Lady Gaga Named Billboard‘s Artist Of The Year

Gaga becomes just the seventh woman ever to take home the magazine's highest honor, which she dedicates to her fans.

On Thursday, Lady Gaga capped off a tremendous 2010 by being named Billboard magazine’s Artist of the Year, becoming only the seventh woman ever to take home the honor since the magazine began handing it out in 1981.

And in true testament to her meteoric rise to the top of the charts, Gaga’s Artist of the Year nod comes just one year after she was named Billboard‘s Top New Artist, making her only the third act ever — after Chris Brown and Whitney Houston — to accomplish that feat.

Gaga beat out heavyweights like Taylor Swift, Eminem and Lady Antebellum to take home Artist of the Year, which, according to Billboard, was bestowed upon her “thanks in part to the chart performance of her first two albums, The Fame and The Fame Monster, which rank at numbers 4 and 13 on the year-end Top Billboard 200 Albums … [and] four singles from that album, [which] appear on the Hot 100 Songs roundup, led by ‘Bad Romance’ at number 8.”

The other women previously named the mag’s Artist of the Year are Swift (2009), LeAnn Rimes (1997), Alanis Morissette (1996), Mariah Carey (1991), Houston (1986) and Madonna (1985).

The Billboard honor comes exactly one week after Gaga picked up six Grammy nominations , and early Friday morning, she took to her Twitter account — remember, she had been digitally dead for nearly a week — to dedicate her accolades to her fans.

“Monsters have 6 Grammy nominations and Billboard award [for] ‘Artist of the Year,’ ” she wrote. “Thank you for fighting for artistic freedom and self-invention.”