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America Online today released its most popular search terms, which showed that Britney Spears has reclaimed the title of most searched person of 2004 from rapper 50 Cent.

Platinum recording artist and teen movie star Hilary Duff was the most searched person by children and teenagers, while Usher was the most searched male. Usher also recorded the two most searched songs of the year, Burn and My Boo (with Alicia Keys).

The most searched word this year was 'horoscopes', followed by 'lyrics' and 'hairstyles'. New topics in 2004's top 50 list included: foreclosures (#4); salaries (#5); work at home (#18); home improvement (#19); airline tickets (#27); spyware (#43); credit reports (#43); texas hold 'em poker (#46); and blue book (#49).

2003's most searched diet, the Atkins Diet, dropped to #3 in 2004, with South Beach taking first place, followed by Weight Watchers.

Unsurprisingly, the US presidential election was the most searched news topic this year, and Senator John Kerry the most searched politician. The World Series was the most popular sporting event, as the Boston Red Sox won it for the first time in 86 years. The Red Sox were the fourth most searched sports team, and their most popular player was Johnny Damon. Basketball player Kobe Bryant was the most searched for athlete of 2004.

Mobile phones were the most searched for devices, followed by digital cameras and MP3 players (including iPods). The most searched-for TV show was American Idol, with Oprah Winfrey coming second and Survivor moving from eighth in 2003 to third in 2004. ®

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