Taylor Swift came in a very close second to Lady Gaga in MTV News' Woman of the Year countdown for 2009. In a year not dominated by Gaga, we surely would have selected Swift as the very biggest female entertainer of the last 12 months. And newspaper editors and broadcast producers across the country clearly thought Swift's one-two punch of hit singles and awards-show success earned their votes for The Associated Press' entertainer of the year.

"I am so honored and so excited," the 20-year-old country superstar told the AP upon learning of the honor, which went to Tina Fey last year. "This was so unexpected, and I could not be more grateful."

While her second album, Fearless, hit shelves the previous calendar year, she held the #1 spot on the Billboard chart for three weeks in 2009 and at one point had eight songs on the Hot 100 chart. After performing at the Grammys with friend Miley Cyrus, Swift embarked on a sold-out 52-city North American tour. Among her many accolades, she won album of the year at the Country Music Association Awards and artist of the year at the American Music Awards.

In the midst of her awards-show domination was the unforgettable microphone-wrestling incident with Kanye West at the MTV Video Music Awards that, as the AP put it, "set off a media storm that perhaps said as much about Swift's popularity (fans and musicians alike came to her defense) [as] it did about West's."

In November, Swift hosted "Saturday Night Live," less than a year after she first performed on the show. "That entire week was life-changing, honestly," said Swift. "It makes you feel so thankful to be a part of the music industry, but more than that, to me, 'SNL' is show business."

As the year comes to an end, Swift is also looking forward to what will come her way in the decade ahead. She's planning to move out on her own and is prepping for the Grammys in January, when she'll compete for eight awards. We might even see some new music from the superstar, as she's already hard at work on her third album.

"The second that I put out Fearless, the moment that album came out and I was done with it, I started writing for my next album," she said. "I love to plan 20 steps ahead of myself, and it's really fun competition game that I play with myself, trying to top what I've done last. For this next record, that's all that I've been thinking about, that's all that my mind has been fixated on for the last year, and it's all that I'm going to be thinking about for this next year."