The year 2018 was marked by a constant parade of riveting headlines and tumultuous political news — and the world of celebrity happenings was no less dramatic. From scandalous tweets to lavish weddings to jail sentences, this year was one for the books (and gossip magazines). If there’s any doubt about how intense 2018 was, just look to the Oxford Dictionary Word of the Year: toxic!
Could you keep up with the many trials and triumphs that rocked the celebrity world in 2018? Take a walk down memory lane with some of the year’s highest-profile headlines, in no particular order.
The Royal Wedding Of Meghan Markle And Prince Harry
Unless you reside beneath an actual rock, you’re likely aware that 2018 was the year when Meghan Markle, American actress, wed England’s redheaded royal bachelor, Prince Harry. The couple captivated the world’s attention, perhaps because Markle brings a brand-new, outsider’s perspective to the old-fashioned family. Thus, the media fervor leading up to the nuptials, which took place on Saturday, May 19, was intense. Yet somehow, the event still managed to be impressive and almost — as far as royal wedding traditions go — revolutionary.
The tremendous guest list included celebrities from both sides of the pond, and the ceremony featured nods to the backgrounds of both the bride and groom, with a powerful sermon from the Rev. Michael Bruce Curry and a moving rendition of “Stand By Me” woven amidst the typical British royal wedding conventions. The end result was an English-American mash-up of both joyful celebration and solemn acknowledgment of the family’s royal legacy.
Aretha Franklin’s Death On Aug. 16
We lost the “Queen of Soul” in August at the age of 76. Franklin’s incomparable talent and powerful voice earned her 18 Grammy Awards, with a whopping 44 nominations during her career. She drew accolades from outside of the music industry as well, as she was awarded honorary doctorates from both Harvard and Princeton, and she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005. Franklin was also the first female named to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Fans the world over mourned her passing. In late August, when her hometown Detroit Tigers offered their own tribute, a rainbow appeared over the field, leading many to speculate that the Queen was showing her appreciation.
Ariana Grande And Pete Davidson Dated, Got Engaged—And Then Broke Up
… all in 2018! Like another celebrity couple that made this list, Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas, pop powerhouse Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson of “SNL” had a whirlwind romance in which they dated and got engaged in very quick succession. The pair reportedly started dating in May, and they became “Instagram official” on May 30. In June, they confirmed that they were, in fact, engaged to be married. The lovebirds even adopted a pig together (Piggy Smalls) and got multiple tattoos for each other.
By mid-October, however, the honeymoon was over before it even began, as the couple split up and called off their engagement. Less than a month later, Grande’s new song, “thank u, next,” debuted in the No. 1 spot in the Billboard Hot 100 — a first for the singer. The new tune was an ode to her exes, including Davidson.
Roseanne Barr Was Kicked Off Her Sitcom
Beloved sitcom of yesteryear, “Roseanne,” returned to TV in 2018 and quickly became the No. 1 show of the season. Its status as the rare successful reboot was short-lived, however, as namesake Roseanne Barr was fired after writing a racist tweet aimed at former Obama staffer Valerie Jarrett. ABC canceled “Roseanne” due to mounting outrage from the press, fans and even Barr’s costars.
However, the network later announced that “The Connors” — a spin-off featuring nearly the entire cast, minus its eponymous star — would air in the fall. The show failed to attract as much attention as the initial reboot and struggled in the ratings.
The Kardashian-Jenner Sisters Welcomed 3 New Baby Girls
The beginning of 2018 saw a third baby for Kim Kardashian and Kanye West when they welcomed a baby girl via surrogate on Jan. 15. Due to complications with her first two pregnancies, Kardashian West opted to have a gestational carrier carry her third baby, whom they named Chicago West (Chi — “shy” — for short).
Just two weeks later, the Kardashian West children got a brand-new cousin when Kylie Jenner delivered her and Travis Scott’s own bundle of joy on Feb. 1: a girl she named Stormi Webster. The then-20-year-old reality TV star (and one of America’s richest self-made women) managed to keep her pregnancy mostly on the down-low in an effort to reduce the stress of being in the public eye during pregnancy.
And later in the spring, a third newborn joined the Kardashian-Jenner circle of baby cousins! Khloe Kardashian and her basketball-player boyfriend, Tristan Thompson, welcomed a girl on April 12, whom they named True.
Looks like the Kardashians are building their own little girl squad to carry on their legacy!
Serena Williams Proved She’s One Tough Cookie
Serena Williams made headlines when she returned to the court in May following the birth of her daughter — not for her play, but rather for the “Wakanda-inspired” bodysuit she wore during the match. The suit was designed to prevent blood clots — an issue Williams faced during her pregnancy — but the French Tennis Federation did not approve. The FTF’s decision to ban outfits like it in the future drew criticism from tennis greats such as Chris Evert and Andy Roddick.
Williams, however, chose to respond to the FTF by wearing a lace tutu in her first match at the U.S. Open in August. Then, in the finals of the tournament, Williams was penalized during one game for smashing her racket in frustration and receiving coaching from the sidelines. Williams argued, rightfully, that in the past, her male counterparts have not received such a punishment, and she called referee Carlos Ramos a “thief” for ultimately costing Williams her shot at tying the record for most Grand Slam titles.
Kate Spade’s Death By Suicide
On June 5, 2018, the news that fashion designer Kate Spade had died by suicide sent shockwaves through the fashion community and the world at large. The colorful Kate Spade brand was seemingly synonymous with joyful ambition, and Spade herself had been an icon of success for many women.
The 55-year-old fashion innovator was survived by her 13-year-old daughter, Frances Beatrix Spade, and her husband, Andy Spade, though she had reportedly been living separately from Andy for 10 months prior to her passing. Spade’s suicide sparked a national conversation about the seriousness of mental health issues and the importance of seeking treatment for depression and anxiety. This conversation would intensify three days later when Anthony Bourdain took his own life.
Carrie Underwood Revealed Pregnancy After Miscarriage Struggles
In August, Carrie Underwood announced to her fans via video message that she and husband Mike Fisher were expecting their second child together. While this is happy news on its own, it’s even more profound given the struggles Underwood endured on her journey to have a second baby.
The “Cry Pretty” singer revealed in a candid CBS interview in September that she had suffered three miscarriages over 2017 and early 2018. Now, however, she and Fisher and their 3-year-old son, Isaiah, “are absolutely over the moon and excited to be adding another little fish to our pond.”
‘Bachelor’ Arie Broke Off His Engagement—On National TV
What an emotional roller coaster! This year’s “Bachelor,” Arie Luyendyk Jr., ended his season of the dating reality series by proposing to Becca Kufrin in the finale that aired in early March.
Happily ever after, right? Nope! Apparently, Luyendyk was torn between Kufrin and the runner-up contestant, Lauren Burnham, and he ultimately decided to follow his heart … which led him to break things off with Kufrin — with cameras rolling — and pursue a relationship with Burnham. The episode in which audiences watched Luyendyk shatter Kufrin’s heart right before their eyes was deeply uncomfortable, as Kufrin wept and tried to find a private place to process this shocking news, and Luyendyk followed her around, feebly attempting to continue their epically awkward conversation.
All was well in the end, however, as Luyendyk and Burnham got engaged and Kufrin got to be the next Bachelorette — fiercely beloved by Bachelor Nation because of the ordeal that Luyendyk had put her through.
‘Cosby Show’ Actor Geoffrey Owens Spotted Working At Trader Joe’s
Most actors work “support jobs” in between gigs to make ends meet.
That’s just what Geoffrey Owens was doing at a New Jersey Trader Joe’s when a shopper took a photo of him bagging groceries. The photo quickly went viral and then resulted in certain news outlets covering the story in a way that appeared to “job shame” the actor.
What followed was an outpouring of support from fans and peers in the entertainment industry — including Tyler Perry who offered Owens a role on one of his television shows. Owens told “Good Morning America” that he was initially devastated to have been outed in such a public way, but “[t]he period of devastation was so short.” Owens added, “Every job is worthwhile and valuable. I’ve had a great life. I’ve had a great career … no one has to feel sorry for me.”
Justin Bieber And Hailey Baldwin Secretly Married
While traveling for his Purpose tour in the spring of 2017, Bieber revealed during a fan Q&A that he longed to find a girlfriend and settle down. In fact, he said, “I want to get married! Not right now, but, like, soon.”
His dreams came true this year when he reportedly married his longtime friend and on-again-off-again girlfriend, Hailey Baldwin. The two were engaged in July and then they secretly tied the knot in mid-September. The whole thing was shrouded in mystery, however, as neither Bieber nor Baldwin officially confirmed the marriage (in fact, Baldwin tweeted that she’s not married … before deleting that tweet), but People claimed on Sept. 14 that the pair was legally married in an NYC courthouse. Further evidence came in November when Bieber called Baldwin his “wife” on Instagram.
Demi Lovato Relapsed After 6 Years Sober
“Confident” singer Demi Lovato has been open about her struggles with addiction and bipolar disorder. She even provided free, pre-show therapy to fans on her recent tour, with the aim of lessening the stigma around mental health issues. In June, however, the former teen star suffered a drug relapse herself, and broke the news via her single “Sober.”
Just weeks later, Lovato was hospitalized for an overdose, prompting an outpouring of support from fans via the hashtag #HowDemiHasHelpedMe, through which fans shared how the singer has influenced their lives. The singer has since entered rehab and is once again turning to music to help her heal.
Both Kate Middleton And Pippa Middleton Had Babies
While the vast majority of royal-related news fixated on the Meghan Markle-Prince Harry union (and subsequent pregnancy), 2018 was also significant for Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton and her sister, Pippa. Both sisters welcomed baby boys this year — a first child for Pippa and a third baby (and second boy) for Kate.
In the spring, Kate and her husband, Prince William, added a new tiny royal to the family when Prince Louis made his debut on April 23. Months later, Pippa had an October baby and named him Arthur Michael William Matthews. The two first cousins are sure to be good friends, growing up so close in age.
Gender Pay Discrepancies In Hollywood Came To Light
In March, news broke that a scandalous pay discrepancy between the lead actors of Netflix’s megahit “The Crown” was a royal pain point. Claire Foy, the actress who won numerous awards and tremendous praise for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth on the show, was reportedly paid less than Matt Smith, the actor who played Prince Phillip.
Being the central character in “The Crown,” Foy was in the vast majority of the show’s scenes, and yet Smith’s popularity as the actor who played Dr. Who commanded him a higher salary. Following the outcry surrounding this news, Netflix promised to rectify the situation, with producer Suzanne Mackie stating that “[g]oing forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen.” It was too little, too late for Foy, however, as her performance (and Smith’s) on “The Crown” had come to an end. The next seasons will feature new actors playing the main roles in a different stage of life.
The outrageous “Crown” pay discrepancy came on the heels of several similar Hollywood pay-gap scandals, including the news in January that Michelle Williams was paid 0.07% the amount that her co-star, Mark Wahlberg, was paid for re-shooting scenes in the film “All the Money in the World” — despite the fact that Williams was the top-billed star of that movie. Williams received just $1,000 compared to Wahlberg’s staggering $1.5 million for the re-shoots.
Mandy Moore Got Married For The Second Time
In an event as sweet and tender as an episode of “This Is Us” (though hopefully less heartbreaking), Mandy Moore married her musician fiance, Taylor Goldsmith, in an intimate ceremony in Pasadena, California, on Nov. 18. The actress wore a pastel pink tiered Rodarte gown, though she changed into an elegant black cut-out dress for the reception, where she sang a duet with her new husband.
November’s wedding was the second “Walk to Remember” down the aisle for the actress, as she had previously married singer Ryan Adams in 2009. The two separated six years later after a reportedly rocky marriage.
Anthony Bourdain Died By Suicide 3 Days After Kate Spade
The chef and lovably acerbic TV personality, Anthony Bourdain, was found unresponsive in his hotel room in France on June 8. At the age of 61, he had hung himself with the belt of his bathrobe, just three days after Kate Spade had also committed suicide. As with Spade’s death, Bourdain’s suicide brought to light the need for better mental healthcare in the U.S.
Many celebrities took to social media to express their shock and sadness at the loss of the TV host, including Chrissy Teigen who wrote, “Thank you for making food so exciting. And always standing up for everything right.”
Bourdain had been in France to film his food and travel series for CNN, “Parts Unknown,” and the network plans to release the seven-episode final season posthumously, which will feature the late host along with interviews and other footage.
Cardi B Had A Baby And Then Split With Offset
“It’s [nobody’s] fault, I guess we just grew out of love,” she said. However, rumors persist that it was Offet’s infidelity that caused the separation. The Georgia native’s alleged mistress even released a video via TMZ in which she apologized to Cardi for the affair.
The very public nature of their breakup was in keeping with the very public nature of their relationship. Offset proposed to Cardi live on stage, she announced her pregnancy on “Saturday Night Live” and later she confirmed the sex of their child in an interview with Howard Stern. This led to speculation that the duo was simply seeking publicity in the hopes of furthering their careers — an insinuation they deny.
Jenna Dewan And Channing Tatum Separated
Fans of the movie “Step Up” were likely devastated when the sexy dancing duo at the center of the movie separated in April. After nearly 10 years of marriage, the couple announced on Instagram that they had “lovingly chosen to separate.”
The written announcement explained that they were “two best friends” who simply needed some space, and they expressed their dedication to co-parenting their 4-year-old daughter, Everly. Now, the exes are reportedly seeing new people and doing just fine.
Harvey Weinstein Went To Court
In late May, Harvey Weinstein turned himself in to New York police and was charged with one count of first-degree rape, one count of third-degree rape and one count of criminal sexual act in the first degree. Weinstein’s lawyer, Ben Brafman, revealed that the accused sexual predator would plead not guilty, saying, “Mr. Weinstein has always maintained that he has never engaged in non-consensual sexual behavior with anyone. Nothing about today’s proceedings changes Mr. Weinstein’s position.”
In October, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office dropped one of the charges against Weinstein that involved actress Lucia Evans, though prosecutor Joan Illuzzi-Orbon maintained that the rest of the case would continue “full steam ahead.”
Weinstein is due back in court on Dec. 20, 2018.
The Gaines Family Welcomed A New Baby—And A TV Network
Thanks to their incredible popularity and robust social media presence, the Gaines family seems to always have a place in the celebrity news cycle. This year was no different, as HGTV’s power couple, Chip and Joanna Gaines, concluded their “Fixer Upper” series in April, welcomed their fifth baby, Crew, in June and announced in November that they are starting their own network.
The duo also opened a restaurant this year and Joanna released a design book, “Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave,” on Nov. 6.
Phew! How will they top all that in 2019?
Ben Affleck Went Back To Rehab
“This week I completed a 40 day stay at a treatment center for alcohol addiction and remain in outpatient care,” began an announcement on Ben Affleck’s Instagram account in early October. The actor continued to describe the “lifelong and difficult struggle” of battling alcoholism and he expressed gratitude for both his support system and the people who reached out to him online with their own recovery stories.
This year’s rehab stint is Affleck’s third time in a recovery program, as he completed programs in 2001 and 2017. This time, Affleck was brought to rehab by his soon-to-be ex-wife, Jennifer Garner, after Garner reportedly staged an intervention.
Meghan Markle Announced Her First Pregnancy
After the media frenzy surrounding the royal wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry died down, tongues started wagging about when the new duchess might be expecting her first baby. We didn’t have to wait long: Meghan Markle’s pregnancy was confirmed in mid-October, five months after she and Prince Harry wed.
The baby, due in spring 2019, is now the focus of much speculation, from the inevitable “bump watch” to what the baby’s name and title will be, to where he or she will land in the succession to the throne.
Rapper Mac Miller Died Of An Overdose At Age 26
In September, rapper Mac Miller died from a drug overdose. Music fans knew Miller for songs such as “Self Care” and “Kool Aid and Frozen Pizza,” though others knew him simply as Ariana Grande‘s ex-boyfriend, as the couple dated for nearly two years between 2016 and 2018. Grande has posted on social media about her shock and grief over this loss, and she refers to Miller as an “angel” in her latest single, “Thank U, Next.” In November, Spotify released two songs that Miller had recorded in August, not long before he died.
Before his death at the age of 26, Miller had opened up about his drug use — particularly his struggles with a drug called “lean” (also known as “purple drank”), a mixture of prescription codeine (often found in cough syrups), soda (such as Sprite) and candy (such as Jolly Ranchers).
Julia Louis-Dreyfus Beat Cancer
In the fall of 2017, Julia Louis-Dreyfus announced on Twitter that she’d been diagnosed with breast cancer, writing, “1 in 8 women get breast cancer. Today, I’m the one.” Over the following year, the legendary comedic actress underwent rounds of chemotherapy and chronicled on social media her journey to beat the disease.
By October 2018, Louis-Dreyfus could confirm that she was cancer-free.
Bill Cosby Was Found Guilty And Sentenced
This September saw the end of the three-year sexual assault case against the actor once known as “America’s Dad.” Cosby was sentenced to three to 10 years in state prison for just one of the dozens of alleged assaults committed by the former television star. With reported incidents going back to the 1960s, this was the only case brought against Cosby within the statute of limitations.
Lance Bass Tried To Buy The ‘Brady Bunch’ House—But Was Outbid By HGTV
The iconic residence of the Brady Bunch — 11222 Dilling St. in North Hollywood, California — was listed for sale over the summer and *NSync’s Lance Bass had his heart set on buying the beloved TV home (which is reportedly the second-most photographed residence in the U.S. after the White House).
Bass put in a bid to buy the house and was told that his was the winning offer. Soon, however, an unidentified corporate entity swooped in to outbid the boy band singer, and Bass expressed his dismay on social media, saying he was discouraged from trying to outbid the buyers as they had “unlimited resources.” On Aug. 5, Bass deemed it “a story of a shady Brady” in an Instagram post, but once he discovered the buyers’ identity — HGTV — he was quick to forgive.
“Kudos HGTV, I know you will do the right thing with the house,” he tweeted. “That was always my biggest worry. I can smile again.”
HGTV plans to use the home in a renovation show featuring the original “Brady Bunch” cast.
Stan Lee Passed Away In November At Age 95
The man who created the universe — the Marvel Universe, that is — passed away in November. Born Stanley Martin Lieber in 1922, the aspiring novelist went on to create some of the most iconic characters in comic book history. Spider-Man, Thor and the Incredible Hulk (to name a few) were products of Lee’s vast imagination.
Lee’s legacy lives on, not only in his famous Marvel film cameos but in the way he inspired comic artists — not to mention countless fans, such as actor Seth Rogen, who tweeted, “Thank you Stan Lee for making people who feel different realize they are special.”
Nick Jonas And Priyanka Chopra Married After A Whirlwind Romance
Although Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas attended the Met Gala together in 2017, the two wouldn’t officially start dating for another year. Once they did begin dating in earnest, however, they wasted no time moving things along. By July, the lovebirds were engaged and then Chopra celebrated her shower in October and held her bachelorette party in November. Next came a full week of festivities and wedding ceremonies in a variety of locations, including a Western wedding ceremony on Dec. 1 and a Hindu ceremony on Dec. 2.
Kevin Hart Stepped Down From Hosting The Oscars
Comedian and “Jumanji” actor Kevin Hart was tapped to host the 2019 Oscar ceremony but bowed out when taken to task for a series of homophobic tweets. Between 2009 and 2011, Hart used derogatory language toward gay people, going so far as to say that “if my son comes home & try’s 2 play with my daughters doll house I’m going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice ‘stop that’s gay’.”
Hart took to Instagram to offer an apology that many felt was defensive and insincere. Later, following pressure from the Academy, Hart chose to step down and offered a more sincere apology via social media.
Barbara Bush Got Married—Less Than 2 Months Before George H.W. Bush Died
When Barbara Bush, one of George W. Bush’s twin daughters, held a secret Kennebunkport, Maine, wedding on Oct. 7, she was escorted down the aisle by her father while her other family members looked on with joy — including her grandfather, former President George H.W. Bush. Barbara may not have known that those wedding photos would be some of the last pictures taken of her grandfather before he passed away at age 94 on Nov. 30.
Jenna Bush, twin sister of the newlywed Barbara, honored their grandfather on Instagram with a touching post in which she recalled that the elder Bush said he looked forward to reuniting in the afterlife with loved ones he’d lost — especially his daughter Robin, who died of leukemia when she was only 3 years old.
Jenna described Robin as “[t]he little girl he held tightly: who spoke the phrase I have heard Gampy repeat for my entire life, forever knitting Robin’s voice into the tightly woven fabric of our family: ‘I love you more than tongue can tell.'”