Congratulations, Taylor Swift! Along with everything else you won in 2009 — and holy cow, you won a lot — you now also hold the title of Biggest-Selling Album Maker Person of the Year! Take a bow, princess. You’ve earned it. And it wasn’t even hard: On top of the 2.1 million copies it sold at the end of 2008, Swift’s Fearless moved an impressive 3.2 million over the course of the past year, facing no real competition until the holiday season, when Susan Boyle’s I Dreamed a Dream came on like a pack of wild horses, eventually selling 3.1 million. If 2009 had been another couple weeks long, perhaps the old student might have bested the young master, but as it stands (and despite the wording on a press release Boyle’s publicist sent out), Boyle may have the biggest-selling album released in 2009, but Swift has the biggest-selling album of 2009. I feel this distinction will be important to history. Please make a note of it.
It’s easy to be cynical about both gals, of course (and I frequently am). And while the combined sales punch of Swift and Boyle might add up to a slow week for *NSync circa 2000, in today’s music business, what they’ve accomplished — getting everyone (more or less) to agree on something (more or less) — is nothing short of a miracle. Maybe I’m crazy for seeing similarities between them, but something about the humility and relatability of these women has clearly engaged the listening public. Is it that neither vocalist presents their talent as stratospherically out of reach? That we all think with a couple guitar lessons or a lucky reality show appearance, we could find similar fortune? That they both really like ponies? Or did Taylor Swift and Susan Boyle actually make the most appealing music of 2009? What do you think, Mixers?
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