If there’s one thing 2011 taught us, it’s that perseverance is the mother of all success.

The year brought a new crop of fresh-faced talent, and yet it was familiar faces like Viola Davis, Kelly Rowland and Octavia Spencer who had us excited when they got their long overdue time in the spotlight. Amidst the onslaught of scandals, and unforgettable moments, 2011 propelled these stars from good to great in a matter of months.

As we close out this year, we take a look at 25 breakout stars who “owned” 2011.

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