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Introducing the Queen of Pop

Page 9 of 11

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift
Joseph Anthony Baker

AWARDS

Let's stay focused on the Grammys for a minute. Our awards ranking totals up the ladies' wins since 2009 at the American Music, Billboard, People's Choice, ACM, BET, CMA and MTV awards, with bonus points for Grammy nominations and extra credit for Grammy wins.

Taylor Swift takes this contest handily, with wins at literally every awards show we tracked (including a single MTV Video Music Award that Kanye West memorably, and rather publicly, thought should go to one of our other contenders). Because we assigned bonus points for Grammy Awards, Swift gets a sizable bump after dominating the 2010 Grammys, where Fearless took Album of the Year, among other prizes.

In all, eight of our contenders won Grammys during the coverage period; three more scored nominations. The biggest gap between nominations and wins: poor Katy Perry, who was teased with six nods – including, this year, a surprise Album of the Year nomination – and went home empty-handed.

Photos: Katy Perry Strips Down for Rolling Stone

Among the truly empty-handed, Ke$ha has yet to receive a statuette anywhere and has thus far gone completely unrecognized by the Grammys. Miley Cyrus would look stronger if we tracked the Teen Choice Awards, but among the mainstream awards-givers she is a near-no-show, save for a single People's Choice win. Finally and perhaps most surprisingly, Christina Aguilera, a Grammy favorite in the early '00s (she won Best New Artist back in 2000), is coming off a tough three years personally and professionally. Despite Xtina's recent dearth of podium-dwelling, her comeback this year on The Voice could begin to turn her fortunes around by 2012.

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Song Stories

“Road to Nowhere”

Talking Heads | 1985

A cappella harmonies give way to an a fuller arrangement blending pop and electro-disco on "Road to Nowhere," but the theme remains constant: We're on an eternal journey to an undefined destination. The song vaulted back into the news a quarter century after it was a hit when Gov. Charlie Crist used it in his unsuccessful 2010 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Florida. "It's this little ditty about how there's no order and no plan and no scheme to life and death and it doesn't mean anything, but it's all right," Byrne said with a chuckle.

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