Sunday, March 15, 2009

Music: British artists top of the pops in America

VisitBritain, the national tourist office for England, Scotland and Wales commissioned a recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive which found one in three U.S. adults listens to British music regularly, over any other non-U.S. musical artists.

When asked which British musical artists they listened to in the past twelve months, nearly half of U.S. adults surveyed said The Beatles (48 percent) and Elton John (49 percent), with The Rolling Stones also ranking high on their playlists (41 percent). Over one-third chose stars of today like Coldplay (36 percent) and one-fifth chose Amy Winehouse (21 percent), both of which have quickly become mainstays in American pop music. When Coldplay's single "Viva la Vida" debuted last year, it took the top spot on the UK Singles Charts and Billboard's Hot 100, making it the band's first number-one single and transatlantic number-one.

At this year's Grammy Awards, British artists like London's Coldplay and Welsh songstress Duffy went home with some serious hardware -- a clear sign that British music has invaded American culture.

Simon Bradley, VisitBritain Executive Vice President, Americas said, "British pop culture is so alive here in the United States and people experience it every day -- from music and film to fashion and art. So we are saying, 'if you like what you have seen in the U.S., why not come and immerse yourself in British culture on your next vacation? -- watching an indie rock band in Manchester or attending a world-class music festival like Glastonbury."

Britain is home to some of the world's hottest music scenes. Respondents said The Beatles' hometown of Liverpool came out on top as the UK city they most associate with popular music. Liverpool was selected by one-third of respondents (33 percent), followed by London (20 percent) and Manchester (3 percent). Liverpool's iconic Cavern Club put the city on the world music map, but has continued to produce emerging indie talent like rock bands The Hot Melts and The Wombats. The 'King of Pop' recently chose London as the stage for his final curtain call. The city's O2 arena will host Michael Jackson in July. The scene in Manchester, one of Britain's most musical cities, is just as vibrant with venues like the Apollo Theatre and popular rock bands like Oasis and The Courteeners.

Britain throws down the best music festivals all year round. If money were no object, 12 percent of U.S. adults say they would attend the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and 8 percent would attend Glastonbury*. The Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland brings together the most out-of-the box musical performances in August. This year at Glastonbury, Bruce Springsteen will headline the world's largest greenfield music and performing arts festival.

Source: VisitBritain
Published by Mike Hitchen, Mike Hitchen Consulting
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