Best of 2009: Top 20 Music Moments

Top 20 Music News Moments of 2009

From Susan Boyle dreaming her big "Dream" and Kanye dissing Taylor to Dylan busking Christmas and Glambert losing 'Idol' (but winning controversy), it's been one of the most eventful music years in recent memory. But what was the biggest moment?

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20

M.I.A. Rocks Grammys on Due Date

She was due to give birth on Grammy night (Feb. 9), but M.I.A. didn't let that keep her away from the music industry's biggest stage. The rapper arrived to the 51st annual ceremony in a sheer-and-polka-dot minidress and performed a snippet of her Record of the Year-nominated song, "Paper Planes." Joining M.I.A. were the Big Four MCs -- Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Kanye West and T.I. -- who traded verses from their "Planes"-sampling posse cut, "Swagger Like Us." Two days later, Ikhyd Edgar Arular Bronfman was born to the mom with the most swagger.
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19

Boy George Jailed For Chained Male

Boy George upped the ante on celebrity scandals in 2008 when he was arrested for chaining a Norwegian male escort to a radiator at his London home. The 47 year-old singer/DJ was sentenced to 15 months in jail after being convicted of false imprisonment, then released early in May on good behavior. It wasn't the first instance where Boy George ran afoul of the law -- the '80s icon has been arrested for heroin possession, cocaine possession and false burglary over the years -- but it was definitely the strangest.
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18

NIN's Last Show

Twitter wasn't the only thing Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor quit this year. In February, the rock frontman announced that it was "time to make NIN disappear for a while" in a post on the band's Web site (he hasn't let go of all online communication). Luckily, the group went out with a bang. NIN toured with a reunited Jane's Addiction and went on a "Wave Goodbye" tour of small venues in August. At one of the band's final gigs in New York, fans at Websetr Hall heard Reznor and co. perform their 1994 classic album "The Downward Spiral" in its entirety.
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17

Dylan Does Christmas

Of all the head-scratching moves Bob Dylan has made -- starring in a Victoria's Secret commercial, loitering on the streets of New Jersey -- recording a Christmas album might top the list. The veteran singer/songwriter released a collection of holiday songs entitled "Christmas in the Heart" in November (the same day that 2008 "American Idol" runner-up David Archuleta dropped his own Christmas set, no less). Then there was the batty music video for Dylan's single, "Must Be Santa," in which he wears a Santa hat and spins around a room with his fellow merrymakers. Who's in the mood for some eggnog?
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16

Lady Gaga Grabs A Chart Record

A year ago, Stefani Joanne Germanotta was a virtually unknown artist working the club circuit and building awareness for her insanely catchy electro-pop debut album, "The Fame," and its lead single, "Just Dance." How things have changed. Not only did the Lady Gaga's first four singles all reach No. 1 on the Pop Songs chart, but the singer/songwriter has also become a bona fide global sensation, earning Billboard's "Rising Star" award and holding the attention of everyone eager to see what she'll do -- or wear -- next. Here's to an extra-bright future.
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15

DJ AM Dies

DJ AM defied death in 2008, when he and Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker survived a plane crash that killed four other people. This year, tragically, was not so kind. The celebrity DJ, whose real name was Adam Goldstein, died unexpectedly on Aug. 28 in his New York apartment, and a medical examiner's report has since showed that Goldstein had prescription drugs and cocaine in his system. It was a horribly sad ending for AM, who appeared to have made a full recovery from addiction and was even filming an MTV reality show to help other addicts.
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14

Eminem's Big Comeback

After a five year hiatus defined by personal struggle, Eminem returned to music with "Relapse," his first album since 2004's "Encore." The MC debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in May for the fifth straight time in his career (only six other artists have ever done so in the chart's history). "Relapse" sold 608,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and has since sold 1,551,000 in total, making it the best-selling rap album of the year. The only thing better than Eminem's comeback in 2009? Knowing that "Relapse 2" is coming in 2010.
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13

T.I. Goes To Jail

Legal woes for big-name musicians are nothing new, but T.I.'s conviction in the spring of 2009 sent much larger than usual shockwaves through the hip-hop landscape. On March 27, the Atlanta rapper (real name: Clifford Harris, Jr.) was sentenced to one year and one day in prison, after he plead guilty to illegal firearms possession and possessing a gun as a convicted felon. T.I. began serving time in May and is expected to be transferred to a halfway house early next year, according to reports. In the meantime, hip-hop just isn't the same without him.
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12

Phish Reunites

Jam band fans everywhere rejoiced when Phish announced last January that it would reunite for a tour in the summer, its first since 2004. Originally, Trey Anastasio, Page McConnell and Mike Gordon had referred to their split as a permanent one, making the news that they were getting back together even sweeter for devout Phans. The band more than delivered on its promise, playing epic sets to enthusiastic crowds from Bonnaroo to its own three-day Festival 8, and also releasing a new studio album, "Joy," on its own label JEMP Records.
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11

Black Eyed Peas Conquer Hot 100

In the summer of '09, there was no escaping the Black Eyed Peas. Will.i.am, Fergie, Taboo and apl.de.ap simply crushed every last one of their pop rivals with "Boom Boom Pow" and "I Gotta Feeling," the face-melting first two singles from the group's latest album, "The E.N.D." The Peas handily broke the record for most consecutive weeks spent at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, holding the top spot for 26 weeks with "Boom Boom Pow" (12) and "I Gotta Feeling." (14). Somewhere, previous record-holder Usher -- who reigned for 19 weeks in 2004 -- is plotting his revenge.
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Text by Monica Herrera and David J. Prince

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