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The Oprah Effect, Music Edition

SONG OF MYSELF Oprah, Leona (inset) (Photo: Getty Images)

If you’re anything like us, you have no idea who British singer Leona Lewis is, despite the fact that a staggering 36 million (and counting) people have watched the video for her hit UK single, “Bleeding Love,” on YouTube. Leave it to Oprah to change that. The week after the ethnically ambiguous crooner and her manager, resident American Idol curmudgeon Simon Cowell, appeared on Winfrey’s talk show, “Bleeding Love” has become the number one single in America as well.

Oprah’s domination of our nation’s book stores is well-documented and by now simply accepted, but her foray into the realm of music is undeniably frightening. When the two biggest arbiters of American cultural taste are a talk show host and a Fox reality program, it’s probably not so bad that we don’t read or listen to the radio anymore.