As the year comes to a close and with 2018 nearly upon us, we take stock of some of the most captivating celebrity news stories over the months.
While there were adorable celebrity births, engagements, weddings and even a royalty engagement to warm our hearts, the year has also given us our fair share of the undesired, the unnecessary and the uncalled for – tragedies, scandals, and heartaches included.
Well, life has a way of evening things out. It is indeed a great leveler.
Here are ten such highs and lows that 2017 has thrown at us.
Celebrities Record Their Obama Moments in an Emotional Video
Celebrities pay their respect to outgoing President Barack Obama by recording their individual Obama Moments in an emotional video titled, “Yes We Can: Your Most Memorable Moments from the Obama Presidency.”
Here’s what some celebrities called their Obama Moment.
Tom Hanks’ Obama Moment:
“When he [Obama] just changed all the rules on the table in regards to Cuba with the most succinct motivation imaginable.”
To prove his point in regards to Obama’s views on the Cuban issue Hanks quoted Obama, “What we’ve been doing hasn’t worked,” and laughingly added that it made “all the sense in the world.”
Leonardo DiCaprio’s Obama Moment:
“When I was at the U.N. and I, you know I heard, our president say that climate change is the most important issue facing, not only this generation but also future generations, it was inspiring.”
Melinda Gates’ Obama Moment:
“For me, it was traveling with the President to schools in Boston.”
What appealed to her was the way he “engaged with the students was just one of those moments to see him connect like that, that I think you see throughout his presidency.”
John Legend’s Obama Moment:
“I never cried before from election results” and laughs probably seeing the funny side of it.
Chance the Rapper’s Obama Moment:
“His battle towards the end to pardon a lot of convicted felons who had been given heavy sentences for small drug-related crimes.”
Samuel L Jackson’s Obama Moment:
“The moment that, you know, we got the Affordable Care Act passed. I have relatives that, you know, can’t afford health insurance, so it was really a great thing to know that if something happened to them they’d get cared for.”
Major Goof-Up at the Oscars
In one of the most awkward and embarrassing Oscar moments in recent memory, presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway named “La La Land” as winners of the Best Picture award instead of the “Moonlight.”
The entire “La La Land” team of cast, crew, and creators took the stage amid much applause and cheer. It wasn’t until producers Jordan Horowitz, Marc Platt and Fred Berger had given their acceptance speeches that it became clear they were declared the wrong winners.
Horowitz took the mic and announced that there had been a mistake.
“Guys, I’m sorry, no, there’s a mistake,” he explained. “Moonlight, you guys won Best Picture. This is not a joke.”
A visibly embarrassed Beatty said he was handed the wrong envelope backstage. Later, the Oscar tallying firm PricewaterhouseCoopers acknowledged their mistake in a public statement tendering their apology to all concerned.
“We sincerely apologize to Moonlight, La La Land, Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, and Oscar viewers for the error that was made during the award announcement for Best Picture,” read a statement from PricewaterhouseCoopers. “The presenters had mistakenly been given the wrong category envelope and when discovered, was immediately corrected.”
Needless to say, the snafu became comedy fodder at subsequent awards shows.
“Bachelor in Paradise” Sex Scandal
In June, Warner Bros. released a statement saying that production of “Bachelor in Paradise” was suspended amid allegations of misconduct.
“We have become aware of allegations of misconduct on the set of Bachelor in Paradise in Mexico. We have suspended production and we are conducting a thorough investigation of these allegations. Once the investigation is complete, we will take appropriate responsive action,” the statement said.
It soon became clear that the incident that led to the suspension of production involved cast members DeMario Jackson and Corinne Olympios. Allegedly, under the influence of alcohol, the two ended up having sex at the poolside in full glare of the crew members.
People who Demario spoke to said that while DeMario was involved in sexual acts he did not have intercourse with Corinne.
Here’s part of what DeMario is supposed to have told them.
“DeMario says Corinne then suggested they retreat to the pool, with the cameras rolling. They took off their clothes, started making out and “rubbing, touching and fingering.” He says she put her genitals on his face and he began licking, but we’re told this allegation is a big point of contention and others disagree with his account. He says he was not able to engage in intercourse because of the alcohol.”
And here’s what Corrinne said in a statement released by her legal representative a few days after the incident.
“I am a victim and have spent the last week trying to make sense of what happened on June 4,” she wrote. “Although I have little memory of that night, something bad obviously took place, which I understand is why production on the show has now been suspended and a producer on the show has filed a complaint against the production… As a woman, this is my worst nightmare and it has now become my reality.”
Manchester Arena Terror Attack
On May 22, soon after Ariana Grande left the Manchester Arena stage following her performance, a suicide bomber blew himself up in the foyer, killing 22 people and injuring 220 others.
A lesser mortal would have stayed away and could have been forgiven for it considering the impact such carnage can have on a person’s psyche. However, the brave and compassionate Ariana who left the UK “broken, from the bottom of my heart,” returned on June 4 for the “One Love” concert, at the Old Trafford cricket ground, she organized for the benefit of the Manchester attack victims.
For this act of compassion and bravery, she became the first person, ever, to receive an honorary citizenship of Manchester.
Beyoncé Gives Birth to Twins
On June 13, Beyonce and JAY-Z were blessed with twins – a boy and a girl – whom they named Sir and Rumi, respectively. The arrival of the twins made them a family of five, including their 5-year-old daughter Blue Ivy. One month later the couple shared the first pictures of their bundles of joy on Instagram.
Mob Deep Rapper Prodigy (Albert Johnson) Dies
On June 20, American rapper Prodigy, 42, who together with Havoc (Kejuan Muchita) made up the hip-hop duo Mobb Deep, died of accidental choking.
Initially, his death was attributed to sickle cell anemia, which he had been battling with for a long time and had even been hospitalized because of it a few days before his death.
Here’s the statement released by Mobb Deep’s publicist to the music website XXL following Prodigy’s death:
“It is with extreme sadness and disbelief that we confirm the death of our dear friend Albert Johnson, better known to millions of fans as Prodigy of legendary NY rap duo Mobb Deep. Prodigy was hospitalized a few days ago in Vegas after a Mobb Deep performance for complications caused by a sickle cell anemia crisis. As most of his fans know, Prodigy battled the disease since birth. The exact causes of death have yet to be determined. We would like to thank everyone for respecting the family’s privacy at this time.”
Johnny Depp Puts His Foot in His Mouth with “Assassinating-the-President” Joke
In June, Johnny Depp had to tender an apology for his comment at the Glastonbury Festival in the UK where he had made an “assassination” remark in jest, but as it turned out, the wisecrack came back to bite him in the ass.
“I think he needs help and there are a lot of wonderful dark, dark places he could go,” Depp had said about Trump. He then asked the crowd, “When was the last time an actor assassinated a president?”
“I apologize for the bad joke I attempted last night in poor taste about President Trump,” he later apologized while speaking exclusively to People magazine. “It did not come out as intended, and I intended no malice. I was only trying to amuse, not to harm anyone.”
Playboy Founder, Hugh Hefner Dies at 91
On September 27, the man behind the iconic Playboy magazine, the man who became the emblem of sexual revolution, the man who provided an escape route from social intolerance, died peacefully from natural causes at his home, the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles’ Holmby Hills neighborhood, near Beverly Hills.
Playboy Enterprises announced his death through a press release.
“Hugh M. Hefner, the American icon who in 1953 introduced the world to Playboy magazine and built the company into one of the most recognizable American global brands in history, peacefully passed away today from natural causes at his home, The Playboy Mansion, surrounded by loved ones,” the statement confirmed. “He was 91 years old.”
Las Vegas Shooting
On October 1st, in one of the deadliest attacks in the US, a lone gunman shot dead 58 people and injured nearly 500 at the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival in Las Vegas, where Jason Aldean was performing at the time.
The 64-year-old shooter, who was later identified as Stephen Paddock, was shooting from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay property, where he was finally gunned down by the police.
“So many people are hurting… Children, brothers, sisters, parents — they’re all part of our family… We’re gonna work through these tough times together, all the way,” Aldean said, before performing a cover of Tom Petty’s iconic tune “I Won’t Back Down” as a tribute to shooting victims and to the late rocker, who died on Oct. 2.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Get Officially Engaged
After months of media speculation about the developing relationship between Britain’s Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle, Clarence House finally released a statement confirming their engagement.
The royal statement also confirmed that the wedding would take place in the spring of 2018 and that the couple would live in Nottingham Cottage, Kensington Palace.
Not too long after the announcement, the couple sat down for their first joint interview.