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When Steve Jobs died on Wednesday, the Apple co-founder left behind a major mark on the music industry. Since the launch of iTunes and the iPod a decade ago, Jobs and Apple’s impact cannot be overestimated — and his legacy goes beyond technology to the music itself.
PHOTOS: Steve Jobs’ 10 Memorable Milestone’s of the Apple Co-Founder’s Career
When iTunes famously gained the Beatles’ digital catalog in 2010, it came after years of lawsuits between Apple and the Fab Four’s Apple Corps., which worried about the tech giant’s growing interest in music. The victory was a personal coup for Jobs, who was known to be a Beatles fan and, according to some reports, named Apple as an homage to their record label. Though some critics wondered about the digital demand, the freshly available albums dominated the iTunes charts, helping the group connect with a new generation of listeners.
VIDEOS: Remembering Steve Jobs
Jobs showed his taste more publicly when Apple partnered with U2 in 2004 to launch a special-edition iPod. “U2 is one of the greatest bands in the world and we are floored to be working with them,” he said in a statement at the time.
Lesser-known acts, too, have benefited from their association with Apple, which became not only a music retailer but a tastemaker thanks to its colorful iPod and iTunes ads. The eclectic spots, once characterized by dancing silhouettes, bold colors and Apple’s distinctive earbuds, have included groups ranging from the Gorillaz and N.E.R.D to the Ceasars, Wolfmother and the Fratellis. Among the bands and songs the company has helped hit the charts: Feist, the Canadian indie chanteuse whose “1, 2, 3, 4” became a certified hit, peaking at No. 8 on the Hot 100; U.K. duo Ting Tings, who contributed sassy breakthrough “Shut Up and Let Me Go”; and even Coldplay, whose Apple-tapped “Vida La Vida” became the group’s first No. 1.
Watch Some of the Ads Below:
U2, ‘Vertigo’ (2004)
The Beatles, ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand’ (2010)
Feist, ‘1,2,3,4’ (2007)
The Caesars, ‘Jerk It Out’ (2004)
Coldplay, ‘Viva La Vida’ (2008)
Eminem, ‘The Real Slim Shady’ (2000)
Jet, ‘Are You Gonna Be My Girl’ (2003)
Eminem, ‘Lose Yourself’ (2005)
Jackson 5, ‘I’ll Be There’ (2000)
The Ting Tings, ‘Shut Up and Let Me Go’ (2008)
Gorillaz, ‘Feel Good Inc’ (2005)
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