Taylor Swift named artist of the year
'Fearless' spent more than a year on Billboard 200's top 252009 was the year of Taylor Swift.
During the past 12 months, she transitioned from a breakthrough country artist into a genuine pop star, and now the Big Machine singer-songwriter takes the crown as Billboard's top artist of the year.
Swift, who made her Billboard charts debut in July 2006, is the first solo female or country act to earn the top artist title since 1997. That was when LeAnn Rimes, then herself a young country crossover star, took home the honor.
Billboard's year-end music recaps are based on chart performance during the chart year that began with last year's Dec. 6 issue and ended with the Nov. 28, 2009, issue. The year-end Top Artist category ranks the best-performing acts of the year derived from activity on two charts: the Billboard 200 albums tally and the Billboard Hot 100 singles list.
Swift's second album, "Fearless," released in late 2008, finishes the year in the top slot on the year-end Top Billboard 200 Albums tally, while her self-titled debut is No. 24. "Fearless," which opened at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with sales of 592,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan, has yet to leave the top 25 on the chart after more than a year on the list.
On the Hot 100 Songs roundup, Swift notches three singles: "Love Story" (No. 5), "You Belong With Me" (No. 11) and "White Horse" (No. 76). In all, the teenager charted 17 Hot 100 hits throughout the year on the weekly Billboard Hot 100, all of which helped propel her to No. 1 on the Top Artists year-end recap.
The No. 2 artist of the year is someone who famously shared the stage with Swift earlier this year at the MTV Video Music Awards ... no, not Kanye West -- Beyonce.
Coming in high on Billboard's year-end recaps must be old hat for the Music World/Columbia artist, who's no stranger to seeing her name at No. 1. Two years ago, her "Irreplaceable" single finished atop the year-end Hot 100 Songs recap and, as part of Destiny's Child, she's earned the top artist of the year honor twice (in 2000 and 2001).
Beyonce's inescapable "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" is No. 8 on the year-end Hot 100 Songs roundup, while she also earns another four entries on the list with "Halo" (No. 24), "If I Were a Boy" (No. 48), "Sweet Dreams" (No. 66) and "Diva" (No. 82). Meanwhile, her album "I Am ... Sasha Fierce" finishes in the runner-up slot on the year-end Top Billboard 200 Albums tally behind Swift.
Completing the one-two-three punch of ladies atop the Top Artists recap, Lady Gaga holds down the No. 3 slot and at the same time becomes the year's top new artist.
Gaga's debut album, "The Fame" (Streamline/KonLive/Cherrytree/Interscope), is No. 8 on the Top Billboard 200 Albums recap while the dance/pop star captures four slots on the Hot 100 Songs roundup: "Poker Face" (No. 2), "Just Dance" (No. 3, featuring Colby O'Donis), "LoveGame" (No. 35) and "Paparazzi" (No. 53). Gaga is the first artist to earn two out of the top three songs of the year since 2004, when Usher reigned at Nos. 1 and 2 with "Yeah!" and "Burn," respectively.
This year's No. 1 title on the Hot 100 Songs recap is the Black Eyed Peas' "Boom Boom Pow," which lodged 12 straight weeks atop the weekly Hot 100 list earlier this year. The tune was the first single from the group's album "The E.N.D." (Interscope/IGA), which ends the year at No. 10 on the Billboard 200 Albums tally. Plus, the Peas' anthemic "I Gotta Feeling," which spent 14 weeks atop the Hot 100, is No. 4 on the year-end Hot 100 Songs roundup.
Thus, Lady Gaga and the Peas tie up the top four positions on the year-end Hot 100 Songs recap. It's the first time in the 51-year history of the Hot 100 that two acts captured four of the top five slots on the year-end Hot 100 Songs chart.
The combined punch of the Peas' two smash singles along with the firepower of "The E.N.D." on the Billboard 200 places the quartet at No. 4 on the year-end Top Artists ranking-and also makes them the top duo/group of the year.
The year's top male artist is Kanye West, who is also No. 6 on the overall Top Artists recap, just behind singer/actress Miley Cyrus. West nets five singles on the year-end Hot 100 Songs tally, with the highest being "Heartless" at No. 9. Coming in at Nos. 7-10 on the year-end Top Artists roundup are Britney Spears, T.I., Nickelback and Pink.
We'd be remiss if we failed to mention to enormous achievements of the late Michael Jackson on the year-end charts this year. He places four albums on the Top Comprehensive Albums recap: "Number Ones" (No. 4), "Thriller" (No. 16), "The Essential Michael Jackson" (No. 22) and "This Is It" (No. 45).
On the year-end Top Pop Catalog Albums roundup, he claims five of the top six titles with "Number Ones" leading the pack at No. 1. In turn, Jackson can be found atop the year-end Top Comprehensive Albums Artists tally as well as the Pop Catalog Artists list. In addition to that, because of his tremendous performance on the Top Internet Albums and Top Digital Albums tallies through the year, he's the No. 1 artist on the Top Internet Albums Artists and Digital Albums Artists recaps.