Entering a new year means new experiences, new adventures, and a lot more drama and chaos. To prepare for what’s still to come in 2023 let’s look back to the biggest, craziest pop culture events of 2022.
After announcing they were pregnant in January, rapper A$AP Rocky and iconic singer Rihanna had a baby boy on the 13th of May. During her pregnancy, Rihanna went on the cover of Vogue with her pregnant belly for the May issue where she revealed several details such as the fact that the pregnancy was ‘unplanned,’ however, welcomed happily by both herself and A$AP. At the 2023 Superbowl on the 13th of February, she revealed that she is pregnant once again.
Death of Queen Elizabeth
On September 8, 2022 the Queen of England, Elizabeth Alexandra Mary the 2nd, died of old age at Balmoral Castle in Scotland at the age of 96. More than 250,000 people queued for hours to pay their respects to the longest-reigning monarch in British history. She reigned for 70 years; beginning her rule at age 25 after her coronation on June 2nd, 1953.
Some of her most notable moments were her visit to West Germany 20 years after WWII and the Platinum 2022 Jubilee. Her son, Charles the 3rd, succeeded her on the throne.
Johnny Depp VS Amber Heard Trial
Only two years after separating in 2016, Amber Heard published a Washington Post article about the domestic abuse she allegedly suffered by former partner Johnny Depp. Depp then sued for $50 million to which Heard countersued for $100 million setting the start of the most streamed celebrity trial of all time. The trial officially started on April 11, 2022.
Heard continuously claimed that any abuse she was accused of was in the act of self-defense, whereas Depp declared that Heard’s trial was “part of an elaborate hoax to generate positive publicity” to advance in her career. At the end of the trial on June 1st, Depp’s lawyers proved that Heard was not a credible source and that Depp was the victim.
Will Smith slaps Chris Rock
During the 94th Oscar Academy Awards Ceremony on March 27th, in response to a joke made by Chris Rock about his wife, Jada Smith, Will Smith stepped on stage and slapped Chris Rock while shouting profanities. Comedian Chris Rock had made an offensive and disrespectful joke about Mrs. Smith’s health condition of spot baldness (alopecia areata) while presenting the Best Documentary Feature Award.
Consequently, Smith was banned from the Oscars for 10 years, even though he won the Best Actor Award on the same night of the assault.
Midnights – Taylor Swift
On October 21st, pop-country artist Taylor Swift released her 10th album. It broke several records including the most debut sales for any album and the first to sell one million copies in a single week. It included hit singles such as “Anti-Hero” and “Bejeweled.”
Her Loss – Drake and 21 Savage
On November 4th, the collaborative album between rappers Drake and 21 Savage was released. The album was creatively announced at the end of the rappers’ “Jimmy Crooks” music video. Not only did this album start several Tiktok trends, but it also had several Top 10 hits for tracks like “On BS” or “Rich Flex.”
Harry’s House – Harry Styles
On May 20th, the former One Direction member, now independent artist, Harry Styles, released his third solo album. The radio hit songs “As It Was” and “Late Night Talking” are included on the album. “As It Was” belongs to the Spotify Billions club, as well as having its place on Just Dance 2023. It won the grand title of “Album of The Year” at the 2023 Grammys.
Un Verano Sin Ti – Bad Bunny
On May 4th, Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny released the album “Un Verano Sin Ti” or “Summer Without You.” It received nominations from the Grammy Awards for “Album of The Year” making it the first Spanish album to be nominated under this title by the Grammys. Hits such as “Tití Me Pregunto” and “Moscow Mule” were included on the album.
Almost two years after the original release of Bridgerton which introduced us to protagonists Daphne and Simon’s forced marriage journey of love, Netflix released a 2nd season on March 25. The season follows Daphne’s older brother, Anthony, who falls in love with Kate, his fiance’s older sister, and enemy. The series is the most streamed English series and has been renewed for two more seasons, following the original Bridgerton novels.
The Summer I Turned Pretty
Jenny Han is a notable young-adult romance writer whose literature should be read by all of us at some point. Most know Han from the movie production of her book “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before.” On June 17th, the show for her bestseller series “The Summer I Turned Pretty” dropped. Instantly, Tiktok edits of main love interests Conrad and Jeremiah took over the internet, along with requests for a 2nd season which has already been wrapped and is expected to air later this year in 2023.
After three years of keeping their fans waiting, the 4th season of Stranger Things finally arrived on Netflix – Volume 1 on May 27th and Volume 2 on July 1st. Not only did it garner amazing reviews from critics but it also initiated social media trends such as the Vecna Tiktok trend or the unexpected popularity of Kate Bush’s song “Running Up That Hill” which hit the #1 spot on the charts 19 years after its release.
Another series based on a book series – a graphic novel series in this case – launched on Netflix April 22nd. The LGBTQ+ show, Heartstopper, spotlights teen actors Kit Connor and Joe Locke in this coming-of-age identity story. The show quickly became a hit with Tiktok edits of the two main characters, Nick and Charlie, instantly unavoidable. Its success led to a rapid confirmation of a second and third season, as well as a significant increase in purchases of the original graphic novels by 28-year-old author Alice Oseman.