"To say Taylor Swift had a remarkable year would be a comic understatement," wrote Billboard editors in announcing the honor, based on a review of the Hot 100 song rankings and album sales figures between November 2008 and November 2009. "She sold more albums than any artist not named Michael Jackson. Her first headlining tour, Fearless 2009, sold out every show within minutes. She became the youngest woman to win the Country Music Assn.'s entertainer of the year award, and she set seemingly every chart record that exists. But most important, she proved herself a graceful, timeless celebrity, handling hosting duties on 'Saturday Night Live' and a rampaging Kanye West at the MTV Video Music Awards with equal aplomb."
Swift was followed on the list by Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, the Black Eyed Peas, Miley Cyrus, Kanye West, Britney Spears, T.I., Nickelback and Pink. Other artists in the top 20 included Kings of Leon (#11), Katy Perry (#12), Flo Rida, (#13), Kelly Clarkson (#14) and Lil Wayne (#18).
Not surprisingly, the
Other songs in the top 20 included Swift's "You Belong With Me" (#11), T.I. with Justin Timberlake's "Dead and Gone" (#12), Kings of Leon's "Use Somebody" (#14), Jamie Foxx's "Blame It" (#16) and T.I. with Rihanna's "Live Your Life" (#18).
The Billboard 200 Top Albums list was, not surprisingly, capped by Swift's Fearless, which was the year's best-seller (though dark horse Susan Boyle's debut, I Dreamed a Dream, is actually coming on so strong that it may end up being the top seller of the calendar year).
Just behind Swift was Beyoncé with I Am ... Sasha Fierce, Nickelback's Dark Horse, the "Twilight" soundtrack and the "Hannah Montana: The Movie" soundtrack. Rounding out the top 10 were Britney Spears' Circus, Kanye West's 808s & Heartbreak, Lady Gaga's The Fame, Eminem's Relapse and the Peas' The E.N.D. (Energy Never Dies). The magazine did not announce final sales figures for any of the categories, which are due in the first week of January from Nielsen SoundScan.
Other albums in the top 20 included: Kings of Leon's Only by the Night (#11), Jay-Z's The Blueprint 3 (#12), David Cook's self-titled debut (#13), Pink's Funhouse (#16) and U2's No Line on the Horizon (#18).
The year's biggest tour was, also not surprisingly, U2's enormous stadium outing, which grossed more than $311 million while playing 44 sold-out shows in front of more than 3 million fans. Madonna was in the #2 position with $222 million for a tour that played 46 sold-out gigs in front of 2.1 million. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, another staple of the top tours list, hit #3 for a 72-gig tour that grossed $156 million, played to 1.7 million and featured 42 sellouts.
Fellow veteran act AC/DC was at #4, with a 76-date tour that grossed $135 million in front of 1.5 million. Pink is the only contemporary performer in the top 5, with her acrobatic Funhouse tour, which grossed more than $103 million during 131 gigs for 1.5 million fans. Britney Spears' circus-themed world outing also made it into the top 10 (#7), with a $95 million gross for 70 shows (including 61 sellouts) for nearly 1.1 million.
Other top 20 tours included #10 Coldplay ($84 million gross, 66 shows, 1.2 million attendance), #11 Metallica ($77 million gross, 66 shows, 1.1 million attendance), #12 Jonas Brothers ($73 million gross, 62 shows, 1 million attendance) and #15 Beyoncé ($57 million gross, 57 shows, 697,000 attendance).
In other year-end charts, Swift had the year's hottest radio song with "Love Story," as well as the #2 with "You Belong With Me." The Peas topped the Hot Digital Songs list with "Boom Boom Pow," T.I. was the Hot Ringtones Artist, Soulja Boy Tell'em took the Hot Master Ringtones crown with "Kiss Me Thru the Phone" and the Top Digital Album was the "Twilight" soundtrack.