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. 

The Best And Worst National Anthem Performances Of All Time

Entertainment

The Best And Worst National Anthem Performances Of All Time

CavBuffaloSoldier /Youtube

Belting out any song in your best voice can be tough stuffings. But when it comes to performing the “Star-Spangled Banner” only singers in a completely different league of their own can actually do the national anthem justice. The songs poetic lyrics are notoriously difficult because of its wide range. So of course, naturally, in the decades of performances in which “Star-Spangled Banner” has been song at sporting events and the like, there have been some mishaps. 

This year, both Shakira and J.Lo are set to perform at the Super Bowl’s halftime show while Demi Lovato will make a career come back by singing the national anthem for millions of viewers. Here’s a look at all of the times singers have rocked and flubbed the national anthem.

That time the Dixie Chicks did a beautiful country rendition of the song.

Fans of the Dixie Chicks fell further in love with the country music stars when they stuck to the original lyrics and sentiment of the song when they performed at Super Bowl XXXVII in 2003. 

When Whitney Houston gave a GOAT performance back in the 90s.

The queen of pop reigned supreme back in the 90s and thanks to her outstanding vocal range she had the full anthem in the bag. During the 1991 Super Bowl XXV,  Houston sang and hit each and every note. Not only that, she recorded the song and released it as a single and when 9/11 happened she re-released the single and gave all of her earnings to charity. 

In 1983, when Marvin Gaye gave the national anthem a whirl and blew our minds.

Twenty years ago, the beloved “Aint No Mountain High Enough” singer took the anthem to the next level. The singer’s  1983 NBA All-Star performance had a traditional MoTown feel and to this day is celebrated. In fact, his rendition was used in a 2008 Nike commercial featuring the 2008 U.S. Olympic basketball team.

When Chloe and Halle gave the classic ballad a twist of their own.

Back in 2017, the sister duo stole breaths at the NFL Draft Kick Off when the two sang “America the Beautiful”.  Beyonce did us a solid by discovering them.

That time Lady Gaga sang the National Anthem in a fire pantsuit. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oU_UEVp2ynU

Lady Gaga rocked Stadiums at the 2016 Super Bowl. During her performance, the Lady of ladies hit all of her notes and reinvigorated both sides of the crowd. 

That time Fergie went for an eye-popping performance. 

Beloved singer Fergie did a rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner’ in 2018 that was one for the books. The strange performance went haywire when the singer attempted to go for a sultry version of the national anthem that just… did not slay. During her perfroamce, camera panned to find audience members stifling giggles and soon enough an internet meme was born. Poor Fergie.

When Roseanne Barr gave us a peek into just how problematic she was.

Back in 1990, Barr made an appearance at a Padres game and sang the national anthem. (Still no word on who booked her for this.) Barr’s cringeworthy performance, which was off-key and oddly high pitched, was made worse when fans realized she was attempting to make the patriotic song into a joke. The racist comedian dared to even spit on the pitcher’s mound as she was leaving the field. Yikes. 

When Christina Aguilera forgot the lyrics.

In 2011, Aguilera came out to sing the lyrics to our countries beloved anthem and pretty much bombed. The famous singer had been celebrated for nailing the song hundreds of times. Even when she was kid. Video of the singer proves that she started out of the gate spectacularly but ultimately, things took a turn for the worse when she skipped over lyrics and even began the song again. According to an interview with Aguilera on Elleh, the singer let her get the mood get to her so bad that she forgot most of the lyrics and tried to improve. 

Eminem’s New Song ‘Unaccommodating’ Talks About The Bombing Of Ariana Grande’s Concert And People Are Offended

Entertainment

Eminem’s New Song ‘Unaccommodating’ Talks About The Bombing Of Ariana Grande’s Concert And People Are Offended

eminem / Instagram, arianagrande/ Instagram

Eminem’s new album has been getting a lot of backlash —granted, there’s no surprise there. But there’s one song in particular that has Ariana Grande fans fuming. It looks like the real Slim Shady referenced the 2017 bombing that took place during an Ariana Grande concert in one of his songs, and Arianators are not having it. 

Eminem’s new album, which dropped Friday, includes the track “Unaccommodating.”

The song contains the lyrics: “But I’m contemplating yelling ‘bombs away’ on the game/Like I’m outside of an Ariana Grande concert waiting.” Fans are steaming mad over the lyrics, which they say, make light of the Manchester Arena bombing. The 2017 terror attack killed 23 people, and happened during one of the “thank u, next” singer’s concerts.

To make things worse, the song samples an explosion sound effect, which many are calling disrespectful.

The 47-year-old raps the line against a backdrop of an explosion sound effect, and Twitter users were quick to express their disapproval. “Eminem really mocked the Manchester bombing on his new album? Does he not realize that kids and teenagers lost their lives that night?,” wrote one user. 

Others think he should stop making music altogether…

Real talk, Eminem is such a piece of trash for making a punchline out of the 22 people who died in the Manchester attack,” one person wrote on Twitter. 

The BBC reports that Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham is among those who are unhappy with Eminem’s lyrics.

In a statement, the mayor further explained: “This is unnecessarily hurtful and deeply disrespectful to the families and all those affected.”

Figen Murray, whose son Martyn Hett died in the attack, also voiced her disapproval.

“Feels like he is piggybacking on the fame of Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber and says distasteful things about other celebrities,” she wrote on Twitter after being informed of the two songs on Friday, “Not clever. Totally pointless. And before all Eminem fans pounce on me, I am not interested and will not engage.”

Murray has campaigned for the introduction of Martyn’s Law, which would require venues to introduce more stringent security checks. She later deleted the tweet after receiving backlash.

“Unaccommodating” is a song off of Eminem’s new album, Music To Be Murdered by. 

Fans of the rapper have taken to social media to defend him, with some pointing out that the entirety of his album is actually about gun violence and mental health. Others reminded Eminem’s critics that the rapper helped raise money at the time of the Manchester attack in order to support the victims and their families.

Eminem previously pledged his support to victims of the bombing in 2017.

The rapper urged fans to donate money to families who had been affected.

This is not the first time the 47-year-old has referenced the attack in song.

In a 2018 freestyle, he rapped about a brainwashed suicide bomber “seeing Ariana Grande sing her last song of the evening/And as the audience from the damn concert is leaving/Detonates the device strapped to his abdominal region.”

In a contrast to the Manchester Arena lyric, the album’s lead single, Darkness, advocates tighter gun control laws in the US.

The song and video reference the 2017 Route 91 Harvest music festival shooting in Las Vegas, in which 58 people died, with Eminem playing the role of an isolated, mentally-disturbed character who plots a murderous rampage to gain notoriety. The video ends with a montage of news reports from recent mass shootings, captioned: “When will it end? When enough people care.”

Eminem then urges fans to register to vote in the upcoming US elections, writing: “Make your voice heard and help change gun laws in America”.

The video also links to a website with information and links to various anti-gun violence organisations including Everytown For Gun Safety, March For Our Lives and Sandy Hook Promise. It’s not the first time the rapper has addressed the issue. Performing at last year’s iHeartRadio music awards, he delivered a verse attacking the National Rifle Association’s hold over politicians, rapping: “They love their guns more than our children.”