While popular culture is more segmented than ever before, there are some moments that transcend those social silos.
We’ve compiled a list including a few of the events from this year that, unless you were living under a rock, you surely remember.
Free Britney: Going into 2022, pop music icon Britney Spears had been under a long-term conservatorship through which her father (among others) dictated even the most mundane aspects of her life. This year, she and her supporters scored a victory when a court liberated her from that situation — and she celebrated by posting a bunch of very revealing photos of herself.
Smith’s slap: Will Smith was known as a good guy in Hollywood after seamlessly transitioning from a bestselling rapper to a reliable leading man in a slew of popular movies. That reputation was sullied during the Oscars this year, however, when he landed a slap on host Chris Rock’s face after Rock delivered a joke at the expense of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
Ye or nay: Kanye West had a, well, eventful 2022. After finalizing his divorce from Kim Kardashian and telling everybody that his new name is “Ye,” he launched a 2024 presidential bid and set out to be as antisemitic as humanly possible. He lost tons of contracts and proved to be even too controversial for Alex Jones when he appeared on the outrageous conspiracy theorist’s show to proclaim his affection for Adolf Hitler.
Royal rumble: Queen Elizabeth died this year, leaving behind a legacy as Britain’s longest-serving monarch and paving the way for her son to become King Charles III. Meanwhile, the monarchy remains embroiled in controversy as Prince Harry and his wife Meghan continue revealing details about their decision to step away from their royal duties.