Top 10 Moments in Pop Culture 2021
Pop culture reflects and influences current social trends. It can also make you laugh, cry and feel completely baffled.
2021 saw plenty of scandals, tragedies and shocking revelations. From Virgil Abloh’s arrest to Meghan Markle’s bombshell Oprah interview. The year was also ruled by TikTok. From dance tutorials to political memes, this app dominated all areas of the internet.
TikTok is a platform that allows users to create, share and discover short-form videos. Originally launched in China as Douyin, the video app is owned by Beijing-based technology company ByteDance.
From the outset, videos on TikTok have tended to be music-focused, with dancers and lip-syncers leveraging an impressive library of sounds, snippets and filters to capture their creativity. However, as the platform’s popularity has grown, so have the number of other genres, such as DIY and craft videos, comedic sketches and more.
One of the newest features available on TikTok is photo mode, a carousel-style post that allows users to upload multiple still photos and soundtrack them with a music track. Users can swipe or let the posts scroll automatically. TikTok is also helping users understand why certain videos pop up on their For You page, based on their likes, interests and behavior. This feature is currently in beta and not yet rolled out to everyone.
From high-profile divorces and Real Housewives drama to low-rise jeans renaissances, there was no shortage of pop culture moments in 2021. But none quite captured the year’s zeitgeist like Friends reunions and Britney Spears’ court case.
Spears has been a constant presence on the charts throughout her storied career. She’s also a fashion icon with her lingerie line and has collaborated on stage costumes with renowned designers.
The “Toxic” singer’s upcoming court case is sure to draw plenty of attention. Her TMZ Live blog will be running throughout the day to keep fans updated on all the action. But in the meantime, let’s take a look back at some of the best Britney Spears collaborations of all time. From slinky singles to more tender fare, these collaborations showcase the many facets of the Princess of Pop.
Kim Kardashian & Kanye West
Whether you love them or hate them, the Kardashians have a special place in pop culture. They paved the way for many reality shows to come and made celebrity news a daily ritual. They’re a household name thanks to Keeping Up With The Kardashians and Kanye’s polarizing persona.
The pair’s kids, North, Chicago, and Psalm, often joined Kim on KUWTK, and their family dynamics were always fascinating to watch. Kim & Kanye also stepped into the fashion world with their luxury clothing line, KKW Beauty. The brand was a hit, but the controversy surrounding the first issue caused a lot of drama.
Kanye’s erratic behavior, from his MAGA hat to his outburst at the White House, put a strain on their marriage. But Kim kept a firm hold on the family and used her growing social media to set the record straight (like that time she said Kim lied about being raped). She was also able to land a Vogue cover, despite rumors of Kanye bullying or begging Wintour into allowing her to take center stage.
Olivia Rodrigo is the youngest star on this list, but she’s already made her mark. After her acting debut in the vlogcom Bizaardvark, Rodrigo hit the world stage with High School Musical: The Series (2019-) and then began making music with producer Dan Nigro. Their collaboration gushes with pop-punk, balladry and lyrical introspection on this debut album.
Rodrigo represents the first phase four of Disney girls: those who’ve shed the brand-friendly radio pop of the Disney machine to establish a genuine musical identity. She did so with a winsome wholesomeness and a palpable determination to stick the landing.
The ubiquity of “Drivers License” gave her the chance to do exactly that. But the emo-tinged, piano-led epic’s climax “I still fucking love you” is so much more than a slick radio hook. It reveals a young woman who’s gotten her heart broken and found strength to move on. That’s guts. And that’s why this album deserves a place at No 1. GUTS is the real deal.