Who was the biggest star of 2008? Who had the most impact on the year that was, who inspired the most headlines or generated the biggest amount of buzz? It's really tough to say ... yet, for decades now, plenty of magazines have been doing just that (we're looking at you, Time). And so, after years of sitting on the sidelines, we here at MTV News have decided to get in on the act too.
Over the next few days, we'll be unveiling our list of the most fascinating, controversial and, well, German men of the year. These are the artists, actors and pop-culture heavyweights who dominated the headlines here at MTVNews.com (and no, Barack Obama didn't make the cut ... we'll leave that to the folks at Time).
Today, we present picks 10 to 6. On Tuesday, we'll reveal numbers 5 to 2. And then, on Thursday, we'll unveil our 2008 MTV News Man of the Year. And, of course, we'd love to hear what you've got to say — we'll even publish some of the best comments later this week — so if you agree with us (or if you don't), let us know in the comments below.
And now, let the debate begin ...
10. Pete Wentz
2008 Highlights: Threw a Barack Obama fundraiser in his hometown of Chicago, complete with PBR and free "Frogger" ... Insisted that much of the film "Cloverfield" was based on Fall Out Boy's Infinity on High album ... Boycotted the Grammy awards (and later reviewed them for MTV News) ... Marched on Washington ... Appeared in Jimmy Kimmel's "I'm F---ing Ben Affleck" video, alongside Huey Lewis and Brad Pitt ... Mocked the Amish in the film "Sex Drive" ... Attempted to set a world record by playing a gig at a research facility in Antarctica (an attempt that ultimately proved unsuccessful) ... Announced engagement to Ashlee Simpson via blog post ... Denied (then later admitted) that Simpson was pregnant ... Married Simpson in a private ceremony at her parents' house ... Hosted "FNMTV" ... Launched a viral campaign in support of new album Folie à Deux that was subsequently hijacked by rock act Copeland ... Revealed that he owes his creation to VP-elect Joe Biden ... Raged when Folie was pushed back to a December release by FOB's label ... Attempted to set another world record for doing the most interviews in a 24-hour span ... Named his son Bronx Mowgli Wentz ... Got back to the business of being in a band. Seriously, how is he not MTV News' Man of the Year?
2008 Highlights: Entered the year on a down note, after being arrested on a variety of weapons charges ... Spent his house arrest working on his album Paper Trail, which he hoped to have in stores sometime in 2008 ... Addressed a crowd of 30,000 in an Atlanta Baptist church during Easter services ... Pleaded guilty to federal weapons charges as part of a deal that could send him to jail for a year ... Also sentenced to perform 1,000 hours of community service ... Released the incendiary first single from Paper Trail, "No Matter What," which called out his newest rival, rapper Shawty Lo, by name ... Named #10 on MTV News' "Hottest MCs in the Game" list ... Returned to the stage with a fiery 90-minute performance in Washington, D.C. ... Nabbed his third-straight #1 debut, when Paper Trail sold more than 568,000 copies ... Watched as members of his camp brawled with members of Shawty's at the Dirty Awards in Atlanta ... Simultaneously held the #1 and #2 spots on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart ... Closed 2008 with the specter of beginning his jail sentence in March.
2008 Highlights: Announced his desire to collaborate with, um, Toby Keith and Fred Durst on his upcoming Thr33 Ringz album ... Joined forces with Lil Wayne to record an album that will presumably never see the light of day ... Premiered Thr33 Ringz at a circus-themed listening party in NYC ... Never appeared in public without a Wonka-esque top hat on his head ... Turned a gospel song into a boozy ode to tequila ... Arrived at the Video Music Awards atop an elephant ... Filled in for Katt Williams as host of the BET Hip-Hop Awards after Williams goes missing ... Joined forces with Nelly, Akon and Pharrell to record another album that will presumably never see the light of day ... Maintained that he — and he alone — be allowed to use the Auto-Tune vocal effect in songs and called for his fellow artists to put an end to their Tune-filled madness, unless they are prepared to pay him royalties. Please read that last sentence again and tell us why Pain shouldn't be Man of the Year.
7. Nick Jonas
2008 Highlights: Dated — then split with — fellow pop star
6. Bill Kaulitz
2008 Highlights: Maintained his epically spiked plumage and remarkable, porcelain-like complexion for the entirety of the year ... Haunted our dreams and tricked fans into singing in German ... Took over Times Square and confessed his love for David Hasselhoff ... Released his band's first English-language album, Scream ... Gave an interview dressed in what appeared to be Michael Jackson's jacket from the "Thriller" video ... Arrived at the Video Music Awards atop a supercharged monster truck ... Immortalized in wax ... Professed his love for American Halloween candy (but not warheads) ... Got new tattoos ... Inspired a level of devotion from his fans that was both shocking and frightening.
We'll be rolling out our Top 10 Men and Women of the Year all week! Today you've got 10 through 6, tomorrow you'll see 5 through 2, on Wednesday we'll be recapping your reactions and opinions, and on Thursday the winners will be revealed! Who do you think the Man and Woman of the Year should be? Tell us now!