Pop culture has notable year
BY BRAVETTA HASSELL World Scene Writer
Saturday, December 29, 2012
12/29/12 at 5:45 AM
In the world of pop culture, handing a top award to just one event or one person in 2012 is too hard to do.
In 2012, the world said goodbye to R&B phenom Whitney Houston. RENE MACURA/Associated Press file
Who will forget the untimely death of R&B phenom Whitney Houston, the split of TomKat, Clint Eastwood's empty chair convo, or Snooki having a baby?
Or what about "Good Morning America's" Robin Roberts' brave journey to recovery? Big Bird's brief but welcomed popularity thanks to the presidential election? Heartthrob Justin Timberlake's nuptials? Lindsay Lohan's unglamorous try at Liz Taylor? The runaway and unwitting success of "Fifty Shades of Grey"? The announcement of a royal heir to be expected?
Roberts has said goodbye to "Good Morning America," but only for a while. AP photo
This year, having not yet heralded the end of the world, was, to say the least, a memorable one.
In 2013, maybe Psy will top his "Gangnam Style," Miley Cyrus will figure out what to do with that hair of hers, Rihanna will just let Chris Brown go once and for all, Timberlake and Biel will have a pretty baby, and LiLo will surprise everyone, doing what we least expect but so hope for her: getting her life together.
In the meantime, "Oppan Gangnam Style!"
A royal pregnancy
Prince William and his wife, Catherine, expect their first child. NICOLAS ASFOURI/Associated Press file
The sweetest news of the year came from across the pond: Prince William's wife, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, is pregnant.
The duchess had long been rumored to be expecting, but in an unusual move earlier this year, the Buckingham Palace put those rumors to rest, stating that if there was baby news to break, it and not Hollywood would do the breaking. And earlier this month it did, when the duchess and Prince William decided to go public with the pregnancy after she was admitted to the hospital with "acute" morning sickness. The Royal Family - and the world - was delighted with the news.
Katie Holmes filed for divorce from Tom Cruise. CORRADO GIAMBALVO/Associated Press file
Among the biggest pieces of news this year was the separation of actors Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes and the lightning-fast divorce settlement that followed.
In June, the "Dawson's Creek" actress filed for divorce from Cruise, seeking sole custody of their then-6-year-old daughter, Suri. Not long after did the two parties get to work on negotiating the terms of their divorce and, by late August, the split was finalized.
Sources close to the couple have intimated to media that Holmes divorced Cruise because of her concerns with the practice of his Scientology and what that would mean for Suri.
If you'll recall, Holmes was the reason Cruise was famously jumping around on Oprah's couch in the spring of 2005, proclaiming his love for the actress. The two wed a year later in Italy.
'Fifty Shades' of reading
E.L. James' "Fifty Shades of Grey" trilogy may be the least popular Christmas present to give this season, says the British Heart Foundation, but that doesn't detract from the steamy books' raging success this year.
Consider some facts from Business Insider:
- By June, "Fifty Shades of Grey" became the fastest-selling book, beating out J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" books.
- In one week, 205,130 copies of "Fifty Shades of Grey" were sold.
- The trilogy is said to be translated into more than 30 languages, and in June of this year, 37 countries had rights to the novels.
- Celebrities who have parodied and performed readings of the series include Gilbert Gottfried, Ellen DeGeneres, Selena Gomez and others.
K-Stew and R-Pat
Kristen Stewart admitted to having an affair while with “Twilight” co-star Robert Pattinson. MARKUS SCHREIBER/Associated Press
"Twilight" star Kristen Stewart dealt a blow to young Bella and Edward fans this summer when she admitted to the world that she'd cheated on co-star loverboy Robert Pattinson with her "Snow White and The Huntsman" director, Rupert Sanders, a 40-ish married father of two.
Stewart and Pattinson have since reunited, and Stewart is still apologizing for her indiscretion - sort of.
"It's not a terrible thing if you're either loved or hated," Stewart told Newsweek. "But honestly, I don't care 'cause it doesn't keep me from doing my s---. And I apologize to everyone for making them so angry. It was not my intention."
Puppeteer and voice of Elmo, Kevin Clash, resigned in November from his post after nearly 30 years of playing the beloved Sesame Street character. AP file
Scandal befell the voice behind Sesame Street's Elmo when this fall news broke that Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash was accused of having a sexual relationship with a minor. The initial accuser recanted his claim, then recanted his recant. Three other accusers have since emerged.
Following the initial accusation, Clash, the man behind the beloved, baby-voiced puppet, took a leave of absence when the news went public. On Nov. 20, Clash resigned from his post as Elmo after nearly 30 years.
Call me, Carly
"Love isn't about perfection's erosion, it's about phone numbers and emoticons and cute boys glancing at you in Pizza Hut," sums up The Guardian about the song just about everyone was singing this year. And therein lies the simplistic worldview that makes Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" so lovable, catchy, covered by just about everybody including the Cookie Monster and the U.S. Olympic swimming team and what many are calling the best song of 2012.
Because who would actress Halle Berry be if two hot international men weren't fighting in her presence? While Gabriel Aubrey, Berry's ex and father of her daughter, initially claimed to have been assailed by Berry's new man Olivier Martinez on Turkey Day, a new police report has concluded otherwise, saying Aubrey instigated the fight that ended with Martinez pummeling the you-know-what out of the Calvin Klein model, leaving him with the type of shiner no pretty boy would ever dream of.
America's favorite convenience store pastry - the Twinkie - bit the pan this year, its parent Hostess Brands declaring itself not immune to the economic realities confronting many. And no sooner had Hostess announced that it was shutting down its operations did Twinkies go flying off grocery store shelves everywhere and eulogies to the cream-filled snack - a piece of Americana wrapped with memory in a clear plastic package - spread across the Internet.
Global 'Gangnam Style'
Can you Gangnam Style? The wildly popular video by Psy has reached global phenom status and late this month reached a record 1 billion views on YouTube. (Stop clicking!!) The easily imitated dance inspired a flash mob in Jakarta, parodies on "Saturday Night Live" and probably your next-door neighbor to "Oppa, Gangnam Style!" We'll see where this goes in 2013.
Binders full of women?
The moment the phrase left 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney's mouth, "binders full of women" was officially pop culture gold with Facebook pages and Tumblr accounts dedicated exclusively to the candidate's quip during one of this year's presidential debates. A favorite? @BigBirdRomney: Injustice. Binders full of women sold for $0.77 at Staples. Binders full of men selling for $1.00. #bindersfullofwomen
Viewers stayed tuned to the journey of "Good Morning America" co-host Robin Roberts to better health, leaving the show late this summer to receive a bone marrow transplant from her sister in September. Her return to the morning show is unknown.
Earlier this year, Roberts was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, a rare disorder that causes abnormalities in the development of red blood cells and is thought to be an aftereffect of the chemotherapy Roberts received in 2007 for breast cancer.
Upheaval in A minor
The contestants on the singing competition shows weren't at the heart of this year's big breakups - it was actually some of the folks running the contests.
This year, America said goodbye to Steve Jones, booted from his position as host on "The X Factor"; Nicole Scherzinger, booted from her judge post on "Factor"; Paula Abdul, booted from her judge post on "Factor" because her past life on "American Idol" just made things too confusing; and Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler jumped shipped from "Idol."
So America soon said hello to songstress Mariah Carey, rapper Nicki Minaj and country singer Keith Urban.
Prince Harry's royal bum
In news less becoming of royalty, a ruckus game of strip billiards ended up leaked on the web and featured a nude Prince Harry front and center and trying to cover what royal jewels he could. "We have no comment to make on the photos at this time," the royal family told TMZ.
What is KimYe?
Reality-hop (reality TV star and hip-hop icon) super couple Kim Kardashian and Kanye West stayed in headlines this year once the two celebrities became an official item in April.
Not really a surprise considering the attention-loving diva had called her marriage to basketball star Kris Humphries quits in late 2011 not long after their lavishly expensive wedding had finished being televised (seriously, 72 days!). Sources close to Kardashian have told the media she really wants to marry West in 2013, so this divorce thingy with Humphries so needs to be over.
If you were my girlfriend
It's almost up there with the Tom-Kat split in a baby Hollywood sort of way, but no one knows what's up between singer Justin Bieber and somewhat long-term girlfriend and actress Selena Gomez. One thing is for sure, the couple split in November but were later rumored to be (kinda?) together? Ahhh, young love.
Actress Lindsay Lohan was busy this year to say the least. She appeared in the January/February issue of Playboy magazine, hosted "Saturday Night Live" in March, surfaced on "Glee" in May and starred as Elizabeth Taylor in the Lifetime movie "Liz & Dick," which drew a deluge of criticism.
Add to this the backdrop of arrests, family drama, a probation revocation, accusations of assault, a dropped accusation of a hit-and-run and alcohol issues - none of which are playing out behind closed doors but instead are in full view to the public.
LiLo, once the sweetie pie girl with the raspy voice in "The Parent Trap" and the likable teen in "Mean Girls," really spiraled in 2012. Maybe 2013 will be all LiLo but in a good way.
NOTABLE 2012 WEDDING BELLS
Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel
Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively
Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alves
Anne Hathaway and Adam Shulman
Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan
Drew Barrymore and Will Kopelman
Meagan Good and Devon Franklin
NOTABLE 2012 DIVORCES
Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes
Courteney Cox and David Arquette
Amy Poehler and Will Arnett
Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis
Katy Perry and Russell Brand
Seal and Heidi Klum
Stevie Wonder and Kai Millard Morris
Chad Johnson, formerly Ochocinco, and Evelyn Lozada
Adrienne Maloof and Paul Nassif
CELEBRITY BABIES OF 2012
Blue Ivy Carter (Beyonce and Jay-Z)
Lorenzo Dominic LaValle (Snooki Polizzi and Jionni LaValle)
Maxwell Drew Johnson (Jessica Simpson and Eric Johnson)
Tennessee James Toth (Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth)
Camden Jack Cutler (Kristin Cavallari and Jay Cutler)
Olive Barrymore Kopelman (Drew Barrymore and Will Kopelman)
Mabel Ray Willis (Bruce Willis and Emma Heming-Willis)
Luca Cruz Comrie (Hilary Duff and Mike Comrie)
Cyrus Michael Christopher Dancy (Claire Danes and Hugh Dancy)
BIG 2012 ENGAGEMENT NEWS
Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth
Aaron Paul and Lauren Parsekian
Alec Baldwin and Hilaria Thomas
Jenni "JWoww" Farley and Roger Mathews
Keira Knightley and James Righton
Snooki Polizzi and Jionni LaValle
Sofia Vergara and Nick Loeb
Avril Lavigne and Chad Kroeger
Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Justin Mikita
Jimmy Kimmel and Molly McNearney
NOTABLE DEATHS IN 2012
Adam Yauch, 47
Andy Williams, 84
Andy Griffith, 86
Celeste Holm, 95
Charles Durning, 89
Chuck Brown, 75
Davy Jones, 66
Dave Brubeck, 91
Dick Clark, 82
Don Cornelius, 75
Donna Summer, 63
Etta James, 75
Helen Gurley Brown, 90
Jack Klugman, 90
Jenni Rivera, 43
Kitty Wells, 92
Larry Hagman, 81
Michael Clarke Duncan, 54
Nora Ephron, 71
Phyllis Diller, 95
Ray Bradbury, 91
Robin Gibb, 62
Sherman Hemsley, 74
Tony Scott, 68
Vidal Sassoon, 84
Whitney Houston, 48
Original Print Headline: Star Highlights
Bravetta Hassell 918-581-8316
South Korean rapper Psy performs his massive K-pop hit "Gangnam Style" live on NBC's "Today" show in New York. JASON DECROW/Invision/AP Images