2009 is almost over, and what a year it was in the entertainment world! From public humiliations (Tiger Woods's multiple affair accusations, Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift's speech at the VMA's), births (Gisele, Jennifer Hudson, Heidi Klum), breakups (Rihanna and Chris Brown, Mel Gibson and his wife Robyn) to marriages (Fergie and Josh Duhamel, Salma Hayek and François-Henri Pinault). There are many events and people that made 2009 a memorable year, but I'm going to highlight a few things that really stood out for me.

Lady GaGa
There isn't one word to describe this artist, from her music to her fashion to her videos, Lady GaGa stands out as being the breakout star of 2009. Her overall look and style is the freshest we've seen in a long time, and everyone is crazy about her. A sold out tour, four #1 singles, and 8 million copies sold of her debut album The Fame; she had an amazing year. Now, she recently released a followup album, The Fame Monster, and was nominated for 6 Grammy's so it seems that 2010 will also be a great year for her; GaGa is here to stay!
I dont remember being this excited about a new show in a long time; Glee is the breakout TV show of 2009. One of the most original shows out there, it blends popular music with drama and comedy (a musical dramedy if you may) and now has made stars of its lead actors. Glee is one of the highest rated new shows of the fall season as well as earning the most nominations for a tv show at the 2010 Golden Globes. Two soundtrack albums of the show were released and both debuted in the Top 5, and the cast have the most charted songs on the Billboard music charts this year! Expect to see Glee next year since it has already been renewed for a second season.
Twilight: New Moon
When the first Twilight movie was released in November 2008, girls and tweens everywhere flocked to theaters to see the movie adaptation of the popular book series about a girl who falls in love with a vampire. There was huge anticipation for New Moon before its release this Nov, and when it came out it had one of the highest opening weekends ever at the box office and broke the record for midnight screenings. After only about a month and half since its release, it already is the fifth highest grossing movie of 2009. The three main stars, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner and Robert Pattinson are already tabloid targets especially with Stewart and Pattinson's rumored romance and Lautner's amazing body transformation. Expect to see more Twilight mania in 2010 with release of third Twilight installment Eclipse.
Susan Boyle
We all remember when Susan Boyle appeared during the auditions round of Britain's Got Talent; this old lady with messed up hair and a simple dress walking on stage, the audience laughing and Simon Cowell sneering. Then she opened her mouth and the rest was history. The audience went crazy when she sang and the judges immediately accepted her, she didn't win the talent show but she was more popular than the winner. Views on YouTube of her audition had more than 2 million hits and everyone wanted to talk to her; all this media attention caused her to have a breakdown. But earlier this month, she released her debut album and went straight to #1 in the UK, breaking the record for the best selling debut album ever. In the US, she also broke the record for the best selling debut album by a female and continues to dominate the charts after four weeks in release. She currently is at #2 for the best selling albums of 2009, behind Taylor Swift but with one more week left, she may be able to top Swift.

The Top Grossing Movies of 2009:

1. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
2. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
3. Up
4. The Hangover
5. Twilight: New Moon

People we lost in 2009, may they rest in peace:

Micheal Jackson
The sudden death of the King of Pop is probably one of the most shocking celebrity deaths in a long time, it even was the most searched topic on Yahoo this year. Around the world, millions of fans mourned the loss of Michael Jackson who died of a cardiac arrest on June 25. A global live broadcast of his memorial service was watched by about one billion people. After his death, sales of his albums jumped more than 90% and topped the charts for several months, as well as as a movie, This Is It which showed his rehearsals for his comeback tour and opened at #1 all around the world.

Patrick Swayze
Best known for his roles as romantic leading men in films like Dirty Dancing and Ghost, Swayze died September 14 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. An outpouring of love from fans and fellow actors in Hollywood followed, many describing him as a wonderful person and husband and a talented singer/dancer, and numerous tributes to him including a sentimental performance in his honor on Dancing With The Stars.

Brittany Murphy
Brittany first shot to fame in her breakout role in Clueless as the lovable loser Tai, and successful movie career followed with roles in movies like 'Just Married' with then boyfriend Ashton Kutcher, 'Don't Say A Word' along side Michael Douglas, and 'Sin City'. She died suddenly on December 20 of a cardiac arrest at the age of 32, sending shock waves throughout Hollywood as well as her fans. Before her death, she finished work on a couple of movies that will be released soon.

Farrah Fawcett
The 70's sex symbol passed away on December 25 after a battle with anal cancer, but will forever be remembered as a pop culture icon who starred in the original Charlie's Angels television show as well as her hairstyle that was copied by millions of young women and whose poster sales broke records.

Natasha Richardson
Coming from a popular family in the Hollywood business; her mother is Vanessa Redgrave and her sister is Joely Richardson and was married to actor Liam Neeson, Natasha died March 18 following a head injury she sustained when she fell during a skiing lesson in Canada with her kids. She's a Tony award winning actress for her performance in the 1998 Broadway revival of Cabaret as well as appearing in films like 'Maid In Manhatten' with Jennifer Lopez and 'The Parent Trap' with Lindsay Lohan.

David Carradine
For the older generation, Carradine was best known for his role as Kwai Chang Caine in the 1970s television series Kung Fu, and for the younger generation he is known for playing Bill in the action film Kill Bill. He was found dead in his hotel room in Bangkok on June 3.

As we say goodbye to 2009, which had it moments of sadness and happiness, lets begin to welcome 2010 which is i hope will me filled with great moments far away from tragedy. Coming up in 2010 are the Golden Globes and Oscars, its exciting to see which actors will the trophy and which film will earn Best Picture. The Grammy's are also coming up for music lovers, with Queen Beyonce leading the nominations with 10 nods followed by Taylor Swift and the Black Eyed Peas (Go Beyonce). Many of our favorites singers are releasing albums in 2010 as well as a slew of anticipated movies coming up this summer (Iron Man 2, Toy Story 3, Shrek 4) and lets not forget the unexpected events that will likely case a stir. I wish everyone a happy new year filled with love, peace, and happiness.

– Abdulla Al-Mulaifi

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