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Guardian publishes its first ever music power list

By | Published on Friday 27 May 2011


Power lists, hey? Everybody loves a power list, right? Of course, the publication which produces such a list takes a risk, because while they make 100 people very happy, by definition their pissing off thousands more. Many of you will remember *that* Music Week power list and the subsequent fallout.

But presumably The Guardian doesn’t care if it bruises some egos in music-land. Or perhaps it does, the first ever Guardian Music Power 100 – the 100 most influential people in British rock and pop – does come with the get-out clause: “We know that this list is far from perfect. There will be people we’ve simply missed out; there will be others who are too high, and others who are too low. Maybe there are some who shouldn’t be there at all”.

It’s possibly also worth noting the list doesn’t include any Guardian editors or music critics, presumably not wanting to be seen to show bias towards its own, though in terms of getting new music out to a more mainstream audience the broadsheet’s staff do wield some power themselves.

So who is in this list? Well, the team behind Adele – including Adele herself – top the poll, which does sort of smack of “oh, we better include some artists, whose the biggest at the moment?”, which the paper sort of admits itself when it confesses “our panel [of industry experts] stressed most forcefully teamwork and the artist – ‘none of us would be here without the artists’, they said – hence the choice of No 1, an artist served by a top-rate team.

Elsewhere you’ll find the usual suspects, the top BBC radio types, the major label chiefs, the live music supremos, the retail bosses, the techies who control digital music or artists’ social media activity, a few managers, a couple of producers and songwriters, at least one lawyer, and more artists ensuring most strands of the rock and pop genres are represented. The direct-to-fan technology makers, acquisitive independent publishers and increasingly crucial collecting societies are most notable by their absence, but as these slightly random lists go, it’s an OK first attempt.

Here’s the top ten, but for the full list go check The Guardian website here.

1. Team Adele
2. Lucian Grainge and David Joseph, Universal Music
3. Simon Cowell
4. Nigel Harding, Radio 1
5. Person or persons unknown, iTunes UK
6. Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim, YouTube
7. George Ergoutadis, Radio 1
8. Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt, Google
9. Simon Moran, SJM promotions
10. Jeff Bezos, Amazon