A decade ago, the Spice Girls championed "girl power," and in 2008 a slew of talented young ladies seemed to take that message to heart. From Miley and Demi to Dakota and Kristen, teen girls ruled the charts as well as the big and small screens. Here, we look back at the young women who made this the year of the teen queens.
In 2008, Miley survived the controversies of a couple of photo shoots; turned 16 and threw herself a huge bash; found love with an underwear model; and managed to do it all while acting in a few hit movies, getting nominated for a VMA and a Golden Globe, starring in a successful TV show and putting out a hit album.
She came on the scene singing about a boy named Drew in her VMA-nominated song "Teardrops on My Guitar," and she finished the year releasing a million-plus-selling record, Fearless, and singing about a more famous ex-love interest, Joe Jonas. The 19-year-old doesn't like being called a crossover artist, but she has definitely crossed over from being an up-and-coming country singer to a full-fledged pop star who isn't afraid to share her feelings about the guys she's dated. Maybe in 2009 she can finally make that hip-hop collaboration happen.
They may play frenemies in a trio of wildly popular Disney movies, but thanks to the success of the third installment of "High School Musical," both Hudgens and Tisdale are willing to let bygones be bygones as they graduate from their onscreen personas, Gabriella and Sharpay. These two have also managed to find time to have careers in music and shoot non-"HSM" movies set for release in 2009.
"Camp Rock" introduced everyone to Demi Lovato, who somehow managed to go from being "the next Miley Cyrus" to being the one and only Demi in just a few months. Her album, Don't Forget, made a splash on the charts, debuting at #2, and she got to work on her upcoming Disney Channel sitcom, "Sonny With a Chance," set to air in 2009. She also hooked up with fellow teen queen Selena Gomez for the movie "Princess Protection Program," but she swears she's never kissed a Jonas Brother. Miley who?
She plays a wizard on the Disney Channel, and for this 16-year-old, 2008 was magic. Selena talked about starting a band, and then she stirred the pot when she accidentally revealed to MTV News plans for a "Wizards of Waverly Place" movie. She made a cameo in the Jonas Brothers video for "Burnin' Up" and then reportedly found time to date the youngest JoBro, Nick. On top of all that, Selena and BFF Demi fended off rumors of a feud with Miley.
Dakota Fanning has grown up right before our eyes. Now the Jodie Foster-approved actress is seamlessly making the transition from kid star to grown-up thespian. Despite some controversy for her role in "Hounddog," Fanning made her way back on the scene in "The Secret Life of Bees" and "Winged Creatures." The latter co-stars Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson, who can't stop singing the actress' praises.
She may not have had the chops to join the band in 2003's "School of Rock," but she somehow managed to find her voice on Nickelodeon, singing the theme to her hit show "iCarly." On the program, Cosgrove's character has her own successful Web show, and like so many performers of her generation, Cosgrove spent part of 2008 working on an album, poising herself to jump on the singing-actress bandwagon.
You may know her dad, Eric, or her Aunt Julia, but Emma is out to make it on her own. She's had her own "Unfabulous" TV show, and she played Nancy Drew on the big screen. In 2008, she was busy shooting movies, so her hard work should pay off next year, when we'll see her in "The Winning Season" and "Hotel for Dogs."
Playing "Twilight" heroine Bella has put this indie-film star on the map. She's become a hero to young girls everywhere with her quiet onscreen persona. And her real-life relaxed attitude is landing Stewart in some big roles for 2009: She's been tapped to play rocker Joan Jett in the Runaways biopic, and of course, she and Robert Pattinson will be heating up theaters again in the "Twilight" sequel, "New Moon," on November 20.
The singer was nominated for a VMA for her track "No Air" (with Chris Brown), and she placed herself right in the middle of the Russell-Brand-versus-Jonas-Brothers purity-rings scandal of 2008 by declaring her abstinence in the middle of the live broadcast. "No Air" earned a Grammy nod too, so we may get a chance to see the "American Idol" winner's feisty side onstage come February.