LONDON (Reuters) – From the return of cinema’s favourite spy to “Friends” reuniting, an array of stories dominated entertainment news headlines this year. Below are some of the biggest stories.
* After several delays, the release of James Bond movie “No Time To Die” gave pandemic-hit cinemas a much-needed boost.
Studios shuffled schedules and in some cases, films were released simultaneously in cinemas and on streaming platforms.
New York’s Broadway and London’s West End re-opened, albeit with COVID safety measures in place. Live music also returned.
* Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish took the top prizes at the Grammy Awards while Beyonce became the most awarded female artist in Grammy history, with a total 28 wins.
The Oscars saw “Nomadland” scoop best picture and best director for Chinese-born Chloe Zhao, making her the first Asian woman and only the second woman ever to win the prize.
* U.S. television network NBC dropped its broadcast of the 2022 Golden Globes after a backlash over the ethics of the HFPA group which hands out the annual film and television awards and its lack of diversity. The group has said it has made sweeping changes and will hold its ceremony in January.
* Now living in California, Prince Harry and wife Meghan sent shock waves when, in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Meghan accused Britain’s royal family of raising concerns about how dark the skin of the couple’s first child would be.
She said the stress of life as a royal newlywed had pushed her to the brink of suicide.
* Pop star Britney Spears regained control of her personal life and money when a judge ended a 13-year conservatorship after a long legal battle.
* Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed when a gun held by actor Alec Baldwin fired off a live bullet on the set of Western “Rust”. Baldwin said the revolver went off when he was cocking the gun. The incident is being investigated.
* Ten people died in a stampede at Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival in Houston. Lawsuits were filed against the rapper and promoters.
* On television, the cast of “Friends” reunited for a tearful TV special. South Korean Netflix series “Squid Game” became a global sensation.
* In music, ABBA released their first album in 40 years. Adele stormed the charts with comeback record “30”. Swift released re-recorded albums to take back control of her early catalogue.
* Billionaire Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, now known as Ye, announced their divorce. Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck rekindled their romance after nearly 20 years.
* Criminal cases during the #MeToo era saw former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein extradited from New York to Los Angeles to face trial on rape and sexual assault charges.
Singer R. Kelly was convicted by a federal jury of sex trafficking.
* The world said goodbye to Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, actors Christopher Plummer, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Cicely Tyson, Helen McCrory and Olympia Dukakis, comedian Jackie Mason, rapper DMX, The Supremes co-founder Mary Wilson, TV interviewer Larry King, Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt, fashion designers Alber Elbaz and Virgil Abloh and composers Stephen Sondheim and Mikis Theodorakis. Record producer Phil Spector died in prison.
(Compiled by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Gareth Jones)