September 24, 2010 / 11:03 PM / 8 years ago

Perez Hilton reveals how he picks the hits

Louis Hau

NEW YORK (Billboard)- Every year, Billboard polls music industry experts to compile its Maximum Exposure list: the top 100 ways that bands, singers and rappers can get their music seen and heard.

Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton’s taste may lean toward pop, but he insists he loves “good music, period.” A Perez stamp approval on a music video is a powerful enough coup to earn him the No. 58 spot on Billboard’s list.

If artists can catch his fancy enough to get their music videos included on his site,, then they can expect new fans from among the millions of Hilton devotees.

In a Q&A with Billboard, Hilton discussed how he picks the music he features.

Q: How do you decide which videos to feature?

A: It’s usually one of two scenarios. One, it’s a new act that I love and want to champion. And sometimes I’ll post videos or songs of big-name artists, even if I don’t like them, because it’s newsworthy and they have an audience that wants to see it.

Q: Can you give an example?

A: Sure. Today I posted the new song from Jennifer Lopez that I did not like at all.

Q: Then why did you post it?

A: Because it’s Jennifer Lopez and she’s in the news a lot, especially with “American Idol.” She keeps releasing these songs, testing the water to see if any of them catch on, and she keeps missing the ball over, over and over again.

On the flip side, I posted — actually, I’m surprised at how well this one did — a song from Melody Thornton of the Pussycat Dolls, written by Cee Lo. I was like, “This is really good.” And to my surprise, the song has gotten a lot of views on my website.

Q: How did you learn of that song?

A: I get a lot of music e-mailed to me every day. I instantly liked the song and wanted to post it.

Q: How much help do you get keeping track of what’s coming in?

A: Well, I’m the one who looks through my inbox, so it’s pretty much just me.

Q: You personally go through your inbox every day?

A: Yeah.

Q: How can an emerging artist get on your radar?

A: I usually find out about great music through my readers. They send me suggestions. Sometimes a label will send me something and I’ll like it, but that’s the minority.

I love to get music sent as an MP3 attachment because that way I can preview the song in my e-mail, without even having to download it to my iTunes. I prefer that over having to go to MySpace, Facebook or YouTube.

Q: So you’re saying people should e-mail you an MP3?

A: Yeah. I have a lot of memory in my inbox.

Q: Are there any genres you won’t pay attention to?

A: Heavy metal is not usually my thing. But I love everything. I love good music, period.

Q: What’s the status of your label venture with Warner Bros. Records?

A: Oh, that’s done. I’m no longer with Warner Bros.

Q: What happened?

A: I like to do things more quickly than the traditional record label system allows. It’s not an insult to Warner Bros. It just means I need to figure out how to do things on my own first.

I just want to break an act, whether it be the boy band that I’m working on or some of the other projects that I’m working on in secret. I want to try to make it happen for them organically without having to shove myself down people’s throats.

Editing by Zorianna Kit and Bob Tourtellotte

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