Monday, June 25, 2018
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2017 pop culture winners and losers

Winners:

Beyoncé
Even more magical than this year's solar eclipse was the birth of Beyoncé and Jay-Z's twins, Rumi and Sir. The couple announced the news on Instagram back in February in a now legendary photo of a celestial Bey holding her bump wearing a pastel veil framed with flowers. The post became the most liked photo on Instagram this year with more than 11 million likes. The twins, born in June, appeared in another heavenly Instagram post, which was liked more than 10 million times. And who could forget Beyonce's pregnant performance at this year's Grammys?  Celebs, I'ma let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best pregnancy announcements of all time.
Royal engagement
If Meghan Markle can go from Deal or No Deal suitcase model to a member of the royal family, there's hope for a happy ending for all of us. In front of Kensington Palace, Prince Harry and Markle announced their engagement in November after months of speculation.

Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman was the girl power movie we needed this year. And it only took 75 years to get to the big screen. Not only was it the second-highest grossing film for most of the year (Last Jedi took the No. 2 spot), but Gal Gadot did some of her filming while pregnant.
Kid from BBC
Nothing warmed our hearts this year quite like that disastrously adorable BBC interview. While being interviewed about South Korea, Robert Kelly's daughter toddled into the room, soon followed by her infant brother, and stole the show. Kelly's wife, realizing the kids are on live TV, crashes into the room to attempt to rally the children inconspicuously. If 2017 has got you down, watch this video again.
Ariana Grande
After a suicide bombing killed 22 of her fans  during a concert in Manchester, Ariana Grande returned to the the city with some of music's biggest stars to put on a benefit concert for the victims and their families. "Our response to this violence must be to come closer together, to help each other, to love more, to sing louder and to live more kindly and generously than we did before," Grande said.  Helping raise a total of $12 million for the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund, Grande was made an honorary citizen of Manchester, the highest honor a city can give.
Jordan Peele
Brilliant and terrifying, Jordan Peele's Get Out, a politically aware horror about racism, was one of the must-see movies of the year. The film, which was also written by Peele, had a $4.5 million budget and grossed more than $200 million worldwide, an incredible feat for a first-time director.

Harry Styles
2017 will forever be known as the year Harry Styles became a solo artist. Unsure which direction Styles would go (there's more than one), fans weren't disappointed with his debut album, full of power ballads and staying power. The Sweet Creature singer also had one of the best Carpool Karaoke segments, he defended his fanbase of teen girls and had a role in the Golden Globe nominated war movie Dunkirk. Also, I've never seen so many dope suits. That's a good year.
Jimmy Kimmel
One of the best and most impactful moments of late-night TV was Jimmy Kimmel's opening monologue about the birth of his son, Billy, who underwent emergency heart surgery in May. Promising the audience a happy ending, Kimmel teared up talking about all of the doctors and nurses who helped save his son's life, and used the moment to address the GOP's plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act. "If your baby is going to die and it doesn't have to, it shouldn't matter how much money you make," Kimmel said with a shaky voice. "I think that's something that whether you're a Republican or a Democrat or something else, we all agree on that, right?
Kesha
After a long-awaited comeback, Kesha released Praying, her first single in nearly four years after her legal battle with producer Dr. Luke, who she accused of "years of unrelenting abuse."  "This song is about coming to feel empathy for someone else even if they hurt you or scare you. It's a song about learning to be proud of the person you are even during low moments when you feel alone. It's also about hoping everyone, even someone who hurt you, can heal," she wrote. Kesha was able to release her album, Rainbow, which debuted at No. 1 in August.
Cardi B
In September, Cardi B became the second female rapper in history to top the Billboard Hot 100 without the help of a guest artist with her song Bodak Yellow. She also snagged a few Grammy nominations this year, performed at the MTV Music Awards, graced the cover of Rolling Stone and got engaged to rapper Offset.
Losers:

Fyre festival
One of the greatest fiascos ever roasted on Twitter was the Fyre Festival, a VIP music festival on a "private" island in the Bahamas turned Millennial Lord of the Flies. The festival, organized by Ja Rule and Billy McFarland, was promoted by social media influencers and models who encouraged their followers to drop thousands of dollars on luxury tents. What fans got was a beach next to a Sandals resort and sad cheese sandwiches. Bands pulled out and flights were canceled, leaving the festival goers, who were told to upload their money on festival wristbands, stranded with no cash.

Men of Hollywood
Sexual misconduct allegations took Hollywood by storm in 2017, starting with reports against movie producer Harvey Weinstein in October. Since then, more women and men have come forward to publicly share their stories of assault, revealing a decades-long systemic problem in Hollywood. We couldn't possibly list every powerful man who has been accused in the past few months, with the list growing weekly. The revelations, however, did ignite the #MeToo movement, with the "Silence Breakers" taking the title of Person of the Year.
Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad
One of the most tone deaf and talked about ads of the year was Kendall Jenner's Pepsi commercial, which showed her handing over a can to a police officer to ease tension during a protest. The hot officer takes a sip. Queue music. Everyone is hot. Everyone is happy. The ad was pulled after outrage that the clip trivialized the Black Lives Matter movement. Bernice King, the youngest daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., also condemned the advertisement, tweeting out a photo of her father being pushed by a police officer, writing: "If only Daddy would have known about the power of #Pepsi."
Kathy Griffin
The comedian's career fell into a downward spiral this year after posing in a photo holding what looked like the severed head of President Donald Trump. The joke gone wrong cost her the CNN New Year's Eve Live show. Multiple tour dates were canceled and she was fired from her gig as the Squatty Potty spokeswoman
Academy Awards
It was the flub to end all flubs. La La Land was accidentally announced as the winner of Best picture after two accountants backstage handed Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty the wrong envelope. Moonlight was then declared the real winner of the night.
Love
While the royal engagement gives us hope for the new year, Chris Pratt and Anna Faris announcing their divorce after eight years of marriage devastated fans. "Our son has two parents who love him very much and for his sake we want to keep this situation as private as possible moving forward. We still have love for each other, will always cherish our time together and continue to have the deepest respect for one another," Pratt and Faris shared in a joint Facebook post. The two stars have moved on. But we haven't.
Cash me outside girl
Seriously, when will this all end? Danielle Bregoli, also known as the "Cash me Outside" teen from Dr. Phil, hit her 15 minutes of fame and then some with her viral catchphrase that wouldn't stop. She's now trying to make it as a female rapper.

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