2013 was quite a whirlwind of celebrity drama and countless pop culture trends.
Miley Cyrus had a busy year, to say the least. From the debut of her short, blond haircut (reminiscent of Draco Malfoy in his third year at Hogwarts) to her racy and controversial performance of her hit “We Can’t Stop” at the VMAs in August, Cyrus created quite the reputation for herself this year. She has been criticized for her “Wrecking Ball” music video, where she is shown nude and straddling an actual wrecking ball whilst licking various metal tools. She has even been accused of racism. She also popularized the dance move “twerking,” which has been copied an obscene amount of times.
The former Disney Channel princess does not look like she will be out of the media’s spotlight anytime soon, considering she is about to embark on her 60-show Bangerz Tour across North America and Europe. Cyrus’ on-stage persona has sparked debates about whether she is promoting female sexuality and empowerment, or exploiting her body for attention. Along with Rihanna, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga, the image of female pop stars’ role in culture remains a heavily debated issue.
Downward spirals were a trend among a few celebrities, of which the most notable and entertaining was pop star Justin Bieber. The Biebs notoriously misbehaved throughout the year. Calling a female fan a “beached whale,” urinating in a bucket and arriving hours late to more than a few of his own shows are only some of the many antics that prove the 19-year-old may just be ready to end his reign as the ultimate teen pop star. Beiber started off 2014 by getting busted for egging a neighbor’s house and having cocaine in his house, so his ongoing fall from grace will surely continue making headlines.
2013 produced a great amount of memorable music. Daft Punk’s dance hit “Get Lucky” and Robin Thicke’s contentious “Blurred Lines” ruled the charts and radio this past summer. New Zealand’s seventeen-year-old prodigy Lorde topped the charts with “Royals,” and made headlines when calling out Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez’s music. It has also been a year of changes for Kanye West. He released his album Yeezus, which furthers the dark vibes of My Dark Twisted Fantasy. This release coincided with the birth of his daughter North. He also proposed to reality star Kim Kardashian; the jet-setting couple routinely makes headlines for both their professional and personal lives. Justin Timberlake made his long awaited return to the music world with the two-part release of The 20/20 Experience. He embarked on a stadium tour with Jay Z aptly titled the Legends of Summer, along with a solo tour.
In 2013, Jay Z and Beyoncé solidified their position as Hollywood’s reigning power couple. He released a solo album entitled Magna Carter, and he will continue into 2014. Beyoncé started the Mrs. Carter Show World Tour, featuring 123 dates that will run until March 2014. Beyoncé began 2014 by releasing a secret, self-titled visual album, surprising and delighting both critics and fans. This past April, the power couple visited Cuba, generating buzz that their personal relationship with President Obama allowed them to potentially breach the US embargo against Cuba.
In Beyoncé’s hit song “Girls,” she suggested that girls run the world, but in actuality this past year she and Jay Z ran the world-or at least the world of pop culture.