He didn't sell the most albums (that was [article id="1654391"]Eminem[/article]) or have the year's hottest single (that was [article id="1653969"]Usher[/article]), but at the close of 2010, there really is no other choice for MTV News' Man of the Year than [artist id="1230523"]Kanye West[/artist].
After all, no one dominated the pop-culture landscape quite like he did. From his self-imposed hiatus to his triumphant return to his tantrums (and, of course, his tweets), everyone was talking about West in 2010. No one completed as compelling a comeback story, and most importantly, no one released an album as searing and soaring as [article id="1654286"]My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.[/article] And he did it all his way, without compromise or contrition. It truly was 12 months to behold.
West came into 2010 as a villain, still stinging from the public smack-down he received following the [article id="1621389"]Taylor Swift debacle[/article], and he leaves it as a hero: not only the year's most celebrated artist, but its most compelling and visionary too. And if that's not worthy of an award, well, then we don't know what is. King Kanye reigns supreme. Here's a look back at a very memorable year in his life.
2010 Highlights: West's story actually begins in September 2009, after he stormed the stage at the MTV Video Music Awards. His actions were lambasted by everyone from [article id="1621475"]Donald Trump[/article] to [article id="1621739"]Jimmy Carter[/article], and as a result, he [article id="1621529"]tearfully told Jay Leno[/article] that he needed to "take time off." And he wasn't kidding. [article id="1622849"]'Ye canceled his much-anticipated Fame Kills Tour with Lady Gaga[/article] and all but disappeared from the public eye, leading to rumors that he had checked himself into rehab (or, alternately, [article id="1624753"]fled to India[/article]). He briefly [article id="1626356"]appeared onstage with Beyoncé in London[/article], but, really, that was it. West was, for all intents and purposes, a ghost.
He skipped the Grammys in February but did appear on the [article id="1631021"]"We Are the World - 25 for Haiti"[/article] charity single, which signaled his slow return. The following month, [article id="1633045"]he wrote a lengthy blog post[/article] that remembered late designer Alexander McQueen and hinted that he had begun working on, well, something. And then in May, we finally began to hear the fruits of his labor when the snarling [article id="1640343"]"Power" leaked to the Net[/article]. The following month, he returned to the stage with a swaggering performance of the song at the [article id="1642467"]BET Awards[/article], and then, it was game on.
He famously [article id="1644605"]joined Twitter[/article] (a move that would give birth to an unending stream of brilliance in the ensuing months) and began a string of [article id="1644579"]impromptu performances at corporate headquarters[/article]. In August, he premiered the arty [article id="1645229"]90-second clip for "Power"[/article] and spent the next month working with everyone from [article id="1645746"]Bon Iver[/article] to [article id="1646143"]Justin Bieber[/article]. He unveiled his [article id="1646259"]G.O.O.D. Fridays project[/article] and premiered a new song, the artfully damaged [article id="1647682"]"Runaway," at the 2010 VMAs[/article]. He wowed viewers on [article id="1649212"]"Saturday Night Live,"[/article] announced that his new album would be titled [article id="1649320"]My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy[/article] and began [article id="1649493"]screening "Runaway,"[/article] the 35-minute film he directed, around the world.
In October, he made waves when he tweeted that the [article id="1650171"]cover art for Fantasy had been "banned"[/article] and then [article id="1650692"]premiered "Runaway" on MTV[/article]. In November, with the release of his album less than three weeks away, he became tangled up with [article id="1651415"]George W. Bush[/article] and [article id="1651912"]"Today" show host Matt Lauer[/article]. Fantasy garners [article id="1652485"]rave reviews[/article] for its scope and swagger, and it subsequently tops the [article id="1653330"]Billboard albums chart[/article]. [article id="1653968"]"Runaway"[/article] and [article id="1653832"]"Power"[/article] land at #2 and #3, respectively, on MTV News' Top 25 Songs of 2010 countdown, and as the year draws to a close, West continues to make headlines, both with a [article id="1653820"]gory preview of his "Monster" video[/article] and [article id="1654109"]rumors that he knocked up Kim Kardashian[/article] — both of which seem to point to the fact that 2011 is gonna be a big year, indeed.
Did Kanye West deserve our Man of the Year title? Share your thoughts in the comments!