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).
On Monday, we presented our picks for numbers 10 to 6 (read our first list of ladies here), and, boy, was there some controversy. Today, we're rolling out numbers 5 to 2, and we've got a feeling there's going to be a whole lot more shouting. Of course, we'd love to hear what you have 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.
It all comes to a close Thursday, when we unveil our 2008 MTV News Woman of The Year. But until then, let the debate continue ...
5. [artist id="1962774"]Katy Perry[/artist]
2008 Highlights: Went from being "that girl in the [artist id="1904930"]Gym Class Heroes[/artist] video" to "that girl with the song about kissing girls" in a span of roughly one month ... Became the cause célèbre for blogger Perez Hilton ... Managed to offend both the Washington Blade and Christianity Today at the same time, a feat that was previously believed to be impossible ... Was disowned by her parents due to the lyrical content of "I Kissed a Girl" (or wasn't) ... Covered Madonna during the Video Music Awards (reading lyrics off her Sidekick) ... Became a doll ... Released "Hot N Cold," her second fantastic single of '08 ... Did a face-plant into a giant Quinceañera cake at Los Premios ... Hosted the 2008 MTV Europe Music Awards while dressed as a linebacker ... "Screamed at a very unreasonably high pitch" when she learned of her Grammy nomination ... Landed two tunes on our "Best Songs of 2008" list ... Was the year's most divisive pop star — love her or hate her, you certainly had an opinion either way.
4. [artist id="2408193"]Miley Cyrus[/artist]
2008 Highlights: Started the year being named one of Forbes' 20 richest under 25 ... Released a 3-D concert film that broke box-office records and has grossed more than $70 million to date ... Rocked the red carpets at the Grammys and the Oscars ... Won big at the Kids' Choice Awards ... Named the richest teen star by Parade magazine ... Exposed (sort of) on the Net, when photos of her in underwear are leaked ... Supported by the Jonas Brothers in the wake of the underwear scandal ... Caused a media firestorm after posing in a towel for Vanity Fair, later apologizing to fans ... Garnered support from stars like Nick Cannon, Madonna and Justin Timberlake ... Engaged in a fierce online dance battle with AC/DC (not that one) ... Broke up with boyfriend Nick Jonas and wrote best-selling album about it ... Inspired countless tween-pop imitators and then mocked them ... Debuted at #1 on the Billboard albums chart ... Threw her Sweet 16 party at Disneyland ... Reportedly started dating a 20-year-old underwear model ... Reportedly died ... Called death rumors "dumb" ... Related to the animated dog in the movie "Bolt" ... Nominated for Best Song at the Golden Globes ... Will probably end the year as the richest star under 25.
3. [artist id="2389485"]Taylor Swift[/artist]
2008 Highlights: Successfully crossed over from country to pop, as signified by her nominations at both the CMA Awards and the Video Music Awards ... Linked to Jonas Brothers heartthrob Joe ... Co-hosted the VMA preshow ... Released second album, Fearless, which has sold more than 1.3 million copies to date (nearly twice as many as Beyoncé's I Am ... Sasha Fierce) ... Also sold another 3.5 million of her self-titled debut disc too ... Dumped by Joe Jonas (reportedly over the phone), wrote sad MySpace blog about it ... Voted for the first time, felt "completely American" as a result ... Addressed her breakup with Jonas in every manner of media possible ... Continued the media assault on Jonas in the MTV Newsroom ... Blamed the breakup on actress Camilla Belle ... Elicited an online response from Jonas, who called her accusations "not true" ... Borrowed Miley Cyrus' boyfriend for her performance at the CMAs ... Planned her 19th birthday party, asking for stationery as a gift ... Insisted that she was over Jonas ... Will never be wronged by a boyfriend ever again, we hope.
2. [artist id="501686"]Britney Spears[/artist]
2008 Highlights: Wow, where to begin ... Began 2008 as a troubled cautionary tale with a skeevy paparazzo boyfriend, an even skeevier "manager," an ongoing child-custody battle, a pair of bizarre trips to the hospital, a stint in the psych ward and a career that appeared — for all intents and purposes — to be over ... She ended the year with a mega-selling comeback album, a highly rated prime-time documentary, a pair of hit singles, huge videos, a sold-out tour, the most-watched clip of 2008 on MTV.com, and a career that seems to be bigger than ever ... There have probably been bigger comebacks in history (Lazarus springs to mind), but we can't think of any that have taken place over such a short period of time, with as much media coverage as Brit's did. Basically everything she did in 2008 was larger than life, paparazzi-soaked and analyzed ad infinitum — and she not only made it through with flying colors, she appears to have flourished. All of that means that Brit should probably be MTV News' Woman of the Year ... only she's not. Turns out, there's someone else out there who had a bigger '08. Who could it be? Check back Thursday to find out.
We'll be rolling out our Top 10 Men and Women of the Year all week! On Monday you got 10 through 6, today you have 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!