Boyle, a worldwide YouTube phenomenon, brought a whole new concept to modern celebrity: dowdy chic. With her unglamorous appearance contradicting her rapturous voice, Boyle reminded us of the power of inner beauty, and in the process managed to, at least for a while, outsell every shapely young thing on the planet. Boyle's debut racked up the biggest opening sales figure of the year: over 700,000 units, most of them on (gasp!) physical CD.
After nearly a decade in hiding, the Brooklyn-born R&B singer made the kind of point-perfect comeback that instantly compensated for all the time away. His album "BLACKsummers'night" went platinum, earning some of the most enraptured reviews of the year, bagging no fewer than six Grammy nominations in their wake.
Kings of Leon
They're the first new rock band to break through in far too long. In '09, this brash Nashville foursome enjoyed iTunes' most downloaded album, "Only by the Night." The band also racked up a slew of Grammy nominations for their song "Use Somebody," ensuring they'll become only hotter in 2010.
Not only did this Nashville star (who just turned 20) have the top-selling album of '09 (with a tally topping 4 million copies), she became a combination saint/victim when Kanye West tried to ruin her moment of triumph at the MTV Video Music Awards in September. To certify her resurrection, two months later, at the American Music Awards, Swift even beat the sanctified Michael Jackson for the top prize: Artist of the Year.
They may have enjoyed the year's most attended tour. But U2's latest CD, "No Line on the Horizon," bombed with fans and became the worst-selling disk of their career.
Yes, she fell on her world-famous rump on the American Music Awards, but she quickly bounced back (literally, it seems) to survive one of pop's goofier, and most blabbed about, public gaffes.
Already a famously bad sport, Kanye crossed the line to genuine jerk-face in the fall when he grabbed the limelight from Taylor Swift during her MTV acceptance speech and insisted that Beyoncé's clip should have won instead. After that, even the impeccably measured President Obama hauled off and called Kanye a "j******."
While the troubled singer's comeback CD has sold strongly (800,000 copies and counting), her interview on Oprah left a bad taste in the mouth, and her intended comeback appearance on "Good Morning America" live from Central Park! found her in scratchy and damaged voice, barely able to croak through four short numbers.
The young R&B stud achieved genuine pariah status this year by perpetrating the ultimate no-no viciously beating his girlfriend Rihanna after a pre-Grammy party. Brown spent the rest of the year apologizing, but the damage had been done.
Source: NY Daily News
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