Top 9 Pop Culture Moments Of 2019

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Ok so a star is born was technically released in 2018 but its impact still soared into 2019 with a steamy performance at the Oscars in February.
Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper took to the stage to sing Shallow side by side whilst viewers sat in their homes and at their Oscar parties tweeting with tenacious passion about the suspected romance between the two performers. Every look, breath and blink was dissected along with those of Irina Shayk, Coopers (ex 👀) wife as she watched the emotional performance from the crowd. When I say I was shook I WAS SHOOK.
This film has imprinted into my heart and I can’t think about *that* dog scene without instantly crying.
The soundtrack was a once in a decade treat soaring from shallow depths to record winning achievements including that coveted Oscar win. I’m kind of sad that we don’t have a movie and soundtrack of this kind to carry us through the upcoming awards season. Everything felt magical – from the initial filming of the movie (hi Glastonbury live set) to the iconic outfits that Gaga stunned in throughout awards season, mirroring her roles predecessors. Every now and again a movie comes through the ranks that truly shakes up the world of Pop Culture and A Star Is Born certainly did that. It also shakes up my local Karaoke bar as I without fail passionately perform Shallow and Is That Alright much to the disdain of my group e v e r y single time. 

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image: HBO

 

Well how the hell do I summarise this eh? I wrote approx 15 thousand words on the final season of our beloved HBO show and it all feels kind of like a dream like state now. Whether that’s from the fatigue that filled me every Monday as I was physically and emotionally exhausted from the prior 24 hours in which I’d watch the episode approx four times in order to pen my observations – or perhaps it’s from the sheer lack of lustre the world of social media has now showered on the shows final season. The fan rewrites are out, the actors honest opinions are out (director / writers too) and yeah, it’s all a bit underwhelming or overwhelming I don’t quite know which? Whatever you thought of the final are, there’s no denying the impact the show has had on the world for the past 8 years. Pubs have been better off for rowdy discussions, WhatsApp group chats have flourished with debates about theories and conspiracies, twitter has been alive with side achingly humorous memes and Britain boasted a huge range of our talented actors from the top of the the isles to the bottom. It truly was one hell of a ride.

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February’s pop culture headlines were dominated with more Kardashian drama as Jordyn Woods (best friend, confidante, ‘wife’, and house mate of Kylie Jenner) was caught getting close to Khloe Kardashians ex boyfriend and baby daddy Tristan Thomas. Many of the Kardashian clan took to social media to air their graces whilst social media was divided as to who’s ‘team’ they were on. Jordyn joined her family friend Jada Pinkett Smith on her show ‘Red Table Talk’ to have her side of the story made clear which only fueled Khloe Kardashians aggravation further. Whilst Kylie hasn’t said too much on the subject it is clear that the two have parted ways in their friendship with no sign of reconciliation anytime soon. It seems that the Kardashians attract this level of drama every year – the past few years we have had Kylies secret pregnancy, I Am Cait, Kims 72 Day Wedding – whatever will happen next? Perhaps they will shock the world by ceasing their explicit use of Private Jets so that their ‘climate change is real’ posts actually have some depth to them. Just a thought x 

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In November, Taylor Swift  (my love, my life) came out with a statement explaining how the masters of her music were being held by her former record label in particular Scott Borchetta. Not one to usually air personal and business matters, Taylor took to social media to explain the treatment towards her from studio bosses as she felt she had no other avenues left to take. Big Machine Group label who were the ones to initially sign Taylor at the start if her career sold Taylors back catalogue to Scooter Braun (manager to the likes of Justin Bieber, and Ariana Grande) without even allowing Taylor the chance to aquire them herself. This was a huge personal blow to Taylor as Scooter has been nothing short of spiteful towards her through an array of feuds (Kanye, Bieber etc…) This business matter has prompted Taylor to be in a position to re-record her old music in order for her fans to be able to stream the music without Scooter and Scott being able to profit from it. The fact that she spoke out about the injustice and inequality of the sexes even for someone who is right at the top of the industry success wise, led to a large movement of stars speaking up about their own similar experiences. Despite Braun and Borchetta both releasing retaliating statements, few are in their favour. Taylor has said she will in fact re-record her back catalogue and she is due to put out a Netflix documentary next year about her life which no doubt will touch upon the issues raised here. #IStandWithTaylor

 

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May brought us a brand new baby boy in the form of Prince Archie. Whilst the arrival was met with adoration for the most part, Meghan Markle was unfairly shamed for making the decision to not present the baby hours after birth to the worlds press as follows usual royal protocol. This once again led to a tirade of racially charged social media attacks which led to Prince Harry releasing a letter to the worlds media claiming that they were going to sue the daily mirror (HURRAY) The tabloids have been against Meghan since she first appeared on the Royal scene and they have arguably worsened since her marriage to Harry and throughout her pregnancy. I truly hope that by Harry speaking out against them, it can be the difference that makes all the difference.

 

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image: Josh Cole Instagram

 

Another person that dominated Pop Culture and quickly became an iconic British comedy icon was Phoebe Waller Bridge. She jingle and jangled her way through award season scooping up all the highly coveted awards and providing us with this gem of a photo in doing so. (PS I want this on my bedroom wall plz) People across the country went CRAZY about a priest and we were all enchanted by the high highs and very low lows of our protagonists life in the effervescent Fleabag. Phoebe Waller Bridge  penned and starred in the BBC comedy and her career continued to bubble relentlessly behind the scenes as she was hired as the writer of the new James Bond film No Time To Die as well as writing BBC Americas Killing Eve which also dominated the national and global TV awards. Thankfully she is also writing and starring in a brand new show set for a 2020 release called ‘Run’ which is synopsised as ‘two ex-lovers activate a long-planned escape to disappear together’ Whatever PWB touches turns to wonderful British exciting luscious magic so my hopes are high for next year too!

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In June, stormzy made history by becoming the first British black solo artist to headline the festival and he did so by delivering a consistently powerful and political performance which managed to break through the grime circle into the mainstream. Stormy wore a Stab proof vest designed and gifted by Banksy which assisted in highlighting the issues with inequality in the criminal justice system as well as the rise of knife crime in the UK. The headlining set was received highly by critics, old fans and new fans alike making it one of the most successful Glastonbury headlining sets in years. 

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In 2019 the Victoria Secrets fashion show shut its cat walk for the first time in 24 years. Lesley Wexer who is Chief Executer to L Brands (VS parent company) claimed that ‘going forward we don’t believe that network television is the right fit’ and that they were going to ‘evolve and change and grow.’ This was interpreted by many as simply a direct result to the dwindling numbers and the rise of the anti VS parties who exposed the dark side of the fashion shows which included eating disorders and transphobic comments (made by former Chief Marketing Exec Ed Razek) Filling the gap in the lingerie fashion show world came Goddess herself Rihanna who previewed her Savage x Fenty lingerie line whilst challenging everything that VS ever was. Her cast was size inclusive, ethnically diverse and the overarching vibe of the show was a lot more empowering and inspirational than VS ever could have been. The future of VS shows is debatable and quite frankly I certainly didn’t miss the anxious guilt that follows from watching the show this year. Long live badgal Riri the only lingerie line we need to see on stage x

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Pop Culture met Climate Change as the media world was introduced to Greta Thunberg. The 16 year old Climate activist and TIMEs Person Of The Year has no doubt been all over your feeds this year as each month she delivers something more remarkable as the year has progressed. Whether it’s a meme of her staring out Donald Trump across the room, or her powerful speech at the Climate Action Summit she has made her mark on the world and inspired thousands of other school children to take the reigns when it comes to fighting climate change and revolution. She has ended this year in conversation with David Attenborough which in an emotional and powerful exchange saw the two discuss how vital it is to encourage others to make an environmental positive impact. You can watch the (simply ADORABLE) interview here which was delivered via Skype due to neither party wanting to increase their carbon footprint. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/science-environment-50904881/when-greta-thunberg-met-sir-david-attenborough

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