Know who thinks 'The Year of the Woman' is every year? My mom! And I'm inclined to agree with her. But the music business isn't always so caring. It's been promoting dudes since before I can remember. Then when rock 'n' roll got big, they had the dudes wear long hair just so the women wouldn't take charge. Paranoid thinking or dead accurate? You decide!
Anyhow, I took a gander at the fine, fine acts that were making music and money this year and I wrote them down on a piece of paper and put them in an order that I liked. I even threw in an old person so I wouldn't lose my extremely valuable and loyal Medicare demographic. Up With AARP!
One thing you must admit about this list, it sure is pretty!
25) Roger Waters: The former Pink Floyd leader has been building his damn Wall for so long that it's become the most popular wall in the world, narrowly beating out the Great Wall of China, since who can trust the numbers coming out of that country!
24) Justin Bieber: Along with fame comes the loonies. My memory's a little foggy, but I'm thinking maybe I'm having his child. And I will name him Heineken. Or Kahlua if it's a girl.
23) Lil Wayne: Having released Tha Carter IV, which is every bit as good as Rocky IV I might add, Lil Wayne continues to promote preventive dentistry everywhere he goes. Now it looks like he might be in a beef with Jay-Z over 'baby money' and 'How much you love your lady money'! Can I get in on this? Like, your mother, dude!
22) U2: What the hell are these guys doing here? Who knows? They win a Grammy every year without putting out a new record, so of course I'm going to mention them. Look for my new book, My Life With Bono.
20) David Guetta: Is there a hit record that comes out these days that doesn't have David Guetta's name on it somewhere? Used to be kids went to Chicago, so they could put "recorded by Steve Albini" on the CD. These days, kids are into money! Because you can't spend coolness.
19) Foster the People: Let me do a little Andrew Loog Oldham here and call them "Foster, the People." Anyway you punctuate it, "Pumped Up Kicks" is the kind of song you kill your roommate over. I liked you better when you liked Alanis Morissette, you dolt! Now wash your socks.
18) Jay-Z: Watching that damn throne with Kanye, Jay-Z just keeps racking up hit after hit and money on top of money and there's not a thing we can do about it. We can protest the top 1% and even the top 0001%, but in the end we're taking their dogs for walks! Smelly dog.
17) Katy Perry: She married Russell Brand to prove to the world she wasn't just making it up when she said a sense of humor was the most important trait for a mate. The world awaits her new perfume fragrance "Meow," which will hopefully smell better than the stuff my cat cranks out (sorry, Charley). She has also been nominated for two Grammy Awards, which she will likely lose out to Adele. (Does anyone have a chance?)
16) Christina Perri: After a hit with (Playing With the) "Jar of Hearts," Perri came back with a full album called lovestrong. Though the album got mixed reviews, that's something more sales can correct. Good luck, Christina!
15) Jason Aldean: He wears a cowboy hat, so I'm going to go out on a limb here and say, "repressed Goth." No, no, country singer. He even had a hit with a song called "Big Green Tractor," which does sound like a song by The Fall, but no, it's country. Though his album, My Kinda Party, was released last year, it's really all anybody in my house can't stop talking about.
14) Pitbull: The one thing I've come to love about hip-hop is how everybody's featuring somebody. It's gotten to the point where I don't know if a record is by an artist or just featuring them. But "International Love" is said to be by Pitbull, featuring Chris Brown. With a name like Pitbull, you figure Brown ain't pulling no crap.
12) Wiz Khalifa: I've admired Wiz Khalifa ever since I found out that we both loved the same wonderful game show, Deal or No Deal. In 2009, he named his second album just that. His latest album, Rolling Papers, is a delightful homage to his days as a paperboy. One magazine reviewer called his lyrics boring, but that writer probably isn't alive anymore, so his opinion doesn't count. Me? I love Wiz!
11) Drake: Known as the polite rapper, Drake was kind enough to name his latest album,Take Care, which is also refreshingly free from tiresome boasting and instead filled with instructions on how to best maintain optimum mental and physical health.
10) Pink: It always tickles my heart when I see a performer embrace their softer side and work on a 3-D computer animated family film like Happy Feet Two. I always knew Pink wanted to be a penguin. Given the chance, wouldn't you?
As someone who can't stop playing Susan Boyle's latest album Someone To Watch Over Me, I was hearted to realize that she would be bringing Martin Gore's "Enjoy the Silence" to a new audience that likely had never listened much, if ever, to Depeche Mode. Nothing makes me happier when I water my plants than to know they're getting beautiful music to grow by.
8) Jackie Evancho: She's just so cute, you want to pinch her cheeks. At 11 years old, she's quite the classical crossover artist. Most people have to live a bit until they can crossover to anything. At 11, I thought I'd conquered the world by striking out seven and only giving up 17 runs in Little League. I'd say this young lady is going places, but she's already gone there!
7) Taylor Swift: Swift came in at #2 on the Forbes list of Top-Earning Women in Music, so let Kanye West say what he wants but she can now buy an island where she will never be interrupted by anyone ever again.
6) Ke$ha: Ke$ha is the anti-diva, the woman who doesn't care what you think as long as you pay your money. The little girls don't know what the boys understand. Ke$ha knows that there are still plenty of rock 'n' roll fans who are feeling a little left out these days. Well, they're going to have a hard time keeping them down on the farm after her 2011Get Sleazy tour.
5) Beyonce: Naming her latest album after Foreigner's legendary 1981 album, 4, Beyonce killed her alter ego Sasha Fierce and used live instruments on her new album, startling the music industry all at once. Wait, you can do that?
4) Rihanna: Having just released Talk That Talk, a tribute to the legendary British group Talk Talk, Rihanna has set herself up for a monster 2012 while still qualifying as a mover and shaker in 2011. Now that's what I call thinking. The track "Red Lipstick" includes snatches of Metallica's "Wherever I May Roam," instantly making it the best thing Metallica did in 2011.
3) Nicki Minaj: While her album came out in 2010 (late 2010, just like what Rihanna is doing in 2011), Minaj was everywhere in 2011 and by everywhere I mean my TV where she was taking over on a regular basis on those nights when I couldn't find the remote. The woman makes Sybil seem normal. Which is to say she's my favorite new performer in the entertainment industry we have left.
2) Lady Gaga: Topping the Forbes list as the "Top-Earning Woman" in a list of "Top Earning Women In Music in 2011," Lady Gaga is now an artist all true capitalists must love, netting some $90 million this year, which is roughly $85 million more than some Y! Music bloggers.
1) Adele: Six Grammy nominations, the best-selling album of the year, a song -- "Rolling In the Deep" -- that you couldn't get away from even if you broke off relations with every single woman you know, Adele is 2011. It's nice to have a clear winner because otherwise I'd be here all night doing the recounts.