One of the Most Famous Musicians of All Time Is…Avril Lavigne?

MIT recently conducted a study on the subject of global fame.  What they found was rather interesting.

By analyzing such things as Wikipedia entries, social media and music sales, the boffins were able to rank the global popularity of a number of musicians.  And to everyone’s surprise, the sixth most-famous musical artist in the world is Avril Lavigne.

“Okay,” I can hear you ask, “how did they arrive at THAT conclusion?”

It’s all in the metrics, of course, but by the measurements taken in this MIT study, Avril is very famous.

For example, there are Wikipedia entries on Avril spanning 103 different languages.  Those pages have been viewed almost 44 million times since 2008, which translates into 16 page views every minute for five straight years. She has over 51 million Facebook fans and more than 15 million Twitter followers for a social media score of 66.5 million, which is good for #14 among all musicians.

Add in a few other measurements and MIT says that Avril is the most famous Canadian, the fourth most famous human being born after 1980 and the sixth most-popular musician in all of history.  Only John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix and Michael Jackson outrank her.

And if you want to weigh her against the rest of humanity since the dawn of time, she’s ranked in 387th spot.  That’s about the same as Ronald Reagan and Queen Elizabeth II.  Wow.

(Via the National Post. Thanks to John for the link.)

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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