Highlights

The Year In Review

todayDecember 31, 2021 50

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VIRAL MOMENTS

TikTok warned users about the dangers of the Crate Challenge.

Out of her favorite hair product, Tessica Brown reached for spray-on Gorilla Glue — to disastrous results.

Logan Paul and Floyd Mayweather
Photo by Cliff Hawkins
Getty Images

In November, Tiger Woods returned to the golf course to practice his drives. The year started with Tiger surviving a horrendous high-speed crash. He lost control of his SUV, flew over the median and struck a tree. He’s lucky to be alive and “only” broke both bones in his lower right leg.

YouTube celebrity Logan Paul entered the boxing ring against a retired fighter, 44-year-old Floyd Mayweather Junior. The match, where Logan stayed on his feet all eight rounds, displeased the pay-per-view crowd.

Jake Paul knocked out a retired fighter in less than two minutes. It was lights out for Ben Askenwho hit the canvas face first.

Aaron Rodgers stunned the NFL world in February while accepting his 2020 Most Valuable Player award. The quarterback revealed he’d proposed to actress Shailene Woodley before most people knew they were dating.

During a post-Tokyo Olympics vacation, NBA player Devin Booker allowed girlfriend Kendall Jenner to pose wearing his gold medal.

The Sea Shanty trend probably peaked with the United States Navy Band’s rendition of Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.”

Lizzo gagged on TikTok taste-testing mustard on watermelon slices.

Lil Nas X ripped his pants on the season finale of Saturday Night Live. He spent the second half of the performance covering his crotch with his free hand.

Cardi B splurged for her three-year-old daughter and got Kulture a rainbow bedazzled Birkin Bag worth $48,000.

The lead singer of Smashmouth “retired” one day after video of his drunk and disorderly performance. When Steve Harwell was not forgetting the lyrics, he was slurring four-letter words aimed at the sparse crowd. His reps blamed a chronic health issue.

Netflix started the year with a breakout hit, Bridgerton. However, Squid Game surpassed the British melodrama as the most popular on Netflix.

Khloe Kardashian tried an vain to delete from the Internet a candid bikini photo. She objected to the “unauthorized” picture circulating on social media because it was unfiltered. No photoshop whatsoever in harsh lighting.

On her father’s final day in the White House, 28-year-old Tiffany Trump announced her engagement.

not-safe-for-work photo of Hunter Biden surfaced. One of two topless women straddling the President’s son took a mirror selfie. Also pictured are a poodle cuddling on the bed and a plush toy Squirtle of Pokemon fame watching Hunter’s three-way sex.

Cicadas emerged this summer following a 17-year period underground.

HBO Max increased subscribers with the long-awaited Friends reunion show. Fans were concerned about Matthew Perry’s health. He seemed sluggish and slurred his words. In the fall, his fiancée left him.

Mariah Carey had the most unusual side effect when she went to get vaccinated.

Nicki Minaj defended not getting the Pfizer vaccine based on a dubious claim: Her cousin’s friend’s fiancée in Trinidad called off the wedding because the vaccine caused the friend’s scrotum to swell.

 

2022 PREVIEW

Among the New Year’s Eve programs, Miley Cyrus will replace Carson Daly as host of the NBC special.

Dr Dre, Kendrick Lamar, Mary Blige, Snoop Dogg, Eminem
Super Bowl 56 Halftime Show

Live in Las Vegas, Katy Perry rings in the New Year.

Super Bowl 56 in Los Angeles features a halftime show with Eminem and Mary J. Blige plus West Coast hip-hop legends Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar and Dr. Dre.

Justin Bieber and Olivia Rodrigo are poised to win several Grammys in February.

Next summer at the Glastonbury, Billie Eilish will become the youngest-ever to headline the British music fest. She turns 20 years old this December 18th.

Bridgerton and Stranger Things return to Netflix.

Hulu debuts the new Kardashian reality series. It’s rumored for an April debut.

Ariana Grande cast in the big screen adaptation of the Broadway smash, Wicked.

West Side Story star, 20-year-old Rachel Zegler, is cast in the live-action Snow White.

The Weeknd and Lily-Rose Depp star in the HBO drama The Idol.

This pandemic baby boom will welcome newborns from Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott, plus Olivia Munn and comic John Mulaney. In addition, Hailey Bieber, Kourtney Kardashian and Britney Spears are said to be in the mood to have a baby.

 

OLIVIA RODRIGO: Woman of the Year

Olivia Rodrigo and Joe Biden
Photo by Chip Somodevilla
Getty Images

At this time last year, only a select few knew the talents of Olivia Rodrigo. She ends 2021 on the verge winning an armful of Grammy Awards.

Variety honored Olivia as Songwriter of the Year, saying (quote) “With her debut album Sour released months after turning 18, Olivia Rodrigo has solidified her place as one of the most important voices of her generation.”

Olivia achieved a rare feat with Sour. In its first week, it topped the Billboard album chart. Then it spent the next month at number-one.

The breakout hit “drivers license” propelled Olivia to the top of the charts. Ironically, Olivia needed to schedule her driving test four times before she passed. Then in April, she flaunted her first ticket.

Olivia paid a visit to the White House to promote vaccines. Joe Biden gave her an ice cream scoop etched with the Presidential seal. However, Olivia initially believed the scoop was a shoehorn.

Her popularity became profitable for Taylor Swift and Paramore singer Hayley Williams. Both earned millions once Olivia granted them songwriting credits. “Misery Business” inspired Olivia’s “Good 4 U.” According to Spotify, “Good 4 U” became the “Global Song of Summer 2021.”

 

The Weekend
Billboard

THE WEEKND: Man of the Year

The Weeknd kicked off his year on the biggest stage: the Super Bowl 55 halftime show. He ended 2021 with “Blinding Lights” named Billboard’s top Hot 100 song of all time. The song spent 90 weeks on the Hot 100.

Despite his popularity and critical success, the Grammys completely overlooked The Weeknd at nomination time. He responded by pledging to boycott the show and did not submit music for 2022 Grammy consideration.

HBO acquired a series, The Idol, starring The Weeknd and Johnny Depp’s daughter Lily-Rose. The story revolves around a pop artist who becomes enthralled with a cult leader. The Weeknd may have discussed showbiz on a pair of dinner dates with Angelina Jolie. Others suspect flirtation and potential romance.

 

BRITNEY SPEARS: #FreedBritney

Britney Spears
People

Few people had a better 2021 than Britney Spears, who finally achieved freedom from the conservatorship that her oppressive father created more than 13 years ago. Britney accused her mother of orchestrating the conservatorship because Dad was “not smart enough to think of it.”

She celebrated her newfound freedom with fiancé Sam Asghari. He proposed in mid-September.  Then in October, Sam brought home a fur baby, a Doberman Pinscher puppy.

Three documentaries helped educate her followers how the conservatorship became abusive. Framing Britney Spears was followed by Controlling Britney Spears by the same filmmakers. A former employee revealed that Jamie Spears planted recording devices in Britney’s bedroom. The security team also secretly mirrored her iCloud to snoop on her digital activity.

A third documentary, Britney Versus Spears, spotlighted the fight with her father Jamie. For three years, they’ve spoken only between attorneys.

Then on June 23rd, Britney delivered to the court a blistering account of her mistreatment. The conservatorship made every decision for Britney — including reproduction. Her father forced an intrauterine birth control device. She asked and he refused to have it removed.

Britney revealed that she first asked to end the conservatorship more than seven years ago. But her lawyer, appointed by the conservatorship, never facilitated the process despite her urgency.

The tide changed when Britney hired new, aggressive lawyer Mathew Rosengart. By November, he secured Britney’s freedom with a pledge to investigate her father for financial corruption and illegal surveillance.

As the conservatorship began to unravel through the summer, Cher tweeted a promise (quote) “When #FreeBritneyis FINALLY FREE, I’m taking her to San Tropez, France and we’ll eat ice cream to her hearts content.”

 

KUWTK: Divorce, Hook Ups and a Baby

Kanye West
Photo by Paras Griffin
Getty Images for
Universal Music Group

Kim Kardashian filed for divorce in February. Kanye West replied in April. However, late in the year, he claimed to want to reunite his family and that he’s never seen the divorce documents.

Kim teased a possible reconciliation at a Donda album listening party. She recreated their wedding on stage. Kim wore a bridal gown but shrouded her face under a veil. Kanye confessed on Donda to cheating on Kim after their second child arrived.

Kanye completed mixing the album while sleeping in a utility closet inside Atlanta’s Mercedes Benz Stadium. He paid a reported rent of $1 million per day for the privilege.

Kanye rebounded with model Irina Shayk, who joined him for a birthday vacation. Whatever they had together dissipated by summertime.

Kim rebounded in the fall with Pete Davidson. They realized their chemistry when she hosted Saturday Night Live. She won rave reviews for skewering her relatives in the monologue.

Travis Barker proposed to Kourtney Kardashian, who seemingly spent the entire year displaying their passions in public. They reportedly want a baby.

Kylie Jenner will have another baby with Travis Scott. Fatherhood may seem simple compared to the legal troubles Travis faces after 10 people were crushed to death at Astroworld.

Meanwhile, Kendall Jenner cheered for her NBA boyfriend during the finals. Unfortunately for Devin Booker, he could not lead his Phoenix Suns to victory. The won the first two games of the series before dropping the next four against the champion Milwaukee Bucks.

 

PETE DAVIDSON: Unlikely Romeo

Pete Davidson
Photo by Karwai Tang
Getty Images

Saturday Night Live comic Pete Davidson does not need a dating app. He pulls enough action from the guests who pass through the NBC show.

Pete charmed Kim Kardashian when she hosted Saturday Night Live. They exchanged numbers. A trip to a Los Angeles theme park for Halloween announced their fledgling relationship. The next weekend, Kim jetted to New York for an intimate rooftop dinner date at Pete’s favorite Staten Island restaurant.

In the spring, Bridgerton star Rege [pr: RAY-gay] Jean-Paul hosted SNL and passed ta flirtatious message to Pete from co-star Phoebe Dynevor. In April, social media blew up once Pete was spotted in England with Phoebe.

Phoebe and Pete attended the Wimbledon Tennis Championship. They cuddled and kissed courtside. But by August, they quietly broke up. Apparently the trans-Atlantic romance could not withstand the distance.

Pete has a winning personality to overcome his face. Women like his sense of humor. He’s considerate. Willingly travels great distances to meet his lovers. And Pete’s blessed by height and other physical features. (eggplant emoji)

 

BENNIFER: 2.0

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez
Photo by Pascal Le Segretain
Getty Images

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck rekindled a romance that ended 17 years ago. They split in 2004 following his cheating scandal in Vancouver with four nightclub lap dancers. Bennifer 2.0 became Instagram official on J-Lo’s 52nd birthday.

Shortly after the new year, Ben became available once he split from Ana de Armas – aka “BenAna Split.”

J-Lo sang “This Land Is Our Land” and “American the Beautiful” at the inauguration of President Joe Biden.

Rumors emerged in February that fiancé Alex Rodriguez may have been unfaithful to Jennifer. He denied physically cheating. In March, she called the tabloids “dumb” in a viral video for reporting a break-up.

Yet, one month later, Jennifer became available to Ben when she ended her two-year engagement to A-Rod.

Two weeks after the split became official, Jennifer was spotted with Ben. In June, she started house-hunting in Ben’s neighborhood.

 

THE ROYALS

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Photo by Harpo Productions
Joe Pugliese via Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth buried her husband of 73 years, Prince Philip. He’s entombed at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. His coffin will be transferred to its final resting place upon Her Majesty’s death to her parents’ gravesite.

In recent weeks, Queen Elizabeth has suffered several health setbacks — but she fully intends on having the Royal Family together for the holidays. All but her grandson Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

In the spring, Oprah Winfrey earned $7 million to interview Harry and Meghan. Two weeks prior, Meghan announced they were expecting a second child. In June, they named their daughter “Lilibet” in honor of Her Majesty.

Meghan and Harry justified leaving the Royal Family that refused to support her mental health issues. The British tabloids seemingly targeted the Duchess. However, Palace staff accused Meghan of bullying. An internal investigation was launched.

Lifetime TV released its third made-for-TV movie about Harry and Meghan. Escaping the Palace arrived Labor Day weekend.

Prince William was named the “Sexiest Bald Man Alive” based on social media mentions of his attractiveness like words “hot” and “sexy.” Second place went to former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson. A few bald celebrities asked for a recount. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson joked (quote) “How does this happen when Larry David clearly has a pulse?!”

Prince William expressed his concerns about another bald man’s exploits. The Royal wished that Jeff Bezos would not waste billions on “space tourism” when there are so many issues to resolve here on Earth.

 

BILLIONAIRES

Elon Musk
Photo by Pascal Le Segretain
Getty Images

Forbes magazine officially declared that Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, Jay Z and Tyler Perry earned billionaire status. The magazine also updated Kanye West’s net worth to be $6.6 billion.

Billionaire Mark Zuckerberg announce the name-change of the company he founded. The parent company is now known as “Meta.”

The world’s wealthiest person, Elon Musk, hosted Saturday Night Live in April. During the opening monologue, Elon revealed his Asperger’s diagnosis.

The world’s second wealthiest person, Jeff Bezos, stepped down as CEO of Amazon, which he founded in his garage in 1994. He spent his billions this year on a mega-yacht and an 11-minute ride in his auto-piloted spacecraft. William Shatner of Star Trek fame rocketed on Blue Origin and became the first 90-year-old to fly to space.

Meanwhile, his ex-wife MacKenzie Scott Bezos donated to hundreds of charities a grand total of $8.6 billion.

Billionaire Richard Branson won the space tourism race. His Virgin Galactic launched more than a week ahead of Jeff Bezos. Both men rode on their maiden flights.

Bill and Melinda Gates announced their divorce in May. Stories emerged suggesting that he may have strayed from their marriage vows. They will continue to steer their charitable foundation. In October, they walked their daughter down the wedding aisle.

Written by: Tony Williams

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