They've been knocked down in the past by breakups and meltdowns, but for a handful of celebs, 2012 was their year to get up again.
YEAR IN REVIEW: Lists of the most surprising, trashiest and stylish stars
The pop superstar has left her once-chaotic life of shaved heads and umbrella attacks on paparazzi behind. Just this year, she joined The X Factor as a judge to the tune of $15 million. Forbes named her 2012's top-earning woman in music after she pocketed an estimated $58 million. She's at work on her eighth studio album, following the success of last year's Femme Fatale. And she's still engaged to her longtime boyfriend-cum-former agent, Jason Trawick, recent reports of relationship rockiness notwithstanding. Spears doesn't seem to wanna go back to the circus - phew.
After seven years of garnering more pity than praise - after being bumped by Brangelina, after a string of meh movies - the former Friend was on a professional and personal high in 2012. She scored her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in February. And after moving in with her new sweetie, Justin Theroux, in January - into a $22 million house in L.A.'s Bel-Air neighborhood - she and her Wanderlust co-star made their lust official, announcing their engagement in August. For 2013? Let the baby-bump watch commence.
J. Lo may have exited the Idol stage in 2012, but she kept herself firmly in the spotlight, pouring herself into spangled Zuhair Murad catsuits - wardrobe malfunctions be damned - to perform in her first global concert gig, the commercially successful Dance Again World Tour. (The Goin' In singer is going to start recording her eighth studio album after the tour ends.) But what really kept the world watching La Lopez was her cougar-grip hold on her new beau, choreographer/dancer/actor Casper Smart, who is 18 years younger. Will J. Lo finally be able to erase that question mark from Love?
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West
Sorry, skeptic stepdad Bruce Jenner: Maybe old friends do make the best of lovers. This year, the latest blended boyfriend-girlfriend duo, Kimye, turned their long friendship into a hand-holding, FAO Schwarz-visiting, camera-ready smooch- and hugfest. Kim's see-through skirt and Kanye's dropped trou made Kris Humphries and Taylor Swift all but distant memories. Once Kardashian is officially divorced from her 72-day husband, will Kimye be altar-bound on E! for all the world to see?