The worlds of celebrity and pop culture were filled with plenty of attention-grabbing moments over the course of 2015, and sometimes enough similar ones — like the moment when a long-married celeb couple calls it quits — to constitute a troubling trend. Here’s what got our attention this year.
1. The year of the Celebrity Divorce
Sure, there were some notable weddings this year — hooray, Jennifer Aniston! — but they were greatly overshadowed by the number of married couples that packed it in. From Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner to Halle Berry and Olivier Martinez, 2015 really looked like the year of knowing when to say when. Heck, “The Voice” judges Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton even had time to parlay their splits — from Gavin Rossdale and Miranda Lambert, respectively — into a new, camera-friendly romance.
2. Justin Bieber makes a comeback
In 2014, Justin Bieber was Canada’s most hated export. But this year, a pop-culture miracle occurred and he is back on top thanks to excessively apologizing and releasing some actually very good new music. Joining forces with Skrillex and Diplo, Bieber’s song “What Do You Mean?” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts — that, in addition to two other songs dominating the charts.
3. That one Kardashian family continued to exist
In 2015, Kris and her extended brood — Kanye included — did everything they could to take the “we live in public” mantra to heart — and attempt to steal the thunder of ex Caitlyn Jenner. But did it work? Well, we now know who Tyga is, Kim K. continues to dominate Instagram and Twitter. Kanye even said he’s running for president and we actually humored him. That’s got to count for something.
4. Taylor Swift’s overstuffed squad
Taylor Swift hit the road this year for her “1989” tour and decided to use it as a chance to prove to the world that she knows a lot — and we do mean a lot — of famous people, with special cameos onstage by everyone: The U.S. women’s soccer team, Ricky Martin, Miranda Lambert, Justin Timberlake — the list goes on. But she wasn’t impossible to say no to. No less than Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan were able to resist her charms. And honestly, Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Schumer dancing on Billy Joel’s piano felt much more organic.
5. Ariana Grande’s donut debacle
One way to help make your bubbly young pop-star self seem more relatable to the fans? Showing that you like to get stoned and skulk around donut shops, maybe even overstepping your bounds and taste-testing a pastry or two on the counter, as Ariana Grande did in a great 2015 moment caught on camera. Not so helpful in the relatability game? Declaring that you “hate America” after being chastized for your intoxicated behavior.
Follow Ned Ehrbar on Twitter: @nedrick