2019 has been another memorable year when it comes to pop culture. From record-breaking artists, movies and TV shows, unthinkable reunions to the most hilarious viral memes, we’ve really seen it all over the past 12 months.
To celebrate the year-end, in no particular order, here are 19 of the best pop culture moments to occur in 2019.
The Jonas Brothers reunion
Following a somewhat messy split in 2013, never did we think that Joe, Kevin and Nick Jonas would reunite as a band, let alone release new music. However, in February the Jonas Brothers announced that they were reuniting, which delighted their loyal fans across the world. Their comeback single ‘Sucker’ hit number one in the US, becoming their first ever Billboard Hot 100 chart topper. The Jonas Brothers continued to be the gift that kept on giving throughout the year, releasing their album Happiness Begins, heading out on tour, releasing two collaborations and a Christmas single, unveiling a documentary, taking part in #LateLateJonas on The Late Late Show with James Corden, and so much more.
2019 has been a sensational year for Lizzo and her levels of success show no signs of slowing down. Earlier this year, she gained her first ever Billboard Hot 100 number one with ‘Truth Hurts’, a track which was initially released back in 2017. She also gained eight nominations at the 2020 GRAMMY Awards and was named TIME’s Entertainer of the Year for 2019. On top of all that, she has been an advocate for body positivity and self-love, encouraging us to all love ourselves as we are. Queen!
Gavin and Stacey’s Christmas special
Back in May, the UK asked “what’s occurring?” when it was revealed that James Corden and Ruth Jones had written a Gavin and Stacey Christmas special almost 10 years on from the series finale. Airing on Christmas Day, the special captured hearts across the country all over again (and left us with an almighty cliffhanger), notching up an average of 11.6 million viewers. Not only did it top the Christmas day ratings for 2019 but it also received the biggest Christmas day ratings for over a decade. Tidy!
Harry Styles takes us to Eroda
Only one person could get away with creating an entire fictional island and that’s Harry Styles. Prior to the release of his ‘Adore You’ music video, a Twitter account called @visiteroda and a website was launched which promoted the island of Eroda. Despite looking incredibly realistic, the whole thing was part of a mini-movie for Harry’s single, taken from his record-breaking album Fine Line.
The stratospheric rise of Lewis Capaldi
Scottish singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi has surpassed all expectations this year with his single ‘Someone You Loved’. The track spent seven consecutive weeks at number one in the UK whilst it also eventually crept to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 during its 24th week on the chart. The track has also been nominated for Song of the Year at the 2020 GRAMMY Awards. Lewis’ debut album Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent enjoyed similar success, becoming the fastest-selling debut album of the year and spending six weeks at the top of the charts in the UK.
The birth of baby Archie
On May 6, baby Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor was born – Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex’s baby boy who is seventh in line to the throne. Prince Harry spoke to the press to confirm the news, and a few days later he was joined by Meghan and baby Archie at Windsor castle as they introduced their son to the world. Whilst glimpses of Archie have been few and far between, he was the star of their adorable Christmas card this year.
Lil Nas X rewrites Billboard Hot 100 history
One song which has truly dominated 2019 is ‘Old Town Road’ by Lil Nas X. Despite being originally released in December 2018, the track rose to prominence at the beginning of the year and was re-released by Columbia Records in March. Lil Nas X was joined by Billy Ray Cyrus on the track, and they later peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. A number of remixes were also released featuring the likes of Diplo, BTS’ RM, Young Thug and Mason Ramsey. The track went on to spend a gargantuan 19 consecutive weeks at number one, becoming the longest number one in Billboard history and smashing the record of 16 weeks as previously held by both Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men’s ‘One Sweet Day’, and Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber’s ‘Despacito’. ‘Old Town Road’ has since been certified diamond and has been nominated for three GRAMMY awards.
Kylie Jenner’s Rise and Shiiiiine
Earlier this year, a clip of Kylie Jenner singing ‘rise and shiiiiine’ to wake up her daughter Stormi became a viral hit which truly broke the internet. Her warble caught everyone’s attention, inspiring hundreds of memes with even the likes of Miley Cyrus and Ariana Grande joining in on the fun. One of our favourite ‘Rise and Shiiiiine’ moments was during this year’s I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! when Ant McPartlin entered the camp and proceeded to sing ‘rise and shiiiiine’ in front of Kylie’s parent Caitlyn Jenner!
Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ finally hits number one
Despite being released 25 years ago all the way back in 1994, and charting every year since its release, Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ has never hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100….until this year! That’s right, quite possibly the most iconic Christmas hit of all time finally reached the top spot in 2019 and broke a load of records in the process. The track became Mariah’s 19th chart number one, meaning she beat the record she already held as the most chart-topping solo artist. It’s also the first festive number one on the Hot 100 in 61 years and broke the record for the longest trip to number one.
LadBaby and sausage rolls bag the UK Christmas number one…again!
Over in the UK, this Christmas saw another record-breaking hit top the charts in the form of LadBaby’s ‘I Love Sausage Rolls’. Comedy couple Mark and Roxanne claimed the coveted Christmas number one for the second year in a row thanks to their hilarious ode to the delicious beige treat, with all funds going to the foodbank charity The Trussell Trust. Along with The Beatles and The Spice Girls, LadBaby are the third act to claim back to back Christmas number ones and are also the first to achieve this feat in 21 years. They’ve also set a brand new record by becoming the first act to get two consecutive novelty Christmas number ones.
The end of Game Of Thrones
After eight seasons spanning 73 epsiodes, back in May we said goodbye to one of the most talked about shows of this decade, Game of Thrones. Whilst the season finale received a mixed reaction and was widely criticised by fans, that didn’t stop the show from earning a record-breaking 32 Emmy nominations.
The launch of Disney+
In November, Disney launched their very own streaming service called Disney+. Currently available in select countries, the streaming service signed up over 10 million subscribers on launch day alone. With a hearty library of over 7,000 television episodes and 500 films, including content from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, 20th Century Fox, and National Geographic, Disney+ features all of your favourite classics alongside brand new shows which have been created specifically for the streaming service. Some of the new offerings available include High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, The Mandalorian, The World According to Jeff Goldblum, Forky Asks a Question, and more!
Baby Yoda takes over the internet
Speaking of The Mandalorian, the main talking point of the series has no doubt been The Child, aka Baby Yoda. Not only has the adorable character been a breakout character in the series but it’s also become a popular meme on the internet. Baby Yoda merchandise is already available to pre-order and tbh we want it all.
Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty fashion show sets the world alight
Move over Victoria’s Secret, there’s a new fashion show in town! This year saw the first ever Savage x Fenty fashion show featuring a star studded line up of models and performers. With the likes of Cara Delevingne, Gigi & Bella Hadid, Laverne Cox, and Normani taking to the stage, the show featured a diverse range of models and celebrated fearlessness, confidence and inclusivity.
Taylor Swift’s iconic ‘You Need To Calm Down’ music video
The ‘You Need To Calm Down’ music video is jam packed with celebrity cameos and features a pro-LGBT message as well as a series of drag queens dressed as pop’s biggest princesses in a bid to encourage others to stop pitting these talented artists against each other. The highlight, however, is the highly anticipated reunion between Taylor and Katy Perry following the end of their public feud. Dressed as French fries and a hamburger respectively, the two hug it out in a truly touching moment.
Ariana Grande dominates with thank u, next
Released just sixth months after her fourth album Sweetener, Ariana Grande’s thank u, next enjoyed critical acclaim and topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic. In the US, it also broke the record for the largest streaming week for a pop album, debuting with 360,000 album-equivalent units. The singles of thank u, next also allowed Ariana to break chart records in the UK and US. Ariana became the third female artist to have two or more songs debut atop the Billboard Hot 100, whilst she also became the first female artist to replace herself at number one on the chart in the UK.
Avengers: Endgame breaks box office records
In April, Avengers: Endgame was unveiled to the world, smashing box office records and rounding off a 10 year phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the process. Not only did it break numerous records around the world, but it also became the highest-grossing film of all time, dethroning Avatar.
Billie Eilish makes GRAMMY nomination history
2019 has been a huge year for Billie Eilish with the success of her single ‘Bad Guy’ and debut album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? However, to top off a phenomenal year, she also received six GRAMMY Award 2020 nominations. In the process, she made history by becoming the youngest artist to be nominated in the four main categories in the same year (she was 17 at the time).
Stormzy takes on Glastonbury
Rapper Stormzy has been a driving force throughout 2019 but his headline performance at Glastonbury was most definitely one of the biggest talking points of the year. Using his platform to highlight struggles that minorities face in the UK and to speak on political issues, Stormzy presented these issues to the huge Glastonbury crowd and to those watching at home. His set was a combination of the hardships of what it means to be black in the 21st century whilst also celebrating black lives in an empowering manner. There’s no doubt that Stormzy’s thought-provoking set will go down in history.