Entertainment

Take A Look Back At 2019 With These Top 19 Moments In Pop Culture

The end of the year is quickly approaching — which means that, yes, it’s officially time to look back at all the best moments from 2019! From the most meme-worthy events in pop culture to some jaw-dropping moments in entertainment, there’s really no denying that the past year has been a wild ride from start to finish. Like, for example, who would’ve thought that 2019 would see the golden age of Keanu Reeves, or an end to the bad blood between Nicki Minaj and Cardi B? Or did anyone actually see that Game of Thrones finale coming, or even the huge success of the more recent Joker movie?

Whether you were horrified watching the first nightmare-inducing trailer for the Cats movie or freaking out over Lady Gaga’s and Bradley Cooper’s steamy performance of “Shallow” at the Oscars, one thing’s for sure — and it’s that the year 2019 was never boring. I mean, some of these unforgettable moments certainly even deserve a spot in the best events of the entire past decade — after all, they just might be the last things we remember before the new ’20s decade officially kicks in!

But before preparing ourselves for what the new year (and the new decade!) might have in store, here’s a look at 19 of the greatest moments from 2019 that defined everything in this year’s pop culture and entertainment. 

The #TenYearChallenge Goes Viral

It was the first viral internet challenge of 2019: post two photos of yourself side by side, one from 10 years ago and one from now. Plenty of celebs got in on the social media challenge, with some of them proving that they reallydon’t age, like, at all (we’re looking at you, Jennifer Lopez and Ryan Seacrest).

The Fyre Festival Goes Down in Flames

This disaster of a “festival” actually happened in 2018, but it really wasn’t until early this year that it truly fell on the world’s radar, thanks to the release of the shocking documentaries from Hulu and Netflix that revealed all the secrets from this fraudulent music festival event that never actually happened.

The College Admissions Scandal Blows Up

The Full House actress Lori Laughlin faced immense backlash when it was revealed back in March that she — along with 50 others — was involved in a massive college admissions cheating scandal in which she allegedly used bribery and fraud to secure university admission for her children. Now, she’s apparently busy trying to get her name cleared after pleading “not guilty” to the charges.

Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez Get Engaged

It was a match made in heaven with this superstar and former New York Yankee player — especially when the couple announced they were engaged in March with possibly the sweetest proposal pics we’ve ever seen.

The First Image of a Black Hole

Prior to this year, no one could even conceive of what a black hole might look like — until in April, when we got our first glimpse of the most mysterious spectacle in the universe, and then, naturally, the internet did what it does best with a cool piece of news: make a whole bunch of memes about it, of course.

Brazil’s Museu Nacional Was Destroyed by a Tragic Fire

After it closed for the night on Sunday, a devastating fire engulfed Rio de Janeiro’s Museu Nacional, the country’s oldest and most significant scientific institution. It’s believed that much of the museum’s 20 million artifacts have been destroyed, including Luzia, one of the oldest human fossils from South America.

Latinx Is Now Part of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Latinx – the gender-neutral alternative to Latino and Latina – may not be accepted by the Real Academia Española, but Merriam-Webster has added it to its dictionary.

Reggaetón Stars Converge On Puerto Rico to Join Pro-Democracy Protests

Ricky Martin, Bad Bunny, Residente: they all traveled to Puerto Rico to join the island’s growing movement against then-Governor Ricardo Rosselló. He was forced from office after incriminating texts were leaked that showed him and other officials engaging in homophobic conversations and making fun of Hurricane Maria victims.

Snapchat Releases Its Baby Face Filter

Strangely enough, it was just what we needed this past May when Snapchat released a charming new filter that transformed users’ faces into little babies — and unsurprisingly, it instantly went viral with celebrities such as Kim Kardashian trying the new filter out to hilarious (and adorable) results.

The Year Of The Squad Commences

It began with an Instagram post in October of last year: a picture of then Reps.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) seated together and a one-word caption: “Squad.”

On Jan. 3, Ocasio-Cortez was sworn in as the youngest woman in history to be elected to Congress, and her “squad” took their oaths beside her. The freshman members made the 116th Congress the most diverse class yet — not just racially, but generationally, with a record number of women.

“Old Town Road” Breaks Chart Records

With the unstoppable viral smash that is “Old Town Road,” Lil Nas X made history with this country-rap hybrid song that became the longest-running No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, with a total of 19 consecutive weeks at the top spot — and plenty of remixes and memes that helped it reach its now-iconic status.

Bad Bunny Begins His Worldwide Takeover With Release Of “OASIS”

When Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, better known by his stage name of Bad Bunny, released his debut album, “X 100pre,” last Christmas Eve, he was only setting the stage for maybe the biggest year of his young career.

Baby Yoda Gives The Internet Baby Fever … And Disney A New Star

Credit: The Mandalorian / Disney+

It doesn’t talk. It doesn’t have a name, at least not really. But in the span of just a few weeks, Baby Yoda has become one of pop culture’s biggest stars.

Jennifer Lopez Reprises Her Versace Green Dress

The only thing that could ever top JLo wearing that famous green dress to the 2000 Grammy Awards? JLo wearing it again, at a fashion show in 2019! The star made a surprise appearance at the Spring 2020 Versace fashion show in September, strutting down the runway wearing an updated version of the now-iconic green dress.

The End of “Game of Thrones”

Credit: Game Of Thrones / HBO

Ah, the hype, the anxiety, the ultimate disappointment! When HBO’s Game of Thrones came to a conclusion in its eighth and final season earlier this year, fans were not happy with the show’s finale — or with the entire last season, as a matter of fact (there was no shortage of mistakenly-placed coffee cups, apparently).

The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Wins the World Cup

Sports fan or not, none of us can forget when the U.S. Women’s soccer team made history at this year’s World Cup in France with a well-earned victory over the Netherlands. Though it was their fourth national win overall, the moment was still a huge deal for women in sports — especially with the team’s ongoing lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation for gender discrimination

Latin Pop Culture and Music Take Over The Globe

Latin music has been a big part of the music industry in the United States for the past few years, but it has been overlooked because of the popularity of American artists. Now, Latin artists are getting the recognition that fans across America have been asking for.

From charts on Billboard to Latin categories on award shows, artists like Bad Bunny, J Balvin, Ozuna, Anitta and Becky G have recently been hitting the mainstream music industry. 

Sofia Vergara Recalls Brother’s Death During Powerful AGT Audition: ‘I Can Feel Your Pain’

Entertainment

Sofia Vergara Recalls Brother’s Death During Powerful AGT Audition: ‘I Can Feel Your Pain’

NBC

A recent audition on “America’s Got Talent” made judge Sofia Vergara so emotional that it inspired her to open up about a tragedy very personal to her.

On Tuesday’s episode of the competition series, Vergara watched 27-year-old Brandon Leake take the stage to deliver a spoken-word performance that resonated with Vergara.

Leake, a former high school English teacher introduced his piece by dedicating it to his sister.

“Love is the most vulnerable thing one will ever have,” Leake explained during his performance “And you must learn to hold onto it loosely so when it leaves it won’t exit so painfully.” During the performance, Leake recalled losing his sister in the late ‘90s saying “I’m still haunted by these nightmares ’cause I have a really creative mind, and sometimes it designs these alternate realities where she is still here.”

Continuing Leake said “Still alive, and all the things I wish we could have done are played again and again and again. I’m tired of playing God ’cause I gotta come to terms with the fact that my sister ain’t never comin’ back.”

The “Modern Family” actress became visibly emotional during the performance and teared up.

Judges Howie Mandel and Simon Cowell were quick to give Leakes a standing ovation.

“What an amazing tribute,” Cowell said. “There’s something very, very special about you. This is a very difficult thing for me to judge. I shouldn’t be judging it, I just want to compliment you on what you just did because it was extraordinary.”

Mandel commended Leake’s performance saying “we feel your pain, we feel your love, and you moved me to do this” before hitting the Golden Buzzer which means he is being sent straight to the AGT live shows.

Vergara shared with Leake that his poem reminded her of the loss and grief she experienced after losing her own brother.”My brother passed away the same year that your sister passed away. I can feel your pain; I know what this is. I know what it is to have somebody taken from you without you knowing,” Vergara said before going on to say that the poem was “very beautiful for me.”

On Tuesday evening, Vergara tweeted that Leake’s performance was “a great way to end the night!!!”

In 1998, Vergara’s older brother Rafael was murdered while men attempted to kidnap him.

Vergara opened up about the death in 2011 for a Parade cover story, telling the magazine “My older brother, Rafael, was killed in Colombia… “Mother was like a zombie… I wanted to be with them. So I got a big house and we all lived together. I am so grateful to be in this country.”

Quibi Is Doing A ‘Princess Bride’ Remake Of Sorts Starring Sophie Turner And Joe Jonas

Entertainment

Quibi Is Doing A ‘Princess Bride’ Remake Of Sorts Starring Sophie Turner And Joe Jonas

20th Century Fox

Inconceivable?

Just when we thought the ‘80s classic The Princess Bride was untouchable in terms of facing a remake, Quibi decided to take it on amid the current pandemic. According to The New York Post, the American short-form mobile video platform is going DIY with the beloved film. The celeb-studded film will see the stars use their phones to film and edit the series. The homemade fan film will premiere exclusively on the platform and will debut two chapters at a time.

“Game Of Thrones” star Sophie Turner and her husband Joe Jonas are set to play the lead romantic couple… with a twist.

Turner will take on the role of lovestruck Westley while Jonas will take on Princess Buttercup. Joining the couple is an all-star cast that includes Beanie Feldstein, Zazie Beetz, Hugh Jackman, Chris Pine, Keegan-Michael Key, Tiffany Haddish. Actor Fred Savage, who played the role of The Grandson in the original film, will also return, this time as… The Grandson. So it will most certainly be funny.

“The actors will trade-off roles throughout scenes, each paying homage to The Princess Bride in their own unique way,” the New York Post reported about the fan-made film. The outlet also revealed that in order to keep up with scenes that require crowds, they’ll use Legos and stuffed animals.

Turns out COVID-19 inspires creativity?

Fortunately, this reboot has a pretty great purpose other than staving off boredom.

Quibi has pledged to donate $1 million in honor of the homemade fan-made film to give to World Central Kitchen, an organization striving to provide meals to those in need during the pandemic.

The first chapter of this quirky project is set to debut on June 29.