The music industry's 100 most influential people

We all know the names that sell albums, but who are the figures behind the names? And how powerful IS Kylie? Ciar Byrne reports

He started life in a trailer park, has been sued by his mother for claiming she smokes more dope than he does and strikes curious poses with chainsaws.

He started life in a trailer park, has been sued by his mother for claiming she smokes more dope than he does and strikes curious poses with chainsaws.

It might not be the typical profile of a mogul, but in a new survey Marshall Bruce Mathers III, aka Eminem, has been voted the most powerful person in the music industry.

The famously foulmouthed rapper burst onto the music scene in 1999 with his Slim Shady album, but away from his bad boy image Eminem has shown cool business prowess, launching Shady-wear clothing.

He recently used his massive popular appeal to persuade 75,000 young people to register to vote for the first time at the Hip Hop Summit Action Network in Detroit in May.

"There's a generation of people who listen to what he has to say in the same way as the great spokespeople for previous generations, such as Bob Dylan and John Lydon," said Gareth Grundy, the deputy editor of Q magazine, which has compiled a list of the 100 most powerful people in music.

"These are the kind of people who can get what they want just by making a phone call. How much can they get just by picking up the phone? With someone like Bono - he can get through to the White House," Mr Grundy added.

Bono, who combines managing the U2 mega-brand with campaigning on global issues - he recently testified to the US Congress on why President George Bush should put more money into fighting Aids - is at number nine.

Americans dominate the list, with about half of the top 100 hailing from the US.

The highest placed Brit, at number eight, is Sir Howard Stringer, the rugby-loving, Oxford-educated Welshman who is the chairman and chief executive of the Sony Corporation. But Sir Howard, whose next big task is to oversee the launch of Sony's online music store in the UK and Europe, moved to the US in the 1960s.

"It reflects the state of the global music industry, which is dominated by US multinationals," Mr Grundy said.

Traditionalists will be relieved to see Sir Paul McCartney, who headlined the main stage at Glastonbury on Saturday night, at 16; Bob Dylan, who recently played the London Fleadh 42 years after the release of his debut album, at 23; and David Bowie at 45.

John Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, also makes it onto the list at 32, because "without her there'd be nobody to say 'No' to Paul McCartney". Keith Richards and Mick Jagger, who have generated $750m from Rolling Stones tours since 1989, are ranked at 53.

The cream of the British music scene is recognised, including Coldplay frontman Chris Martin (10), Radiohead's Thom Yorke (30), Dido (40) and her producer, co-writer and brother, Rollo, placed at 98.

Mainstream pop artists including Kylie Minogue (79), Madonna (27), Britney Spears (17), George Michael (56) and Robbie Williams (55), are also included.

The list was drawn up by a 17-strong panel of rock royalty, including the Primal Scream frontman Bobby Gillespie, Universal Music's UK chief, Lucian Grainge, the hop-hop DJ, Tim Westwood, the Glastonbury founder, Michael Eavis, and School of Rock star Jack Black.

Perhaps one of the greatest surprises is the presence of the Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, and his creative sidekick Jonathan Ive at number two on the list. The high positioning of the computer industry executives reflects the burgeoning online music sales industry, with the recent relaunch of Napster and Apple's iTunes.

"Their move into the music business is what everybody's looking at," Mr Grundy said. "They've really shaken things up with iPods and iTunes. It looks as though they're going to turn out to be as important as the compact disc. It seems to be a seismic shift in the way we consume music."

1 Eminem Bad-boy rapper Marshall Mathers III has sparked controversy with his extreme lyrics and courtroom battles with his former wife and mother (for lines such as "my mother smokes more dope than I do"), but he is an astute businessman with his own range of clothes. He also used his influence to persuade 75,000 young people to register to vote. And he doesn't do cheesy endorsements - he sued Apple for using one of his songs without permission.

2 Steve Jobs and Jonathan Ive The co-founder of Apple and his creative sidekick have revolutionised the music industry with the invention of the iPod. The iTunes music store has been heralded as the saviour of the industry.

3 L Lowry Mays As the chief executive of the world's largest media conglomerate, Clear Channel, Mays employs 60,000 people in 66 countries. A former associate of George Bush, Mays owns more than 50 per cent of rock radio in the US.

4 Doug Morris The chief executive of Universal has been in the music business for more than 40 years, starting out as a song writer and penning hits such as the Chiffons' "Sweet Talkin' Guy". Wields huge power in the industry.

5 Edgar Bronfman Jnr As chairman of the Warner Music Group, the 49-year-old father of seven oversees artists including Madonna and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. But he is planning to cut 1,000 jobs.

6 Andre 3000 The frontman of OutKast, Andre "3000" Benjamin is refusing to play the music industry's game and has threatened to quit music for film.He is about to star in Be Cool, the sequel to Get Shorty.

7 Jimmy Iovine A former producer, Iovine built up Interscope records, whose artists include Eminem and U2 in America. His recent contract with parent company Universal Music was worth $50m.

8 Sir Howard Stringer Chief executive of the Sony Corporation and highest placed Brit on the list. The saviour of Columbia Pictures and CBS Television, his next task is to launch Sony's online music store.

9 Bono The Irish rock legend has forged a second career as a campaigner on global issues, including Aids. When he is not managing the U2 brand, which nets about £35m a year, he is doing good deeds.

10 Chris Martin One minute the Coldplay frontman was a geek in an anorak, the next he was a world famous singer with two albums and a Hollywood star, Gwyneth Paltrow, on his arm.

11 50 Cent The bullet-scarred gangsta rapper signed by Eminem and Dr Dre has his own line of trainers. His new album and an autobiography about his upbringing in New York are out in the autumn.

12 Rick Rubin The most influential producer working today, he co-founded Def Jam, worked with Run-DMC and Aerosmith, made albums with Johnny Cash and produces the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

13 Rolf Schmidt-Holtz Chairman and chief executive of BMG, he oversees Avril Lavigne and Pink. Currently masterminding BMG's merger with Sony and expected to become chairman of the group.

14 Clive Davis The head of BMG North America was axed in 2000, and retaliated by setting up his own label and discovering Alicia Keys. BMG then offered him $150m to rejoin the company.

15 Simon Fuller The creator of Pop Idol and former manager of the Spice Girls owns 19 Entertainment, managing artists such as Gareth Gates. The Pop Idol format has been exported to 18 countries.

16 Sir Paul McCartney The 62-year-old former Beatle, who headlined the Glastonbury Festival on Saturday night, is currently on a summer tour of Europe and also has a new album on the way.

17 Britney Spears The show is not over. She duetted with Madonna and her last hit, "Toxic," was her first number one since "Oops! I Did It Again". She has a greatest hits album coming out next year.

18 Jack White Fans of the White Stripes frontman range from Iggy Pop to Joss Stone and he is dating the actress Renée Zellweger. He turned down $1m for a Gap advert.

19 Dr Dre The founding father of gangsta rap with NWA in the Eighties was behind artists including Tupac, Snoop Dogg and Eminem, and can claim much of the credit for the success of 50 Cent. Dr Dre recently decided to abandon recording the final album of his career, which was to be called Detox. He is currently producing Busta Rhymes' next album, due for release next year, and continues to work with rappers including The Game.

20 Van Toffler The president of MTV is credited with reviving the career of Ozzy Osbourne by bringing his dysfunctional family to the small screen. He also brought the wacky gore-fest Jackass to MTV.

21 Lyor Cohen

The new chief executive of US recorded music for Warner Bros.

22 Kanye West

The producer-turned rapper dubbed "the new Pharrell".

23 Bob Dylan The rock legend whose debut album was released 42 years ago.

24 Michael Gondry Music video director behind Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

25 Dave Grohl Lead singer of the Foo Fighters.

26 Alan Levy The Frenchman who runs EMI.

27 Madonna The pop legend who now wants to be known as Esther.

28 Beyoncé Knowles Solo artist and former member of Destiny's Child.

29 Michael Bebel The boss of Napster, the now legitimate former music pirates.

30 Thom Yorke Radiohead frontman.

31 Rich Harrison R&B producer whose clients include Janet Jackson and Usher.

32 Yoko Ono John Lennon's widow and the chief curator of his legacy.

33 Terry McBride Head of Nettwerk Productions and manager-mogul to Dido

34 R Kelly R&B legend who is facing child-porn charges.

35 Spike Jonze Music video producer for the Beastie Boys and Fat Boy Slim

36 Antonio "LA" Reid R&B hitmaker turned Def-Jam chairman.

37 Linda Perry Grammy-nominated songwriter who penned Pink's "Get the Party Started".

38 Pharrell Williams & Chad Hugo, The Neptunes Music producers behind Justin Timberlake..

39 Jay Berman Head of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.

40 Dido The British female solo artist who has enjoyed huge international success.

41 Rod Smallwood & Andy Taylor Heads of music management group Sanctuary.

42 Usher America's favourite R&B singer.

43 Jeff Kwatinetz Chief executive of The Firm whose clients include Limp Bizkit.

44 Kevin Weatherly Head of Los Angeles radio station KROQ and the Infinity radio network.

45 David Bowie The rock star is recording an album.

46 Justin Timberlake The former boy-band member who has made it as a solo star.

47 Red Hot Chilli Peppers: Anthony Keidis, Flea, John Fruscianti, Chad Smith Californian rockers who have recently enjoyed a revival.

48 Jay Z Hip-hop legend who turned the Roc-A-Fella label into an urban lifestyle brand.

49 Prince The pint-sized artist is touring the world with his new album Musicology.

50 Norah Jones Ravi Shankar's daughter has sold more than 25 million records in her own right.

51 Korda Marshall Managing director of East West UK and the executive behind The Darkness and Muse.

52 Beastie Boys The rappers have now turned into political activists.

53 Mick Jagger & Keith Richards The pair have made more than $750m out of Rolling Stones tours since 1989.

54 Simon Cowell Pop Idol presenter and music tycoon.

55 Robbie Williams Former Take That member is planning new singles and a greatest-hits album.

56 George Michael The most-played artist on UK radio over the past 20 years.

57 Gwen Stefani The frontwoman of No Doubt

58 Tim Armstrong Californian rocker and songwriter.

59 Christina Aguilera US pop diva.

60 Big Boi Andre 3000's partner in OutKast

61 Bruce Springsteen Rock veteran whose tours still sell out.

62 Cliff Burnstein & Peter Mensch A&R men at Q Prime Management behind Metallica, Def Leppard and Shania Twain

63 Martin Dodd Senior vice president Worldwide A&R, Sony who masterminded Britney Spears's success

64 Timbaland R&B producer who made Missy Elliott and Aaliyah

65 David LaChappelle Pop photographer who was given his first job by Andy Warhol.

66 Cathy Dennis Former

90s pop singer turned songwriter.

67 Courtney Love The key custodian of Kurt Cobain's back catalogue

68 Metallica: James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammet, Rob Trujillio Veterans of heavy rock.

69 Axl Rose The front man of rockers Guns'N'Roses.

70 John Silva The manager of Nirvana who now oversees the Foo Fighters and the Beastie Boys.

71 Sharon Osbourne The power behind Ozzy.

72 Alex Jones Donnelly Editor of music policy, Radio 1

73 Missy Elliott Hip-hop singer who starred in a Gap advert with Madonna (sorry, Esther).

74 Nigel Godrich Record producer favoured by Radiohead and Travis.

75 Kelly Jones Stereophonics frontman.

76 Beck Individualistic artist whose record contract allows him to do whatever he wants.

77 Morrissey The iconic former frontman of the Smiths.

78 Noel Gallagher Oasis singer-songwriter.

79 Kylie Minogue Australian pop singer who has enjoyed enduring success.

80 Irving Azoff Manager whose clients include Christina Aguilera and the Eagles.

81 Russell Simmons The head of a $300m hip-hop empire.

82 Matt Bellamy The frontman of West Country indie band Muse, who headlined Glastonbury on Sunday.

83 Josh Homme The front man of Queens of the Stone Age.

84 Geoff Travis The indie mastermind behind the Strokes and the Libertines.

85 Janet Jackson Still going strong despite her "wardrobe malfunction" on stage this year.

86 Marilyn Manson The weird-looking rocker and bane of US Christians.

87 Joseph Kahn MTV video director who made the video for Britney Spears's Toxic.

88 Lil' Jon Rap DJ and producer.

89 Sean Paul Jamaican R&B star who has duetted with Beyoncé.

90 Alicia Keys Singer-songwriter who rose to fame as a teenager.

91 Danger Mouse Producer behind the Grey Album, a mix of Jay-Z and the Beatles.

92 Michael Parkinson The Saturday night chat-show host and Radio 2 DJ.

93 Vince Power The head of the Mean Fiddler Group, the festival promoters behind Glastonbury, Reading and Creamfields.

94 Jack Black Star of the film School of Rock.

95 Tim Westwood Veteran hip-hop DJ.

96 Liam Howlett The mastermind of The Prodigy.

97 Ryan Adams Singer-songwriter whose second album Love is Hell was rapturously received.

98 Rollo Armstrong Dido's producer, co-writer and brother.

99 Michael Eavis Founder of Glastonbury.

100 Mike Skinner The voice of The Streets, credited with capturing Britain in 2004.

Arts and Entertainment
On The Apprentice, “serious” left the room many moons ago and yet still we watch

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from David Ayer's 'Fury'

Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift performs at the 2014 iHeart Radio Music Festival
music review
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Anderson plays Arthur Shelby in Peaky Blinders series two
tvReview: Arthur Shelby Jr seems to be losing his mind as his younger brother lets him run riot in London
Arts and Entertainment
Miranda Hart has called time on her award-winning BBC sitcom, Miranda
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Boy George performing with Culture Club at Heaven

musicReview: Culture Club performs live for first time in 12 years

Arts and Entertainment
Laura Wood, winner of the Montegrappa Scholastic Prize for New Children’s Writing

Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search

Arts and Entertainment
Pulling the strings: Spira Mirabilis

Arts and Entertainment
Neville's Island at Duke of York's theatre
musicReview: The production has been cleverly cast with a quartet of comic performers best known for the work on television
Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol

Arts and Entertainment
Lynda Bellingham stars in her last Oxo advert with on-screen husband Michael Redfern

Arts and Entertainment
Hunger Games actress Jena Malone has been rumoured to be playing a female Robin in Batman v Superman

Arts and Entertainment
Tim Minchin portrait
For a no-holds-barred performer who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, Tim Minchin is surprisingly gentle
Arts and Entertainment
Clara takes the lead in 'Flatline' while the Doctor remains in the Tardis
tvReview: The 'Impossible Girl' earns some companion stripes... but she’s still annoying in 'Dr Who, Flatline'
Arts and Entertainment
Joy Division photographed around Waterloo Road, Stockport, near Strawberry Studios. The band are Bernard Sumner (guitar and keyboards), Stephen Morris (drums and percussion), Ian Curtis (vocals and occasional guitar), Peter Hook (bass guitar and backing vocals).
Arts and Entertainment
Sean Harris in 'The Goob' film photocall, at the Venice International Film Festival 2014
filmThe Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Streisand is his true inspiration
Arts and Entertainment
X Factor contestant Fleur East
tvReview: Some lacklustre performances - but the usual frontrunners continue to excel
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Tuttle's installation in the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern
artAs two major London galleries put textiles in the spotlight, the poor relation of the creative world is getting recognition it deserves
Arts and Entertainment
Hunger Games actress Jena Malone has been rumoured to be playing a female Robin in Batman v Superman
Arts and Entertainment
On top of the world: Actress Cate Blanchett and author Richard Flanagan
artsRichard Flanagan's Man Booker win has put paid to the myth that antipodean artists lack culture
Arts and Entertainment
The Everyman, revamped by Haworth Tompkins
architectureIt beats strong shortlist that included the Shard, the Library of Birmingham, and the London Aquatics Centre
Arts and Entertainment
Justice is served: Robert Downey Jr, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy Strong and Robert Duvall in ‘The Judge’


Arts and Entertainment
Clive Owen (centre) in 'The Knick'


Arts and Entertainment
J.K. Simmons , left, and Miles Teller in a scene from


Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

    Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

    Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
    Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

    Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

    The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
    New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

    New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

    Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
    Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

    Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

    The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
    DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

    Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

    Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
    The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

    Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

    The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
    Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

    Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

    The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
    11 best sonic skincare brushes

    11 best sonic skincare brushes

    Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
    Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

    Paul Scholes column

    I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
    Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

    Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

    While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
    Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

    Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

    Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

    A crime that reveals London's dark heart

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
    Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

    Lost in translation: Western monikers

    Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
    Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

    Handy hacks that make life easier

    New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
    KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

    KidZania: It's a small world

    The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker