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30 Must-Follow Music Insiders on Twitter

Forget Miley Cyrus. TheWrap finds the world’s top music tweeters — from Joan Baez to Glambert.

A month ago, after attracting 2 million followers, Miley Cyrus issued her last tweet. With great fanfare and a YouTube-produced rap video, she listed her reasons for quitting the popular micro-blogging site, noting in verse, "I started tweeting about pimples, I stopped living for moments, and started living for people."

Fortunately for fans of the burgeoning social media world, Cyrus’ defection hasn’t inspired a mass exodus among music stars. They still see Twitter as a great way to hawk wares and connect with fans. Moreover, some stars have proven as adept at tweeting as they are at creating tuneful gems.

The diversity of musical genres across the Twitter-scape is staggering. From country to rap to indie rock, more and more singers, songwriters and producers are boarding the Twitter train.

For TheWrap’s group of musical insiders that you need to follow, we combine household names like Justin Timberlake and Mariah Carey with talented underground artists such as Yo La Tengo and must-read bloggers like David Gutowski.

While Cyrus is right that many high-profile tweeters are obsessed with sharing minutiae from their daily lives, she’s missing the point. Interspersed with updates from trips to the cleaners and washing the dishes are priceless insights into today’s hottest tours, albums and musical acts.

Below you’ll find an encyclopedia of hitmakers, reviewers and moguls who are shaping today’s music scene — and keeping us in the loop through Twitter. (See also: Twitter: 50 TV Insiders to Follow Right Now and 30 Movie Insiders to Follow Right Now on Twitter)


Mariah Carey
Mimi uses her Twitter account as a canny marketing tool. She’s busy reaching out to fans, letting them know about her upcoming appearances and giving diva-licious insight into her jetsetting life.

P. Diddy
Having more than 2 million followers makes Diddy a social media kingpin. True, the plugs for Ciroc Vodka are none too subtle. Yet the ebullient Diddy is a frequent updater whose unscripted mutterings are always entertaining.

Justin Timberlake
Concert pictures, rehearsal break updates, golfing tips — it’s all fodder for Timberlake’s tweets. They can come off as a little packaged, but it’s the best way to keep up with one of the biggest acts in music.

Dolly Parton
Venerable country star’s saucy attitude still manages to come through at 140 characters. She’s at her best when poking holes in her own celebrity, tweeting, "Aahhh chiropractor… Hurts so good đŸ™‚ you lug these around and see if your back don’t hurt!" Celebs, take note: If you’re going to plague us with mundane accounts of your personal life, have a sense of humor.

Alicia Keys
Keys has turned Twitter into the place to find out about her upcoming album. From sound mixing to songwriting to release date delays, it’s all here. Updates about the Yankees aren’t scintillating, but the bulk of Keys’ tweets are prime.

Adam Lambert
When cover art for Lambert’s debut album “For Your Entertainment” made waves in the blogosphere, where else did the "American Idol" also-run turn to fight back at critics but Twitter. That said, he could use a spellcheck.

Colin Meloy
Like his cult group’s albums, The Decemberists frontman’s tweets are literate, witty, occasionally esoteric and always engrossing. There’s also plenty here for rabid followers. Meloy keeps fans in the loop about upcoming tours and even provides updates from his writing desk.

Mary J. Blige
Blige calls out the pretend Twitter accounts on her feed. As if there were any doubt that this is the real Mary J. Her tweets have the same stew of vulnerability and strength that have helped her form such a strong bond with fans over the years. Some of her inspirational quotes smack of warmed-over Oprah, but she gets props for being open and accessible.

LL Cool J
The veteran rapper and actor is so solicitous of fans’ input that he asks them to tweet their opinions on what kind of album they’d like to see from him next.

Kenny Chesney
Not a prolific tweeter, but there’s plenty here for the faithful. Links to live show broadcast, updates from the road and calls out for song requests for concerts.

Britney Spears
Signing her notes Brit or Britney, the pop diva and tabloid fixture uses Twitter to hand out show tickets and stoke excitement for her music videos.

Jonas Brothers
If you’re excited to find Joe, Kevin and Nick on Twitter, chances are you can’t vote, drive or drink legally. If you’ve sired a pre-teen tweeter, no worries. The brothers’ tweets are about as much cause for parental concern as having your wee one take Richie Cunningham on a date to the sock hop. They tend toward breathless expressions of appreciation for fans, but if you like the Jonas brand of music or you have kids, this is a great source of information. They keep in constant contact with their tween fans.

Snoop Dogg
Laced with a healthy number of four-letter words, tweets from Snoop are an extension of his personality, not an anesthetized forum for selling products. Here’s a flavor of Snoop’s tweet stylings: ”It’s not personal it’s only bizness jacc!!! I got some plans for tonite and I guarantee u wont be disappointed.”

Joan Baez
Aging iconoclast is as earthy and opinionated as she was in her 1960s heyday, but she’s never strident. Comes across as surprisingly down-to-earth, letting fans know about her efforts to eat healthy, her experiences inner tubing and her struggles to get back in shape.

Yoko Ono
Like Baez, time hasn’t mellowed Ono. Her tweets make it clear that she still loves producing her unique brand of avant garde rock and spouting off New Age wisdom. Typical of her admonitions to fans: “Transform greed energy to giving. Give as much as you wish to take, and you will receive satisfaction.”

Yo La Tengo
Alt-rockers share video links, tour gossip and even expound upon their favorite scenes from Mike Judge’s “Extract.” Shaggy and self-deprecating, like a true indie group should be.


Sasha Frere-Jones
The New Yorker critic has transferred his lyrical take on today’s popular music scene to the Twitter-verse. He tweets at a furious pace, updating a half-dozen times a day. Though written in a tossed-off manner, they always have something provocative to say. For example, “The MJ remix CD is a document of the format’s fade. I imagine one could see the type on a screen. On paper, it’s tiny, almost invisible.”

Jon Pareles
A newcomer to Twitter, the New York Times critic has already started to produce interesting tweets offering his wry take on music festivals, events and upcoming albums. One to watch.

Tim Jonze
Guardian music critic is a funny and incisive chronicler of the music bizz. Jonze gives great music suggestions and even mixes in some interesting analysis of modern-day British politics. The best way to get that across-the-pond perspective.

Absolute Punk
Mostly just news updates from the dynamite blog, but there’s no better authority on today’s punk scene. From sneak peeks at Fall Out Boy lyrics to band shakeups at Racing Kites to Twin Tigers’ downloads, it’s all here in easily digestible nuggets.

Alabama native David Gutowski’s eminently readable blog Largeheartedboy boasts a compendium of music reviews, interviews and downloads. Like the site, Gutowski’s Twitter feed bursts with killer music suggestions and links.

News and mini-reviews from esdmusic.com. The acronym, short for Eat,Sleep,Drink Music, says it all. When it comes to contemporary releases, no place does a better job of sifting out the must buys from the tired retreads.


Russell Simmons
Too much time is spent proselytizing about the virtues of yoga, but there’s enough here to provide a fascinating glimpse at one of the music industry’s true impresarios.

John Shanks
Veteran producer has earned his stripes handling big names like Miley Cyrus, Bon Jovi and Jessica Simpson. He tweets regularly from the studio, letting fans know about every step of the production process, from songwriting to overdubbing.

Tony Shepperd
Doesn’t tweet nearly enough, but when he does it’s engaging and, more to the point, largely devoted to music production. That’s good, because nobody does it better than Shepperd. Over the years, he’s engineered and produced acts including Elton John, Whitney Houston and Barbra Streisand.

Quincy Jones
Twitter’s Ă©minence grise. When Jones wanted the world to know about his reaction to frequent cohort Michael Jackson’s death, he took to tweeting about his grief.

Dr. Luke
Pop songwriter and producer Lukasz Gottwald has collaborated memorably with Britney Spears, Katy Perry and Missy Elliot. Now he’s conquering the Twittersphere as he mounted the charts, letting folks know that things look fabulous from the top. Also shares some insight into his production process, tweeting, “OK gonna work on this Adam L track tonight and put some old vintage synths on it … bring some history to it …”

Mark Ronson
Allido Records’ chief could write more about music, but he’s undeniably witty. True, it doesn’t have anything to do with laying down tracks, but you could do worse than reading a tweet along these lines: "Its weird when you climb into a Minivan taxi & theres only 1 row of seats, like opening the door to the A-Team van & finding a lone stool."

Swizz Beatz
Kasseem Dean, more popularly known by his stage name Swizz Beatz, has produced 50 Cent, Busta Rhymes and Ruff Ryders. On Twitter, he leaves the studio behind to concentrate on giving his thousands of followers exuberant updates from the concerts of his top-shelf collaborators. What better way to capture the excitement of Jay-Z taking the stage than a few exclamation-heavy tweets?

Radio Host/ "American Idol"

Ryan Seacrest
He can come across as a bit of a tool as he writes about watching Lakers’ games courtside with A-list pals, but there’s no denying that “American Idol” is a hit-making machine and Seacrest is the face of the show. Plus, his tweets offer a wide-ranging tableau of the pop landscape and occasionally break news.