Champs and Chumps of 2009

Your handy guide to 2009’s winners and losers
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As the year nears it's end, Clash looks back at some of our heroes and villains from the past twelve months both in the world of music and out in the 'real' world.

Some are light hearted and may provoked a chuckle, some are deadly serious and demand your attention, read on to see who made, and blighted, our 2009.

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TOP 10 CHUMPS OF 2009

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Nick Griffin




Smug in the knowledge he’d caused a riot outside BBC Centre, the BNP leader proceeded to attempt a character whitewash of his putrid party on the nationally syndicated Question Time. Naturally, the crowd didn’t like him, and the resulting televised backlash was a step forward for common decency, and a deft blow to everything his sort stand for.

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Jan Moir



Shortly after a coronor judged Stephen Gately’s death as natural causes, The Daily Mail’s Jan Moir thought to pen a prejudiced rant about the “strange, lonely and troubling” death of a man living a homosexual lifestyle. Thousands of complaints followed, with Moir arrogantly claiming she was the victim of an Internet hate campaign.

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Kanye West



Yo Kanye, I’m really happy for you, I’ll let you finish, but Jan Moir had one of the best rants of all time. One of the best rants of all time!

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Whitney Houston



Watching a rather disorientated and vacant Houston on X Factor, it was hard to believe this was the same diva who could stun global audiences a decade or so before. However, with backstage behaviour apparently as bizarre as her vacant stare onstage, it’s fair to say her comeback was not the success she had hoped for.

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Calvin Harris



The petulant producer hides behind his Twitter account while flapping that he gets bad reviews, that the music industry is all rich people’s kids, and that GMTV are, like, so poo for not playing his music. That’s probably because they’ve got ears, Calvin.

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Lady Gaga



It's easy to hate but harder to love. Indeed. But Lady Gaga needs chumped. Yes she’s a hermaphrodite, but that’s not why she getting it here. Her horrendous rip-off of Bowie with ‘Just Dance’ was fanning the flames, but lightning bolts on the cheek? That’s just petrol, missy.

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Raygun



Hyped by their label as a genuine indie pop hope for 2009, Raygun pooped months of hard work down the crapper with their overly sincere 4Music interview which became an ironic Internet sensation. Even Spinal Tap winced at their 'Psychedelia Smith' reference...

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Tiger bands



Though their cultivation may have developed last year, 2009 saw a glut of yawningly feline appellations breaking through, which proved pretty confusing. My Tiger My Timing, Pull Tiger Tail, Three Trapped Tigers, Tigers That Talked...the list goes on...

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The Christmas Number One



Simon Cowell’s jowly monopoly over Saturday night continues with his dominance over EVERY Chrimbo Number One past, present and future. Wondrous children everywhere no longer need to beg that olde seasonal rumination, ‘Who will be Number One this year, Dad?’ Erm... some manufactured twaddle that’s mono-cultured by a hysterical process aimed solely at making cash and forcing those unfortunate enough to have to stay in on a Saturday night to converse like clones.

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John & Edward



Which is worse - the delusion of two talentless wastes of embryos, or the fatuous public who kept their dream alive for longer than necessary? Unbearable.

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TOP 10 CHAMPS OF 2009

Kraftwerk



To say that these Germans invented electronic music is a bit rich, but they launched it far into the future. In 2009 they revisited our world with a 3D light show at the Velodrome in Manchester as the British cycling team were deployed during ‘Tour de France’. Genius. Next stop Bestival, where forty thousand hedonists dressed as robots in tribute watched whilst we could see first hand the DNA of dance music standing stock still on stage. Completely rocking it.

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Bob Dylan



Pulling a massive ‘WTF’ from out under his hat, old Zimmerman confounded the planet by making Number One - his first in nine hundred years - with ‘Together Through Life’, then doing a croaky Christmas album that will put food on the table for thousands this winter.

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Michael Eavis



After Hovagate, it was generally thought the Eavis clan were resting on their muddy laurels, letting the Pilton institution veer off into foreign territory. Then, come June, Eavis is all like, ‘Hey Neil’, ‘Hi Bruce’ and ‘Alright, Blur?’ and we’re all like, ‘Wow’.

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Charlie Brooker



The ripples of disgust from Jan Moir’s distasteful diatribe spread far and wide, but it was left to Charlie Brooker to so eloquently respond (in his Guardian column) and restore the balance of sense in the British press. Way to riposte, Charlie.

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Josh Homme



After playing sugar daddy to Arctic Monkeys, shaping their ‘Humbug’ into a psychedelic behemoth, Homme, clearly not one for sitting around and catching up on Loose Women, opened up his little black book, called up Messrs Grohl and Jones, and stole Reading Festival with a surprise set from Them Crooked Vultures.

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Adam Yauch



Just weeks after Clash’s summit in Soho with the Beastie Boys, we heard the harsh news of MCA’s cancer diagnosis. While receiving treatment on his salivary glands, Yauch bravely and resolutely kept his fans updated with his progress - as a result, goodwill flooded forth. Get well soon!

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Lily Allen



While Blur’s Dave Rowntree was plugging away with the Featured Artists Coalition, campaigning for musicians’ rights regarding downloads and file-sharing, with one swift Tweet, Lily Allen brought the spotlight squarely onto a subject matter that overnight went from a private fight to a public debate. Fight for your right!

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Twitter



Fast usurping its rival Facebook, Twitter became the social network site in 2009. Turning the likes of Ms. Allen, Stephen Fry and Chris Moyles into social commentators, it also became the source for instant news, whether true (RIP Michael Jackson) or false (RIP Kanye West).

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Johnny Marr



Though he started hanging out with them in 2008, it was only this year that we finally heard the ex-Smiths man’s contributions to The Cribs on record. It was a dream come true for Marr, The Cribs’ Biggest Fan, and it was pretty good for us too. Take note, Mozza.

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Noel Gallagher



Though it may have ruined some people’s Reading or Leeds experience back in August, Noel Gallagher’s decision to call a day on Oasis meant an end to middling reviews and the beginning of mounting speculation what might happen next. Two solo careers please.


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