rihanna Entertainment that will include all her ventures including music, film, fragrance, fashion and books. Forget “Rated R.” Rihanna is now rated $$$. It might get “Loud.”
7. Wind-Up (not ranked): We thought this indie’s best days were long past it, but apparently not, as a number of suitors, including Sony Music, are circling the home of Creed, Seether, Evanescence, and, let’s not forget, Emily Osment, for a possible purchase price of $30 million.
8. Irving Azoff (not ranked): He starts a new management company in Nashville with Big Machine’s Scott Borchetta and Jewel’s manager, Virginia Davis, called B.A.D. The sun never sets on Irving’s empire.
9. Tim Quirk (not ranked): The former Rhapsody executive and Too Much Joy lead singer is tapped to possibly head Google’s music service, although sources tell Billboard his title will be director of content programming for music, not head honcho.
10. K’naan (not ranked): You may only known the Somalian-Canadian artist for “Wavin’ Flag,” his anthem for this summer’s world cup, but just wait. Soon he’ll be teaching the world to sing as part of a $300 million Coca-Cola global marketing deal.
Music Power Rankings appear every Friday.