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Nme's cool list

The meaning of «nme's cool list»

"Whether it is wearing the right clothes, being magnetically charismatic or deliberately trashing their talent for the sake of it, all of the entries in [the Cool List] have one thing in common – the X factor."

— NME editor Conor McNicholas, speaking in 2003[1]

NME's Cool List was an annual listing of popular musicians compiled by the weekly British music magazine NME. The list was created each November by the magazine's writers and journalists, and was based on the 50 musicians that they considered to be the "coolest". Each year's list was first announced by NME through both a dedicated issue of their magazine and their official website, NME.com – the Cool List issue often attracted high sales.[2] The list was first published in 2002, to highlight the people who were "at the forefront of the music scene"[3] – Jack White, the lead singer of American rock band The White Stripes, topped the first poll. Since then, it was published a further eight times: it ran every year from 2003 to 2011, with the exception of 2009. Musicians such as Justin Timberlake, Pete Doherty and Laura Marling topped these subsequent listings. The final artist to top NME's Cool List was the American rapper Azealia Banks in 2011.

Alongside the Cool List, NME also often concurrently published alternative lists, such as the Fool List, the Had It, Lost It list, the If Only They Rocked list, and the Cool Places list. Fool Lists included individuals such as George W. Bush and Mark Ronson; Had It, Lost It lists featured Bobby Gillespie and Richard Archer; If Only They Rocked lists included the likes of Ferenc Gyurcsány and Charlie Brooker. As well as high sales, the Cool List also generated a large critical response for NME, from both journalists and members of the public: the magazine received criticism of its lists from various sources, including music journalists, pop stars, and drugs charities.

NME's first Cool List was compiled in 2002, with its inaugural winner being Jack White, the lead singer of The White Stripes.[3] White topped the list for "turning down Gap, his rediscovery of rock's debt to the blues, and for being the fire that torched the whole new rock revolution".[4] The American pop star Justin Timberlake topped the second Cool List in 2003, with the magazine praising his "killer career moves, genuine talent, charm and good looks".[5] Deputy editor Alex Needham remarked: "In a world of moaning micro-celebs, Justin makes being a superstar look the most fun you could have with your clothes half off."[6]

Carl Barât of The Libertines was placed at number five on the 2003 Cool List. The following year he rose to number one alongside his bandmate Pete Doherty, the first and (as of 2013[update]) only time the list has been topped by more than one person.[8] To commemorate the 2004 list, the cover of the NME issue promoting it was a 3D lenticular image of Doherty, which the magazine claimed was a "world first".[2] The year after, Alex Turner, the lead singer of British indie rock band Arctic Monkeys, was named the coolest person of the year, with NME citing his "authenticity" as the reason for his placing.[9] Turner would go on to feature in a further four Cool Lists, including at number six in 2007 and number four in 2008.[10][11]

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