Where music is concerned, 2009 has been the year of the woman. There have been so many new and returning female acts, male artists have had to work extra hard to get noticed. Leading the pack is definitely the eccentric, avant-garde and edgily dressed Lady Gaga. The electro-pop singer-songwriter has been filling dance floors with her addictive beats, delivering smash hits like Just Dance and Poker Face one after another. Her debut album The Fame sold more than 4 million copies. It was so popular, that her second album, Fame Monster, comes packaged with the debut, so new fans don't miss out. Despite her heavily produced tracks, though, Lady Gaga is a proficient musician, and wrote the lyrics and composed much of the music. An electro-pop wave swept Britain, too. In the same way that Amy Winehouse, Duffy and Adele revived a stagnating soul music market, pop became hip again thanks to three contenders for the BBC Sound of the Year award: synth-pop soloist Little Boots, electro-pop duo La Roux and indie-pop group Florence and the Machine. They offer gentler numbers compared to Lady Gaga's bold efforts, but they are no less infectious or sincere. But the one British singer who's been making newspaper headlines all over the world is the bushy-eyebrowed 48-year-old, Susan Boyle. The unlikely star came second on Britain's Got Talent, amazing the world with her brilliant rendition of I Dreamed a Dream from musical Les Mis?rables. Her astounding audition turned into a worldwide phenomenon and has been watched tens of millions of times on YouTube and online video outlets. Her debut record, I Dreamed A Dream, is one of the best selling record in this Christmas. Starlets seem to be starting at increasingly young ages. The reign of Disney star Miley Cyrus is under threat as the sweet, blonde, uber-talented country-pop singer Taylor Swift continues to make waves with her critically acclaimed album Fearless. And following in Cyrus' footsteps is another up-and-coming pop-rocker from the House of Mouse. Fifteen-year-old Demi Lovato has the hottest boy band of the moment behind her, having starred with the Jonas Brothers in last year's movie musical, Camp Rock. As well as these new rising stars, singers once considered crushed and fallen stars have made major comebacks this year. Former pop princesses Britney Spears and Rihanna have both suffered the effects of bad romances recently, but they have channelled all their energy into producing hit records. Spears' Circus received generally positive reviews and prompted her first world tour in five years. Rihanna's Rated R, meanwhile, has been praised for its maturity and complexity, and is selling extremely well. Another very welcome returnee was R&B heavyweight Whitney Houston, who released her first studio album in seven long years. Representing Asia in the female revolution is Korean group Wonder Girls. After enchanting the continent with their retro, funky pop and matching 1960s dresses, the quintet debuted in the United States with an English version of their hit Nobody, and became the first Korean group to appear on the Billboard Hot 100. They toured with the Jonas Brothers, and among their audience were America's first lady and first daughters. As the second decade of the millennium arrives, these powerful women are taking a stand and proving that sisters are still doing for themselves. Ladies, we salute you.