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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 December 2006, 07:18 GMT
The year in music: 2006
It was a year which saw a group of Sheffield upstarts become household names, while a group of former superstars regained their pop crown.

Meanwhile, an actor's daughter became the industry's new darling, while a hotel heiress found her albums defaced.

Here are some of the highlights - or lowlights - of 2006 in music.

TAKE THAT MAKE THEIR COMEBACK

Take That
No Robbie, no worries as Take That made their return
Take That's return saw Gary Barlow, Jason Orange, Howard Donald and Mark Owen back in the limelight with a comeback tour and new album.

But Robbie Williams elected not to join the party - a hologram of him took his place on tour.

By December the older, wiser foursome topped both the single and album charts for the first time in their career. "It's like a fairytale," Barlow cooed.

All Saints also made a comeback as a mini-1990s revival took place.

THE RISE OF LILY ALLEN

Lily Allen
Lily Allen lit up 2006 with her music - and her words of wisdom
Lily Allen stepped out from actor father Keith's shadow in 2006 with her single Smile becoming one of the soundtracks to the summer.

Her debut album Alright, Still - full of perky, witty songs about London life - picked up the first of what looks likely to be many awards when she was honoured at the Digital Music Awards.

But behind her sing-song voice, the 21-year-old was not afraid of sharing her forthright views on fellow stars.

"They look like lap dancers as far as I'm concerned," she said of the Pussycat Dolls.

FAREWELL SMASH HITS AND TOP OF THE POPS

Top of the Pops with Jimmy Savile
Goodbye to all that - Top of the Pops ended after 42 years
Over 25? Think you're still in touch with the kids? 2006 saw two closures which reminded us the music industry simply is not what it was.

In February, Smash Hits magazine closed - leaving thirtysomethings crying into their Black Type tea towels.

Then the BBC finally took Top of the Pops off life support, after a year spent withering away on BBC Two.

Aged DJs and tapes of 70s dancers were wheeled out - reminding younger viewers just why the show had been axed.

ARCTIC MONKEYS BECOME WESTMINSTER DARLINGS

Alex Turner
Arctic Monkeys' Alex Turner was not keen on speaking to the media
The rise of the Arctic Monkeys gave hope for anyone who wants to see the young and talented rise to the top.

But the sight of politicians falling over themselves to namecheck the publicity-shy Sheffield four-piece was a less impressive sight.

Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not was the fastest-selling debut album in UK chart history, and scooped the Mercury Prize.

But don't expect to hear them crowing about their success any time soon.

PETE DOHERTY'S COURTROOM SAGAS

Pete Doherty
Possibly the least worrying of Pete Doherty's vices
Pete Doherty's music did not provide the soundtrack to 2006 - but his troubles with the law certainly provided the background noise.

The Babyshambles frontman was a regular visitor to London's Thames Magistrates Court as he wrestled with the consequences of his drug addiction.

His on-off relationship with model Kate Moss also kept him in the public eye.

Doherty's band of fans will be hoping 2007 is the year he is able to let his music do his talking for him again.

SANDI THOM'S BASEMENT BONANZA

Sandi Thom
Sandi Thom managed to pay off her internet bills in 2006
From webcasting gigs from a south London basement to a number one album in four months - it was a good 2006 for singer-songwriter Sandi Thom.

But critics cried foul - suggesting she wasn't the "struggling musician" she had been portrayed as when she was performing at home in Tooting.

Her record company boss backed the 25-year-old up, calling her "a great artist, which is why RCA signed her".

Thom called the criticism "saddening" - but it didn't dent her popularity.

THE YEAR OF MYSPACE

Rupert Murdoch
"Rupert, Male, 75 years old, New York, last log-in, 12/12/2006"
Lily Allen used it. The Arctic Monkeys denied using it. And if you were a musician who didn't use it in 2005, then you almost certainly did in 2006.

MySpace's domination of music was sealed in 2006, with acts of all sizes using the Rupert Murdoch-owned social networking website to showcase their material.

Or - if you're Lily Allen - using it to take a pop at other acts.

But it is now being sued by Universal for copyright infringement. Can music's love affair with MySpace go on?

THE YEAR'S TOP WANNABES

Paris Hilton by Banksy
Paris Hilton's album set few tails wagging - with or without a Banksy
The also-rans from 2006's music scene included socialite Paris Hilton, whose Stars Are Blind was a number five hit.

But her album Paris fared less well, peaking at number 29, with 500 copies doctored by art prankster Banksy, who depicted her with a dog's head.

Peter Andre's brief revival of fortunes was long forgotten, but an out-of-tune clip purporting to be of him and wife Katie Price became an internet cult.

The pair released an album, A Whole New World, which made its debut at No 20.




SEE ALSO
The year in arts: 2006
28 Dec 06 |  Entertainment
The year on TV: 2006
27 Dec 06 |  Entertainment
The year in film: 2006
25 Dec 06 |  Entertainment



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