Madonna was declared the “most famous celebrity of the decade” today, in a column inch countdown of British national newspapers.
Robbie Williams, who has enjoyed comeback success this year, was the most written-about male celeb of the past 10 years.
Michael Jackson, whose death in June — just before he was due to embark on a marathon string of London concerts — sent shockwaves around the world, was the best-documented star of 2009 in the survey.
Man of the moment and Britain's Got Talent and X Factor supremo Simon Cowell was in second place in the 2009 survey which covered up to December 7.
Others catapulted into the limelight thanks to Cowell's talent shows include Susan Boyle, who researchers found had 3,170 pieces written about her in 2009, and twins John and Edward Grimes, collectively known as Jedward, who attracted 1,112 articles due to their X Factor success.
Cheryl Cole's national newspaper popularity increased almost three-fold following her role as a judge in The X Factor, according to the research.
In 2007, the Girls Aloud singer had 884 articles written about her, but this number increased to 2,241 in 2008 and a further 3,745 reports appeared this year, which means that she is the fourth most written about celebrity of 2009. With a high profile marriage and divorce, adoption bids and one of the most successful careers around, Madonna has accrued 45,633 mentions over the decade.
This was around 17,000 more news articles than her nearest rival Williams.
The study was commissioned by online UK TV channel Liv, which features style and celebrity programming. Liv said its findings showed that Madonna dominated British celebrity print coverage for the first six years of the noughties, but finally lost her crown in 2007, with the likes of Kate Moss, Amy Winehouse, Britney Spears and Victoria Beckham proving particularly popular among newspapers towards the end of the decade.
Alex Ayling, Liv commissioning executive said: “Madonna's ability to be able to re-invent herself and her image has meant she has stayed at the top of her game throughout the noughties and we salute the queen of pop.”
The results were calculated by TNS Media Intelligence using British national newspapers.
Here are the top 10 celebrities in the Column Inch Countdown for the last decade, with the total number of articles:
1. Madonna 45,633
2. Robbie Williams 27,976
3. Britney Spears 27,910
4. Brand Beckham |(Posh and Becks) 26,561
5. Kate Moss 26,494
6. Victoria Beckham 25,204
7. David Beckham 24,631
8. Michael Jackson 22,426
9. Simon Cowell 22,263
10. Sir Paul McCartney 20,347