>I don’t really know how to sum up the Year in Music of 2009. If you went off the Billboard charts, this was a truly awful year for music. Formulaic, Generic, Dance hybrids with insanely annoying but catchy hooks were seemingly all you needed to hit #1 this year. On a good note, all the music released this year wasn’t awful. There were a few underrated gems, and a few deserved successes, so here is a quick recap of the best and worst of these past 12 months.
*Artist of the Year*
1. Michael Jackson
Typically, if an artist is able to move TWO MILLION units in one week, completely dominate the iTunes album singles and video charts, and open up a movie that grosses $200 million — they would undoubtedly become everyone’s Artist of the Year. Unfortunately it took Michael Jackson passing away for him to achieve all of this since June of this year. However A lot of the younger generation, who grew up around the time his star was being trampled on by the media, were able to appreciate his music really for the first time and sort of got to re-discover him as a new artist.
3. Lady GaGa
*Biggest Flop of the Year, or the Try again next time award*:
Awarded to the artist who this year had a less than successful run on the charts, but the talent and the drive is still there enough for us to not underestimate them in the long run. Even the greatest have flops, so chin up and come back harder next time. You can do it.
2. Leona Lewis
3. Jordin Sparks
1. Lady GaGa
Lady GaGa might officially have been the new artist of last year since her debut “The Fame” was released in October 2008. However, 2009 is when Lady GaGa pretty much conquered the world and made a name for herself. Though the material on her album might not be the most inventive, she more than made up for that with some truly amazing performances. She did the New Artist thing right, she made sure she made headlines with her outlandish fashions. She had people talking about her before they even saw her perform, and that’s when she always managed to live up to the hype and deliver pretty flawless, and surprisingly strong singing and always some sort of arty-gimmick to keep viewers eyes on her at all times. She ended the year releasing a strong set of dance songs on an EP called “The Fame Monster” that showed some growth. A very strong year for GaGa, let’s see where she goes from here.
3. Kid Cudi
*Guilty Pleasure of the Year*:
Those songs that you KNOW are terrible from the first time you hear them, but for some reason — most likely due to radio saturation — you can’t escape the song and before you know it, you’re humming the melodies uncontrollably and sooner or later that awful song you made fun of at first is on your iPod and inching closer and closer to your Most Played.
1. Lady GaGa “Poker Face”
2. The Jonas Brothers “Tonight”
3. Jeremih “Birthday Sex”
4. The Lonely Island feat. T-Pain “I’m on a Boat”
5. Miley Cyrus “Party in the USA”
*Top 10 Albums of the Year*
1. Jay Z“The Blueprint 3”
2. Rihanna “Rated R”
3. Phoenix “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix”
4. Animal Collective “Merriweather Post Pavilion”
5. Mariah Carey“Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel”
6. Yeah Yeah Yeah’s “It’s Blitz!”
7. Mos Def“The Ecstatic”
8. Black Eyed Peas“The E.N.D.”
9. Chris Cornell“Scream”
10. The-Dream “Love vs Money”
*Worst single of the Year*
1. 50 Cent “Baby By Me”
2. U2 “Get on your Boots”
3. Usher “Papers”
*Best and/or Dumbest Dance Craze of the Year*
1. The Ricky Bobby, “Do the Ricky Bobby” by B-Hamp
2. The Stanky Legg, “Stanky Legg” by GS Boyz
3. The Jerk, “You’re a Jerk” by New Boyz
*Best Comeback of the Year*
1. Britney Spears
Britney takes this crown, because her comeback was more true to what the term was originally intended to mean. She really made a true return to form. True, a return to form means more lips-ynching and mediocre dancing while being sexy. That’s what has gotten her this far, and it’s not hard to do. However anybody who has a TV, a computer, a radio, or access to any tabloid magazine knows that Britney’s chaotic story in 2007 after her divorce. She tried to, or more like Forced by her label, save her image with the album “Blackout” which was a surprisingly hot album. The problem was that she was completely whacked out, either psychologically and physically drained or on drugs and was obviously just not into it. With her late 2008 release “Circus” and it’s video she’s great, looking fresh and toned, attacking the (again mediocre) choreography, but the best was that she seemed “Present”. The album was actually above par, and very late in her US tour she delivered some knock out performances (of course still lip-synching). I don’t think she has much longer before time catches up with her body forever, and apparently she’s ready to release another album in 2010 and keep the streak going.
2. Kelly Clarkson
Kelly didn’t have any apparent drug or psychological problems to comeback from, but she did have a very nasty and public dispute with her label and label head Clive Davis over her last album “My December”. That album tanked, and Kelly was seriously in a critical situation with her career. She came back this year though, and with a huge record breaking #1 “My Life Would Suck Without You”. Her album sold decently, but another hurdle of massive weight gain (maybe that’s a little mean, I should say rapid weight gain) almost stopped her career dead in it’s tracks. However the Ryan Tedder production “Already Gone”, that she openly did not want as a single, is still doing really well on the singles charts and at the end of the year she’s garnered a Grammy nomination.
3. Whitney Houston
It seems like people have already forgot about Whitney’s big comeback, almost 6 years in the making. Grammy voters sure did. About 6 months ago, everybody was predicting Whitney would have one of the strongest comebacks in music history, and was sure to grab multiple music trophies just for coming back strong. The main problem was that she didn’t comeback strong, even though her “people” did a fantastic job of trying to fool everyone. Her album “I Look to You” was passable, if a little boring and ultimately forgettable. Her live performances were another story, though her voice has come along way since her last comeback in 2002, she literally can’t hold a note. And no amount of backup singers or extremely loud backing vocal tracks can hide it. That, and the Oprah interview that really didn’t show her in a flattering light. Though her album did sell pretty well, there are seemingly no plans for any follow up singles or anything else. This might be a wrap for Whitney.
*Artist that most needs to just Give it up this Year*: The greats are great forever, unless they don’t realize that they’re not the #1 stars they used to be and keep releasing material in hopes of dominating the music world, when in reality their mainstream relevance has been gone. These three artists still seem to think they can regain (and in one case achieve) Popular success, and they seriously need a wake up call before it’s too late.
1. Janet Jackson
Janet seems to be very likable in the mainstream, but the problem is nobody is buying her albums. 2008’s “Discipline” completely flopped, and the album before that “20 Y.O.” didn’t fair any better. She hasn’t had a #1 single since 2001’s “All For You”, and hasn’t managed even a Top 10 single since the second single from that album was released. And here she is in 2009, getting major sympathy points from the death of her brother. Has a highly publicized network television interview where they debut her new video “Make Me”, yet the song has made ZERO dents in the chart. Just give it up Janet. “Why Did I Get Married Too” is set to be released in early 2010, and that might just be her new medium to attack, Acting. I think it’s time to step away from the studio because, hell she doesn’t even have a contract right now.
Mario has never been The One! He’s never had any real stretch of time as the reigning R&B singer. When he first came out, he was basically the younger Usher with braids. He had a hit, but this was during one of Usher’s several dominant periods of R&B. When Mario’s second album was released, he managed to score a big hit out of “Let Me Love You”, but somehow that songs writer Ne-Yo ended up eclipsing him. 2007’s “Go!” was a great album for Mario, but than he had both Ne-Yo and pre-battery charge Chris Brown owning him on the charts. And now, when he probably thought it was safe to release his 4th album “D.N.A.”, Trey Songz is completely owning him as the new young R&B Heartthrob. So, Mario, Sorry! Your time has passed. Give it up.
3. Jennifer Lopez
Honestly. Even though you’re “Louboutins” single is actually kind of cute and catchy, people stopped caring about you years ago. Focus on acting (re-train yourself, take some classes) and please stay out the studio.
*Top 10 Singles of the Year*
1. David Guetta feat. Akon “Sexy Bitch”
2. Animal Collective “My Girls”
3. Mstrkrft feat. John Legend “Heartbreaker”
4. Kid Cudi“Day n Nite”
5. Green Day“Know Your Enemy”
6. Lady GaGa “Bad Romance”
7. Jay-Z feat. Kanye West and Rihanna “Run this Town”
8. Maxwell “Pretty Wings”
9. Beyonce “Sweet Dreams”
10. Keri Hilson with NeYo and Kanye West “Knock You Down”
*Awards Ceremony of the Year that sucked the Least*
1. MTV VMA’s … Yeah, that’s it.
MTV got back to when the VMA’s were actually good. They had a killer roster of performers who turned in some really great highlights. Taylor Swift performing in a subway, GaGa dying, Pink singing while doing acrobatics from the ceiling, JayZ and Alicia getting ambushed by Lil mama, and Beyonce’s hundreds upon millions dancers. And, back to form, the VMA’s delivered a water cooler topic in Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech to declare “Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time”. Staged? Well, I have my theories, but the important thing is it was a great moment that will stand against the other great moments of the VMA’s.
*Most Unnecessary Collaboration of the Year*
1. Wale and Lady GaGa “Chillin”
There’s actually nothing wrong with the song, but it was so obviously intended for M.I.A. and not Lady GaGa (who actually does make the song). I guess it was a smart decision since GaGa was so hot at the moment, but the collaboration doesn’t make sense given how both artists are from completely different worlds in genre, fan base and personality.
2. 50 Cent and NeYo “Baby By Me”
I just hate this song so much, and really upset that after releasing an album titled “Year of the Gentleman” NeYo would participate in a song with such a vile message.
3. Shakira and Lil Wayne “Give it up to Me”
Good song, but Lil Wayne really wasn’t needed and he contributes nothing. It almost sounds like one of those mixtape mash ups of one of his mix tape verses. This is the song where I, personally, officially got tired of the Weezy verse.
*Best Impersonation of another Artistof the Year*
1. Lady Gaga as Madonna on “The Fame Monster”
Bravo! GaGa has been getting Madonna comparisons since “Poker Face”, but never has she got the essence of Madonna until her “The Fame Monster” EP was released. “Alejandro” plays like a soft mash of “Cherish” and “La Isla Bonita”. And when she gets to name calling famous screen sirens and art Icons on “Dance in the Dark” (“Marilyn, Judy, Sylvia” “Liberace” “Kubrick”) it becomes obvious that the mockery is intended. (?) Never the less, she did a great job.
2. Chester French as Weezer on “Love the Future”
If you imagine that Weezer recorded an album produced by the Neptunes in 2002, it would sound pretty much exactly like Chester French’s debut “Love the Future”. Except that it would have been 10 times better.
*Most likey to become a One Hit Wonder of the Year*
1. New Boyz “You’re a Jerk”
2. Ke$ha “Tik Tok”
3. LMFAO “I’m in Miami Bitch”
*Best Collaboration of the Year*
1. R. Kelly and Keri Hilson(or R. Keri Baby!) “Number One”
2. Jay Z, Kanye West and Rihanna “Run This Town”
3. Keri Hilson, NeYo and Kanye West “Knock You Down”
*Cheesiest Album cover of the Year*
1. Adam Lambert (tie) Chris Brown
*Most Underrated Album of the Year*
1. Ciara“Fantasy Ride”
2. Shakira“She Wolf”
3. Akon “Freedom”
*Best DanceFloor Song of the Year*
1. Lady GaGa “Bad Romance”
2. David Guetta feat. Akon “Sexy Bitch”
3. LMFAO “I’m in Miami Bitch”
*Most Underrated Single of the Year*
1. Jordin Sparks “Battlefield”
2. Charles Hamilton “Brooklyn Girls”
3. Mary J. Blige and Drake“The One”
*YouTube LOL Moment of the Year*
1. Britney Spears and the “crazed” fan.
It’s not even that this kid managed to get past security and actually get face to face with Britney and dance with her that’s funny. It’s Britney’s reaction, and how long it takes her to get back to dancing and lip-synching.
*Most needed STFU of the Year*: Alot of artists are best when they aren’t speaking (ahem, Beyonce), and these are the three artists this year that should have refrained from any interviews because it did them more damage than good.
1. Chris Brown
Doing one Larry King Interview was fine. Even though it came nearly 7 months After the well-known “Incident” in February involving Brown and than-girlfriend Rihanna (we all know the story). The interview is understandable, just to clear the air and protect his image. Unfortunately, Brown sounded pretty damn moronic during the interview. He was totally evasive about the incident itself, and sounded like he was recycling the same 5 “I was wrong! Please forgive me” sound-bites he had most likely been rehearsing for weeks. Bad interview, but it gets worst. After Rihanna did a much more respectable and revealing interview with Dianne Sawyer, Chris Brown did yet ANOTHER interview where again he revealed nothing and again was playing himself as the victim. Please Chris Brown! STFU!!! Both of you should have just let it go, nobody really cared 7 months after the fact, but Chris made it worst for himself by talking too damn much.
2. Tiffany Evans
Her tweets about Rihanna and the devils in the music industry wasn’t necessary. And when Rihanna calls her out for it, Evans tweets “at least I can sing”. Yeah, you do have a good set of pipes, but the problem is nobody wants to hear you sing. Most people don’t even know you. Rihanna is worldwide. Don’t be mad? Get some people behind you that will make things happen for you. And it doesn’t have to be the devil. While your assembling that team… STFU!!
3. Keri Hilson (tie) Whitney Houston
Keri, and not just because she dissed Beyonce in a remix to her “Turnin me On” single (“yo vision cloudy if you think that you the best, she can sing, she can dance, but need to move to the left. she need to go have some babies, she need to sit down, she fading.”), its really the fact that she went on radio and said A) she didn’t want to record it B) she said it wasn’t about anybody in particular. STFU!!
Whitney, because on Oprah she said plenty of times she didn’t smoke crack. Oprah: “so you laced marijuana with cocaine” Whitney: “Yes Rock Cocaine”. colossal FAIL!!! Whitney STFU!!
From *Hottest to Weakest Producer of the Year*
1. Ryan Tedder. This guy started out the year in high demand. He had monster success in 2008 with Leona Lewis’ “Bleeding Love”, and coming into 2009 he had the epic “Halo” by Beyonce. Shortly after that, it seems he had peaked. Kelly Clarkson famously called Tedder out for giving her almost an exact replica of “Halo” in her own “Already Gone”. By the time the end of the year rolled around and I’m sure he was expecting to repeat the success of “Bleeding Love” with Leona’s “Happy”, but being that it sounded just the same as pretty much all his other tracks it tanked on the charts and effectively ended his reign as the “IT” Producer of the moment.
*Leaked (!?) Nude Pics of the Year*:
Just when things couldn’t get worst. She just got beat up by her boyfriend, terrorized by the paparazzi and tabloids, and lost a cosmetics contract. Than some very sexy nude pics, obviously taken with and by than boyfriend Chris Brown. Though many question the pics that show her frontal view, most people were on Rihanna overload at that point so nobody really cared much and they were soon forgotten.
2. Jamie Foxx
The funny thing when male celebrities pictures leak, they always have to come up with a statement about it. Either declaring they are fake and that they’d never do anything like that, or admit that the pictures are them, but try to spin it so they don’t seem like a big pervert. Jamie Foxx didn’t do any of that. He or his team just made sure they were removed before it got to millions of viewers, which is something that surprisingly alot of those other guys don’t make the effort to do.
For the amount of times nude pictures have leaked of a celebrity, Cassie gets the crown this year. Although she’s not much of a celebrity.