Madonna was declared the “most famous celebrity of the decade”, in a column inch countdown of British national newspapers.
Robbie Williams, who has enjoyed comeback success this year, was the most written-about male celeb of the past 10 years.
Michael Jackson, whose death in June – just before he was due to embark on a marathon string of London concerts – sent shockwaves around the world, was the best-documented star of 2009 in the survey.
Man of the moment and Britain’s Got Talent and X Factor supremo Simon Cowell was in second place in the survey which covered 2009 up to December 7.
Others catapulted into the limelight thanks to Cowell’s talent shows include Susan Boyle, who researchers found had 3,170 pieces written about her in 2009, and twins John and Edward Grimes, collectively known as Jedward, who attracted 1,112 articles due to their X Factor success.
Cheryl Cole’s national newspaper popularity increased almost three-fold following her role as a judge in The X Factor, according to the research.
In 2007, the Girls Aloud singer had 884 articles written about her, but this number increased to 2,241 in 2008 and a further 3,745 reports appeared this year, which means that she is the fourth most written about celebrity of 2009.
With a high profile marriage and divorce, adoption bids and one of the most successful careers around, Madonna has accrued 45,633 mentions over the decade.
This was around 17,000 more news articles than her nearest rival Williams.
The study was commissioned by online UK TV channel Liv, which features style and celebrity programming.