It is not a surprise that Lady Gaga won Billboard’s top artist of the year; just a year after she took home the top new artist award. Gaga got the Billboard trophy thanks to the chart performance of her first two albums The fame and The Fame monster which ranked in position 3 and 13 respectively on the year-end Top billboard 200 Albums tally; four of the singles in those albums appeared in the Hot 100 Songs roundup, Bad Romance ended up in number 8.
Billboard’s year-end music recaps are based on chart performance during the chart year that began with last year’s Dec. 5 issue and ended with the Nov. 27, 2010, issue. The year-end Top Artists list ranks the best-performing acts of the year derived from activity on two charts: the Billboard 200 albums tally and the Billboard Hot 100 singles list.
Since the creation of Billboard’s overall artist category with year-end recaps (1981), only 7 women have taken home the award; Lady Gaga (2010); Taylor Swift (2009); LeAnn Rimes (1997); Alanis Morisette (1996); Mariah Carey (1991); Whitney Houston (1986); and Madonna (1985).
Source: Billboards Official Web Site