It’s been a crazy year, to say the least. But before we start celebrating 2023, here’s a recap of all the pop culture and newsworthy content that happened in 2022.
America lost two TV family members in the first month of the year: Betty White—TV’s grandma from classics such as The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Golden Girls—and Bob Saget, TV’s dad from Full House. We will always remember them and thank them for making us laugh.
Just days after the Winter Olympics came to an end, Russia invaded Ukraine. The move was condemned internationally which led many countries, including the United States, to impose sanctions against Russia while ramping up pre-existing ones. During the first few days of the invasion, many global leaders and experts were predicting that Ukraine would fall to Russia—however, Ukrainians resisted Russian forces and fought to maintain control of their country. Today, Russia and Ukraine are still at war, with NATO allies continuing to support Ukraine. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine was named Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” for his leadership and resilience through war.
On Sunday, March 27, the 94th Annual Academy Awards were held to recognize films released in 2021. The film Dune took home six awards, all honoring the film’s technical achievements such as Production Design, Cinematography, Visual Effects, Sound Design, and more. AppleTV became the first streaming platform to win Best Picture for its film CODA as well as Best Supporting Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay. Other winners included Jessica Chastain for Best Actress in The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Ariana DeBose for Best Supporting Actress in West Side Story, Billie Eilish for Best Original Song, and Encanto for Best Animated Feature. The most talked-about moment of the night was when Will Smith got on stage and slapped Chris Rock after Rock made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith. When it first happened, many people speculated that it was a bit, but international networks were able to cover the whole thing, and Will was not happy. That moment overshadowed his acceptance for Best Actor in King Richard. The ceremony was a nice return to normal, being held at the Dolby Theatre as compared to last year’s event at LA’s Union Station.
On Sunday, April 3, the 64th Annual Grammy Awards were held to honor achievements in the music industry from September 1, 2020, to September 30, 2021. Jon Batiste received the most nominations with 11, followed by Doja Cat, H.E.R., and Justin Bieber with eight each. Batiste received the most awards with five and won Album of the Year for We Are. Silk Sonic won Record of the Year and Song of the Year for “Leave the Door Open,” and Olivia Rodrigo won Best New Artist.
On Monday, May 3, Politico obtained a leaked draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito showing that the Supreme Court voted to strike down Roe v. Wade. This was the first time in the modern-day history of the Supreme Court that a draft decision was disclosed publicly while a case was still pending. After confirming that the draft was legitimate, Chief Justice Roberts called for an investigation into who leaked the draft saying, “This does not represent a decision by the Court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case.”
The NBA season came to an end on June 16 with the Golden State Warriors defeating the Boston Celtics 103-90 in six games. The Warriors won their fourth championship in eight years and Stephen Curry was named the Finals MVP for the first time in his career.
Bey was back with the release of her seventh studio album, Renaissance, on July 29. The album served as the first installment of a trilogy project with the remaining two projects still unannounced. Beyoncé made the album as a reflection of her state of mind during the pandemic and it is considered an upbeat record blending post-’70s black dance music styles such as disco and house. The album explored themes of escapism, self-assurance & expression, and pleasure. Renaissance received acclaim from music critics and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 along with its lead single “Break My Soul” reaching No. 1 on the Hot 100.
Former President Trump said that on Monday, August 8, the FBI “raided” his home at Mar-a-Lago after a search warrant was granted by the Department of Justice due to classified information being taken from the White House to his Palm Beach resort in January 2021. Based on findings, there were 20 boxes worth of material where the FBI took 11 sets of classified files in total, including four that were labeled “Top Secret.” Three sets were classified as “Secret Documents” and three were “Confidential.” Right now, the former president has not been charged with any wrongdoing.
Queen Elizabeth II, the UK’s longest-serving monarch, died at Balmoral at the age of 96 after reigning for 70 years. In the United Kingdom, once someone in the monarchy passes, the country enters into 10 days of mourning which is also referred to as “Operation London Bridge.” Over those ten days, some notable things happened: A memorial service at St. Paul’s Cathedral was open to the public; “God Save the King” was sung for the first time to reflect that King Charles III was now the official British monarch, and citizens/visitors of the United Kingdom lined up to see the Queen lying in state at Westminister Hall. A public funeral was broadcast across the world on Monday, September 19, which was the second-most-watched of the 21st century and the third-most-watched royal event in British history.
On Friday, October 21, Taylor Swift released her highly anticipated 10th studio album, Midnights. Before its release, she announced the track listing through a series on TikTok titled, “Midnights Mayhem With Me.” On the day of release, Swift also released seven additional tracks with an extended album titled Midnights (3am Edition). Since then, the album has broken records, including becoming the most streamed album debut on Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music, achieving the largest vinyl sales week of the 21st century, becoming the fastest-selling album since her own Reputation in 2017, and was the best-selling album of 2022.
With public support at an all-time low for the Houston Astros amidst their cheating scandal from seasons prior, the Astros became World Series champions after defeating the Philadelphia Phillies in six games on November 5. This was the second postseason meeting between the Astros and Phillies following their 1980 National League Championship Series encounter, which was won by Philadelphia, 3–2, en route to winning the 1980 World Series.
On Monday, December 19, the January 6th Committee held its final public hearing, presenting evidence of the former president’s seven-part plan to overturn the 2022 election. At the final hearing, the committee announced four criminal referrals for Donald Trump to the DOJ. The four charges against Trump include obstruction of an official proceeding, conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to make a false statement, and efforts to incite, assist, or aid or comfort an insurrection. In addition, the panel referred four Republican members of congress—Kevin McCarthy, Jim Jordan, Scott Perry, and Andy Biggs—to the House Ethics Committee for failure to comply with subpoenas.
Here’s to 2023!
Hopefully, you have your new year resolutions set. Stay tuned as we continue to provide you with monthly updates about pop culture and news in 2023. Happy New Year!