Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Glamour, Kevin Mazur/WireImage, Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Glamour, Kevin Mazur/WireImage, Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
Time to attempt to wrap our minds around yet another year as we prepare to relegate it to the books.
But was it just us, or was 2015 not just another year?
Aside from the mainstreamification of so many ways to hear about thousands of more things than we've ever heard about before (from Snapchat Discover to Twitter Moments, the newly dug channels through which information is increasingly flowing are both glorious and terrifying!), the stories themselves stretched the human condition every which way.
As is the nature of news, of course. But instead of looking back and finding answers in hindsight, we're left with so many questions heading into 2016.
Not least of them being whether Kourtney and Scott are getting back together.
Presenting the biggest stories of 2015:
Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair
The World Meets Caitlyn Jenner
Now it seems as if we've always known her, but the E! star officially hit start on her new life when she greeted the world via the historic July cover of Vanity Fair, 65 years after being born Bruce Jenner. Her momentous 2015 continued as Caitlyn accepted the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage at the 2015 ESPYs, with her children and stepchildren watching from the audience; she became the star of her own show, I Am Cait; she started conversations all over the world about transgender issues and what it truly means to be able to access your authentic self and live your truth; she was shortlisted for Time's Person of the Year; and she became an instant style phenomenon.
Bobbi Kristina Brown: 1993-2015
Tragedy begot tragedy when the 21-year-old only daughter of Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown was found facedown in a bathtub full of water on Jan. 31. Over the course of the next few months, as she remained unresponsive, the focus turned to the young woman's rocky relationship with boyfriend, Nick Gordon—who along with Bobbi Kristina had perpetuated the belief that they were husband and wife, until her family revealed that they had never married. Sadly, Bobbi Kristina died at 22 on July 26, and the circumstances of her death remain under investigation in Georgia. Her estate is suing Gordon for wrongful death.
Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images for Women's Health, Evan Agostini/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images, Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
2015 was the year where celebrity relationships went to unravel like so many spools of shiny thread. From some of Hollywood's longer unions to more recent, hastier couplings, it was like covering a game of whack-a-mole. Just when you got to the bottom of one, another popped up. This year saw the breakups of, in no particular order: Jon Hamm and Jennifer Westfeldt, Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale, Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green, Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck, Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick, Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton, Kaley Cuoco and Ryan Sweeting, Charlize Theron and Sean Penn, Halle Berry and Olivier Martinez, Mandy Moore and Ryan Adams, Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield, David and Yolanda Hadid, Kate Beckinsale and Len Wiseman, Courteney Cox and Johnny McDaid, Perrie Edwards and Zayn Malik, Pippa Middleton and Nico Jackson, Justin Long and Amanda Seyfried, Amy Poehler and Nick Kroll, Bobby Flay and Stephanie March, Sienna Miller and Tom Sturridge, Avril Lavigne and Chad Kroeger, Bradley Cooper and Suki Waterhouse, Irina Shayk and Cristiano Ronaldo, Reba McEntire and Narvel Blackstock, Rosie O'Donnell and Michelle Rounds, Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn, and Nick Jonas and Olivia Culpo, Cody Simpson and Gigi Hadid, and Bachelor(ette) couples Chris Soules and Whitney Bischoff and Andi Dorfman and Josh Murray.
But that's all. (Well, not really, there were a few more—but you get the idea. Hell, even Nicholas Sparks—who wrote The Notebook—split up with his wife, and doesn't he know everything about romance?)
The Flip Side
Donald Trump Runs for President
And who expected, six months later, that he'd still be running? His campaign, which kicked off with the now former host of Celebrity Apprentice announcing he'd build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, has only gotten gnarlier, the fact-devoid fear-mongering starting to outweigh the comedic value. It's been real, but... Can we get real, please?
© Mario Testino / Art Partnerr
Prince George Gets a Little Sister
And unto the crown another heir was born. Kate Middleton and Prince William's second child, Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana of Cambridge, arrived on May 2, with all of the wonderful pomp and circumstance that heralded the arrival of her big brother two years beforehand.
Important update: Charlotte couldn't be cuter.
Henry S. Dziekan III/WireImage, Amy Graves/WireImage, Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for DuJour Magazine
Other People's Babies
Well, not people-people. Celebrities. Many of them—Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, Coco and Ice-T, Leighton Meester and Adam Brody, Hayden Panettiere, et al. became first-time parents this year, while still othersKim Kardashian and Kanye West, Kristen Cavallari and Jay Cutler, Ashlee Simpson and many more added to their broods. Honorable mention goes to Miley Cyrus' pizza baby. Among the celebs expecting in 2016: Anne Hathaway, Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, Ginnifer Goodwin, Kelly Clarkson, Ivanka Trump, A.J. McCarron and Katherine Webb—and the list goes on.
Justin Bieber Sorts Himself Out
Does it seem to anyone else that the Bieber roast was years ago? Yet it was just in March, the first step on the young man's long road back from the depths of douchebaggery—a journey that wasn't without obstacles (see: full-frontal nudity) or tears, but one that safely deposited him back at the top of the charts, the strains of "What Do You Mean" and "Sorry" reminding us there's a reason why we care about this guy in the first place. He's still a wildcard when it comes to behavior, but the music is slowly muscling the shenanigans aside.
Lamar Odom Cheats Death
It was a friggin' miracle. Seemingly at death's door after overdosing on herbal Viagra and other drugs at a Nevada brothel, the former L.A. Lakers star woke from a coma with faculties intact enough for him to recognize wife Khloe Kardashian. The Keeping Up With the Kardashians star was by his side throughout, their split not official yet thanks to a backlog at the courthouse and Khloe still in charge of making major medical decisions on his behalf. With their divorce called off for now, it's anyone's guess as to what happens next. Lamar remains hospitalized and the full extent of his progress since those first terrifying days is currently unknown. Khloe continues to date Houston Rockets star James Harden, who we're told has been nothing but understanding about the whole situation, and regularly visits Lamar in the hospital.
Peter Kramer/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
Brooks Ayers Caught in a Shocking Lie
Well, it wasn't shocking to the Real Housewives stars who suspected that he had been faking cancer altogether. But color the people who hoped he wasn't capable of fabricating such a thing stupefied to learn that he had falsified hospital documents to perpetuate the lie that he had undergone chemotherapy and other treatment at Southern California's City of Hope medical center. Was girlfriend Vicki Gunvalsonwillingly in on it? How much did she know and when? Brooks insists that he did battle cancer, but you can probably count the people who believe him on one hand.
The View Pisses Off an Entire Profession
The hosts of The View, in all their revolving-door glory, have become hot topics themselves more often than not in recent years. And the backlash was never hotter than in September when they poked fun at a Miss America contestant for her monologue about being a nurse, Joy Behar inexplicably not seeming to know that nurses carry stethoscopes too. Used to annoying each other more than audiences, this time the show lost advertisers and more than a few viewers vowed to never watch again.
MPNC/AKM-GSI, Ron Wolfson/Invision/AP, Noel Vasquez/GC Images
Proving that not all was lost, some couples turned the tide and actually locked it down! Starting with Cameron Diaz and Benji Madden stealing away to get married on a Monday at home, Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher swapping vows over 4th of July weekend when no one was looking, and Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux finally putting the skeptics in their place with their own secret weekday nuptials, there was plenty of love left in the air in 2015! Nikki Reed said "I do" to Ian Somerhalder; Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello went for a splashy, wedding-of-the-year-type affair in Palm Beach; and Mary-Kate Olsen and longtime beau Olivier Sarkozy reportedly offered up bowls full of cigarettes at their reception! Plus, with Taylor Kinney and Lady Gaga, Peta Murgatroyd and Maksim Chmerkovskiy, and Derek Jeter and Hannah Jeter getting engaged (while Nicki Minaj and Meek Mill might be engaged), we've got plenty to look forward to next year!
Sam Santos/Getty Images
Bill Cosby's Downfall Continues
It's hard to put into words what happened Cosby's image and legacy as a result of the now dozens of sexual assault allegations (denied on Cosby's end) that have been leveled against him over the past year. What started in 2014 with Hannibal Buress' pointed stand-up joke only intensified this year as lawsuits were filed and a 2005 deposition was unsealed that had the former sitcom dad admitting to obtaining drugs to give to women he planned to have sex with.
Brad Barket/Getty Images for Comedy Central, Scott Gries/PictureGroup, Comedy Central, John Paul Filo
The Late-Night Shakeup
Stephen Colbert punctured the balloon last year when he ended The Colbert Report in preparation to take over The Late Show from David Letterman this year. So in addition to losing the Report, we had Letterman's retirement to not look forward to. So call us gobsmacked when Jon Stewart went and announced in February that he was leaving The Daily Show. Fast-forward to the end of 2015, and Colbert has mostly picked up where he left off on CBS (though the more biting comedy feels a little adrift juxtaposed with friendly, straight-forward interviews and we're still not sure who the target audience of an Atticus-Finch-defends-Gollum sketch is). Meanwhile, everything James Corden is doing on the Late Late Show is going viral, and he doesn't even have to battle Jimmy Fallon or Jimmy Kimmel in the time slot. And Trevor Noah is the new, charming host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central, where he's followed by the increasingly bold Larry Wilmore, now leading the charge against Fox News via The Nightly Show.
In the wake of so much tragedy this year, there was reason to cheer in June when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional for states to refuse gay couples the right to marry. The pocketed resistance to the human rights win resulted in creating a few temporary celebs, such as Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, who chose jail over issuing a same-sex couple a marriage license; but overall the country seems to be catching up with what's right (as far as same-sex marriage goes) at a rapid clip.
Kylie Jenner Fills Us in On Her Lips:
The E! star's lips have been the biggest thing since sliced bread this year. Figuratively speaking. For the most part. Prompted in part by the unfortunate #KylieJennerLipChallenge dreamed up by some avid fans, the teen revealed that she had artificially plumped her pout with fillers (and that her family supported the decision and she loves them)! Just a few short months later, her makeup tutorials are racking up millions of views and her signature lip kit is flying off shelves. Mwah!
Christopher Polk/Getty Images for TAS
Taylor Swift FTW, Mostly
Though the same argument could be made for a variety of years, 2015 was easily the Year of Taylor Swift. She dominated on tour, had superstars wrangling to join her squad, found a new boyfriend and reminded the masses that girl power is where it's at. She also just notched a double-handful of Grammy nominations, including Album of the Year for 1989, but...
Charlie Sheen's Bombshell
The actor revealed in November that he was diagnosed as HIV-positive several years ago. The former Two and a Half Men star said he was finally going public in hopes he could use his celebrity to educate others and put an end to all the hush money he says he's been compelled to dole out in exchange for people's silence.
ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images
Closing the Gap
Or that's the idea anyway. It's been an issue for, well...ever, but Patricia Arquette's passionate Oscars speech, during which she demanded that now was the time to finally make equal pay between men and women a real thing, catapulted the issue to the forefront. Some of Hollywood's heaviest hitters, from Meryl Streep and Cate Blanchett to Jennifer Lawrence and Gwyneth Paltrow have since been speaking out about wage gap and gender inequality issues more than ever. Hey, a conversation is the first step, right?
What Happened to Jon Snow?
No season finale moment had people buzzing as much as the conflicted hero's sudden, shocking, brutal death at the hands of his own Night's Watch as Game of Thrones signed off for the summer, our last image of season five being that of Kit Harington staring dazedly into the night sky as a pool of blood spread beneath him. But as horrible as the moment was, such seemingly convincing evidence was no match for fans who virtually hoisted Jon Snow out of an early grave and carried him on their backs until the spoiler sightings of Harington on set put some spring back in their steps. See, winter coming isn't always a bad thing. It forces people to go inside and go online.
Looking ahead at what's going to be big in 2016—Golden Globes snubs and surprises!