Top 11 Most Successful A/PIA Mainstream Artists (Musicians)
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  • 1. Top 11 Most Successful* A/PIA Mainstream Artists (Musicians)
    • It is important to note not only the prominence of A/PIAs in mainstream society, but their impact on it as well. At first glance, one might not think A/PIAs have very much global exposure in the media (and on the radio specifically), but a deeper look reveals some musical superstars are actually of Asian/Pacific Islander descent.
    *Success based on TOTAL ALBUMS SOLD WORLDWIDE
  • 2. Yeah Yeah Yeahs 11
    • Albums sold:
      • 5 million
    • “ Asian American? How?”:
      • Vocalist/Pianist Karen O is Korean American
    • Discography:
      • Fever to Tell (2003)
      • Show Your Bones (2006)
      • It’s Blitz! (2009)
    • About her:
      • Genre: Indie Rock
      • Formed in 2000 in New York City
      • According to an interview on ABC’s “Live from Central Park SummerStage,” the band’s name originates simply from modern New York City vernacular
      • During this past summer of 2009, the band headlined (in place of the Beastie Boys) during Chicago’s music festival, Lollapalooza
    • Official Website:
      • http://www.yeahyeahyeahs.com
    • Notable Songs:
      • “ Maps”
      • “ Phenomena”
      • “ Zero”
    Video: "Gold Lion" performed on Late Show with David Letterman
  • 3. Ne-Yo 10
    • Albums sold:
      • 6 million
    • “ Asian American? How?”:
      • His mother is of mixed African American and Chinese American descent
    • Discography:
      • In My Own Words (2006)
      • Because of You (2007)
      • Year of the Gentleman (2008)
    • About her:
      • Genre: R&B/Pop
      • Born on October 18, 1979
      • Has had 5 top ten songs on the Billboard Hot 100 and 2 number-one albums on the Billboard 200
      • Acted in 3 movies (Save the Last Dance 2, Stomp the Yard, and Red Tails) and is currently working on 2 more
    • Official Website:
      • http://www.yearofthegentleman.com
    • Notable Songs:
      • “ Let Me Love You”
      • “ Because of You”
      • “ Miss Independent”
    Video: Music Video for "Knock You Down" by Ne-Yo, Keri Hilson, and Kanye West
  • 4. Michelle Branch 9
    • Albums sold:
      • 7 million
    • “ Asian American? How?”:
      • She was born in California and her mother is Indonesian
    • Discography:
      • Broken Bracelet (2000)
      • The Spirit Room (2001)
      • Hotel Paper (2003)
    • About her:
      • Genre: Alternative/Pop Rock/Country
      • Born on July 2, 1983
      • Nominated in 2003 for the Grammy Award for Best New Artist
      • In 2005, she formed the country music duo “The Wreckers” with friend and fellow musician Jessica Harp (Note: album sales from duo NOT included in 7 million total)
    • Official Website:
      • http://www.michellebranch.com
    • Notable Songs:
      • “ Everywhere”
      • “ All You Wanted”
      • “ Breathe”
    Video: Grammy-winning collaboration with Santana - "The Game of Love"
  • 5. Pussycat Dolls 8
    • Albums sold:
      • 9 million
    • “ Asian American? How?”:
      • Lead Singer Nicole Scherzinger is Hawaiian and Filipino
    • Discography:
      • PCD (2005)
      • Doll Domination (2008)
    • About them:
      • Genre: Dance-Pop/R&B
      • Founded in 1995
      • Originated as a burlesque troupe based in Los Angeles, CA
      • In addition to music, the group has done reality television programs, a Las Vegas act, and major merchandising
    • Official Website:
      • http://www.pcdmusic.com
    • Notable Songs:
      • “ Don’t Cha”
      • “ Buttons”
      • “ When I Grow Up”
    Video: "Show Me What You Got" performed in London
  • 6. Hoobastank 7
    • Albums sold:
      • 10 million
    • “ Asian American? How?”:
      • Vocalist Doug Robb is Japanese American
    • Discography:
      • Hoobastank (2001)
      • The Reason (2003)
      • Every Man For Himself (2006)
      • For(n)ever (2009)
    • About them:
      • Genre: Alternative Rock
      • Founded in 1994
      • Their first album hit #1 on the Billboard Heatseeker Chart in 2001
      • Their second album was produced by Howard Benson, who has also worked with P.O.D., Blindside, Cold, and The Crystal Method
    • Official Website:
      • http://www.hoobastank.com
    • Notable Songs:
      • “ The Reason”
      • “ Running Away”
      • “ Crawling in the Dark”
    Video: Hoobastank covers the Ghostbusters theme song
  • 7. Gorillaz 6
    • Albums sold:
      • 15 million
    • “ Asian American? How?”:
      • Dan Nakamura (“automater”) and DJ Kid Koala are Japanese American
    • Discography:
      • Gorillaz (2001)
      • Demon Days (2005)
      • Plastic Beach (coming in 2010)
    • About them:
      • Genre: Alterative Hip Hop/Alternative Rock
      • Founded in 1998
      • A “virtual” band consisting of four animated band members: 2D, Murdoc, Noodle, and Russel
      • In the Guinness Book of World Records as the “Most Successful Virtual Band”
    • Official Website:
      • http://www.gorillaz.com
    • Notable Songs:
      • “ Feel Good Inc.”
      • “ Clint Eastwood”
      • “ Dirty Harry”
    Video: Gorillaz perform... live?
  • 8. The Smashing Pumpkins 5
    • Albums sold:
      • 18.5 million
    • “ Asian American? How?”:
      • Guitarist James Iha is Japanese American
    • Discography:
      • Gish (1991)
      • Siamese Dream (1993)
      • Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995)
      • Adore (1998)
      • Machina (2000)
      • Machina II (2000)
      • Zeitgeist (2007)
    • About them:
      • Genre: Alternative Rock
      • Formed in 1988
      • Broke up in 2000 due to internal fighting, drug use, and diminishing record sales, but reunited in 2006
    • Official Website:
      • http://www.smashingpumpkins.com
    • Notable Songs:
      • “ Bullet with Butterfly Wings”
      • “ 1979”
      • “ Thirty-Three”
    Video: Smashing Pumpkins on "Muppets Tonight"
  • 9. Black Eyed Peas 4
    • Albums sold:
      • 19 million
    • “ Asian American? How?”:
      • Vocalist apl.de.ap is Filipino American
    • Discography:
      • Behind the Front (1998)
      • Bridging the Gap (2000)
      • Elephunk (2003)
      • Monkey Business (2005)
      • The E.N.D. (2009)
    • About them:
      • Genre: Hip Hop/Dance/R&B
      • Formed in 1995
      • 1 of 11 artists to have ever held #1 and #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 at the same time with “Boom Boom Pow” and “I Gotta Feeling”
      • The singles topped for an unprecedented 26 weeks in 2009
    • Official Website:
      • http://www.blackeyedpeas.com
    • Notable Songs:
      • “ Where is the Love?”
      • “ Shut Up”
      • “ My Humps”
    Video: Music Video for "Bebot" (song rapped in Tagalog)
  • 10. No Doubt 3
    • Albums sold:
      • 27 million
    • “ Asian American? How?”:
      • Tony Kanal, the bassist, is Indian American
    • Discography:
      • No Doubt (1992)
      • The Beacon Street Collection (1995)
      • Tragic Kingdom (1995)
      • Return of Saturn (2000)
      • Rock Steady (2001)
      • The Singles (2003)
      • Everything in Time (2004)
    • About them:
      • Genre: Ska Punk/Alternative Rock
      • Founded in 1986
      • Won two Grammy Awards
      • “ Don’t Speak” spent a record 16 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay Chart
    • Official Website:
      • http://www.nodoubt.com
    • Notable Songs:
      • “ Don’t Speak”
      • “ Hey Baby”
      • “ Underneath It All”
    Video: A monumental performance of "Don't Speak" in Bangkok
  • 11. Norah Jones 2
    • Albums sold:
      • 36 million
    • “ Asian American? How?”:
      • Her father is Indian and her mother is American
    • Discography:
      • Come Away with Me (2002)
      • Feels like Home (2004)
      • Not Too Late (2007)
      • The Fall (2009)
    • About her:
      • Genre: Jazz/Pop/Folk/Country
      • Born on March 30, 1979
      • Her debut album (see above) received five Grammy awards including “Record of the Year” and “Best New Artist”
      • Sold more albums than any other female jazz artist during the 2000s
    • Official Website:
      • http://www.norahjones.com
    • Notable Songs:
      • “ Come Away with Me”
      • “ Young Blood”
      • “ I Don’t Know Why”
    Video: Norah Jones sings on Sesame Street!
  • 12. Linkin Park 1
    • Albums sold:
      • 50 million
    • “ Asian American? How?”:
      • Mike Shinoda (Vocalist/Songwriter/Keyboardist/Guitarist) is Japanese American
    • Discography:
      • Hybrid Theory (2000)
      • Meteora (2003)
      • Minutes to Midnight (2007)
    • About them:
      • Genre: Rap/Metal/Rock
      • Formed in 1996
      • From Agoura Hills, CA
      • Won two Grammy Awards
      • In 2003, MTV2 named them the sixth greatest band of the music video era and third best of the new millennium
    • Official Website:
      • http://linkinpark.com/
    • Notable Songs:
      • “ Crawling”
      • “ In the End”
      • “ Numb”
    Video: A collaborative performance with Jay-Z
  • 13. Additional Notes/Resources
    • Criteria for being chosen:
      • Although many artists may be Americanized, this top 11 only looks at artists born in America.  For example: Jay Sean, who is part-Indian and signed with an American label, does not count since he was born in the U.K.  Enrique Iglesias also falls into the same category since his mother is Filipina but he was born in Spain.
    • In addition to the listed sites, information was found on:
      • Wikipedia – List of Best-Selling Music Artists
        • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_music_artists
      • Music Artists of Asian Descent
        • http://us_asians.tripod.com/music.html
    • Videos courtesy of:
      • www.youtube.com