Rolling Stone asked me to follow around the band Stillwater for a piece in the upcoming issue. Lester Bangs has been giving me some confusing advice while I’m trying to understand my job. Aside from Penny overdosing on Quaaludes and our plane almost crashing, it’s been pretty a fun time.
That story was going to suck so I decided to publish my own article on which artists have the most followers on Spotify. Last year’s Spotify post was well received so why not repeat what works.
Top 21 Spotify Artists of 2014
21. Taylor Swift – 48.5 million Twitter followers- Making headlines by pulling her music from Spotify, my list needed to be expanded one spot for the long legged damsel in distress. Her album 1989, selling in conjunction with smashes Blank Space and Shake It Off, certainly helped her rise from a year ago. She’s red hot right now and I wouldn’t be surprised to see her in the top 10 next year if she reverses her decision.
20. Justin Bieber – 57.9 million Twitter followers – The Biebs is going to be a polarizing character. Even with his negative press he managed to add about 400,000 followers from last year. His album Journals was released about a year ago and his music is becoming secondary when compared to his relationship status and interactions with Floyd Mayweather and the money team. Why focus on music when you can make a living being a bad boy?
19. Beyonce – 13.7 million Twitter followers – Sasha Fierce didn’t make the list last year and her appeal is every woman on the planet. Jay Z has a mere 1.3 million Spotify followers so it’s clear who wears the pants in this marriage. Drunk in Love has over 100 million listens but that’s relatively small when compared to the bigs on this list. Her new album Beyonce was a major reason for her jump.
18. Adele – 21.4 million Twitter followers – By far the biggest surprise on the list. Adele hasn’t released new music since 2011 and still increased her following by over 300,000. Ryan Tedder (One Republic’s frontman) is working on her new album which may be released this year. He says it’s going to be insane and there will be millions of people waiting.
17. Calvin Harris 5.1 million Twitter followers – New to the list but with the summer smash Summer and consistent hits, Calvin is hot in the EDM world. His collaborations with Ellie Goulding have been wildly successful. From not making this list last year to #17 this year, expect the rise to continue.
16. Fun. – 685k Twitter followers – No new music in 2014 but that should give a good explanation of how strong Some Nights was. The band has been working on new material but nothing in the way of an album yet. It should also be noted that Jack Antenoff released an album with Bleachers which was well received.
15. Nicki Minaj – 18.5 million Twitter followers- Adding about 600k Spotify followers is nothing to sneeze at. Nicki had a busy year releasing a new record (the Pinkprint), making bootylicious videos, and even appearing on SNL. With easily the most jaw dropping body in the industry, Nicki is a combination of song and showmanship which is impossible to ignore.
14. Bruno Mars – 19.4 million Twitter followers – The definition of a cool, ladies man. Bruno was well received following the Super Bowl performance and continued to grow even without producing many songs. Mark Ronson’s (w/ Bruno) new jam Uptown Funk will hit the airwaves nationwide (if it hasn’t already) and he’ll once again be climbing the charts. He is on of the top artists under 30 and receives little negative press.
13. One Direction – A new album Four helps propel the boy band to almost a million new Spotify followers. It’s common knowledge that you name your 4th album 4 (Led Zeppelin, Huey Lewis, Beyonce) if you want it to be big. Whether One Direction had this is mind is unknown but a million new female followers is marketing power. The band’s logo over last year shows a band growing up.
12. Ed Sheeran – 11.4 million Twitter followers – A HUGE album drop in 2014 with Don’t. 4 songs on the album have over 100 million listens which is incredible. He’s worked with Taylor Swift and One Direction before so it’s nice to see him going out on his own. Pretty impressive year for Red Sheeran at only 23.
11. Drake – 18.7 million Twitter followers – Drake seemed a bit out of the 2014 action but still managed to add 700k followers. I’m sure he’s being asked to collaborate on many projects and a solid 2015 is almost guaranteed even though his new album has not begun being worked on.
10. Lana Del Rey – 4.8 million Twitter followers – Inexplicable following. This number must be a huge global number because the popularity doesn’t feel that way in the States. Rumors surrounded her and James Franco, which we’re denied by him, but he’d still have sex with her. Her new album Ultraviolence was released this year.
9. Skrillex – 3.92 million Twitter followers – As noted with Calvin Harris, this music sector is the fasting growing, most popular segment on Spotify. Skrillex is on of the top draws and not surprising added 500k followers with much anticipation for his album Recess. He did fall to #9 on the list from #5 so his publicist is probably not pleased.
8. Katy Perry – 61.5 million Twitter followers – Adding around 900k followers and maintaining the #8 spot on the list. Dark Horse was one of the most played jams of the year with over 200 million plays. Prism didn’t even come out in 2014 and didn’t have as many hits as previous albums. It’s not her music that is driving her, it’s the total package. Looks, concerts, philanthropy, MASSIVE twitter following, and now dating Diplo. She gets it done.
6. Avicii – 1.5 million Twitter followers – Also adding around 1.2 million followers, Avicii is coming in strong even with health rumors flying all over the place. Nobody can deny Wake Me Up and Hey Brother as some of the biggest songs of the year. With the Days / Nights coming out recently, he is still making music that everyone is listening to.
5. Flo Rida – 5.58 million Twitter followers – Please fall off this list. The king of the hook and making bad music that everyone keeps singing. This is a strategy to sell records but his staying power will fade. There were basically 0 followers added this year.
4. Coldplay – 13.6 million Twitter followers – Adding over a million followers, Coldplay isn’t going anywhere soon. Magic and A Sky Full of Stars show their ability to adapt and evolve with the current music trends. Well done Chris Martin. Good luck with Jennifer Lawrence.
3. Maroon 5 – 9.3 million Twitter followers – A new album “V” hit the charts this year and a few hits, Maps and Animals, were produced. Adam Levine on the Voice is boosting the band’s popularity as another 800k followers were added. Maroon 5 is very poppy and appeals to a huge audience. Trending upward.
2. Rihanna – 38.4 million Twitter followers – A staple of music and that’s what was seen in 2014 – doing nothing keeping everything together. No new music was released and almost 700,000 followers were added. This is because anyone who downloads Spotify knows to follow Rihanna. Although not much was produced, her brand is so strong she’ll be firing on all cylinder whenever she chooses.
1. David Guetta – 16.1 million Twitter followers- The powerhouse of Spotify and it’s not even close. 1.1 million followers added and an 18 track album that keeps everyone happy. He works with the biggest names and his formula is the most popular in the world. He has huge global appeal and he won’t be leaving the Spotify list anytime soon.
Off The List?
Usher, Kanye, Pitbull, Gotye, and Mumford and Sons were removed from the top 20
Too Lazy to Change Their Logo?
Fun, Adele, Rihanna, Drake, Katy Perry, Flo Rida, and Justin Bieber