Spears, Spectacles, Sports Sirens Top Search In '05

After another year of album releases, movie premieres, celebrity drama, and random scandal, Britney Spears is once again queen of the fame game, according to Yahoo!'s annual top ten most-searched terms released Thursday. Spears climbed four rungs to depose the fame-factory, "American Idol," which didn't even make the top ten this time around.

Rapper 50 Cent came from nowhere to unseat Paris Hilton in the number two spot, sending Hilton down to Britney's old place at number four. Numbers three, four, and five--Cartoon Network, Mariah Carey, and Green Day--were all newcomers to Yahoo!'s list, as well. Lindsay Lohan just made the list at 10, while Jessica Simpson, presently having less success with love than Britney, dropped from three to six.

All four professional sports associations (using a loose definition of the word "sports") that ranked last year failed to do so this year: the WWE, Nascar, the NBA, and the NFL--numbers six, eight, nine, and ten, respectively--each got the shaft.

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In this spectacle-driven climate, Michael Jackson, Natalee Holloway, Brad and Angelina, and Tom Cruise comfortably interspersed the serious news top-ten. (Numbers three, four, six and ten, respectively.) Tsunami and Iraq ranked first and second.

The NFL led sports-related terms this year, followed by Nascar and Major League Baseball. Turning convention on its head, the three ranking sports personalities this year were all women: tennis stars Maria Sharapova and Anna Kournikova, and Danica Patrick, the auto-racing world's first female driver. (Numbers five, seven and eight, respectively.)

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