Who was the biggest star of 2008? Who had the most impact on the year that was, who inspired the most headlines or generated the biggest amount of buzz? It's really tough to say ... yet, for decades now, plenty of magazines have been doing just that (we're looking at you, Time). And so, after years of sitting on the sidelines, we here at MTV News have decided to get in on the act too.
Over the next few days, we'll be unveiling our list of the most fascinating, controversial and, well, BRITNEY!!! women of the year. These are the artists, actors and pop-culture heavyweights who dominated the headlines here at MTVNews.com (and no, Sarah Palin didn't make the cut ... we'll leave that to the folks at Time).
Today, we present picks 10 to 6. On Tuesday, we'll reveal numbers 5 to 2. And then, on Thursday, we'll unveil our 2008 MTV News Woman of the Year. And, of course, we'd love to hear what you've got to say — we'll even publish some of the best comments later this week — so if you agree with us (or if you don't), let us know in the comments below.
And now, let the debate begin ...
2008 Highlights: Spent the majority of the year putting the finishing touches on her much-discussed double-album, I Am ... Sasha Fierce ... Played legendary blues singer Etta James in "Cadillac Records" ... Married longtime beau Jay-Z ... Applauded by PETA for her fur-free outfits ... Released a pair of singles, "If I Were a Boy" and "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)," the latter of which ended up being our second-best song of 2008 ... Donated $100,000 to victims of Hurricane Ike ... Volunteered her services for Barack Obama's inauguration ... Snagged her third-consecutive #1 album, selling more than 482,000 copies of I Am in one week ... Parodied the "Single Ladies" video to hilarious effect on "Saturday Night Live" ... Landed a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Song. To anyone else, this is a lifetime's worth of résumé fodder. To B, it was just another year.
9. Hayley Williams
2008 Highlights: Penned a cryptic blog post that kicked off rumors that she and her band,
[artist id="1968732"]Paramore[/artist], were calling it quits ... Addressed those rumors (and whispers that she was pregnant) in an equally cryptic blog post that used the phrase "My Eggo is not preggo" less than 24 hours later ... Sat down with MTV News for an "everything's fine" interview in Austin, Texas, during South by Southwest ... Defended "family friend" Miley Cyrus ... Played the Warped Tour ... Battled her stepfather over unscrupulous eBaying ... Got (then later removed) bull-ring piercing in septum ... Admired by John Mayer ... Performed in a virtual Whisky A Go Go during the MTV Video Music Awards ... Contributed a pair of songs to the "Twilight" soundtrack ... Copped to being a huge "Twilight" fan and a member of Team Jacob ... Began work on new Paramore album ... Is seriously, like, 4 feet tall.
[artist id="1230523"]Kanye West's[/artist] Glow in the Dark Tour ... Re-released her hugely successful Good Girl Gone Bad album with the hugely successful single "Take a Bow" ... Denied reports that she and Chris Brown were an item (despite mounting evidence to the contrary) ... Performed a freaky version of "Disturbia" (another one of her hugely successful singles) at the Video Music Awards ... Collapsed onstage in Australia while performing a duet with Brown, sparking rumors she was pregnant ... Inspired a fan revolt when none of the aforementioned "hugely successful singles" are named in James Montgomery's Best Songs of 2008 list ... Did, at some juncture during the year, get a fairly awesome neck tattoo.
7. Aubrey O'Day
2008 Highlights: Rolled into the year fresh off reports that she was leaving Danity Kane to join the Pussycat Dolls ... Appeared to put all the drama behind her when DK's Welcome to the Dollhouse debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts ... Launched DK/Day26 tour in May ... Landed the role of Amber Von Tussle in the Broadway version of "Hairspray," which causes her to miss Danity Kane's appearance on "FNMTV" ... Boasted about her breasts during an interview with former WWE announcer Paul Heyman ... Shot a rather eye-opening photo spread for Complex magazine ... Booted from Danity Kane during live finale of MTV's "Making the Band" due to concerns over her "image" and despite the fact she was one of only two interesting members in the group ... Reportedly posed for Playboy ... May have had the most turbulent 12 months of anyone not named "
[artist id="501686"]Britney Spears[/artist]" or "[artist id="1742872"]Amy Winehouse[/artist]."
6: Sasha Fierce
2008 Highlights: Created by Beyoncé as a marketing tool/ psychological id for her I Am ... Sasha Fierce album ... Despite being completely fictional, may actually be more interesting than the actual Beyoncé ... Starred in the "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" video, which managed to "out-crazy even 'Ring the Alarm' " ... Definitive proof that Beyoncé is nuts ... Signified by a futuristic metallic glove worn on the left hand ... Is probably steampunk ... Quite possibly the most interesting alter-ego ever created by a musical superstar (sorry, Chris Gaines).
We'll be rolling out our Top 10 Men and Women of the Year all week! Today you've got 10 through 6, tomorrow you'll see 5 through 2, on Wednesday we'll be recapping your reactions and opinions, and on Thursday the winners will be revealed! Who do you think the Man and Woman of the Year should be? Tell us now!