Now that we’re in the last week of December, we’re being surrounded with all of these Best of Year or Best of Decade wrapups and lists. We’ll be taking a look at some of those over the next two weeks, and I figured the logical place to start would be with the fine folks at Billboard magazine.

So, what were people buying and listening to on the radio in 2009? Pretty much the same thing they’ve been listening to for most of the decade:dance-oriented pop/R&B with a little country thrown in. Taylor Swift ranked as the year’s top artist and had 2009’s top album with “Fearless”. That particular album is closing in on the 5 million mark in sales and has truly been a crossover sensation. The next few spots on the artist list are pure pop: Beyonce, Lady GaGa (the year’s top new artist), The Black Eyed Peas and Miley Cyrus. Rapper Kanye West breaks up the monotony by placing at #6-he is also the year’s top-ranked male artist. Rock music doesn’t get representation until you get to Nickelback at #9, and after Beyonce, the highest ranked R&B artist is Ne-Yo at #17.

Beyonce also captures the #2 spot when it comes to the top album of the year, and she’s followed by Nickelback’s “Dark Horse” and a pair of soundtracks-“Twilight” and “Hannah Montana-The Movie”. These positions are based on chart rankings and not actual sales. Soundscan will publish it’s year end rankings…uh, when the year ends in a week and a half.

Here’s a list of this year’s Top 20 artists and Top 20 albums, according to Billboard.

Top Artists:

1) Taylor Swift
2) Beyonce
3) Lady GaGa
4) The Black Eyed Peas
5) Miley Cyrus
6) Kanye West
7) Britney Spears
8) T.I.
9) Nickelback
10) Pink
11) Kings of Leon
12) Katy Perry
13) Flo Rida
14) Kelly Clarkson
15) Jason Mraz
16) The Fray
17) Ne Yo
18) Lil Wayne
19) Rascal Flatts
20) Zac Brown Band

…and here are the year’s Top 20 albums:

1) “Fearless” Taylor Swift
2) “I Am…Sasha Fierce” Beyonce
3) “Dark Horse” Nickelback
4) “Twilight Soundtrack” Various Artists
5) “Hannah Montana: The Movie Soundtrack” Various Artists
6) “Circus” Britney Spears
7) “808s & Heartbreak” Kanye West
8) “The Fame” Lady GaGa
9) “Relapse” Eminem
10) “The E.N.D.” The Black Eyed Peas
11) “Only by the Night” Kings of Leon
12) “The Blueprint 3” Jay-Z
13) “David Cook” David Cook
14) “The Foundation” Zac Brown Band
15) “Now That’s What I Call Music 29” Various Artists
16) “Funhouse” Pink
17) “Intuition” Jamie Foxx
18) “No Line on the Horizon” U2
19) “Unstoppable” Rascal Flatts
20) “A Different Me” Keyshia Cole

Interesting personal factoid is that I own 12 of the Top 20 albums of the year, but I actually paid for only 7 of them (Kanye, Jay-Z, U2, Beyonce, Pink, Zac Brown and Kings of Leon).