Billboard 2015 Power 100 List Revealed

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Lucian Grainge

Universal Music Group boss Lucian Grainge moves up a place to top the list after his labels broke four new artists in 2014, including Iggy Azalea, 5 Seconds of Summer, Ariana Grande and Sam Smith.

Billboard has revealed its Power 100 List for 2015 and Universal Music Group chief Lucian Grainge is ranked as the most powerful person in the music industry.

Placed second last year, Grainge moves to the top following a stellar 2014 for UMG. "The industry broke five new artists in 2014, and we broke four of them," Grainge told Billboard. UMG artists Iggy Azalea, 5 Seconds of Summer, Ariana Grande and Sam Smith, each sold more than 1 million albums and track equivalents in the U.S. in 2014, according to Nielsen Music. UMG also distributed seven of the top 10 albums, including the year's best seller, Taylor Swift's 1989, and led the industry in market share with 38.7 percent — 10 points higher than its nearest competitor, Sony Music.

In second was Michael Rapino, president/CEO of Live Nation Entertainment, who moved up two places in this year's list. In the two years since Rapino took over, Live Nation's stock price has risen 22 percent (revenue for 2013 was $6.5 billion with $3.4 billion spent on talent), demonstrating Wall Street's confidence in the sector and in Rapino's vision guiding some 20,000 employees in 100 offices around the world.

Third is Rapino's predecessor at Live Nation, Irving Azoff, who now fronts Azoff MSG Entertainment. Throughout 2014, AMSGE made ­expansive moves, including the creation of Azoff's startup publishing rights ­organization, Global Music Rights, that has built a roster of 40 artists and 20,000 songs. Azoff also moved into the business of comedy, signing Chelsea Handler as a client, then acquiring a 50 percent stake in Levity Entertainment Group.

Pharrell Williams' "Happy" and John Legend's "All of Me," as well continuing strong revenue from its Motown and Beatles song catalogs boosted Sony/ATV Music Publishing in 2014 and helped boss Martin Bandier take fourth spot. Fifth was the newly minted Apple executive Jimmy Iovine, the former Interscope boss who co-created Beats by Dre, which was sold to the Cupertino giant for $3 billion in 2014. 

Red Light Management boss Coran Capshaw comes in sixth after another strong year from its roster of 200 artists including Dave Matthews Band, Luke Bryan, Lady Antebellum, Enrique Iglesias and Phish. Sony Music Entertainment head Doug Morris comes in seventh after the various Sony labels broke 20 new acts in 2014, each with songs that tallied 500,000 or more downloads.

Eighth was iHeartmedia chairman Bob Pittman, who has expanded the company into outdoor music festivals but its strength still lies with its network of 858 radio stations. Ninth was Rob Light, partner and head of music at talent agents CAA. Under Light's stewardship, CAA claims more clients among the top 100 touring artists than its next four competitors combined, and was the agency of record for three of the top five 2014 tours: One Direction, The Eagles and Katy Perry. And rounding out the top 10 was Apple pair Eddy Cue (senior vp Internet software and services) and Robert Kondrk (vp iTunes content. 

Billboard's Power 100 List: The Top 10

1. Lucian Grainge
2. Michael Rapino
3. Irving Azoff
4. Martin Bandier
5. Jimmy Iovine
6. Coran Capshaw
7. Doug Morris
8. Bob Pittman
9. Rob Light
10. Eddy Cue & Robert Kondrk

The full Billboard Power 100 List can be found here