Worst Bands Ever: Singers, Rappers, Pop stars and Bands that suck

The worst bands in music history, ranked by music fans (and haters.) This list contains the most awful bands to listen to from throughout the history of recorded music, suggested and voted on based on a variety of metrics, including popular bands least deserving of their fame and fortune, artists who shamelessly ripped off other, superior acts and just bands that don’t know how to play their instruments or write songs. Obviously, the majority of choices will be rock bands, but any “musical group” or bands are technically eligible. Think the worst band of all time is a jazz band? Hate polka bands as much (or more) than Nickelback? You may hate Sting, but unless you also hate The Police, save it for another list!

Justin Bieber

Pop music, Teen pop, Contemporary R&B

Justin Drew Bieber ( /ˈbiːbər/ bee-bər, born March 1, 1994) is a Canadian pop/R&B singer, songwriter and actor. Bieber was discovered in 2008 by Scooter Braun, who came across Bieber’s videos on YouTube and later became his manager. Braun arranged for him to meet with Usher in Atlanta, Georgia, and Bieber was soon signed to Raymond Braun Media Group…  [ Read More at Wikipedia ]

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Inner City Posse

Hip hop music, Horrorcore, Gangsta rap

Insane Clown Posse is an American hip hop duo from Detroit, Michigan. The group is composed of Joseph Bruce and Joseph Utsler, who perform under the respective personas of the “wicked clowns” Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope. Insane Clown Posse performs a style of hardcore hip hop known as horrorcore and is known for its elaborate live performances. The duo has earned  two platinum and five gold albums. According to Nielsen SoundScan, the entire catalog of the group has sold 6.5 million units in the United States and Canada as of April 2007. [ Read More at Wikipedia ]

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Jonas Brothers

Bubblegum pop, Pop music, Rock music

The Jonas Brothers are an American boy band. Formed in 2005, they have gained popularity from the Disney Channel children’s television network and consists of three brothers from the shore region of New Jersey; Paul Kevin Jonas II, Joseph Adam Jonas and Nicholas Jerry Jonas. In the summer of 2008 they starred in the Disney Channel Original Movies Camp Rock and its sequel, Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam. The band has released four albums: It’s About Time, Jonas Brothers, A Little Bit Longer, and Lines, Vines and Trying Times. In 2008, the group was nominated for the Best New Artist award at the 51st Grammy Awards and won the award for Breakthrough Artist at the American Music Awards. As of May 2009, before the release of Lines, Vines and…  [ Read More at Wikipedia ]

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Nickelback

Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal

Nickelback is a Canadian rock band from Hanna, Alberta. Since 1995 the band has included guitarist and lead vocalist Chad Kroeger, guitarist and back-up vocalist Ryan Peake and bassist Mike Kroeger. The band’s current drummer and percussionist is Daniel Adair who has been with the band since 2005. Nickelback’s music is classed as hard rock, alternative metal, and alternative rock. Nickelback is one of the most commercially successful Canadian groups, having sold more than 50 million albums worldwide, ranking as the 11th best selling music act of the 2000s, and is the 2nd best selling foreign act in the U.S. behind The Beatles for the 2000’s. The band is based in Vancouver, Canada. The band’s original domestic signing was with EMI…. [ Read More at Wikipedia ]

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Nicki Minaj

Hip hop music, Synthpop, Hardcore hip hop

Onika Tanya Maraj (born December 8, 1982), known by her stage name Nicki Minaj ( /mɪˈnɑːʒ/), is a Trinidadian-born American musician. She was born in Saint James, Trinidad and Tobago, and moved to the New York borough of Queens when she was five. After releasing three mixtapes between 2007 and 2009 and being signed to Young Money Entertainment in August 2009, Minaj released her debut album, Pink Friday, in November 2010. It quickly became a commercial success, peaking at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 and being certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) a month after its release. She became the first artist to have seven singles on the Billboard Hot 100 at the same time. Her second single, “Your…  [ Read More at Wikipedia]

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Kevin Federline

Hip hop music

Kevin Earl Federline (born March 21, 1978) is an American dancer, rapper, fashion model, and actor. Previously engaged to actress Shar Jackson, Federline is well known for his two-year marriage to pop singer Britney Spears. The couple’s divorce was highly publicized and was followed by an ongoing legal battle for the custody of their two sons, Sean Preston Federline and Jayden James Federline. Federline was born to parents Mike, a car mechanic, and Julie, a former bank teller from Oregon; the name Federline is of German origin. Federline has one brother, Chris. His parents divorced when he was eight years old. When Federline was eleven, he and Chris moved back to his father’s Fresno house. Federline dropped out of high school in the…. [ Read More at Wikipedia ]

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LMFAO

Hip hop music, Synthpop, Electro

LMFAO is an American electro pop duo consisting of rappers, producers, dancers, and DJs Redfoo (Stefan Kendal Gordy, born September 3, 1975) and his nephew SkyBlu (Skyler Austen Gordy, born August 23, 1986). The group formed in 2006 in Los Angeles, California. RedFoo is also the son of music mogul Berry Gordy, and SkyBlu is his grandson. Their music incorporates a theme of partying and drinking, and the group commonly refers to their music style as “party rock”. The group’s name is an Internet slang abbreviation for “Laughing My Fucking Ass Off”. RedFoo (Stefan Kendal Gordy) and SkyBlu (Skyler Austen Gordy) both grew up in the affluent Los Angeles neighborhood Pacific Palisades, where they formed the group LMFAO in 2006. The duo has…. [ Read More at Wikipedia ]

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Rebecca Black

Bubblegum pop, Synthpop, Pop music

Rebecca Renee Black (born June 21, 1997) is an American pop singer and dancer who gained extensive media attention with the 2011 single “Friday”. Her mother paid $4,000 to have the single and an accompanying music video put out as a vanity release through the record label ARK Music Factory. The song was co-written and produced by Clarence Jey and Patrice

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Soulja Boy

Hip hop music, Dirty rap, Pop music

DeAndre Cortez Way (born July 28, 1990), better known by his stage name Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em, or simply Soulja Boy, is an American rapper, record producer, actor, and entrepreneur. In September 2007, his single “Crank That (Soulja Boy)” reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The single was initially self-published on the internet, and it later became a number-one hit in the United States for seven non-consecutive weeks starting in September 2007. On August 17 Way was listed at #18 on the Forbes list of Hip-Hop Cash Kings of 2010 earning $7 million for that year. Way has currently released three studio albums and one independent album: his debut studio album Souljaboytellem.com (2007) was certified platinum by the RIAA. Howeverr his…. [ Read More at Wikipedia

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Limp Bizkit

Nu metal, Rap rock, Rapcore

Limp Bizkit is an American rock band. The band consists of Fred Durst, Wes Borland, Sam Rivers, John Otto and DJ Lethal. They have sold over 33 million records worldwide. Formed in 1994, Limp Bizkit started playing in the Jacksonville, Florida underground music scene in the late 1990s, signed with Flip Records and released their début album Three Dollar Bill, Yall$ in 1997. The band achieved mainstream success with their second and third studio albums, Significant Other (1999) and Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water (2000), although the success was marred by controversy. Borland left the group in 2001, and Durst, Rivers, Otto and Lethal continued to record and tour with guitarist Mike Smith. Following the release of their…. [ Read More at Wikipedia ]

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Lil Wayne

Hip hop music, Ragga, Hardcore hip hop

Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr. (born September 27, 1982), better known by his stage name Lil Wayne, is an American rapper. At the age of nine, Lil Wayne joined Cash Money Records as the youngest member of the label, and half of the duo, The B.G.’z, with B.G.. In 1997, Lil Wayne joined the group Hot Boys, which also included rappers Juvenile, B.G., and Young Turk. Hot Boys debuted with Get It How U Live! that year. Lil Wayne gained most of his success with the group’s major selling album Guerrilla Warfare, released in 1999. Also in 1999, Lil Wayne released his Platinum debut album Tha Block Is Hot, selling over one million copies in the U.S. Although his next two albums Lights Out (2000) and 500 Degreez (2002) were not as successful (only…. [ Read More at Wikipedia ]

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The Black Eyed Peas

Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Synthpop

The Black Eyed Peas are an American hip pop group (originally an alternative hip hop group), formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1995. The group consists of rappers will.i.am, apl.de.ap, and Taboo, and singer Fergie. Since the release of their third album Elephunk in 2003, the group has sold an estimated 65 million records worldwide. Their first worldwide song was “Where Is the Love?” in 2003, which topped 13 charts worldwide. Another single was the European hit “Shut Up”. Their next album Monkey Business, was a worldwide success, certified 4× Platinum in the U.S., and spawning two singles, “My Humps” and “Don’t Phunk with My Heart”. In 2009, the group became one of only 11 artists to have simultaneously held the No. 1 and No. 2 spots…. [ Read More at Wikipedia ]

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Kesha

Hip hop music, Synthpop, Pop music

Kesha Rose Sebert (born March 1, 1987), known professionally as Kesha (pronunciation: /ˈkɛʃə/ kesh-ə, stylized Ke$ha), is an American singer-songwriter and rapper. In 2005, at 18, Kesha was signed to Dr. Luke’s record label, Kemosabe Entertainment, and publishing company. Although an active musician since then, singing background vocals and writing songs

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Paris Hilton

Bubblegum pop. pop music

Paris Whitney Hilton (born February 17, 1981) is an American businesswoman, potential future heiress, and socialite. She is a great-granddaughter of Conrad Hilton (founder of Hilton Hotels). Hilton is known for her controversial participation in a sex tape in 2003, and appearance on the television series The Simple Life alongside fellow socialite and childhood best friend Nicole Richie. She is also known for her 2004 tongue-in-cheek autobiography, several minor film roles (most notably her role in the horror film House of Wax in 2005), her 2006 music album Paris, and her work in modeling. In recent years Hilton is perhaps most known for starring in a number of her own produced reality shows such as Paris Hilton’s My New BFF which was… [ Read More at Wikipedia ]

Premiere Of Regent Releasing's "Hottie And The Nottie" - Arrivals

One Direction

Pop music, Teen pop, Electronic music

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Hannah Montana (Miley Cyrus)

Pop music

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Pitbull

Hip hop music, Electro hop, Latin American music

Armando Christian Pérez (born January 15, 1981), better known by his stage name Pitbull, is an American born rapper, singer-songwriter and record producer. His first recorded performance was from the Lil Jon album Kings of Crunk in 2002, after which he released his debut album in 2004 titled M.I.A.M.I. (short for Money Is a Major Issue) under TVT Records. Since then, he has released two other albums under the label: El Mariel in 2006 and The Boatlift in 2007. He then released Rebelution in 2009, which included singles “I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)” and “Krazy”. The latter peaked at No.30 on the Hot 100 and No.11 on the Hot Rap Tracks charts while “I Know You Want Me” peaked at No.2 on the Hot 100 and peaked within the top ten spots…. [ Read More at Wikipedia

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Brokencyde

Crunkcore

Brokencyde is an American crunkcore musical group from Albuquerque, New Mexico, founded in 2006. The group’s lineup consists of David Gallegos (vocals), Michael Shea (vocals), Julian McLellan (programming) and Anthony Trujillo (backing vocals), and musically are one of the founding groups in the crunkcore genre, which (in general description) is crunk hip-hop with screamed vocals. Brokencyde was founded by singers Se7en and Mikl. The name of the band supposedly originated from the idea that their music was “broke inside” due to personal problems. After the band began promoting themselves online, members Phat J and Antz joined Brokencyde. They released their debut mixtape, The Broken!, in July 2007, followed by another mixtape, Tha $c3ne …. [ Read More at Wikipedia ]

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Miley Cyrus

Adult contemporary music, Bubblegum pop, Synthpop

Miley Ray Cyrus (born Destiny Hope Cyrus; November 23, 1992) is an American actress and pop singer-songwriter. She achieved wide fame for her role as Miley Stewart/Hannah Montana on the Disney Channel sitcom Hannah Montana. Cyrus recorded music for the soundtracks, Hannah Montana (2006) and Hannah Montana 2/Meet Miley Cyrus (2007), released by Walt Disney Records. With the success of the Hannah Montana franchise she established herself as a teen idol. In 2007, Cyrus signed to Hollywood Records to pursue a solo career. She embarked upon the Best of Both Worlds Tour the same year, in which she performed as both herself and in character as Hannah Montana. The tour was eventually turned into a high-grossing concert film titled Hannah…. [ Read More at Wikipedia]

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 Chris Brown

Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Pop music

Christopher Maurice “Chris” Brown (born May 5, 1989) is an American singer-songwriter, dancer and actor. He made his recording debut in late 2005 with the self-titled album Chris Brown at the age of 16. The album featured the hit single “Run It!”, which topped the Billboard Hot 100, making Brown the first male artist as a lead to have his debut single top the chart since Puff Daddy in 1997. The album has sold over two million copies in the United States and was certified double Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Brown’s second studio album, Exclusive was released in 2007. It spawned two successful singles; his second U.S. number one hit, “Kiss Kiss” featuring T-Pain and “With You”, which peaked at number…. [ Read More at Wikipedia ]

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Hanson

Indie pop, Pop music, Teen pop

Hanson are an American pop rock band formed in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by brothers Isaac (guitar, piano, vocals), Taylor (keyboards, piano, guitar, drums, vocals), and Zac Hanson (drums, piano, guitar, vocals). They are best known for the 1997 hit song “MMMBop” from their major label debut album Middle of Nowhere, which earned three Grammy nominations. Despite the enormous commercial success of Middle of Nowhere, the band suffered from the merger that eliminated their label, Mercury Records. The group was moved to Island Def Jam Music Group, which they eventually left after conflict with the label about creative input. Hanson have sold over 16 million records worldwide and have had eight top 40 singles in the UK and six top 40 singles in the…. [ Read More at Wikipedia ]

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Rihanna

Pop music, Hip hop music, Synthpop

Robyn Rihanna Fenty ( /riˈɑːnə/ ree-ah-nə or /riˈænə/ ree-an-ə; born February 20, 1988), better known as simply Rihanna, is a Barbadian recording artist and singer. Born in Saint Michael, Barbados, Rihanna moved to the United States at the age of 16 to pursue a recording career under the guidance of record producer Evan Rogers. She subsequently signed a contract with Def Jam Recordings. In 2005, Rihanna released her debut studio album, Music of the Sun, which peaked in the top ten of the Billboard 200 chart and features the Billboard Hot 100 hit single “Pon de Replay.” Less than a year later, she released her second studio album, A Girl Like Me (2006), which peaked within the top five of the Billboard albums chart, and produced her…. [ Read More at Wikipedia ]

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Good Charlotte

Pop punk, Rock music, Dance-punk

Good Charlotte is an American rock band from Waldorf, Maryland that formed in 1996. Since 1998, the band’s constant members have been lead vocalist Joel Madden, lead guitarist and back-up vocalist Benji Madden, bass guitarist Paul Thomas and rhythm guitarist and keyboardist Billy Martin. Their latest drummer and percussionist is Dean Butterworth, who has been a member of the band since 2005. The band has released five studio albums: Good Charlotte (2000), The Young and the Hopeless (2002), The Chronicles of Life and Death (2004), Good Morning Revival (2007) and Cardiology (2010) as well as two compilations Greatest Remixes (2008) and Greatest Hits (2010). The band made a name for itself in nearby Washington, D.C., playing the WHFS…. [ Read More at Wikipedia

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Ashlee Simpson-Wentz

Pop punk, Pop music, Rock music

Ashlee Simpson (born October 3, 1984) is an American singer-songwriter and actress. She rose to prominence in 2004 with the success of her number-one debut album Autobiography and the reality series, The Ashlee Simpson Show. In October 2005, following a North American concert tour and a film appearance, Simpson released her second number-one album, I Am Me. Simpson’s third album, Bittersweet World, was released in April 2008. Simpson was born in Waco, Texas and raised in the Richardson area of Texas. She is the daughter of Tina Ann (née Drew), a homemaker, and Joe Truett Simpson, a former psychologist and Baptist youth minister who works as her manager. Simpsons’ background is mainly of English American, Irish, Scottish, and Native…. [ Read More at Wikipedia

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Backstreet Boys

Adult contemporary music, Bubblegum pop, Pop music

The Backstreet Boys (sometimes referred to as BSB) are an American vocal group, formed in Orlando, Florida in 1993. The band originally consisted of A. J. McLean, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell, Nick Carter and Kevin Richardson. They rose to fame with their debut international album, Backstreet Boys (1996). In the following year, they released their second international album, Backstreet’s Back (1997) and their debut album in the United States which continued the group’s success worldwide. They rose to superstardom with their album Millennium (1999) and its follow-up album, Black & Blue (2000). After a three-year hiatus, the band regrouped and have released their comeback album: Never Gone (2005), as well as two further albums…. [ Read More at Wikipedia ]

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Lady Gaga

Pop music, Rock music, Electronic music

Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta (/ˈstɛfəniː dʒʌrməˈnɑːtə/; born March 28, 1986), better known by her stage name Lady Gaga, is an American singer and songwriter. Born and raised in New York City, she primarily studied at the Convent of the Sacred Heart and briefly attended New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts before withdrawing to focus on her musical career. She began performing in the rock music scene of Manhattan’s Lower East Side, and by the end of 2007, was signed with Streamline Records. Employed as a songwriter for the record company, her vocal abilities captured the attention of recording artist Akon, who signed her to his label Kon Live Distribution. Lady Gaga came to prominence as a recording artist following the…. [ Read More at Wikipedia

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Lil’ Kim

Hip hop music, Dirty rap, Hardcore hip hop

Kimberly Denise Jones (born July 11, 1974), better known by her stage name Lil’ Kim, is an American rapper and actress who was a member of the group Junior M.A.F.I.A.. Jones was born and raised in Brooklyn, living much of her adolescent life on the streets after being expelled from home. As a teenager, Kim would rap for fun, being heavily influenced by other female MC’S like MC Lyte and Lady of Rage. When word got to The Notorious B.I.G. that she could rhyme, he made Jones perform a freestyle for him on the spot. Impressed with her, he took her in and she began her music career in 1995 with the group Junior M.A.F.I.A., whose debut album Conspiracy generated three hit singles. In late 1996, her solo debut album Hard Core was released…. [ Read More at Wikipedia ]

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Yoko Ono

Pop music, Rock music, Electronic dance music

Yoko Ono (オノ・ヨーコ, also 小野 洋子, Ono Yōko, born February 18, 1933) is a Japanese-American artist, musician, author and peace activist, known for her work in avant-garde art, music and filmmaking as well as her marriage to John Lennon. Ono brought feminism to the forefront in her music which prefigured New Wave music (whether she was a direct influence is still debated) and is known for her philanthropic contributions to the arts, peace and AIDS outreach programs. Yoko Ono was born in 1933 to mother Isoko Ono, the great-granddaughter of Zenjiro Yasuda of the Yasuda banking family, and to father Yeisuke Ono, a banker and one-time classical pianist who was a descendant of an Emperor of Japan. The name “Yoko” means “ocean child”. Two weeks…. [ Read More at Wikipedia ]

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David Archuleta

Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Teen pop

David James Archuleta (born December 28, 1990) is an American pop singer-songwriter. At ten years old he won the children’s division of the Utah Talent Competition leading to other television singing appearances. When he was twelve years old, Archuleta became the Junior Vocal Champion on Star Search 2. In 2007, at sixteen years old, he became one of the youngest contestants on the seventh season of American Idol. In May 2008 he finished as the runner-up, receiving 44 percent of over 97 million votes. In August 2008 Archuleta released “Crush,” the first single from his self-titled debut album. The album, released three months later, debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 chart; it has sold over 750,000 copies in the U.S. and over…. [ Read More at Wikipedia ]

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Jake Bugg self-titled debut album is out in the U.S.

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Jake Bugg self-titled debut album is out in the U.S.

Jake Bugg is the self-titled debut studio album by English singer-songwriter Jake Bugg. It was released on 15 October 2012 in the UK. The album was met with critical acclaim. The album was released in the United States on 9 April 2013.

jakeBuggTo date Jake has taken the UK by storm. He’s been on Radio 1 playlists, supported The Stone Roses at an already legendary secret gig in London and has support dates with Noel Gallagher in the UK and Europe on the horizon, as well as his first trip to the USA in support of Noel and Snow Patrol.

Jake will support The Rolling Stones at London’s Hyde Park on July 13th.

Support has come across the board, from the NME, Clash, The Fly, i-D, The Observer, Independent On Sunday, The Sun, The Daily Star and more.

He is a unique artist right now, a working-class kid with an acoustic guitar set to take the world by storm with his perfectly poised songs about growing up and his hometown of Nottingham. It’s an old fashioned approach that is paying rich dividends. To date he has had a phenomenal five Record Of The Weeks on Radio 1 with massive support across the board from Zane Lowe, Fearne Cotton, Greg James and Huw Stephens. His debut TV performance on Later with Jools Holland was a special moment.

His debut album is 14 songs, clocking in at less than 40 minutes that belie his eighteen years. Sharp, observant and honest, they inhabit a world no other new UK act is currently operating in. It opens with recent single “Lightning Bolt”, a scorching blues number with his Telecaster to the fore. New single “Two Fingers” follows with its swaggering chorus, whilst the likes of “Country Song” and “Broken” are more reflective. It’s a perfectly paced record, one that marks out Jake as the most exciting new UK act of 2012 and manages to effortlessly straddle the gap between authenticity and mainstream appeal. He counts Noel Gallagher, Lily Allen, Elton John, Chris Martin, Damon Albarn and Snow Patrol amongst his fans and has supported Michael Kiwanuka, Example and Lana Del Rey.

Jake Bugg self-titled album is available in your favorite record stores nationwide exclusively under MCA Music.

Upon release the album was well received by critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 81, based on 13 reviews, which indicates “universal acclaim”.

Barry Nicolson of the New Musical Express magazine gave the album a positive review and 9/10, praising Bugg’s “authenticity”, style of music and wit. Nicolson said: “On ‘Two Fingers’, Bugg talks wistfully of scheming on the streets of Clifton, where he and his mates would “skin up a fat one, hide from the feds”, as though life held no nobler pursuit. You can tell that, up until now, his world has been small, and he might well have spiraled down the sinkhole that swallows so many marginalised estate kids. Eventually, however, Bugg comes to the same conclusion that we do: “Something is changing, changing, changing”. If this debut album – rife with uncommon wit, insight and melody – is testament to anything, it’s that his small, unremarkable world is about to get a whole lot bigger.”

Chris Roberts, of BBC gave the album a positive review stating, “Things feel less derivative when he softens and just lets his voice and acoustic guitar nakedly affect. On the likes of Country Song and Someone Told Me, scepticism is tamed by the purity of the attempt. Fire is unabashedly romantic. That voice, with its hint of Gene Pitney, is a piercing, precise tool which lifts him above the laddish milieu. Ubiquity may beckon”.

Check Jake Bugg’s page for 2013 gigs

The Black Keys – Gold On The Ceiling [Official Video]

Guitarist Dan Auerbach, right, and drummer Patrick Carney of The Black Keys perform at the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park on Saturday Sept. 29, 2012 in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

© 2012 WMG
directed by Reid Long
This is the official video for “Gold On The Ceiling” from El Camino.
Directed by Reid Long

About The Black Keys

The Black Keys is an American rock duo formed in Akron, Ohio in 2001. The group consists of Dan Auerbach (guitar, vocals) and Patrick Carney (drums). The group began as an independent act founded after the duo dropped out of college, and they eventually emerged among a second wave of popular garage rock revival artists from the 2000s. Through October 2011, The Black Keys had sold over 2 million albums in the United States.

After signing with indie label Alive, the group released its debut album, The Big Come Up (2002), which was recorded in Carney’s basement. The record forged the group’s raw blues rock sound and earned them a new deal with Fat Possum Records. Over the next decade, the Black Keys built an underground fanbase through near-constant touring of small clubs, frequent album releases and music festival appearances, and extensive licensing of their songs. Their third album, Rubber Factory (2004), received critical acclaim and boosted the band’s profile, eventually leading to a record deal with major label Nonesuch Records in 2006. After self-producing and recording their first four records in makeshift studios, the duo completed Attack & Release (2008) in a professional studio and hired producer Danger Mouse, a frequent collaborator with the band.

The group’s commercial breakthrough came in 2010 with Brothers, which along with its popular single “Tighten Up”, won three Grammy Awards. Their 2011 follow-up El Camino received strong reviews and peaked at number two on the Billboard 200 chart, leading to the first arena concert tour of the band’s career.

More on The Black Keys: Wikipedia

Discography

The Big Come Up (2002)
Thickfreakness (2003)
Rubber Factory (2004)
Magic Potion (2006)
Attack & Release (2008)
Brothers (2010)
El Camino (2011)

Music artist (occupation)

A music artist is an individual that creates and releases music through a record label or independently. Working as a music artist requires an immense amount mental and physical conditioning as music artist live very erratic, nomadic, taxing lifestyles. Music artists spend long nights in the studio recording music, travel constantly performing their music and also have to deal with the uncertainty of their income. Although it can be a lonely occupation, it is one of the most oversaturated occupations today.[1]

Music artists are paid in a very different manner than most conventional occupations. Instead of receiving a wage from a single employer like most occupations, music artists have what are called income streams. These income streams are the different avenues through which the music artists receive compensation for their work.[2]

Mechanical Royalties

Music Artists make most of their money from what are referred to as mechanical royalties. Mechanical royalties are the payment the music artist will receive per song per album sold. The current mechanical royalty rate is 9.1 cents per song per album.[3] For example if a music artist releases a ten-song album that sells five hundred thousand copies, the mechanical royalties would equal:

500,000 (albums sold) x 9.1 cents (per song) = $45,000 $45,000 (per song rate) x 10 (ten-song album) = $450,000

At the end of each quarter, meaning at the end of every March, June, September and December, the artists will receive a check from their record label for their calculated mechanical royalties earned.[3] Mechanical royalties used to be the way music artists made most their money but as record sales have decreased due to digital downloading this is no longer the case.

Performance Royalties

Performance royalties are monies a music artist is paid every time his or her song is performed. “Performed” in this sense is any time the song is transmitted digitally, performed live, broadcast and/or played in a public place.[4] These monies are collected by Performing Rights Organizations (PROs). What these organizations do is retrieve money on behalf of the artist every time his or her songs are performed to ensure the artist is being properly compensated for their work. In the United States the three major PROs, ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. In order to be properly compensated music artists must choose which PRO they will have collect their performance royalties. Upon the release of their music to the public and use in different types of media, their PRO will start collecting their performance royalties.[5] At the end of each quarter, meaning at the end of every March, June, September and December, the artists will receive a check for the performance royalties collected from the prior quarter.[5]

Synchronization Rights

Synchronization rights are the monies a music artist receives when their music is synchronized to a video, be it a music video, a movie, television show or commercial.[4] A music artist can choose whether or not to grant a license to anyone interested in synchronize his or her song to a visual. This is a very common thing, especially if a music artist releases a very popular song. Companies will want to use that song in commercials to better market their products. Movie studios such as Universal acquire thousands of synchronization licenses every year for music they put in their movies.[4] Because of the immense use of music in marketing, granting synchronization licenses has become the way in which music artists make most of their money.

Special Permission

Music artists also make money by licensing their songs to stores, restaurants and nightclubs that allow these places of business to play their music.[4] Music artists usually grant these places of business “blanket licenses” that allow them to play a collection of songs instead of licensing each song individually. Stores such as Walmart, Best Buy, GAP are all holders of blanket licenses that allow them to play music.[5]

Team

Music artists are businesses in the sense of their ability to generate revenue from selling a product.[5] In order to continue to generate that revenue they have to continue making product to sell. In order to focus on doing so, most music artists hire a team to handle everything they either do not have the time or knowledge to handle. This teams job, as a whole, is to ensure the music artist’s business dealings, legal matters and overall comfort are taken care of so they can make music and thus money.[1]

Manager

A manager is an individual or company that guides the professional career of a music artist in the entertainment industry.[5] The manager overlooks the day-to-day business affairs of the artist. This is usually the first person on the team of any music artist. In the early stages of a music artists’ career, the manager usually assumes the role of business manager, as well as booking agent.[5] As the music artist’s career grows it will become necessary to hire individuals who’s sole duties are the responsibility of those position but until that becomes the case the manager usually handles them (10). The manager receives a compensation of 10-20% of the music artists’ gross income. The exact percentage, and sometimes the monies the percentage will be applied, is negotiated between the music artist and the manager.[5] This commonly happens early in the music artist’s career before any major income is being generated.

Entertainment Lawyer

An entertainment lawyer handles all legal matters for the music artist. As contracts and agreements are a commonality in the music industry, it is absolutely imperative that a music artist has an entertainment lawyer on their team.[5] An entertainment lawyer’s duties include handling talent agreements, producer agreements, synchronization licenses, music industry negotiations and general intellectual property issues, especially relating to copyright.[6] Most music industry contracts are lengthy, densely worded and are usually written to be negotiated. Thus every music artist should have an entertainment lawyer that can comprehend contract language and can negotiate terms favorable to the artist.[1]

Accountant

Because of the very strange means and irregular manner, compared to a standard occupation, a music artist receives his or her income an accountant is almost always necessary to have on their team.[1] All income a music artist receives is untaxed. Mechanical royalties, performance royalties and money acquired from granting synchronization and general licenses all comes to the artist untaxed.[4] Also, music artists receive several checks, from several different places that can easily become difficult to keep track of. Not only does this leave the music artist open to being unpaid, underpaid and/or have money stolen from them, this creates a nightmare come tax season.[1] This could lead to immense problems with the Internal Revenue Services and even the demise of their career if ignored. For this reason an accountant is absolutely necessary. The high time demand of being a music artist makes it much too difficult for the artist to also keep track of their own accounting.[1] The accountants job is to make sure other team members, as well as the artist themselves are paid on time and the correct amount. In most cases the accountant will also handle the artist’s taxes and make sure the artist’s filing done and is in accordance with the law.[7]

References

^ a b c d e f Baskerville, David and Tim Baskerville. Music Business Handbook and Career Guide. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 2009. Print.
^ Baskerville, David and Tim Baskerville. Music Business Handbook and Career Guide. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 2009. Print
^ a b U.S. Copyright Office. U.S. Copyright Office. U.S. Government, 1 January 2006. Web. 10 November 2010
^ a b c d e Brabec, Jeffry and Todd Brabec. Music, Money and Success: The Insider’s Guide to Making Money in the Music Industry. New York: Schirmer Books, 2006. Print
^ a b c d e f g h Passman, Donald. All You Need To Know About the Music Business. New York: Free Press, 7th edition, 2009. Print.
^ Burr, Sheri. Entertainment Law in a Nutshell. Eagan: West, 2007. Print.
^ Moore, Schurley. Taxation of the Entertainment Industry. Washington: CCH. Inc., 2008. Print

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