Girls On Top … in Social Media Music

The end-of-year and end-of-decade lists are pouring in, like glittering snowflakes of joy. Set aside any prejudices you may have about musical styles and enjoy the moment – girls are on top of the charts again.

Regular readers will know we love Last.FM (and also Pandora) for the excellent way they stream music to suit all tastes. You can fine-tune the song selections at will, so the Top 10 lists from large Social Media sites give a positive result. In contrast, the old radio Top 10 playlists tended to be influenced by music bias and marketing demands rather than popularity.

The Best of 2009 for Last.FM users is based on the number of tracks ‘scrobbled’ and the published results include the number of listeners. The list shows, again, the popularity of modern girls over the wimp metrosexual guys. The Top 15 reveal:

  • 5 girls
  • 4 rock bands
  • 4 indie bands
  • 1 mixed band
  • 1 guy

with Lady GaGa at No.1 and a large margin to No.2.

Our exclusive chart shows the Top 6 as they have the most significant numbers:

Lady GaGa tops LastFM chart

The only other stand-out number is the 1 million listeners for Muse (at No.14) but they only received 5.3m scrobbles.

MTV Top Women of the Year 2009

Lady GaGa 2009

Lady GaGa in a Ziggy moment

With sales of singles and albums topping most lists around the world, Lady GaGa had a tremendous 2009. MTV has put together its list of the “Top Women of 2009” and there is a surprising range.

As expected, music is to the forefront yet there are many styles represented. The addition of Kristen Stewart of Twilight fame is intriguing as she is one of the less-celebrity-minded young film stars, often criticised for her moody, even gothic image.

Taylor Swift mixes cute and glamour with ease

Taylor Swift mixes cute and glamour with ease

The year belongs to Lady GaGa for music and style and attitude as she conquered the charts and our hearts and minds. Style icon? You bet! Perhaps no surprise, though, that Adam Lambert of American Idol named Lady GaGa as his personal Woman of the Year. Lambert declared, “Everyone knows that I get all obsessed over her.”

Lady Gaga’s album The Fame was responsible for hit singles but also proved to be a thematic triumph. In our view very few people since the Ziggy days of David Bowie have made such an impact in terms of futuristic style.

Here, then, is the MTV list of the Top Women of 2009:

Kristen Stewart is more the rebel

Kristen Stewart is more the rebel

1. Lady Gaga

2. Taylor Swift

3. Rihanna

4. Beyoncé

5. Miley Cyrus

6. Britney Spears

7. Kristen Stewart

8. Susan Boyle

9. The Kardashians

The last two names emphasise a few other aspects of modern culture, none more than reality tv. But Susan Boyle also shows that popularity and talent can span the globe. Some say The Beatles had a struggle to conquer America. Susan certainly didn’t.

Films of the Decade – Social Aggregation unravels Top 10 lists

The web is a marvelous tool for research and information gathering. It is also, now, a way to collect and compare. If you have a passion for music, say, or film, you no longer need to buy dozens of newspapers or magazines to see an overview of Top 10 lists.

There Will Be BloodOne rather clever example of list comparison was undertaken by Gawker.com to compile a summary of the Best Films of the Decade. Hundreds of films were collated from dozens of sources, including industry magazines, international newspapers and lifestyle websites and magazines.

The results of the survey reveal some surprises, not least that the critics failed to agree. Other highlights:

  • Pixar was the most successful studio
  • Lord of the Rings impressed mightily
  • Harry Potter failed to feature
  • comedy failed to impress
  • few films gained more than a half dozen mentions

The aggregated results list of the Top 30 Films of the Decade:

Lord of the Rings trilogy

Lord of the Rings trilogy

appeared on 12 lists
There Will Be Blood

11 lists
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind ::
Lord of the Rings trilogy

10 lists
No Country For Old Men

8 lists
Momento

7 lists
Brokeback Mountain :: The Dark Knight

6 lists
Almost Famous :: Catch Me If You Can :: Children of Men :: Pan’s Labyrinth :: Wall-E

No Country For Old Men5 lists
City of God :: The Departed :: Finding Nemo ::
The Incredibles

4 lists
Cache :: Gladiator :: Kill Bill :: The Lives of Others ::
Lost in Translation :: Royal Tennenbaums

3 lists
The 40 Year Old Virgin :: Amelie :: Anchorman ::
The Bourne series :: Mullholland Drive :: Sideways ::
Slumdog Millionaire :: The White Ribbon ::
You Can Count on Me

Cheryl Cole tops 2008 celebrity blog – a taste of things to come?

Nadine Coyle of Girls Aloud

Nadine Coyle (photo 1) has already set up shop – literally – in America. Rumours abound that Cheryl Cole (photo 2) is about to do the same. Even so, it is a pleasant surprise to see Cheryl in number one position on the list for an American celebrity blog of their top 10 girls of the year.

Along with the Girls Aloud girls, music stars are making the Top 10 lists in increasing numbers, which sees a big change in American taste. These are girls with big voices and, often, big brains. In an era when image counts for so much, these music stars are taking as much benefit from their musical DNA as their body shape – and Cheryl is a perfect example.

Cheryl Cole of Girls Aloud

It is maybe not a surprise, then, that Hilary Duff (photo 3) is in the No. 2 slot. It is doubtful such a wholesome star would reach the Top 10 let alone the Top 100 in previous years. But all power to Hilary, from her Russian popstar role to her Maxim appearance – cute and sexy do go together.

And in No 4 slot is Jessica Simpson, and ongoing exposure from the part of Daisy Duke will surely have raised the chances of Jessica staying in the top 10 lists for a few more years yet.

Hilary Duff

So here is the Hollywood Tuna Top Ten Celebrities of 2008:

1. Cheryl Tweedy
2. Hilary Duff
3. Megan Fox
4. Jessica Simpson
5. Lucy Pinder
6. Miranda Kerr
7. Sophie Monk
8. Marisa Miller
9. Mila Kunis
10. Keeley Hazell

The dominance of the Playboy era is over, although there will always be the attraction of big breasts in these types of lists. For example, Lucy Pinder has zero appeal as a person, or even as an attractive face, and certainly has no talent except for her body-shape DNA.

UK struggles against US music power – only Leona Lewis has any credibility

The new season of American Idol proves, again, the overwhelming dominance of America in chart music – whether pop, rock, soul or whatever. Idol is the number one tv show in the States, on the No. 1 tv network, and achieves an average of 30 million viewers per episode.

Even better figures help the final, which has 55 million viewers, as the results of the 97 million votes are revealed. Don’t forget, these are just the USA figures and millions more watch the show worldwide. That power means only exceptional talent – and almost always a fantastic voice – will make a significant impact Stateside. For the UK there has been a severe lack of music power.

Leona Lewis is The Voice of Britain

Leona Lewis is the most successful British artist to cross the Atlantic for years. Having conquered Top 10 album charts around the world, her album Spirit hit No. 1 status in the States too. With the single Bleeding Love also topping the Billboard Hot 100, Leona has proven her extraordinary talent in the most competitive market in the world.

Just for the record, Spirit achieved No. 1 all major markets: UK, USA, Canada, Australia, China, Germany, etc.

Robbie Williams arrived in America along with massive hype with The Ego Has Landed. The best the album could achieve was No. 63 on the U.S. pop charts. Follow-up Sing When You’re Winning only reached No. 110 on the U.S. charts. Escapology didn’t reach Top-40, while Rudebox did not even get in the shops – it was only released digitally in America.

After winning the Mercury Prize in 2002 Ms. Dynamite was tipped as the British rapper who would win over America. The critics fell over themselves with praise for A Little Deeper but the American public was not fooled – it only reached No. 179 in the States and follow-up Judgement Day didn’t receive full release in the U.S. Ms. Dynamite is just one of many hyped UK rappers who failed to resonate, including Dizzee Rascal and Lady Sovereign.

Although the Sugababes are one of the most successful pop groups in Britain, they have very little presence in the U.S. Only Hole in the Head charted low on Billboard’s Hot 100 and Americans can only buy Sugababes on import.

Even MySpace-hyped Lily Allen could do no better than No. 49 on Billboard’s Hot 100 with Smile.

All of which shows that only real musical talent and dedication will achieve success in America. Britain’s music press and gutter tv pundits need to get their heads out of lurid, non-music hype and self-promotion. Only then will they see any real British music talent.

Top Pop Artists 2008 – Girls Steal the Show

Girls on Top ... in music

Girls stole the show for the Top Pop Artists of 2008 by taking 4 of the top 5 slots.

1. Rihanna – solo and collaborations
2. Chris Brown – especially with Jordin Sparks
3. Leona Lewis – the most beautiful voice
4. Katy Perry – sassy, sexy, classy talent
5. Jordin Sparks – heartfelt and smooth diva

Some may argue that Brown is only there because of his duet with Jordin, and that is probably correct. So maybe the girls took four-and-a-half of the top 5 slots!

For us, all of the girls are making MUSIC rather than the boys who seem locked in their big-production, multi-million-budget, metro-sexual, copycat toons.

Just look at the ENERGY of Rihanna, the RANGE of Leona Lewis, the breathless CATCHYNESS of Katy Perry and the MUSICALITY of Jordin. Can’t find 5 boys to equal those.

Highest Paid Actresses 2008 – Angelina Jolie tops chart

Money may not be everything, but it certainly proves talent and popularity. The critics bleat on about their favourites, or who they have been paid to promote, but the public support has the final say. So we are happy to see one of our favourites at No 1 in the highest paid actress chart for 2008.

Angelina Jolie earned above $15 million for Wanted and may receive $20m for a sequel. The fee is not the only income, however, and the $15m for Edwin A. Salt will be boosted by healthy shares of profits. But also don’t forget that Angelina (and Brad) give millions to charity, and huge amounts of time to humanitarian activities.

At No 2, Julia Roberts has returned and hit the jackpot with Duplicity, earning $15 million-plus for the thriller directed by Tony Gilroy. Roberts is also a strong supporter of charities.

Moving from rather cute child actress and coed, Reese Witherspoon has accomplished a surprising variety of roles. Her salary for Four Christmases was around $14m and total earnings put Witherspoon at No 3 for the year.

Cameron Diaz is still a high earner, with around $10m for the comedy What Happens in Vegas, and that helped toward total earnings of around $50m for the year.

Another former child and TV star is No 5, Katherine Heigl, who is leaping up the earnings list. With around $6m for The Ugly Truth and $225,000 per episode for Grey’s Anatomy, our guess is her bank balance is fairly healthy.
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