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SGN PICKS: Worst music of the year, 2009
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SGN PICKS: Worst music of the year, 2009

by Albert Rodriguez, Jessica Price and Shaun Knittel SGN Writers Oh yes, we're going there. This year produced a long list of great recordings and memorable headlines, but it also had its share of earaches, career-ending moves, over-exposures, and completely untalented annoyances. Here are our picks, in order of their ridiculously poor contributions, for the worst music of the year.

1) Kanye West
MTV VMAs appearance

Shut up! Seriously, man. Kanye has never been one to bite his tongue (need I remind you of the Hurricane Katrina benefit?) and, for the most part, we couldn't wait to hear what he had to say. He's an entertainer of the highest caliber, he's one of hip-hop's biggest success stories, and yet the man had to go and make himself into a world-class jerk by ambushing Taylor Swift's award acceptance speech for her 2009 MTV Video Music Award for Best Female Video with the outburst heard around the world. (S. Knittel)

2) Michael Jackson
Death, re-claim to fame

The death of Michael Jackson was a tragedy on so many levels it's hard to even begin to pick them apart. On top of his untimely passing, there's the spectacle of family and funeral, the single that became a hit in part due to his death, and the fact that no one seemed to care or even admit to liking him all that much when he was alive. Tragic, indeed. (J. Price)

3) Shakira
"She Wolf" single

"She Wolf" has got to be one of the worst singles any respectable pop star has released in years. Did the world really need to hear Shakira lazily sing the words and then - gulp! - howl like a wolf during the chorus? The real shame in all of this is that Shakira can actually sing. Oh, and Shakira, we get it - you can dance, but even the music video couldn't save this (yawn) boring song. (S. Knittel)

4) Chris Brown
Domestic assault and career re-launch

Chris Brown deserves a mention for 2009's villain of the year. Making a comeback from physical abuse of Rhianna? Please. Even she had the guts to dump him once and for all. Let's hope his new album - a clear attempt to get back into the public's good graces - fades away just like he should. (J. Price)

5) Black Eyed Peas
"Boom Boom Pow" single, overblown commercial act

A band that borrows is a band that, well, borrows. The Black Eyed Peas, led by the un-sexy Fergie and the un-cool Will.i.am, shamelessly pickpocket every great R&B, pop and dance act out there. Their over-the-top single "Boom Boom Pow" may have been downloaded the most times on iTunes in '09, but that's because it sounds like so many other songs we've heard before - I rest my case. (A. Rodriguez)

6) Miley Cyrus
Bratty tween stardom, non-talent, Disney poser

She was adorable five years ago, but these days she's a nuisance who dresses like a teenage Russian bride. The only interesting thing about Miley Cyrus was her cute underwear model/boyfriend - 10 years her senior - though now that she's single again, yawn, it's back to singing karaoke anthems and playing Barbie hooker dress-up. (A. Rodriguez)

7) Eminem
Relapse album and artistic downslide

If only Em's latest album really was a relapse, then he wouldn't have made the SGN "worst of" list. Relapse may have been a commercial success, but musically speaking, is the artist's weakest album to date. "Crack a Bottle" sounds like a commercial jingle or some sort of fusion of rap and polka. In fact, the whole album has a game show music feel to it. After listening to the CD, in a desperate attempt to convince myself there was a song or two I liked, I ultimately found myself hawking it at a used CD store for money that went towards aspirin. (S. Knittel)

8) Wolfmother
New band lineup milked original lineup for fame

Grammy-winning Australian trio Wolfmother reformed in 2009 after losing two-thirds of its original threesome (Myles Heskett, Chris Ross). It was supposed to be a re-branding of the band under the headship of lead singer Andrew Stockdale, instead it was a replica of the original band using the same band name to win back their fans. Um, I didn't fall for it. (A. Rodriguez)

9) Mariah Carey
Performance at Michael Jackson memorial

Not only was she late going on stage, which caused an unusual pause at the start of Michael Jackson's memorial service, but when diva supreme Mariah Carey finally opened her mouth, she sounded as if she'd just performed for peanuts at the Best Western down the street. Honey, give those rusty pipes a warm-up in the stretch limo. (A. Rodriguez)

10) Jay-Z
Over-exposure, over-hyped, outshined by arm candy Beyoncé

Is anyone not getting tired of the rags-to-riches story of this rapper, who has basically become an industry unto himself? He has gone way beyond rapping; he has parlayed his musical talent and business savvy into a virtual empire. He even has a trophy wife, Beyoncé Knowles. So why was it necessary this past year for him to appear on Oprah to show us all what a nice guy he is? (J. Price)

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