Which stars had the biggest year? All this week, we’ll be unveiling our top nine men and women of 2009, counting down to the #1 man and woman on Friday.
2. Taylor Swift
After a couple of years in which our young starlets did just about everything wrong, in 2009, Taylor Swift showed the ladies how it’s supposed to be done by sweeping up a shelf-load of awards, notching the year’s biggest-selling album (Fearless) and surviving the most notorious awards-show bum-rush in modern memory with her signature grace, dignity and class.
2009 Highlights: Where do we start? Swift actually kicked off the year a few weeks early by knocking Britney Spears from the top of the charts in December 2008 with Fearless and then holding that position for three weeks during the holidays. The run continued into January, when the album held on to the #1 spot for another three weeks, a feat that is practically unheard of in this short-attention-span musical era. She continued her streak in October when a platinum edition of Fearless hit stores a day early and soon launched her into the upper reaches of the charts all over again.
Though it would soon be overshadowed by another awards-show appearance, Swift was super psyched to do a duet with pal Miley Cyrus at the Grammy Awards in February and to beat her ex, Joe Jonas, on the Billboard charts in March, when Fearless continued its unstoppable reign while the JoBros had to settle for #3. Joe left it up to fans to decide if “Much Better” was about his breakup with Swift (we voted yes, by the way). The pair also got this close to working very closely together again when Joe was briefly in the running to join Swift in the cast of the upcoming rom-com “Valentine’s Day.”
|TOP 9 WOMEN OF THE YEAR||
It was a year full of firsts for Swift. After warming the stage for some of country’s biggest names, she launched her first headlining tour with Kellie Pickler in April and debuted her rap alter ego T-Swizzle in a skit with T-Pain at the Country Music Television Awards , which turned into a one-woman show as she also hooked up with Def Leppard and won hardware for Best Video of the Year and Best Female Video for “Love Story.” She also made her video game debut in “Band Hero,” on which fans could play Fearless hits like “Love Story” and “You Belong With Me,” and notched cameos on Boys Like Girls’ Love Drunk and John Mayer’s latest .
She made People’s Best Dressed List , became the youngest person to ever win the Entertainer of the Year award at the 43rd annual Country Music Association Awards — where she won four other statues as well — and grabbed another five at the American Music Awards last month, including Artist of the Year. To cap things off, she scored eight Grammy nominations , including Album of the Year, Record of the Year and Best Country Album, and had the #2 most downloaded album on iTunes .
She also showed off some pretty stellar acting chops, landing a guest role on “CSI,” impressing the cast with a cameo as herself on the set of “Hannah Montana: The Movie” and turning in one of the best hosting performances of the season on “Saturday Night Live,” where she opened the show with a hilarious song spoof that took some good-natured swipes at Kanye West.
Kanye — how could we forget? Amid all the accolades, firsts and sparkly gowns, it was a few seconds of unscripted banter that might loom largest in Swift’s breakthrough year. The 19-year-old singer looked on in shock during September’s MTV Video Music Awards as West bum-rushed the stage during the Best Female Video presentation, grabbed the mic from her and complained that Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” deserved to win the award.
After the hug heard ’round the world in October, Swift began a very low-profile romance with another Taylor, “New Moon” star Taylor Lautner, who defended his DL girlfriend’s honor when he hosted “Saturday Night Live” last weekend with a high-kicking takedown of a West cutout.
As if there was any mountain left for her to conquer, Swift ended the year by being named Billboard magazine’s Artist of the Year , with editors saying, “She proved herself a graceful, timeless celebrity” during her rocket ride to superstardom.
Which stars had the biggest 2009? Over the next week, we’ll be unveiling our top nine most newsworthy, controversial and fascinating men and women of the year. We based our list on factors like music sales, box-office performance, MTVNews.com headlines and traffic, overall reach (crossover singles, appearances in movies, licensing of songs for commercials, clothing lines, etc.), plus X-factors like “impact” and “buzz.” (And no, President Barack Obama didn’t make the list — we’ll leave that to the folks at Time.) This is by no means an exact science, but we think the list we’ve put together represents the men and women who helped make 2009 the most exciting and memorable 12 months in recent history.
We’ll be rolling out our list of the Top 9 Men and Women of 2009 two per day until Friday, when we unveil MTV News’ Man and Woman of the year! As always, we also want to know what you think, so weigh in with comments below, or upload them to Your.MTV.com!