In a semi-surprising move this week, Citigroup took over EMI, home to the Beatles catalog, Katy Perry and Lady Antebellum, in what most observers believe is an ultimately good move for the record company. After a long period of destabilization at Guy Hands’ hands, EMI is coalescing under Roger Faxon’s direction and Citigroup’s takeover gives the company a chance to breathe a little bit before Citigroup puts it back on the block.
1) EMI (not ranked last week): The record label has more lives as a cat as Citigroup takes over ownership. Remember that Citigroup has been the main creditor to former owner Terra Firma, which faulted on its loan. Citi has written off a £2.2 billion loss on the deal and will, undoubtedly, flip it as soon as possible. Or as BBC News business editor Robert Preston said, “The takeover in 2007 of EMI by Guy Hands” Terra Firma..will go down in British corporate history as one of the worst deals ever.” Ouch. We bet Thom Yorke is laughing his ass off.
2) Nicki Minaj (not ranked): She shows her versatility on “Saturday Night Live,” not only as a performer, but in the hilarious digital short, “Do the Creep,” causing “Pink Friday” to continue creeping up the charts
3) Shakira (not ranked): She becomes the third artist, following Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber, to log a staggering one billion views on YouTube. And we know that those figures, just like her hips, don”t lie.
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4) John Barry (not ranked): You may not have known his name, but you knew his music. Whether it was from his scores for James Bond movies or, my favorite, the grand, often soaring “Out of Africa” soundtrack. Read a great appreciation of Barry here. We lost a great one on Jan. 30. http://www.filmmusicsociety.org/news_events/features/2011/020211.html
5) AEG (not ranked): Concert promoter/venue owner makes good on its threat to take on Ticketmaster, which is owned by AEG”s main competitor, Live Nation, by created its own ticketing agency. Let”s see what their service fees are like.
6) Miranda Lambert (not ranked): She”s likely to take home a few Grammys on Feb. 13, but in the meanwhile, she gets to celebrate being the top nominee for the 46th Academy of Country Music Awards with seven nods. She also topped the CMA Awards last October with the most nominations ever by a woman. I think we”re seeing some kind of “Revolution.”
7) Jessie J (not ranked): She”s already a pop star in the U.K. and topped BBC”s Sound of 2011 list. Now her stateside assault begins with “Price Tag” featuring B.o.B., which is the No. 1 most added song in the U.S. She”s best known for writing Miley Cyrus”s “Party in the USA.” Looks like the party is just getting started.
8) White Stripes (not ranked): We”d suspected that they”d recorded their last notes together long before the official notice this week, but that didn”t make it hurt any less. If they change their minds, they can ring My Doorbell any time.
9) Amos Lee (not ranked): The singer/songwriter got famous this week for all the wrong reasons: setting the record for the lowest sales tally ever for a No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 since the 1991 launch of Nielsen Soundscan. Hey, at least we all spelled his name right.
10) MySpace (not ranked): We come here not to bury MySpace but to praise it. Six years ago, when News Corps purchased the social networking site for $580 million, it seemed like a good idea, but that was before a little thing called Facebook. MySpace is now officially on the block. Here”s hoping the new owner is able to harness MySpace”s considerable value and return it to a great place for musical discovery.