Carly Rae Jepsen: Billboard's Rising Star 2012
Carly Rae Jepsen: Billboard's Rising Star 2012

(Photo: Vanessa Heins)

Carly Rae Jepsen describes the evening of Sunday, Nov. 11, as a "Cinderella night" - and one that would've been unimaginable a year ago.

At the 2012 MTV Europe Music Awards held in Frankfurt, Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" was nominated for song of the year, alongside hits like fun.'s "We Are Young," Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know" and Rihanna's "We Found Love."

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Those three songs spent a combined 24 weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100, but Jepsen's smash, which held onto the peak position for nine frames last summer, was too undeniable to defeat. After performing "Call Me Maybe" earlier in the evening, Jepsen strode onstage in a flowing silver gown to collect the song of the year prize, and made sure to let the moment sink in.


"I had shivers up and down my spine the whole night," Jepsen says the day after the awards. The 26-year-old, who also earned the MTV Europe Music Award for PUSH artist of the year, met 2011 Billboard Woman of the Year Taylor Swift at the awards show, and received a Twitter shout-out from her pal Justin Bieber for the pair of wins.

"It's been such an impossibly wonderful year," she says, "and it just keeps getting better."

>Last November, Jepsen was still throwing wishes in wells: As a modestly successful pop singer from Mission, British Columbia, Jepsen had just released a single, "Call Me Maybe," that had quietly debuted on the Canadian Hot 100. But the year that followed has been a fairytale for the artist, earning her a spot alongside the world's biggest mainstream music stars through a pair of smash singles, a top 10 album debut, a slot on a best-selling arena tour and, most important, the arrival of a genuinely sweet pop persona.

Jepsen's wholly organic path to success - marked by, but not defined by, the impossibly catchy song of the summer - has earned her the 2012 Billboard Rising Star award. The singer/songwriter is set to receive the honor at Billboard's Women in Music event on Nov. 30 in New York.

In hindsight, the success of "Call Me Maybe" was staggering. Since making its debut on the Hot 100 in early March and reaching the summit 15 weeks later, the single has sold 6.1 million downloads, according to Nielsen SoundScan, making it the second-biggest-selling digital song of 2012. The track ruled top 40 radio for the summer season and beyond, garnering an astounding 2.4 billion in cumulative audience on Billboard's Hot 100 Airplay chart, according to Nielsen BDS. In September, Billboard named "Call Me Maybe" its Song of the Summer, making Jepsen the first artist to claim the honor with a first Hot 100 hit since