By Akshara Karthik (’23)
When looking at the past year from a Pop Culture perspective, it is safe to say that 2019 was a whirlwind of a year! In fact, there were moments where we all gasped, laughed, and cried.
But before we start to prepare for what may occur this year and perhaps the next decade, here’s a look at some of the greatest events from 2019 by month, that ultimately defined this year’s pop culture.
JANUARY: At the beginning of 2019, a new Fox show called The Masked Singer became everyone’s favorite TV show, as it kept viewers in suspense. A few weeks later, an egg became the most-liked Instagram post, beating beauty mogul Kylie Jenner. Towards the end of January, the Fyre Festival Netflix documentary shed a new light on the fraudulent music festival flop.
FEBRUARY: During the first week of February, Ariana Grande released her highly-anticipated, second studio album thank u, next and ended up winning Best Pop Vocal Album at the Grammys. Later at the Oscars, Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper raised a few eyebrows after their iconic performance of “Shallow” from their award-winning movie, A Star Is Born. Towards the end of the month, Keeping Up With The Kardashians fans were stunned to hear about the scandal between Khloe Kardashian, Jordyn Woods, and Tristan Thompson.
MARCH: The Jonas Brothers announced their reunion as a band, and released their long-awaited sublime single, “Sucker”. This month gave rise to one of the biggest controversies in Hollywood history, involving Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman: The College Admissions Scandal. The month ended with Riverdale and Beverly Hills, 90210 fans mourning the passing of actor Luke Perry.
APRIL: April marked the groundbreaking end to the Avengers Cinematic Universe, with the release Avengers: Endgame. During the summer, Coachella was in full-swing, with Kanye West’s Sunday Service being the largest attraction.
MAY: Towards the beginning of the month, Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan Markle welcomed the newest addition to the Royal Family, their son, Prince Archie. Game of Thrones historically concluded after eight seasons on HBO in mid-May. Youtube was abuzz at the end of May, due to the feud between James Charles and Tati Westbrook.
JUNE: HBO’s Euphoria, starring Zendaya, became the most-talked-about show among families. In addition, Netflix’s Black Mirror, and HBO’s Big Little Lies made ripples in the TV industry. In mid-June, Taylor Swift publicly feuded with her record label’s executive and Scooter Braun, for the ownership of her first six albums.
JULY: Disney released the recreation of The Lion King, starring Donald Glover and Beyoncé, made over $1.6 billion dollars. The Cats trailer dropped and caused people to question why the feline characters’ looks were mentally disturbing. Towards the end of the month, Megan Thee Stallion, Nicki Minaj, and Ty Dolla $ign gave us the summer’s party anthem, “Hot Girl Summer.”
AUGUST: At the beginning of the month, Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus’s “Old Town Road” made history for being the longest-running No.1 song on the Billboard Hot 100. Spider-Man found himself in a web of conflict when Disney (shortly) split from Sony. Toward the end of the summer, Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth stunned fans when they announced they would be divorcing after eight months of marriage.
SEPTEMBER: At the beginning of the official school year, Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin officially tied the knot, while Lizzo skyrocketed to fame with her No.1 single, “Truth Hurts”. At the end of the month, Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty show set a new standard in the fashion industry, while Jennifer Lopez received critical acclaim for her role in Hustlers.
OCTOBER: In mid-October, actress Jennifer Aniston joined Instagram, and set a world record for most followers in the shortest amount of time. Joker became the first R-rated film to make over $1 billion, Kylie Jenner’s “rise and shine” meme broke Twitter, and Selena Gomez finally returned to music after five years, releasing “Lose You to Love Me”.
NOVEMBER: Billie Eilish made Grammy history as the youngest artist to be nominated in the big four categories- Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Album of the Year and Best New Artist. Apple TV+ was released, and Disney+ followed the week after. Frozen 2 broke the box-office, earning the highest all-time worldwide opening for an animated film.
DECEMBER: Harry Styles released his second studio album, Fine Line, while Camila Cabello also released her sophomore album, Romance. Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber continued to give fans a taste of their upcoming albums.
Believe me, I too could not believe so much happened during this wild and unpredictable year. However, it is now time to turn the page on this particular chapter of our lives and be prepared for all the crazy moments 2020 has in store. From the groundbreaking movies and television shows to the music we kept on repeat, to the memes that had us laughing uncontrollably, 2019 was anything but unforgettable.