There was no shortage of musical moments in 2009 — and not all of them revolved around Lady Gaga, either. Artists bubbled beneath the surface, broke through to the mainstream and established themselves as unlikely forces to be reckoned with. Say what you will about the past 12 months, but you can't deny that they were interesting.
There was Blink-182's big-time reunion tour, Cobra Starship's party-hearty anthems and the sleeper success of Owl City, to name just a few. Kris Allen's underdog win on "American Idol." Ke$ha's out-of-nowhere ascent to the upper reaches of the Billboard Hot 100. Jay Sean extending the reach of Cash Money's musical empire. Everywhere you looked, things were happening.
So as the year draws to a close, we decided to ask some of your favorite artists to name their favorites: songs, albums and fellow acts that they admired in 2009.
Mark Hoppus, Blink-182
Song of the Year: " 'Help, I'm Alive,' by Metric. My favorite song of the year, because the lyrics are amazing. Metric are one of my favorite bands."
Album of the Year: "Silversun Pickups, Swoon. I still cannot stop listening to this album. It's '90s alt-rock done in a modern style. Catchy, dynamic."
Artists of the Year: "I'd have to say Jay-Z or Lil Wayne. Both of them are huge, huge artists. Lady Gaga is probably the woman of the year. It's really been her year. ... She's incredible. She wasn't here a year ago — she went from being a new artist to being the biggest pop star in the world."
Artists of the Year: "I almost said Tiger Woods and then I was like, 'Ehhhh, maybe not.' [Laughs.] Maybe [MTV News 'American Idol' expert] Jim [Cantiello]! You're looking pretty spiffy tonight! Either that or Seacrest is always up for that. He's always up for man of the year. As for the ladies, it's gotta be Taylor Swift. If it wasn't her, I don't think anyone else is close."
Gabe Saporta, Cobra Starship
Song of the Year: "My favorite song of 2009 was 'Tik Tok' by Ke$ha. Especially the opening line, when she says she wakes up in the morning feeling like P. Diddy. I really connected to that sentiment because similarly, I wake up most mornings feeling like Gabe Saporta. And them I'm like, 'Oh, f--- yeah! I am Gabe Saporta.' "
Alex Suarez, Cobra Starship
Songs of the Year: La Roux, "Bulletproof," Chromeo's remix of Vampire Weekend's "The Kids Don't Stand a Chance"
Albums of the Year: Muse, The Resistance, Jay-Z, The Blueprint 3
"It's unfortunate for me that I spent so much time working on music this year that I didn't get a lot of opportunity to keep up with new music in '09. Fortunately for me, I love making music and I'm glad I get to spend so much time making it."
Song of the Year: " 'Single Ladies,' by Beyoncé. I'm feeling that so hard. Gaga had a pretty epic year, but Beyoncé's my secret crush. She's amazing."
Album of the Year: "The Miike Snow record. It's my favorite. If you haven't heard it, you should. It's amazing."
Song of the Year: "Forever and Always," by Taylor Swift
Album of the Year: Fearless, by Taylor Swift
Pete Wentz, Fall Out Boy
Song of the Year: "My favorite song of the year would probably have to be Jay-Z's 'Run This Town.' I think he came out and said and did everything, and he works harder than [anyone]. That record, he's the most angry he's been in a long time."
Albums of the Year: "I like the Dead Weather's [Horehound], Them Crooked Vultures' [self-titled debut], and I like the new Green Day record [21st Century Breakdown] a lot; that's a band that's influenced me a lot."
Artists of the Year: "He's not really an artist, but I would have to say Obama, and there are many reasons for that. Leader of the free world. I think he's going to get a lot of the things done that he has promised. And my pick for woman of the year would have to be my wife, otherwise she'd murder me."