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June 29, 2017

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Universal Music chair sits atop Billboard industry power list

LOS ANGELES -- Lucian Grainge, chairman of Universal Music Group, beat out "X Factor" host Simon Cowell and the manager for teen pop sensation Justin Bieber as the most powerful person in the music industry, according to a list released by Billboard magazine on Friday.

The second annual list left off music stars such as rapper-mogul Jay-Z, his wife and singer, Beyonce, and Irish rock group U2, all of which placed on the Power 100 list last year.

Billboard put Grainge atop the list in part for Universal Music Group's US$1.9 billion acquisition of record label EMI last September and the spinning off of part of that purchase to privately held Warner Music for US$762 million.

The industry magazine called the executive a "tireless advocate for the recorded-music business," who took the top spot from Irving Azoff, the former chairman of ticket sales and concert promoting company Live Nation. Grainge placed third last year.

Coran Capshaw, the manager to pop singer Miley Cyrus and rock group Dave Matthews Band, ranked No. 2 for the second straight year. Capshaw's privately held Starr Hill Presents has stakes in live music festivals Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo among others.

Behind Capshaw was Martin Bandier, CEO of publisher Sony/ATV Music Publishing, at No. 3, while Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino placed fourth and Doug Morris, chairman and CEO of Sony Music Entertainment, rounded out the top five.

Cowell, creator of television talent shows "America's Got Talent" and "The X Factor," placed at No. 30, a giant leap from his No. 100 ranking on the inaugural list.

L.A. Reid, a former "X Factor" host and current chairman and CEO of Sony Music's Epic Records, ranked No. 40, while "American Idol" host and TV producer Ryan Seacrest climbed up to No. 59 from No. 64 last year.

Scooter Braun, the manager of teen pop star Justin Bieber and British-Irish boy band The Wanted, was No. 42 on the list. Digital music pioneer Sean Parker, who co-founded music-sharing program Napster and invested in music streaming service Spotify, was No. 71.

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