Gabby Douglas, PSY, Jennifer Livingston and Honey Boo Boo were among the year's top breakout stars for grabbing big headlines.
As a member of the U.S. Women's Gymnastics team at the 2012 Summer Olympics Gabby Douglas won gold medals in both the individual and team all-around competitions.
Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is a reality show on TLC that features child beauty pageant participant Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson. The spin-off to Toddlers and Tiaras rated higher than the third night of the Republican National Convention.
Phillip Phillips won the 12th season of American Idol in May 2012 and his first single, "Home" reached No. 1 on the iTunes pop charts and stayed in the top 5 for 8 weeks.
You may not know her face, but E.L. James had a breakout year as the author of this year's bestselling erotic novel "50 Shades of Grey."
In February 2012, Jeremy Lin unexpectedly led a winning streak after he was promoted to the New York Knicks' starting lineup. His performance generated a global following known as Linsanity.
If you have a teenage girl or a tween in your house, you have no doubt heard of the boy band One Direction.
Colorado high school senior Missy Franklin made her Olympic debut this past summer as a 17-year-old, winning 4 gold medals and 1 bronze.
Paul Ryan became a household name this year after he was chosen by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to be his running mate.
These are the stars of Duck Dynasty, an A&E TV show about the family that runs the duck call fabrication busines s. Yeah, they're millionaires.
Television news anchor Jennifer Livingston gained prominence this year when she responded on-air to a viewer's e-mail that criticized her for being overweight.