If we told you a year ago that Snoop Dogg would regain his crown in 2005, Green Day would release one of the biggest rock albums of the decade and Mariah Carey would bounce back from "Glitter" to get her groove back, you'd have thought we were high.
But all of them did just that. Along with fellow MTV Video Music Award nominees Gwen Stefani, My Chemical Romance and Coldplay, they've all undergone major transformations in the past year, beaten some serious odds, and come up with hit songs and albums that have redefined their careers. Here's how these artists pulled it off ...
Problem: Where do we start? From "Glitter" to hospitalization, bizarre Web postings and an embarrassing divorce from her former label Ã‚â€” which paid her tens of millions to just go away Ã‚â€” the one-time megastar was threatening to become her generation's Liza Minnelli. The R&B diva looked like a butterfly whose wings had been clipped.
Solution: Enter Mimi. We're not sure what was freed, but with The Emancipation of Mimi, Carey returned to what she does best: mixing sexy, airy pop hits with the occasional rap cameo. A big part of the success goes to the personal attention of new label boss Antonio "L.A." Reid, but the real clincher was Mariah getting lost. "It was something difficult for her to do, which is stay away for a while," said Geoff Mayfield, director of charts for Billboard magazine. "She was very prolific, especially at the point where she was getting lots of negative publicity. She needed to disappear and come back with an appealing album, and she accomplished both missions."
The moment everything started to change: Unexpectedly, the breathy ballad "We Belong Together" was Carey's biggest top 40 hit in a decade, becoming the summer jam and topping the Billboard Hot 100 for 11 weeks as it set a record for the largest radio audience ever on the chart.
LINK: Mariah And Green Day Were Supposed To Fail, Weren't They?