2016 is coming to a close, and it’s been a crazy year! From Kayne West making himself more famous, to the craze of Pokemon Go, 2016 gave us some unforgettable moments. In honour of the end, here are our top ten pop culture moments of 2016.
1. Leo finally got his Oscar.
At the end of February, we celebrated when Leonardo DiCaprio finally got his hands on that Academy Award. We all knew Leo is a great actor, but after six nominations and no gold, we were starting to worry. Leo won Best Actor for his role in the gripping film The Revenant.
In typical Leo fashion, he used his acceptance speech as a platform to focus on climate change. And for those who think it didn’t make a difference, his speech caused a 261 percent spike in searches for the term.
2. Beyonce took a lemon and made some serious “Lemonade.
Queen Bey released the most explosive, most talked about album of 2016: Lemonade. We had all been waiting patiently for a new masterpiece, and boy did she deliver!
But it was the visual album launch that got the most attention. Why? Because we realized the album was partially an attack on cheating husbands, including Beyonce’s own husband, Jay Z.
The album also highlighted significant racial and political issues, like the Black Lives Matter movement. Beyonce blended this along with art and pop so seamlessly, it still takes people’s breath away.
3. Kayne West somehow made himself more famous.
West appeared in the media more than ever this year. With the release of his latest album Life of Pablo, his fashion week collection, the most recent rumours of a breakdown, and now his meeting with President-elect Donald Trump, Yeezy had quite a year.
And we all saw that Famous music video. Inspired by artist Vincent Desiderio, the video features replicas of celebrities, like Taylor Swift, Kim Kardashian-West, and Billy Cosby, lying naked in bed.
Most of these celebs did not give their consent to the video, and saw it as a massive violation. But Kayne succeeded in doing what he does best: make headlines.
4. Pokemon Go took over the world… but only for a bit.
Pokemon made a major comeback this year with its new phone app, Pokemon Go and the mania swept the globe.
On the upside, the app got a lot of couch potatoes out of the house to explore outside and meet new people. On the other hand, there was also an increase in robberies, and people walking into traffic with their faces glued to screens.
But in the end it was really just a fad. The craze died down as the summer came to an end, forcing the world to put their virtual Pokeballs away.
5. Frank Ocean actually released music… finally.
Channel Orange gave us life, but after a four year break, we were starting to think Frank Ocean wouldn’t release anything new again.
Fans got riled up when the hashtage #frankoceanisaliar began trending on Twitter. But Ocean came through in 2016 with the album Blonde.
In the age of wanting things quick and fast, Frank Ocean somehow managed to catch our attention and hold on to it.
6. Brangelina split and broke our hearts.
When Angelina Jolie filed for a divorce from Brad Pitt after 12 years together, the world was shocked. Of course the internet focused on Jennifer Aniston’s response, but I think we were all genuinely surprised.
Brangelina was the it couple – the one we believed in. Still so sad.
7. J.K. Rowling rekindled the magic.
Just when we thought the Harry Potter series was completely over and done with, 2016 blessed us with two new stories from the Potter-world. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child became a hot ticket overnight. The production opened in July to praise from both critics and fans.
Then we were treated to a prequel, which follows the magical zoologist Newt Scamander in 1920s New York. The film was the UK’s biggest debut opening of any film of 2016, and received positive reviews.
8. Hiddleswift became a thing, but then it didn’t.
As per usual, Taylor Swift made headlines with her love life. First, with her public split from Calvin Harris. Then in the wake of the break-up, she was spotted with Avengers actor Tom Hiddleston, and the internet went nuts.
But after a three month relationship of laughing, dancing, and public PDA, the couple split. It was sweet, but oh-so Taylor Swift.
9. The mannequin challenge made its way to the White House.
The challenge, where people pretend to be posed mannequins came onto the social media scene in late 2016. And this trend made it all the way to the White House. Celebs like Taylor Swift, Victoria Beckham, Adele, Blac Chyna, Michelle Obama and Ellen Degeneres all participated in the challenge.
10. Drake got his girl, but quickly lost her.
Drake and Rihanna are the perfect couple. The rumours about a possible relationship had been swirling since her break-up from Chris Brown. But it seemed to be an on-again-off-again relationship that would never end.
Then, 2016 brought us a little joy when Drake confirmed his undying love for the pop singer during his acceptance speech for the Vanguard Award. We saw the onstage grinding, the matching tattoos, but it would seem the love may have died quickly.
Come on you two, get it together!
It’s going to be hard to top these moments in 2017, but we’re pretty sure politics, music, and the celeb scene will be all this and more next year.
What key moments did you find most interesting in 2016? Tell us in the comments below!