1) Spotify (not ranked): The ad-supported streaming service (or users can choose two premium, ad-free tiers) finally arrives stateside and it brings 15 million tracks with it. We doubt Steve Jobs has lost one minute”s sleep over this.
2) Adele (not ranked): Another week, another record or two: “Rolling in the Deep” becomes the biggest crossover hit in the last 25 years and “21” surpasses Eminem”s “Recovery” as the top-selling digital album since Nielsen SoundScan started keeping track.
3) Rihanna (not ranked): She overtakes Lady Gaga as the female artist with the most “friends” on Facebook, but the little monsters rally. As of this writing, LG is less than 50,000 behind. We expect her fans will work their fingers down to the nubs to get her back into prime position.
4) Lyor Cohen (not ranked): The Warner Music Group chief of recorded music is expected to get the big bump up to the Chairman/CEO spot, according to the rumor mill, following WMG”s sale to Len Blavatnik by current CEO/chairman Edgar Bronfman and his partners.
5) Chris Brown (not ranked): He draws a record-breaking crowd of more than 18,000 for his Today” show appearance on Friday. Following that and his big wins at the BET Awards, it”s clear that it”s okay to beat a woman and that the public will not only forgive you, but exalt you a few years later. (I would just like to compare this to Leann Rimes, who had an affair with a man she”s now married to, and seems to not be able to come back no matter what and continues to be condemned…just as long as we”ve got our priorities straight).
6) Clear Channel (not ranked): The radio giant takes huge measures to increase awareness for I Heart Radio, its web offering, by announcing a two-day festival, Sept. 23-24, featuring Lady Gaga, Coldplay, The Black Eyed Peas (God, when does that hiatus begin?) Nicki Minaj, Kenny Chesney, Carrie Underwood and many more. Anyone want to still pretend that radio isn”t still king? Or at least prince?
7) Pandora (not ranked): The service that Clear Channel is taking on head to head with I Heart Radio”s upcoming ability for listeners to create their own station streams, hits 100 million users. That”s a pretty good head start.
8) Jennifer Lopez (not ranked): She likely says yes to “American Idol” for another year for at least $12 million, but no to Marc Anthony as the pair announce their split. I did not see that one coming.
9) Mathew Knowles (not ranked): Did Live Nation set him up by telling his daughter Beyonce that he was allegedly taking money from her? He sues and Live Nation lawyers up with a very big name. Blood may be thicker than water, but money is thicker than blood.
10) Rob Grill (not ranked): Lead singer of the Grassroots dies from complications of a fall. He will live on forever via such perfect pop tunes as “Midnight Confessions” and “Temptation Eyes.”