The Top Nine of 2009

For most of us, 2009 was probably not the best year – the economy was still in the toilet, we were fighting two wars, Michael Jackson (and Patrick Swayze!) died, and we couldn’t play beer pong out of fear we were going to get the Swine Flu.

But all that didn’t really matter to those peeps out in Hollywood, because somehow, despite all the odds, some people still managed to come out on top and have a freaking awesome year.

Let’s take a look at who had the best 2009:

Taylor Swift
There is no question that our favorite country cutie had the best year EVER. She won two Academy of Country Music Awards, six American Music Awards, seven Billboard Music Awards, six Country Music Association awards…and that’s just scratching the surface.  She managed to make an album that sounds like it came out of her high school diary (and probably did) into one of the top albums of the year, and she even dethroned popular King Kanye when he tried to discredit her VMA and turned the entire country against him. AND, on top of all that, she gets to run her hands over Taylor Lautner’s abs, making her the envy of every teenage girl alive. And yet they don’t hate her. Congrats, T.Swift, you’ve officially taken over the world.

Taylor Lautner/Twilight Cast
The entire cast of New Moon had a pretty amazing year. I mean, how many people can say that teenage girls faint when they walk by?  Their movie was a national sensation rivaled only by its prequel, making $26.3 million its first night and setting box office records as the biggest midnight release ever. Somehow a moody emo girl with bad posture and really boring clothes and her equally emo sparkly vampire boyfriend, who loves her so much he just had to ditch her to offer himself up to some even creepier vampires in Italy, became the poster couple for America.  But while Edward may have won Bella at the end, it’s Taylor Lautner who really came out on top.  This year he emerged from long-haired, nice-guy obscurity to become the muscled, hot-blooded werewolf of millions of girls’ (and cougars’) daydreams, forcing Bella (and Twilight fans across the country) to choose between werewolf and vampire.  Anyone who manages to compete with Edward Cullen deserves our unmitigated respect.  And – hello! – he’s dating Taylor Swift, making him one-half of 2009’s junior power couple. Watch out Beyonce and Jay-Z.

Miley Cyrus
Seriously, teenagers are ruling the world this year! In 2009, Miley expanded her empire even further, releasing the wildly popular Hannah Montana Movie and way more songs, including the ubiquitous “Party in the USA”. Who else in this world can get every single person (male or female) in a bar to stop what they’re doing and put their hands up, nod their heads like yeah, and move their hips like yeah, when they play her song? And who else can do it at the age of 16?

Lady Gaga
This pop superstar has proved to us that aliens actually can invade the earth and rule it within a year.  With her ridiculous outfits, hats, wigs, and disguises, not to mention her seriously creepy music videos (Bad Romance, anyone?), Lada Gaga has proved to us that she is not from this world, yet she totally owned music in 2009. She had multiple #1 singles, and her album The Fame Monster thumped from the speakers at every party in America all year long, featuring such hits as Just Dance, Poker Face, Paparazzi, and Bad Romance. But even more captivating than her sticky-sweet, synthesized tracks was her outrageous image, which got her noticed by America and made her into an international superstar—and the number-one Halloween costume of 2009. Congrats, Gaga, you’ve made insanity cool again.

Britney Spears
After basically the worst 2007/2008 ever, Britney FINALLY managed to pull off her comeback in 2009.  Her new album Circus was huge, rising to number one and giving her a bunch of smash singles like “Circus,” “Womanizer,” “If You Seek Amy,” and “Radar.”  Her tour sold out every single show in North America and reminded us of why we loved Britney so much back in ’01-’05.  Forbes listed her as the 13th most powerful celebrity this year (and 2nd most powerful young musician), and Billboard named her the second-best-selling act of the 2000’s. This year, we stopped thinking of Britney as the train wreck she has been in recent years, shaving her head and attacking cars with umbrellas, and starting thinking of her as the superstar she truly is.

New Jersey
Sure, New Jersey isn’t a person, but it definitely had a hell of a year.  New Jersey has risen from “armpit of the nation” obscurity to reality TV gold this year, with the smash success of Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” and MTV’s “Jersey Shore.”  New Jersey finally stopped wallowing in its own unpopularity, and, like any good reality star, learned to exploit its own trashiness for profit.  Now the joke’s on the other 49 states, as the Real Housewives and their “bubbies,” and Snookie and her “poof,” bring in the big bucks for the Garden State.  And that’s the situation right there.

Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian
This year, Kourtney and Khloe transformed from the annoying sisters of annoying Kim Kardashian to annoying celebrities in their own right.  They emerged from Kim’s sex-tape and Paris-Hilton’s-best-friend shadow and forced themselves into the limelight with “Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami,” a reality show documenting their “single-girl” exploits in Miami last summer. Somehow, they managed to surpass all conceivable levels of fame-mongering when Kourtney got pregnant and Khloe got married within a month of each other, catapulting them into true stardom and making Kim look whiny and irrelevant in comparison. Their show may still suck, but their famous butts continue to grace the covers of our country’s esteemed tabloids practically every week.

Adam Lambert
He may not have won American Idol, but Adam Lambert’ fame has totally eclipsed that of his rival Kris Allen. His album, For Your Entertainment, debuted at #3 on the Billboard charts. He wowed us with his makeup, his style and his powerful pipes, but more than that, he became a poster child for the gay community. His American Idol loss has been viewed as a sign of homophobia in the entertainment industry, and his subsequent success shows that the underdog – and an openly gay emo singer who shoves a guy’s face into his crotch on national television – can triumph after all.

Tiger Woods’ Mistresses
Tiger Woods may have had the worst year ever, but his mistresses have him to thank for their fifteen minutes of fame.  The 15 ladies (and counting) who bedded the disgraced golf star chose the perfect time to go public. Piled on top of Tiger’s mysterious car accidents and stories of domestic abuse in his marriage, the stories of his affairs blew the scandal to astronomic proportions, making his mistresses doubly famous.  They’re all over the news, they’re getting exclusive interviews, and they have all the power while Tiger can do nothing but retreat to his $20 million yacht in shame. They may fade out in 2010 and return to their old lives as cocktail waitresses and club promoters, but for now Tiger Woods’ mistresses are on top (which, I imagine, is how Tiger liked it. BOOM!).

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