Britney Spears may not be at the top of The Music charts, but she is still the hottest thing on the internet.

The former pop superstar was the most searched for term throughout 2006 on Yahoo!'s search engine and beat other popular singers with tumultuous love lives such as Jessica Simpson and Paris Hilton.

This isn't the first time either, because BRITNEY has been top of the search terms five times since 2000.

Cathi Early of Yahoo! said: "Why she keeps ranking top... is beyond me.

"I don't think people are just sitting in front of their computers looking for BRITNEY."

BRITNEY was a popular term even before risque photos of her emerged, suggesting that the singer is equally searched for by male and female fans.

Human interest stories about celebrities seemed to fare the best with the death of Anna Nicole Smith's son and the passing away of Australian Steve Irwin being high up in the most read news stories of 2006.

Lindsay Lohan, Pamela Anderson, Shakira and BEYONCE were also wildly popular with the top films being X-Men: THE LAST STAND and Star Wars.

05/12/2006 14:24:16