Thursday, May 30, 2024

Pop: Mary J. Blige Is the Only R&B Act in the Top 30 Albums; Taylor Swift Keeps Selling


If you’re my age you remember the days when Stevie, Aretha, Smokey, Al Green, Santana, Marvin Gaye, Earth Wind & Fire, The O’Jays all ruled the charts.

Today, after two or more decades of throwaway, disposable rap, the only R&B artist in the top 30 albums is Mary J. Blige with her excellent “London Sessions.”

The only other black artist is Darius Rucker, who’s considered “country” or “pop” and has a Christmas album. Beyonce is at number 32. A couple more black artists are scattered at the bottom of the top 50.

Of Mary J’s 50,000 copies sold in her debut week, only 2,000 are streamed. That’s interesting. Because of Taylor Swift’s 272,000 copies sold last week, fifty thousand were streamed. Are only white people using Spotify?

What the heck is going on? If anyone knows, I’d like to hear it. (Comments must be clean and not derogatory.)

PS Last year Jay Z skipped the chart entirely, and gave his album away to Samsung.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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