Google ranks Janet abreast of online news

Internet users trawling the World Wide Web for news have reaffirmed their allegiance to celebrity at the expense of natural disasters that this year claimed many thousands of human lives.

Janet Jackson was officially the most searched-for term through Google News during 2005, trumping ‘Hurricane Katrina’ in second and the east Asian Boxing day ‘tsunami’ in third.

The only other entries making it into the ten most sought-after terms beyond the realm of celebrity was Microsoft’s ‘Xbox’ 360 games console and the hit TV show ‘American Idol.’

The UK’s only presence in the top ten is represented by JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, which have recently gained more exposure thanks to high-profile film adaptations.

In contrast, the US dominated Google’s top ten, with its showbiz personalities claiming fifth, sixth, seventh (American Idol) eighth and ninth place.

The tabloid-fuelled romance between Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie explains their ranking in fifth and ninth place, aided by their endless appearance at movie premieres and allegations surrounding their personal lives.

According to the rankings, the frenzy has proved stronger than the furore surrounding King of Pop, Michael Jackson, who this year faced sex charges in one of the most public celebrity trials ever.

His off-stage performance was enough to beat his on-stage musical counterpart, Britney Spears, whose own colourful career generated her to number 8 in the top ten.

But the pop star dubbed ‘Wacko Jacko’ by the British press failed to compete with net users’ interest in his sister, Jacket Jackson, who until now, has been the less exposed of the two.

Her antics however reached a new peak at the Super Bowl 2004, when on-stage in front of millions her right breast was exposed without the singer realising.

Her popularity in cyber space was cemented when a 40-second video was leaked onto the internet reportedly showing the star sunbathing naked.

Commentators have remarked America’s response to the naked diva differed markedly from Britain’s, where issues of nakedness and sexuality aroused interest, but failed to ignite the volume of debate over ethics and privacy heard across the pond.

Adding to the controversy, the Daily Telegraph points out allegations surfaced that she had an 18-year-old ‘secret’ daughter with her first husband, though the singer denied the claims.

The series of exposés, seen and alleged, have made Janet Jackson the most searched-for news term via Google throughout 2005 – an unlikely yet explainable phenomenon.


23rd December 2005

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