Beyoncé, Jay Z Share Top Ranking on Billboard's List of Music's Most Powerful People
The world is drunk on your love, Jay and Beyoncé.
Billboard has announced the celebrity couple share music's most powerful person title for 2014, earning the position for "two groundbreaking releases [that] focused fans on music and the business on radical new ways of delivering it," says Billboard.
The hip-hop/pop power couple released their latest studio albums in unprecedented fashion—Jay Z through Samsung for free for five days and Beyoncé through iTunes with a premium price tag—using the "element of surprise to restore the excitement that used to accompany a new release, before that impact was dulled by the endless thunder of carefully plotted promotion."
In short, the reaction to Jay Z's "#newrules" campaign and Queen B's midnight "visual" surprise clearly demonstrated the reach the duo's decisions make on both the industry and music listeners.
The rest of Billboard's top five included Lucian Grainge, the Chairman/CEO of Universal, Coran Capshaw, the the founder of Red Light Management, Michael Rapino, CEO of Live Nation, and Martin Bandier, the Chairman and CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing.
Beyoncé's self-titled album hit platinum status in just two weeks, thanks to Queen B's busy bee fans.
With the release, the "Single Lady" became the first woman ever to reach no. 1 with her first five studio albums. Beyoncé followed in the singer's footsteps imprinted by Dangerously In Love (2003), B'Day (2006), I Am...Sasha Fierce (2008) and 4 (2011). All five albums debuted at no. 1, as well. Only two other acts have previously created five no. 1 studio albums to start their career—rapper DMX and folk group The Kingston Trio.
With no promotion schedule to help boost sales, Beyoncé's feat was a major game-changer. It was reported that only about 12 or so members of the singer's Sony Records team even knew about the album's release. The surprise release generated plenty of social media buzz with music fans, inspiring 1.2 million tweets in just 12 hours. The explosion of tweets featured a "Tweets per minute" (TPM) spike of 5,300, which was about 300 more than the television special Sharknado claimed halfway through its telecast, according to the New York Daily News.
Though the reviews did not insist Jay-Z's latest album is the 'Holy Grail' of hip-hop records, the rapper's 12th studio album still debuted on the Billboard 200 chart in the top spot.
Magna Carta Holy Grail sold 527,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Those figures did no count the one million copies Jay-Z sold to Samsung, which made the album available to the company's customers before it released anywhere else.
The New York rapper's album claimed the year's second-biggest opening at the time of its release behind pal Justin Timberlake's The 20/20 Experience. Holy Grail also gained 14 million streams on Spotify, breaking the record for most streams by an album in its first week.
The debut total is Hov's second best of his career, with 2006's Kingdom Come still his best-selling effort at 680,000 copies in its first week.
However, of all the numbers the album received, the most important is 13—or the number of no. 1 albums Jay-Z now has to his name. That total makes the rapper the only solo artist to have ever secured that many no. 1 albums.