Sam Smith tops MTV's 2014 best artist list

MTV's 2014 Best Artist List
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Sam Smith tops MTV's 2014 best artist list
Sam Smith leads a strong British contingent of music stars in the running for honours at next year's Grammy Awards. .
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 05: Singer Sam Smith performs at KIIS FM's Jingle Ball at Staples Center on December 5, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/WireImage)
ST PAUL, MN - DECEMBER 08: Recording artist Iggy Azalea performs onstage at 101.3 KDWB's Jingle Ball 2014 presented by Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park and Allstate at Xcel Energy Center on December 8, 2014 in St Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

NEW YORK (AP) - This year's breakthrough new singer, Sam Smith, went from an artist to watch to MTV's Best Artist of 2014 and beat out megastars like Beyonce and Taylor Swift.

The 22-year-old Smith performed his soulful song, "Stay With Me," at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards, from his debut album, "In the Lonely Hour."

But Smith couldn't beat Iggy Azalea's catchy hit song "Fancy," which topped the list for MTV's Best Songs of 2014 and whose video was nominated for four awards at the VMAs. MTV's Best Movie of 2014 was "The LEGO Movie," a kid flick featuring the voices of Chris Pratt, Will Arnett and Elizabeth Banks.

The lists are selected by MTV executives based on influence and pop culture impact.

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