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February 27, 2008

Richard Florida

Global Pop

« "Why All the Fuss about Richard Florida?" | Main | The Entrepeneurial City »

In Flight of the Creative Class I wrote that the (dirty little) secret of American competitiveness was stealing - I mean attracting - the world's best and brightest - from Andrew Carnegie and Albert Einstein to the Google guys.  I even had a little ditty on how so many sports stars playing in America now come from around the world -take another look at those "New York" Yankees ... Anyone watching the Oscars quickly found out that all the top acting prizes went to non-Americans.  So how about popular music?

[O]ur top foreign music stars were all over the map--everything from the loud guitar sounds of Nickelback and Three Days Grace to the indie-rock stylings of Feist, the swing vocals of Michael Buble and the infectious R&B of Corinne Bailey Rae, Joss Stone and multiple Grammy Award-winner Amy Winehouse.

We limited our search to still-active recording artists who first established themselves in their local markets before breaking out in the U.S. That meant excluding pop stars like Rihanna and Avril Lavigne. While they hail from Barbados and Canada, respectively, both are primarily products of the American recording industry because they enjoyed their first taste of commercial success in the U.S., not in their home countries.

The list is from Forbes (h/t: Al Mair).  Here's another list of the best-selling music artists:

  • The Beatles, UK
  • Bing Crosby, USA
  • Elvis Presley, USA
  • Frank Sinatra, USA
  • Michael Jackson, USA
  • A. R. Rahman, India
  • ABBA, Sweden
  • Alla Pugacheva, Russia
  • The Bee Gees, UK
  • Celine Dion, Canada
  • Cliff Richard, UK
  • Elton John, UK
  • Julio Iglesias, Spain
  • Led Zeppelin, UK
  • Madonna, USA (moved to UK)
  • Nana Mouskouri, Greece
  • Pink Floyd, UK
  • Rod Stewart, UK
  • The Rolling Stones, UK
  • Tino Rossi, France
  • Wei Wei, China

From the looks of this seems like the hey-day of US pop music hegemony was the 30s, 40s, and 50s. The Beatles and the "British Invasion" really signal a change in the popular music landscape. Come to think of it a variety of scholars list 1964-65 as the time when U.S. overall economic dominance started to weaken.

Your thoughts?


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Thx for the post. And I will be using your 'Who's Your City' book for my class called Reading the City in Film.
Thanks for the reads and the ideas!

Pablo H.

Speaking of stealing talent from other countries:

"Rich countries are poaching so many African health workers that the practice should be viewed as a crime, a team of international disease experts say in the British medical journal The Lancet...“The resulting dilapidation of health infrastructure contributes to a measurable and foreseeable public health crisis,” the article said. “The practice should therefore be viewed as an international crime.”

Via: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/22/world/africa/22briefs-LURINGDOCTOR_BRF.html?ex=1361336400&en=fa28c96a7f6d320a&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

mike fuller

You're right on the money.

You've been to Corning...

We have world class companies, tremendous colleges and universities, beautiful scenery, recreation, four seasons, arts, etc.

I'm a huge proponent of a program to attract and retain immigrants! The diversity, creativity and culture would go a long way in helping to build a sustainable economy - the proof is in the statistics - check out any creative region - what do they have?

We're working on a few initiatives in upstate NY and I hope we can make some headway.



A R Rahman is the best among all of them.

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