A long, long time ago, say, in 2001, when a massive pop band like 'NSYNC released an album like Celebrity, you could count on them to top the charts across the board. But these days, things are more democratic. No one seems to know how to measure who the real #1 artist is, so everyone gets to take home a shiny trophy — just like pee-wee soccer!

The deluge of year-end charts has begun, and the winners are all over the map. They include mild-mannered Chris Brown — whose videos and interviews were reportedly seen 43 million times on the on-demand Music Choice TV service. Brown was honored at the first Most Demanded Awards show, which, like his videos, was available on-demand for free beginning on Monday, according to The Associated Press. Music Choice executive Damon Williams said that teenage girls were primarily responsible for Brown's victory over such runners-up as the Jonas Brothers and Lil Wayne.

On iTunes, Coldplay took the top prize, as Viva la Vida was dubbed the most downloaded album of the year, with more than 500,000 digital copies sold since June, the AP reported. Coldplay were followed on the iTunes album list by Jack Johnson's Sleep Through the Static, the soundtrack to "Juno," Wayne's Tha Carter III and Sara Bareilles' Little Voice. The top-selling single on iTunes this year was Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love," which sold 3.2 million digital copies, according to her label. iTunes said the second most downloaded single was the title track to Coldplay's album, followed by Flo Rida's "Low" and Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl."

Over at Yahoo! Music, Alicia Keys got a shiny crown, thanks to her "No One" video, which was the #1 most viewed video on the service this year. According to AbsolutePunk.net, the diva-tastic list also includes a #2 slot for Mariah Carey's "Touch My Body" clip, followed by Lewis' "Bleeding Love," Rihanna's "Don't Stop the Music," Jordin Sparks' "No Air" and Wayne's "Lollipop." Oh, and that pesky Sara Bareilles snuck in at #9 with "Love Song."

But in the end, no matter what calamities, joys or economic disasters are going on in any given year, you can count on one person rising above the din to unite us all. No, not Barack Obama (he's stuck at #3). For the seventh time in eight years, Britney Spears topped the list of Yahoo!'s most popular search topics. Once again, World Wrestling Entertainment had to take a backseat to Brit, who sat atop a list that also included Miley Cyrus (#4), the enduringly popular MMORPG RuneScape (#5), Jessica Alba (#6), the manga and anime series Naruto (#7), Lindsay Lohan (#8), Angelina Jolie (#9) and something called "American Idol."

For more reflections on the past 12 months, check out MTV's Best of 2008 site, featuring the year's most memorable news, music videos and moments.