1. Luis Fonsi
Despacito by Luis Fonsi, featuring Daddy Yankee, became the most viewed video on YouTube with more than four billion views. It was also the first primarily Spanish single to top the Billboard Hot 100 since the release of the Bayside Boys Mix of Macarena in 1996.
2. Ariana Grande
A Manchester Arena bombing claimed 22 lives during an Ariana Grande concert in May. In response, the singer organised a televised fund-raiser, with performances by Liam Gallagher, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry and others.
3. Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift won a case against a Colorado DJ accused of groping her at a meet-and-greet in 2013. Radio host David Mueller was ordered to pay Swift a symbolic $1 (Dh3,67), and the singer was praised for bringing attention to sexual harassment.
4. #MeToo movement
Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan and Lupita Nyong’o were among actresses who exposed movie mogul Harvey Weinstein with accusations of sexual assault. The hashtag #MeToo invited other survivors of abuse to come forward with their stories online.
5. Kevin Spacey
Actor Anthony Rapp alleged in October that Kevin Spacey had sexually assaulted him when he was 14. Spacey subsequently apologised and came out as gay on Twitter. With more complaints emerging, Spacey was removed from the final season of House of Cards and his scenes in Ridley Scott’s All The Money in the World were re-shot with Christopher Plummer.
6. The Clooneys, Beyonce and Jay-Z
You’re not seeing double — George and Amal Clooney and Jay-Z and Beyonce both welcomed twins this year, one week apart. The Clooneys had Ella and Alexander on June 6, while Jay-Z and Beyonce had their twosome, Rumi and Sir, on June 13.
7. Cardi B
Rapper Cardi B made history when she topped the Billboard Top 100 for three consecutive weeks with Bodak Yellow, making her the second female solo hip-hop artist in history to go to No. 1 on the Top 100 since Lauryn Hill released Doo Wop (That Thing) in 1998.
Rihanna shook the beauty world in September when she launched her inclusive make-up line, Fenty Beauty. The range, which included 40 shades of foundation, was applauded for catering to people of all skin tones.
9. Harry Styles
Former One Direction star Harry Styles took the entertainment world by storm this year, releasing his self-titled solo debut to mostly positive reviews, and appearing in his first cinematic role in Christopher Nolan’s critically acclaimed war film, Dunkirk.
10. Aladdin cast
It was a win for representation when director Guy Ritchie cast Mena Massoud, an Arab-Canadian newcomer, as Aladdin in the 2019 live-action remake; Massoud joined Naomi Scott as Jasmine and Will Smith as Genie. Disney had held auditions around the world, including in Dubai.
11. Selena Gomez
Pop star Selena Gomez, who executively produced the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why this year, disappeared from the public eye to receive a kidney transplant from friend and actress Francia Raisa. She first announced having autoimmune disease lupus in 2015.
12. Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway
During a stunning mix-up at this year’s Academy Awards, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway incorrectly announced La La Land as the winner of Best Picture, instead of Moonlight. The moment was criticised for detracting from director Barry Jenkins’ win.