Black artists are top of the US pops singles chart

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The Independent Culture

Black artists have filled all top 10 spots on this week's American Billboard singles chart for the first time.

Nine of the 10 are rappers, while the number one is "Baby Boy", a track from the R&B singer Beyonce Knowles and the reggae star Sean Paul. Other artists include P Diddy and Black Eyed Peas. The clean sweep shows the popularity of rap among teenagers.

Silvio Pietroluongo, who manages Billboard's Hot 100 Singles chart, said: "We went back through our lists to the mid-1990s, when R&B was the hot thing. But even then there were always some pop and rock acts as well."

The DJ Mike Anthony told BBC Radio Five Live: "It was just a matter of time." He attributed the rise of black music to the boom in the video music industry."There are so many new avenues out there, we had drum-n-bass, then UK garage, which affected the youth - and it's the youth that lead the way."

Experts said part of the reason for the dominance of rapwas that it was a musical form where singles still showed signs of commercial life.