By Shannon Carlin, Annie Reuter, Jeremy D. Larson, Scott Sterling, Jillian Mapes

In 2013, Kanye West did all he could to convince us he was a genius, while a New Zealand teen made us think twice before popping that Cristal.

Miley couldn’t seem to stop, no matter how much we wished she would. And Robin Thicke’s biggest problem of the year turned out not to be all those naked ladies in his “Blurred Lines” video, but the estate of Marvin Gaye.

More Year-End on Best Songs of 2013 // Old Songs With New Life // Best Album-Release Stunts // Rookie of the Year: Lorde // Hip-Hop

After two years, Lady Gaga finally revealed the meaning of her ARTPOP, though it seemed not as many people cared as she had hoped. Perhaps Mother Monster should have taken a page out of her friend Beyoncé’s book, who managed to outsmart us all with her clever surprise release. And let’s not forget Justin Timberlake, who came back to music after seven years. We’ll let you decide if he also brought sexy back.

As gears up for 2014 we’re revisiting some of the best, worst and most infamous stories of the past 12 months. But we don’t want to spend too much time on the intro — we’re not Drake — so read on to see which artists made this year one we’ll all definitely remember.

(Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for MTV)Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. (Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for MTV)

Most Controversial Artist: Miley Cyrus

Even in a year when Kanye was at his most nuclear and R. Kelly had to answer for past (alleged) transgressions, no one in music generated more controversy than Miley Cyrus. From her perpetually wagging tongue to twerking all over Robin Thicke at this year’s MTV VMAs to her very nude video for “Wrecking Ball,” Cyrus successfully trolled the world while making herself over into the pop star we just love to hate on – and seemingly can’t get enough of.

Best New Artist: Lorde

This one wasn’t even a contest, as the wide-eyed ingénue from New Zealand captivated music listeners — and the industry — in a way we haven’t seen since Alanis Morissette was screaming about Dave Coulier’s indiscretions back in the ‘90s.

Best Reunion: The Replacements

After 22 years, Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson got the band back together (sort of) for three shows at this year’s mobile Riot Fest.



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