The Music Industry's 11 Saviors of 2009

As with every year since 2001, the music industry in 2009 was kept barely alive by a ratag crew of baffling one-offs, mediocre hit makers and a few cameos from the dead. If dollars are votes, we have some weird taste in representation. In backwards order, this year's 11 saviors of the establishment, for better or worse:

11. Beyonce: True, her album came out in November of last year. That didn't stop her from collecting approximately 1,000 Grammy nods (or ten. Whatever). The elapsed time has only helped Sasha Fierce - the singles steadily collect downloads and airplay, as memories of how much of the double album was boring filler fade. Plus, the "Single Ladies" video was the most ubiquitous pop culture fixture to come out of music in 2009, seeing homage everywhere from SNL to YouTube to your high school prom to...

10. Glee: Yes, it's High School Musical but "edgier." Only really, it's just High School Musical but less original (is it possible that we just wrote that sentence?). The show's main redeeming characteristic is Jane Lynch, but that hasn't stopped the accompanying show tune glossing of already cheesy songs from tearing up the iTunes store.

If you thought this would be the VMA video, you haven't tried to wade through the mess on YouTube to find the actual clip. It'll make you hate everything.

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9. Kanye West: We're convinced we will look back on the career of Kanye West as insane genius. He is responsible for some of the decade's most acclaimed music, and he seems to produce viral shockers at will. Maybe he has no idea what he's doing, but in addition to his awesome VMA tantrum (seriously, did anyone give a shit about the VMA's before this?), he appeared as a guest on more big hits than anyone else this year.

8. Sensitve Indie Pop: Everything old is new again. Thanks to Zach Braff and the OC, the music listening masses who don't care about things like music blogs are all keyed into the sounds of sad-eyed, delicately plinking indie music from half a decade ago. Owl City managed a number one single with a song that so shamelessly jacks The Postal Service that Wikipedia has multiple sources listed in support of the accusation. Then there's Jason DeRulo, who rode his Imogen Heap sample to the top as well. Animal Collective is going to be huge in 2015.

7. The Beatles: Apparently they're really good or something. Apple Records re-released the collection in celebration of some anniversary or another and people couldn't wait to empty America's Best Buys of their Fab Four collections. Everyone knows it was the same music inside those shiny new packages, right? Surely there weren't millions of people just now discovering Sgt. Pepper's.

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