Billboard breaks down the top 100 people making it rain in the music biz:
Rankings were determined by a combination of key factors including market share, exclusive Billboard chart data/boxscore information, and revenue. A team of 15 top Billboard editors then analyzed the value of these metrics to produce the final results. The list is U.S. based. As well, the Power 100 puts a premium on the top decision makers at each company. So, for example, the strong position of Interscope’s Jimmy Iovine’s is an argument against a high position for the number-two at that company, Steve Berman, who still makes the list.
The list boasts six artists, each of whom cracked the business ranking for specific reasons. “We couldn’t weigh the power of an artist’s fanbase against the power an executive has, or this would have simply been an artist list,” says Bill Werde, Billboard’s editorial director. “Our Moneymakers list is our artist list. But certain artists were able to break through to the Power 100 based purely on their business success or innovations.”
Artists on the Power 100 include Jay-Z and Beyonce as a power couple, Taylor Swift, U2, Jon Bon Jovi and Lady Gaga.
Check out a few standouts who made the list….
94. Debra Lee
Power, according to Debra Lee, “means being able to set your own destiny. And, in my instance, it means being able to navigate BET, Centric and our other platforms in the direction that’s appropriate and most beneficial to our audience.” Marking her seventh year at the helm, Lee and her navigational skills are in top form. BET, a Viacom subsidiary reaching 90 million-plus households, posted its highest ratings year ever in 2011, retaining its status as the No. 1 cable network targeting African-Americans.
84. Lady Gaga
Social’s Mother Monster…
As her record 18.4 million Twitter followers can attest, Lady Gaga has turned the idea of social marketing on its head. The provocateur/innovator isn’t simply a pop artist or a brand–she is a way of life. Without Gaga’s Little Monsters, there would be no Beliebers for Justin Bieber or Barbs for Nicki Minaj. That sort of influence with fans has been entirely transformed through Gaga’s branding deals. When Virgin Mobile sponsored her tour, she worked the company into the show itself by way of a nightly phone call to a fan in the audience. As creative director for Polaroid Grey Label, her presentation at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show affirmed that she was an active participant in the creation of future products. All of which is merely a piece of the Gaga puzzle: She’s a singing, dancing, performing and producing visionary that’s reviving the pulse of dance music on the radio. She’s also a star who takes a stand and uses her notoriety for good. Her efforts on behalf of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community have arguably made her pop’s fiercest advocate for LGBT concerns.
78. Taylor Swift
A Big Machine of Her Own …
The humble approach Taylor Swift takes to her career has led her to achieve album sales of more than 20 million worldwide, according to Big Machine Records, and to rank No. 5 on Billboard’s top-grossing tours of 2011, pulling in $97.3 million from 89 concerts, according to Billboard Boxscore. In addition, Swift owns her management company, 13 Management, with Robert Allen serving as manager. With a significant presence overseas and a huge following on her website, Facebook and Twitter, the 22-year-old singer has become a branding powerhouse. Deals include a retail partnership with Target, a multimillion-dollar ad campaign and tour sponsorship with CoverGirl, a fragrance with Elizabeth Arden and a relationship with Sony Electronics. She’s also designed her own clothing line for Walmart, appeared in ads for the National Hockey League and co-created her own doll.
64. Ryan Seacrest
Ryan Seacrest Media
Set Ryan Seacrest’s “American Idol” duties aside for a moment: It’s really just the capstone to an impressive entertainment industry power base. For starters, there’s his syndicated daily four-hour Clear Channel radio show “On Air,” heard in more than 150 markets. Then there’s his eight-plus-year run as host of “American Top 40” and a production company at NBC Universal. Potentially most significant to his power base, however, is Seacrest’s new alliance with Mark Cuban, Creative Artists Agency and AEG to reshape HDNet into a pop network. HDNet is slated to become AXS TV this summer, and it aims to leverage CAA’s acts, AEG’s venues and Seacrest’s connections and production capabilities. The network will cater to pop culture and entertainment enthusiasts; Seacrest, through Ryan Seacrest Media, is an investor but won’t be an on-air talent. Satellite TV company Dish and the network will launch AXS Headliner Club, an online audition site for musicians looking to perform at AEG venues.
37. Antonio “L.A.” Reid
The Real X-Factor…
When “The X Factor” was whittling down its contestants in late fall, Antonio “L.A.” Reid’s dressing room became much more than a place to relax or change clothes. On show days it was Epic Records’ de facto headquarters. He auditioned tracks and took meetings with the likes of Irving Azoff (see No. 1), and by the time “The X Factor” was down to its final four, he had his full staff in place. Officially appointed by Sony Music Entertainment CEO Doug Morris (No. 5) in July, Reid-LaFace Records co-founder, former Artista Records president and former chairman/CEO of Island Def Jam Music Group-has been stealthily preparing for a relaunch of Epic with a new roster of at least a dozen acts that includes four “X Factor” contestants. So little is public about the label that even its website is a single red place-holder without any information.
25. Ronald “Slim” Williams and Bryan “Birdman” Williams
Cash Money Records
Money. Power. Respect.
Cash Money is hotly rumored to be at the center of a bidding war. Why? The label’s contract with Universal Music Group is about up. Will the label stay with UMG, its longtime home, especially now since one of the managers of Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne and Drake-Blueprint Group’s Gee Roberson (see No. 59)-is now ensconced at Geffen? Or will Cash Money end up at Sony with CEO Doug Morris (No. 5), who brought Cash Money Records into the major-label system? Why the fuss? Because brothers Bryan “Baby” and Ronald “Slim” Williams (pictured) have had a hand in selling more than 75 million records.
In just the past five years, the Williams brothers have propelled their imprint into a chart-topping powerhouse based on a relentless release schedule packed with hip-hop superstars–and a lucrative financial foundation they laid a decade earlier. In 1998, the New Orleans natives signed a $30 million pressing and distribution contract with Universal that entitled Cash Money to 85% of its royalties and 50% of its publishing revenue. That deal afforded Cash Money a virtually unparalleled level of independence and ensured that as Lil Wayne emerged as a global pop star.
14. Lyor Cohen
Chairman/CEO of Recorded Music
Warner Music Group
The Iceman Cometh…
It’s definitely a new day at Warner Music Group and not just because Access Industries’ Len Blavatnik (see No. 8) has acquired the company and installed Stephen Cooper as CEO. With the departure of WMG chairman Edgar Bronfman Jr. and the promotion of Cohen to head of WMG’s worldwide recorded-music operations, Cohen is personally responsible for WMG’s 18.7% share of all recorded music in the United States, and of course its share in the rest of the world. Look for Cohen’s sometimes brutal, win-at-all-costs approach to become even more pervasive at the company. Bronfman guided WMG with a steady hand and could act as a buffer to other insiders when Cohen was in take-no-prisoners mode. But Cohen is the right man to lead the company in the trenches: If Universal Music Group’s planned acquisition of EMI Music gets regulatory approval, WMG will be the smallest major by a wide margin, a dubious distinction that could hurt the company in the marketplace when it looks to sign new talent.
13. Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter & Beyonce Knowles
Roc Nation; House of Dereon
The Power of Love…
Want to talk power? Less than a week after her birth, Jay-Z and Beyonce’s daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, made history as the youngest person to appear on a Billboard chart when Jay-Z’s “Glory,” which features their newborn’s cooing (Blue is credited as B.I.C.), hit Hot R&B-Hip Hop Songs. The song marked Jay’s 107th entry on Billboard’s charts, adding just one more record to the power couple’s already record-breaking career. Separately the stats are staggering: Jay-Z holds the record for most No. 1 albums by a solo artist in Billboard history-12-and has sold more than 28 million albums in his 15-year solo career, according to Nielsen SoundScan. (A number that climbs to 33 million if you count his collaborations with Kanye West, R. Kelly and Linkin Park.)
Beyonce, who started out in Destiny’s Child before going solo in 2003, has cumulative sales of more than 29 million, according to SoundScan (17 million with Destiny’s Child; 12 million solo). She has sent all four of her solo albums to the top of the Billboard 200, and scored nine No. 1 songs on the Billboard Hot 100. Beyonce is also a successful actress, with roles in “Austin Powers: Goldmember,” “Pink Panther” and Academy Award winner “Dreamgirls,” and an in-demand face for branding. Recent multimillion-dollar deals include L’Oreal, Coty and Target. And clothing line House of Dereon has an international presence.
10. Jimmy Iovine
Interscope Geffen A&M Records; Beats by Dre
The Music Man…
With Beats by Dre, Jimmy Iovine, Dr. Dre and their team created a music (and fashion) market where one barely existed before, and it’s now buzzing so loudly that last year HTC reportedly dropped a cool $300 million for a 51% stake in the company. A crucial factor behind the product’s success is showmanship. It’s been treated like an artist, with showcases (sleek press conferences, a lavish pop-up store), savvy staffers (veteran label executive Luke Wood, hip-hop blogger Karen Civil) and endorsements for custom models (for Lil Wayne, LeBron James and others).
Read full list HERE
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