The biggest entertainment stories of 2017

What a year it’s been.

From the unbelievable Oscars “best picture” gaffe to concert mass shootings to the sexual assault scandal rocking Hollywood, 2017 certainly sucked the fun out of entertainment.

To top off the sorrow, we lost multiple renowned musicians throughout the year, among them rock superstars Chris Cornell of Soundgarden, folk-rock legend Tom Petty and Chester Bennington of Linkin Park.

As much as we don’t want to rehash the pain, here are the biggest entertainment stories of the year (don’t worry, at least one is a happy story).

Moonlight La La Land wins Best Picture Oscar

If you were watching the 2017 Oscars live and lasted until the end (a hard task), you bore witness to the biggest-ever gaffe in Oscars history. Award presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway were inadvertently handed the Best Actress envelope instead of the Best Picture envelope, resulting in Dunaway announcing La La Land as best picture of the year. (Emma Stone of La La Land had picked up that award minutes before.)

Beatty, obviously confused by what he read on the card, then interrupted the acceptance speech, awkwardly trying to explain that Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight was the real winner. As the La La Land team was celebrating onstage, producer Jordan Horowitz took to the microphone to say: “There’s been a mistake. Moonlight, you guys won best picture.”

He then graciously passed his statue to the Moonlight producers, reiterating, “This is not a joke.”

Bomb kills 22 at Ariana Grande concert

Twenty-two people were pronounced dead — including children — and 59 were wounded after an explosion at the Manchester Arena in northern England, where American pop star Ariana Grande was performing on May 22.

Authorities confirmed that the incident was a suicide attack and they believe it was carried out by one man, Manchester Chief Const. Ian Hopkins said.

There was widespread confusion and panic in the immediate aftermath of the explosion, with some people screaming that they’d seen blood but others saying it was nothing more than a popped speaker or balloons bursting, the BBC reported.

Grande revealed she was left “broken” after the incident.

On June 4, Grande held the One Love Manchester benefit concert to raise money for the victims of the Manchester bombing at Ariana Grande’s concert on May 22 that left 22 dead.

BBC One aired the concert live and it drew nearly half the U.K. viewing audience, with 14.5 million viewers and a 49.3 per cent share, according to Variety. It averaged 10.9 million for the entire show, which aired for more than three hours on June 4.

Mass shooting kills 58 at Las Vegas country music festival

In what’s been classified as the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. modern history — 58 people lost their lives at a Las Vegas country music festival on Oct. 1. More than 500 others were injured and psychologically scarred by the events.

Country music star Jason Aldean was performing at the end of the three-day Route 91 Harvest Festival when a lone gunman opened fire across the street from a 32nd-floor Mandalay Bay hotel room, raining bullets down on the outdoor music festival. In a fan-captured video of the deadly attack, the country singer is seen running off the stage shortly after gunshots are heard.

“Tonight has been beyond horrific. I still don’t know what to say…” Aldean wrote on Instagram post-concert. “My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved tonight. It hurts my heart that this would happen to anyone who was just coming out to enjoy what should have been a fun night.”

The two tragedies raised the issue of concert safety, and brought the question of security to the fore.

Twins invade Hollywood

2017 was the year of twins for many Hollywood parents.

Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo welcomed his twins Eva and Mateo in June.

Beyoncé and Jay-Z also welcomed their twins, Rumi and Sir Carter, in June.

The Formation songstress revealed she was expecting twins — and broke the Internet — back in February when she posted a photo of herself on Instagram displaying her ample baby bump, writing: “We would like to share our love and happiness. We have been blessed two times over. We are incredibly grateful that our family will be growing by two, and we thank you for your well wishes. – The Carters.”

Beyoncé debuted her twins one month after they were born. She posted a picture of herself holding the babies on Instagram, with the caption, “Sir Carter and Rumi 1 month today.”

George and Amal Clooney also welcomed their twins in June.

The Clooneys confirmed the happy news saying: “Ella, Alexander and Amal are all healthy, happy and doing fine. George is sedated and should recover in a few days.”

Clooney’s twin son and daughter, Alexander and Ella, were born in London and have been kept out of the public eye.

Anna Kournikova and Enrique Iglesias became first-time parents in December to twins.

According to TMZ, who first reported the news, the tennis star gave birth to a boy and a girl, son Nicholas and daughter Lucy.

Multiple musicians left us

Just when we thought 2016 was a bad year for deaths in music, 2017 wasn’t much better.

Some of the musicians we lost include Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell, who took his own life in May; folk rocker Tom Petty, who died of cardiac arrest at age 66 in October; Chester Bennington of rock band Linkin Park, who also killed himself in July at age 41; Partridge Family star David Cassidy, who succumbed to organ failure at 66; guitarist Malcolm Young of AC/DC, who suffered from dementia; Glen Campbell, the “Rhinestone Cowboy”; and one very close to Canadians’ hearts, Tragically Hip lead singer Gord Downie, whose short battle with brain cancer ended in October. He was only 53.

(This is by no means a complete list. Global News is publishing an article on Dec. 30, listing the celebrities we’ve lost in 2017.)

The return of Jelena

One of Hollywood’s most famous on-off couples seems to be back in the on position, with the recent public reconnecting of Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez.

Jelena were first spotted together in late October, when Bieber’s car was seen outside of Gomez’s house.

In early November, the pair were spotted out together again and it was revealed that Gomez had ended her 10-month relationship with The Weeknd.

“Something that I’m really proud of is that there’s such a true friendship ,” said Gomez for Billboard’s Woman of the Year cover story. “I truly have never experienced anything like that in my life. We ended it as best friends, and it was genuinely about encouraging and caring , and that was pretty remarkable for me.”

Gomez also spoke about Bieber, and she said it’s all about growth.

“I’m 25. I’m not 18, or 19, or 20,” she explained. “I cherish people who have really impacted my life. So maybe before, it could have been forcing something that wasn’t right. But that doesn’t mean caring for someone ever goes away.”

2017 was also a major year for Gomez’s health. The singer underwent a kidney transplant due to her struggle with lupus this summer.

Actress Francia Raisa was her donor and the former Wizards of Waverly Place star announced the news on Instagram by posting a photo of her and Raisa holding hands on their hospital beds.

View this post on Instagram

I’m very aware some of my fans had noticed I was laying low for part of the summer and questioning why I wasn’t promoting my new music, which I was extremely proud of. So I found out I needed to get a kidney transplant due to my Lupus and was recovering. It was what I needed to do for my overall health. I honestly look forward to sharing with you, soon my journey through these past several months as I have always wanted to do with you. Until then I want to publicly thank my family and incredible team of doctors for everything they have done for me prior to and post-surgery. And finally, there aren’t words to describe how I can possibly thank my beautiful friend Francia Raisa. She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed. I love you so much sis. Lupus continues to be very misunderstood but progress is being made. For more information regarding Lupus please go to the Lupus Research Alliance website: www.lupusresearch.org/ -by grace through faith

A post shared by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on

Gomez became emotional as she opened up about her recent kidney transplant in an interview.

“My kidneys were just done. That was it,” the tearful actress said in a sneak peek of Today’s interview. “I didn’t want to ask a single person in my life and that was the day, when I came home, I found out she volunteered and did it.”

“You feel that Francia saved your life,” Today host Savannah Guthrie said to the It Ain’t Me singer.

“Because she did. That’s it,” Gomez said. “I guess I got to the point where it was really, kind of, life or death.”

The ongoing Hollywood sexual assault scandal

At the start of the year, the big sexual assault story involved former sitcom star Bill Cosby, who was facing trial for allegedly drugging and raping women over decades. The trial seemed to go on for months, and in the end, the judge declared a mistrial because of a deadlocked jury, and Cosby walked free.

Little did we realize that the sexual assault accusations in Hollywood were just beginning. In October, the first accusations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein started to roll in, and from there, the scandal in Hollywood totally snowballed.

Famous men of all stripes — from producers to actors — were accused of sexual harassment, assault and general misconduct. Actor Kevin Spacey, producer Brett Ratner, producer James Toback, actor Jeffrey Tambor, actor Jeremy Piven, newscaster Matt Lauer, journalist Charlie Rose, actor Danny Masterson, comedian Louis C.K., actor T.J. Miller, music mogul Russell Simmons are among the men who allegedly assaulted women.

Prince Harry announces engagement to Meghan Markle

There was, at least, a little bit of good news this year. Prince Harry, long lingering on the royal sidelines, had his own announcement to make: he and his girlfriend, Meghan Markle, were engaged to be married. Looks like another royal wedding in 2018!

If their official engagement photos are any indication of what’s to come, we’d better start preparing for the elegant, heartwarming extravaganza next May.

That unfortunate Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad

Kendall Jenner was feeling the wrath of the Twitterverse thanks to her commercial for Pepsi, with critics of the ad bashing it as a sleazy attempt by Madison Avenue to co-opt genuine political activism in order to sell a soft drink.

Pepsi’s controversial ad featured Kendall Jenner “solving” a protest by handing out a can of Pepsi.

Critics say the image of Jenner handing the officer a Pepsi evoked a photo of Black Lives Matter protester Ieshia Evans approaching an officer at a demonstration in Baton Rouge last year.

PepsiCo pulled the ad on April 5 and apologized, saying “we did not intend to make light of any serious issue,” after many people on social media criticized it for being “tone deaf.”

Bernice King, the daughter of the late Martin Luther King Jr., tweeted in opposition to the ad, writing, “If only Daddy would have known about the power of #Pepsi.”

Kathy Griffin and the bloody Trump head

Comedian Kathy Griffin sent the entertainment world into a tailspin when she posted a photo of herself holding a (fake) severed Donald Trump head.

Amid strong backlash, she said sorry, but then soon retracted her apology, even holding a press conference to explain how Trump “broke” her and how her career will never recover. As of this writing, Griffin hasn’t quite found her footing and has been barred from returning to her Times Square New Year’s Eve gig.

Aaron Carter returns to rehab, comes out as bisexual

Aaron Carter sat down for an interview on Aug. 14 with Elvis Duran on The Z100 Morning Show, where he revealed how he stays positive through his tough times, thanking “all the people who support me, and the ones who don’t, because you motivate me.”

Carter also addressed his feelings of being “misunderstood and misinterpreted” by his former girlfriend Madison Parker after coming out as bisexual.

“I came out about my history and said I’m attracted to men and women equally. I just can’t live a lie anymore. It’s hypocrisy, even the ones that claim they love you will let you down,” he said.

Carter added that when he revealed “my truth to her, she left me, she didn’t accept what I was going to say, and she left me. Now I’m just trying to do what I have to do.”

The singer also addressed the rumours regarding his thin appearance and said the rumours will be put to rest in an upcoming television show.

“People are saying I have HIV, I have AIDS, I’m a meth head, I’m a crack head, I do heroin. It really hurts,” Carter said. “I did this TV show called The Doctors, and you’re going to see a huge reveal, and you’re going to see everything. That’s what’s really happening right now in my world.”

Carter initially entered treatment on Sept. 22. “Only I can change my life,” he tweeted that night. “No one can do it for me.”

“Aaron has decided to enter a facility to improve his health and work on his overall wellness,” his publicist Steve Honig said at the time. “He is going to do this privately and focus all his attention on being the best person and performer possible. He is grateful for the support and love from his fans and looks forward to coming back stronger than ever before.”

The I Want Candy singer left rehab in early October to attend to “legal and personal matters” that “required his immediate and in-person attention,” Honig said on Oct. 6. But after those matters were resolved, he returned to the wellness facility.

“Aaron has taken care of the legal and financial matters that required his attention and returned to the wellness facility to complete his program,” Honig said in a statement.

During his brief stint out of rehab, Carter returned to social media to reveal his 30-pound weight gain.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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