Last year laid the groundwork for one epic pop-princess battle. Now, 2010 will be the year we find out if [artist id="3061469"]Lady Gaga[/artist] or [artist id="2389485"]Taylor Swift[/artist] will end up on top of the pop-music heap.
Will Gaga and her avant-garde persona keep everyone talking for the next 12 months? Or will Swift's chart-dominating county/pop continue to reign? And just how will Gaga and Swift prove they have the chops and the staying power to cement themselves in the pop-music landscape?
This year is already quite busy for Swift. In February, she'll be celebrating "Valentine's Day" on the big screen with her acting debut in the star-filled rom-com, alongside former beau Taylor Lautner. She's also set to hit the road again this spring for her re-launched Fearless Tour.
"Taylor Swift is going to keep doing what she does," music writer Maura Johnston told MTV News about the 20-year-old's busy 2010. "She is going to continue to be adored by her fans."
Swift will also be starting work on her Fearless follow-up, which she hopes will show fans her musical evolution. "Hopefully, I continue to grow and evolve and change," Swift said. "I would love to do some collaborations. I think Jack White is awesome. You never know what's going to happen."
Entertainment Weekly writer Tim Stack agreed that a collaboration with edgier artists could assist in Swift's evolution. "I think she would be more of a crossover success, continue to be bigger in terms of pop," he said. "Maybe Kings of Leon — that would be a great collaboration — or Justin Timberlake."
While Swift is figuring out her next step, Gaga will continue to dazzle audiences on her Monster Ball Tour, which wraps up Stateside this month before getting revamped for the U.K. leg. Gaga is already working on her next album, and she's hoping to be inspired while entertaining her little monsters.
"I'm going to write a new album, and I'm going to have new ideas," she said. "Most certainly I have no f---ing clue what they're going to be yet, because I'm just starting this tour, and I wrote The Fame Monster during the last tour, so ... I assume that it will inspire some kind of new sonic energy and lyrical style."
Whatever she ends up doing is certain to keep everyone guessing. "The Lady Gaga album is going to be the hardest to predict," MTV Newsroom blog editor Kyle Anderson said. "Everything she does has been entirely unpredictable. Maybe she pulls it back a bit, maybe that's the direction ... strip away the layers."
Meanwhile, Stack argues that she shouldn't change up her already-winning formula. "She should keep doing what she is doing," he said. "Everything she does is a hit. She is so young. There's no limit to her success."
So with all the possibilities ahead of these young ladies, who do the experts think will rule the pop world over the next 12 months?
"Taylor Swift," Anderson predicted. "I feel people are interested in her. We don't know a whole lot about her."
Stack gives the odds to Gaga: "I'm gonna go with Gaga, because she's such a wild card. You don't know what she will do next."
Meanwhile, Johnston is pretty sure that no matter what either of these ladies do, they are bound to be around for a long time. "I think with the personas they have now, it will probably be Taylor," she said. "But they will both have very long careers."
Which pop diva do you think will rule 2010: Lady Gaga or Taylor Swift? Let us know below, or upload a video to Your.MTV.com!