Minimum Gauge: Americana tops Country on latest Billboard charts

Americana releases outsold Country music for the first time; the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announces nominees for its 2017 class; Michael Jackson tops Forbes' list of top-earning dead celebrities… and also earned more than all living ones.

Oct 18, 2016 at 2:38 pm

click to enlarge Drive-By Truckers' latest release helped push Americana music to a triumphant week on the charts. - Photo: Danny Clinch
Photo: Danny Clinch
Drive-By Truckers' latest release helped push Americana music to a triumphant week on the charts.
HOT: God Bless Americana

Artists in the admittedly wide-net music genre “Americana” recently charted better than those on Billboard’s Country charts for the first time since Billboard renamed the Folk chart “Americana/Folk.” Thanks to albums by Drive-By Truckers, Van Morrison, Bob Weir and Bon Iver, the most recent Billboard charts indicate Americana releases outsold albums from all other genres except Rock (which also encompasses a wide range of acts, including the four aforementioned performers).

WARM: Rock Hall Noms Announced

While history has shown that there will inevitably be numerous complaints, the recently announced nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 2017 induction class is a diverse bunch. First-time nominees range from AltRock icons Jane’s Addiction and Pearl Jam (which is all but a done deal given Eddie Vedder’s frequent appearances at past Hall of Fame ceremonies) and Punk pioneers Bad Brains to Classic Rock institutions ELO, Steppenwolf and Journey, Synth Pop heroes Depeche Mode, Hip Hop martyr Tupac Shakur and Folk trailblazer Joan Baez. Returning to the nominee pool are Yes, The Zombies, The Cars, MC5, Kraftwerk, Joe Tex, Chaka Kahn, Janet Jackson, The J. Geils Band and Chic, the Susan Lucci of Rock Hall nominees (it’s the Disco group’s record 11th time on the long-list ballot). The inductees will be announced in December.

COLD: Prodigious Postmortem Paycheck

Forbesmost recent list of the highest-earning deceased celebrities was topped by Michael Jackson, whose estimated income for 2016 also bests all living musicians and celebrities … ever. Jackson’s publishing holdings sold for $750 million, pushing his overall yearly income to a record-setting $825 million, the most a celebrity has ever earned in one year. Prince came in fifth in the late-celebrity-income rankings (with $25 million), while fellow 2016 David Bowie entered the list at No. 11 (with $10.5 million).