Kanye West vs. Eminem, Lady Gaga vs. Britney Spears: Our readers duke it out over whether our picks for 2010’s top man and woman were worthy.
By James Montgomery
Last week, when MTV News revealed our picks for Man of the Year (Kanye West) and Woman of the Year (Lady Gaga), we expected that there would be some folks out there who wouldn’t agree with our choices … mostly, Eminem fans — because, as we’ve learned time and time again, they don’t agree with anything.
But there’s no way we could have predicted just how many people were genuinely outraged with our list … MTV.com readers flooded our site with comments, calling us every name in the book, accusing us of vast multinational conspiracies, and doing everything short of declaring war on our headquarters (please don’t attack on a Wednesday, that’s Taco Day in the cafeteria). We’re only slightly exaggerating.
By far, the biggest point of contention centered on our Man of the Year list … and, more specifically, why we gave the award to West instead of Eminem. Fans of both men lit up the comments with passionate arguments, with each side working overtime to state their case. It got pretty nasty, which sort of made it even better.
Over on the Woman of the Year list, well, most people seemed to agree that Gaga deserved the honor, though, of course, there were still some out there who believed that Britney Spears was robbed — even though she didn’t release a note of music this year. Her fans are just that loyal.
To be honest, we were sort of blown away by just how many of you cared, so we’ve decided to collect some of the best responses here. But don’t think the debate has to end right now … if you still feel like your voice hasn’t been heard, sound off in the comments below. And now, without further ado, let’s get acrimonious.
“Eminem [had] two #1 singles both with sales over 3 million! [He was] iTunes’ Artist of the Year, Billboard‘s Best Male and Best Album … best-selling single in the UK, VMA Best Male and Best Hip Hop, EMA Best Hip Hop artist, MTV’s #1 Hottest MC of 2010 … opened at VMA and BET awards, Recovery already sold 3 million and still counting copies in less than 6 months (I pray Kanye makes it up to 1 million by God’s grace), 10 Grammy nominations … Eminem had a bigger year and MTV knows that!” — Kennethngbor
“Kanye had a bigger year? Yeah he did. 10/10 from Pitchfork? Yeah. ‘Runaway’ movie? Yeah. G.O.O.D. Fridays (new song every week)? Yeah. Most critically acclaimed album this year? Yeah. Sold over 430,000 copies without a NUMBER ONE single and being the MOST HATED man in America? yeahh. Need I continue? Em’s album wasn’t all that. Hell, Teflon Don was better than Recovery. … ‘Ye had a better album, [and] a better year.” — Alex
“I think [Kanye] deserved to win. Of course Em sold more records, Hello? America’s white-boy rapper? Duh! I mean, he’s cool, don’t get me wrong … Em puts out a good CD when he tries, but Kanye killed it … So to hell with what people say, I’m good with ‘Ye winning man of the year.” — Hsoj
“I feel that MTV and Kanye have a plot together to make each other bigger. They hyped the you-know-what out of him before he even dropped his latest album. Suddenly he has been back for a couple of months after he took some time off to seek help and he becomes Man of the Year? Come on. Everytime he does something outlandish it’s on MTV, so I’m starting to wonder if he and the network are working together to help each other gain publicity. Shady business if you ask me.” — JayJay
“MTV, accept the many mistakes you made this year in many of your lists and make a better one next year and stop underrating people! #1 for Kanye is not deserved, he does not deserve to be in the top 5! Usher is supposed to be on this list, Bieber and Eminem are supposed to be higher!” — Emperor
“Kanye deserved this, denying it makes you look stupid because over this entire year, he’s the one that brought music (especially hip hop) forward. I LOVE EMINEM, I couldn’t be more serious about that, but at the end of the day, Kanye brought music forward as opposed to Em getting back to the level of quality we are used to getting from him. Em’s still the sh–, but this year, Kanye made a better product.” — Ryan
“Kanye West just put out one of the best acclaimed hip-hop albums of the last 7 years … he created a masterpiece in the movie ‘Runaway’ and stretched the boundaries with the moving painting piece for ‘Power’. Kanye West did more this year to move [forward] the culture, especially the hip-hop culture than Em did by far. If you make the best album you should be the man that year, simple as that.” — ThisGuyCalledJeff
“I’m happy for Kanye, and people should be happy for him too for giving out all that free music and putting out a classic album instead of hating! And I’m pretty sure Eminem is not thinking about this list, because he’s making bread off that 3 mill sold, so let’s let Kanye shine for a moment please!” — TommyBoy502ky
“I’m tired of MTV giving Gaga too much praise! I can’t wait for Britney Spears to release her new album in March! Gaga did not revive pop music. She is good but she is not better than the pop stars who came before her like Britney, Christina, and Madonna … When Britney came out, she revived pop music! When Gaga came out, she didn’t revive nothing. Now Britney will be back with a new album and she will be on top.” — IfUSeekPeanut:)
“Okay, let me explain to you why Britney is not better than anybody, she is not an icon, she won’t be a legend, she used her physical looks to call people’s attention, she is auto-tuned, and she doesn’t sing live! Gaga is talented and better than Britney, in so many levels … she writes her own music, and plays the piano, the problem is that Britney has a longer career, but Gaga will have it too in 10 years; yes she is crazy, and yes she is a freak, but that’s what makes her special and unique, Britney these days is just another pop star; the fact that she’s been relevant for a decade doesn’t mean she is a legend, and Lady Gaga is definitely the icon of this generation.” — EMMNL
“I seriously don’t care what anyone could possibly say, I love Lady Gaga with all my heart and nothing anyone says will ever change that. I’ve honestly heard it all, and it only makes my love for her stronger. Can’t wait for Born This Way. I’ll be the first one to buy it in Canada.” — Christian
“There was no other choice [for Woman of the Year]. [Gaga’s] carried pop music the past two years. Without her Ke$ha and Nicki Minaj would not exist. She’s single-handedly brought dance music from the basement to the Penthouse.” — frankru2000
Do you agree with MTV News’ picks for Man and Woman of the Year? Tell us in the comments.