Smartphone apps have been a viable way for artists to distribute their music, keep fans informed, and present other stuff that would never make it onto a CD for well over three years now.
So many established artists now have their own apps that it’s almost harder to think of which major artists don’t have apps than to identify the best artist-specific apps among them — and that’s even before the much-heralded Lady Gaga app, Artpop, appears on the scene in early 2013, which will surely be so over the top as to spawn even more artist apps.
Nonetheless, what follows is a round-up of the some of the best artist-specific apps to date. Because many artist apps have the same basic elements (tour dates, photos, streaming music, Twitter, etc.), we focused on apps that break the mold or offer something original.
Note: All “Top 5″ lists are a work in progress — or, rather, they should be. If we missed a great artist-specific app, please let us know.