BritWeek Celebrates 50 Years of Britain in Los Angeles

the British and the Music Industry

The strong British music connection with Los Angeles began even before the British Invasion in the Sixties, when British company EMI bought Capitol Records in 1955. The iconic Capitol Records Tower in Hollywood was opened shortly thereafter. In 1964 the Beatles conquered California, along with the rest of the United States, and other British artists followed in abundance. For the following twenty years or so, by some estimates the British held as much as 30 percent of the American pop music market, with such great names as the Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Who, Tom Jones, Rod Stewart, Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, Queen, Roxy Music, the Police, Duran Duran, The Clash, Genesis, Van Morrison, The Smiths, Dire Straits, The Cure and Elton John.

While the Nineties were not as strong a period for British music in California, bands like Oasis, Bush, The Spice Girls and Radiohead had great success. In the last few years, however, there has been a strong revival of British music, with US audiences embracing such artists as Coldplay, Corinne Bailey Rae, KT Tunstall, Arctic Monkeys, James Blunt, Joss Stone, Franz Ferdinand, Lily Allen, and of course Amy Winehouse, who won five Grammy Awards in 2008. As well as music itself, Britain has exported American Idol (launched on UK television as Pop Idol), which has quickly become the leading route to success for aspiring pop singers. The makers of American Idol, 19 Entertainment, are among a number of key Brits in the music industry in Los Angeles today.

for BritWeek2008 Music Events