Despite diverse competition, the princess of pop prevailed
Britney Spears
Credit: Britney Spears: Patrick DeMarchelier

Britney Spears — whose pierced belly button already looms over Times Square (in a giant Pepsi ad) — can now claim another sign of world domination: She was overwhelmingly chosen in the Entertainment Weekly/AOL poll as the 2001 Entertainer of the Year. When results were tallied on Dec. 10, more than 50,319 of 152,390 voters chose Britney over the closest contenders, who included Harry Potter (28,820), ‘N Sync (21,586), and Julia Roberts (20,779). Showing the power of Buffy fans, James Marsters, also known as the vampire Spike, took the lead for a while, then slipped to fifth place (9,705). Meanwhile, Madonna took sixth place (7,125), and Nicole Kidman, the top pick of EW’s editors, came in seventh (5,815), just ahead of Christina Aguilera (4,789).

Like most online polls, this one wasn’t scientific. Nominees were chosen in a write-in ballot on, where viewers proved that they think independently from the magazine’s editors. Kidman was the only nominee on both the official EW list and the readers’ list. A few offbeat picks made the top 10: ”Shallow Hal”’s Jack Black (2,408), and Les Claypool (1,044), frontman for the rock group Primus. But chances are it’ll be a while before either of them gives Britney a run for her billboard.

See how the stars were nominated.

Get more about 2001’s top entertainment here.