Is Lady Gaga the Most Powerful Person in Music?

Forbes magazine seems to think so...

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Pop star Lady Gaga has been named the most powerful musician in the world by Forbes magazine, Yahoo Music reports.

Forbes cites her mammoth $80 million dollar earnings in 2012 and 2013, alongside her massive social media presence (she was 38 million Twitter followers and 58 million Facebook fans). Gaga was also ranked #2 in Forbes' overall celebrity top 100, coming second only to Oprah.

Forbes' top 10 most powerful musicians list is as follows:

1. Lady Gaga 2. Beyonce 3. Madonna 4. Taylor Swift 5. Bon Jovi 6. Justin Bieber 7. Jennifer Lopez 8. Rhianna 9. Coldplay 10. Katy Perry

But what do you think? Do album sales and social presence alone make an artist a powerful force. Who would you rank as the most powerful person in music and by what criteria? Let us know in the comments.

76 comments sorted by best / new / date

    brokndwn06
    if there wasn't kids in the world with parents who wanna shove em in a room to shut em up with there favorite CD...this list wouldn't exist.
    baumaxx1
    Shoot me now. IMO... powerful artists are those who make people want to create challenging music, continually improve and innovate and explore music. Meanwhile... half the acts on that list sound the same XD
    sgjerry
    On a serious note, just with his overall contributions to music, and intense fan base... dr. dre would have to be the most influential. dudes done more for his genre than just about anyone has for any other. he makes platinum songs, signs platinum artists, sells platinum beats, and produces platinum albums. dudes money
    ehbacon
    Where's Bono????
    DickHardwood
    There are enough bad pop singers in this list without him.
    Braykah
    Hating on Bono because it's popular stopped being trendy a few years ago, you know.
    DickHardwood
    I hate Bono because he's a giant douche, being popular will get me what? More people thumbing up my fake screen name on a guitar forum? Oh, the fame. ;p
    ehbacon
    how??? Does he care about the world too much for you? Does he bring people on stage to play with them too much? Does he donate too much money to charity?
    anwclark
    Bono may try to act like a saint but when it really comes down to it has just a douche bag egomaniac. He may promote charitable campaigns and talk about how more people should donate lots of money, but he himself has many lucrative businesses and when you look at his donations compared to his income its obvious his donations are a bit light. Not only that but he has repeatedly evaded paying taxes and has called African organizations idiots and pussies when they dont agree with him about how the type of aid his is providing is effecting the impoverished people that live there. He thinks that he can just throw money around and the problem will be solved when he is actually just making them more dependent on foreign money. To top things off he is a declared conservative Christian and supported Bush, despite the man's horrible environmental and foreign aid policies which go against everything he supposedly stands for.
    iommi600
    Bono has got the record of the world's biggest poop, which is himself, weighing over 80 courics, according to the European Fecal Standards and Measurements Office. (I don't really hate Bono but I had to bring this up lol)
    iommi600
    The list was made based on popularity and wealth, there's no reason to get your knickers in a twist, people. That being said, Gaga is actually a good songwriter and, dare I say it, a mad good singer. She also at least tried to get out of the same-old-same-old in popular culture with all the polemic imagery, so I respect her, yer know.
    Concrete Jesus
    She is a gimmick. If you strip away all of the weird crap she wears and all of that garbage, she would not be as popular.
    DickHardwood
    Well, her pop seems generic to me, and the only time I've seen her live was on a live Stones video where she sang the female part on Gimme Shelter (not well.), I've never seen her live shows to make a good judgments so I won't critique on this any further but, weird outfits is hardly new in pop.
    iommi600
    I believe 'not well' is relative. I don't rate her take on Gimme Shelter as the best I've ever heard, personally, but she carried the tune very well. And the female parts of that song aren't easy notes to hit. The weird outfits are certainly not new, but she somewhat brought them back into pop, if you consider how 'same-old' the likes of Rihanna are, as contemporary to her. Also, there's a couple of songs from the time she wasn't very famous that are a lot less generic than the pop she started making later. For an example:
    ngwxng
    To my surprise, i didnt see beatles and michael jackson making into the list. D:
    GibsonMan321
    Man, I wish I could be a manufactured popstar making shitty songs for millions of $$$. Seriously though, that is a FUCKLOAD of money, especially for a music artist. I don't even know what I would begin to do with all of that.
    Darrenmce
    I kinda thought Dave Grohl might be on it, I really really hoped he would be
    Skaden
    Surely the people who find and mould young singers into cash cows are the most powerful people in music :|
    KerNeL_KLuTcH
    the name of that list could totally be "shittiest artists"
    GALGOPOWER
    You don't uderstand the list... That's the most "powerfull" musicians. I think it's about how much money they win during the year... Everyone know that Dave Mustaine, Gregor Mackintosh and Nick Holmes should be on the top of the list... But I think they earn less money than Lady Gaga... NO RAGE... You are all shitty teenage who think they listen good music... Slipknot, Avenged Sevenfold, Green Day, Blink 182, Sum 41, Bullet for my Valentine etc... THAT'S JUST TEENAGE SHIT. I think between teenage metal shit and teenage pop shit i prefer pop shit...
    siffudoodle
    The title says "Person"... Yeah sure. I don't believe Bon Jovi and Coldplay are singular people, so I don't know what any of them are doing in there.
    tutt_81
    depends what you mean by power i guess, and musicians for that matter (no offence to Rhianna, J-Lo or Beyonce but i'd love to hand them each any instrument of their choice and say "impress me") if you bring it down to numbers (fans followers etc) then yeah thats probably a pretty accurate list BUT in terms of what they've done to change things then tax dodging aside points have to go to Bono. curve ball surly ex US president and saxophonist Bill Clinton is pretty powerful, again depends how u define musician
    Absurder22
    What!? Gaga fever has totally died down, I can't see her having that much demand and thus power. Which is a shame, cos she's at least Okay in comparison to her peers, but still.
    TryTheKetchup
    The funniest thing that all the hype went down with 'Born this way' release. I think everybody just realized who's she actually.
    jeretx2
    Sure, why not? I would rather see her on the top of the list then Justin Bebier. I actually saw her show a few months ago - it was amazing!! it was a gothic-rock Broadway show lol, totally worth it. I think people give her too much hell. She learned from Alice Cooper, MArilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, and it really shows at her concerts. I recommend everyone to see her live shows
    Raven_Flight
    I also saw her live, but it wasn't as good as I expected it to be. I'd like her to focus more on the music, but they put it all in the show itself... they cut a lot of songs and also didn't sing some parts in order to do choreographies and shit, for example.
    BioSpiN
    That, my friend, is the death of art in pop culture - it's been occurring for decades. Oh, and I'd recommend hydro-cortisone for the burning in your ears after her show (jp haha)
    TryTheKetchup
    I have the reason to dislike (not hate, but dislike Gaga). She's completely faceless without all of these weird costumes and outstanding shows. She's empty.
    Molomono
    People forget that the industry pop artists are in is the "entertainment" industry. And if you took a step back and looked at the bigger picture, she really is good at what she does. If someone doesn't like her, that's not her fault unlike many other artists like Justin Bieber and Beyonce who have alienated many potential fans with their egotistical outspoken behavior. I don't know why a list like this matters, but i'm fine with her being the top spot.
    nutzak
    Dont put her down unless you actually see her...was not a fan until i went, and she was actually pretty amazing live...would recommend her to anybody
    Braykah
    Oh yeah, that reminded me of this. Isn't it just amazing and incredibly talented how she manages to sing perfectly while she's puking her lunch all over the floor?
    WholeLottaIzzy
    Out of a concert environment, I could agree with you. But I think her concerts are more than just the music. Closer to theatre or an opera. She's incredibly talented and in my opinion, deserves to be where she is.
    CJSchecter96
    yeah she puts on too much of a show but she does have a really good voice. her more ballad sounding songs are pretty good
    ryanmcleod
    Lets face it, she has that much money that she could make the industry go anyway she wants if she wanted to make metal mainstream, she could just check a couple of million into marketing a metal band, boom, done
    Eirien
    I've not heard anything about Lady Gaga for months and didn't her last album bomb? I thought people had forgotten about her. I'm not saying I like the guy, but Simon Cowell clearly has more power and influence than most of the names in that list put together.
    FlyingPirahna
    I honestly have heard next to nothing about her in the past year or so. It seems once Adele broke everyone got sick of Gaga.
    led@zeppelin
    I can't even begin to state my disgust with this list! do they even know the deffinition of an artist?
    Sunny035
    Coldplay and Bon Jovi are not a musician, they are budding musicians, therefore this list is invalid!
    Enoilas
    they're not powerful at all, they just suck. Except bon jovi, he sucks only a little bit.
    N7Crazy
    The list is completely inreliable since wealth and popularity does not by any means determine the most powerfull person in the music buisness. The most powerfull person within music is the most highly regarded, respected, experienced and of course well connected. At best, money and fame can give a very limited and temporary power.
    Kueller917
    I'd say more the most powerful person in the music business is the one who has the most connections to influence what happens in the music business. By that flow the most powerful person in the industry probably is not a musician.
    vikkyvik
    Keith Richards is the most powerful person in music. Simply because he is still alive.
    one.and.only.So
    Marshal Mathers is the most powerful force. He has connections, he has a story of struggle worth telling, he has amazing knowledge about the music industry, and he has a lot of friends that wouldn't mind helping him out in a fight, lol, don't **** with Marshal Mathers. But if you're only talking about "musicians" then Prince is the most powerful considering he can play almost every instrument in the world.
    UniformRecon
    Honestly, I think people have stopped talking about and/or caring about Lady Gaga in the past few months, so I'm pretty surprised by this.