2014 has finally come to an end. Today, we’re going to take a look back at the year that was and pick out the top 10 stories of the year. Sure, things could’ve been better for us, having had our year dampened by air tragedies e.g. MAS’ MH370, MAS MH17, as well as the recent AirAsia Indonesia’s QZ8501. But if you took a look at the entertainment and lifestyle front, there were many stories that we’ll forever remember 2014 for – be it from the music field, the rumour (which was later debunked) mill, or from the movie industry.
Here are what we thought were some of the 10 biggest stories of the year:
1. Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” phenomenon
Once again, Pharrell took the world by storm, like every other time he releases new music. Continuing to make waves around the globe, he released “Happy”, the lead single off his second studio album, “Girl”, at the end of 2013. The song came complete with a long-form music video which went on to spawn a slew of tribute videos. The music video for the song was nominated for “Best Male Video” and “Video of the Year” at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards.
Here’s the Malaysian version:
2, Ellen DeGeneres’ epic Oscar selfie
Believe or not, Ellen DeGeneres single-handedly pushed her epic selfie to the top of the “most tweeted live TV events” items of 2014. Why? Well, for starters, the star-studded selfie was taken at an equally star-studded event aka the 86th Oscar awards held in March 2014. It features Hollywood A-listers such as Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Lupita Nyong’o, Kevin Spacey, Jared Leto, and of course, Ellen DeGeneres herself. The selfie has since been valued at between USD800 million and USD1 billion.
Here it is, if you haven’t already seen it:
3. White dragon “found” in Malaysia
They say that you shouldn’t trust everything that you see/read/hear via the interwebs. Time and time again, the saying has proven to be true. Images of a mythical creature “found” in Perak before it was “found” in Johor Bahru went viral in June this year, mostly because it was rampantly shared via Facebook. We don’t entirely blame people for sharing it though because when it’s a story like that..isn’t it easy to share? It’s something about a dragon being shot dead at a house near a durian orchard when its owner realised that he has been losing a few of his pet rabbits as of late.
Oh yes, it’s a hoax, of course. Sorry:
4. Every”Frozen” song, on repeat
Pharrell Williams’s “Happy” “might’ve been nominated for an Academy Award for “Best Original Song”, but he lost to “Let It Go” from the 3D computer-animated musical fantasy-comedy film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios, “Frozen”. “Frozen” was released late 2013 but “Let It Go” only really began taking over the world in early 2014 onwards because besides the original English version, “Frozen” was dubbed into another 42 languages and dialects worldwide, with 41 foreign language versions of “Let It Go”. Let’s not forget “Do You Want To Build A Snowman?”, which went on to spawn many, many covers and parodies.
Thanks, because we can’t get them out of our heads now even if we tried:
6. 2014 World Cup in Brazil
There were so many things we both loved and loathed about the biggest and most prestigious football competition in the world this year, from the opening ceremony’s fail moments to the sad Brazilian grandpa, to all that drama surrounding Suarez’s “now immortalised with memes” bite and Bung Moktar’s “Hail Hitler!” tweet following Germany’s advance into the finals, and right down to the final Germany vs Argentina showdown. The 2014 World Cup in Brazil is not something we’d forget so soon, not even in years to come. By the way, does anyone know if FIFA has lifted the ban on Beats headphones yet? Just asking ;)
7. ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
Perhaps the most successful viral campaign of our time, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge saw an overwhelming response all over the globe as hundreds, maybe thousands of people from all walks of life participated in the challenge before donating to the cause. While it seems like it’s for fun and laughter, the “Ice Bucket Challenge” stems from a real problem. It started in Massachusetts with former Boston College baseball player, 29-year-old Pete Frates, who has been battling ALS since 2011. He could no longer speak but he posted a video on 1st August 2014 and dared a few people to try it.
At first, he called out just his Boston College friends but a social media firestorm ensued, extending well beyond the gates the college:
8. Shockwaves from Robin Williams’ passing
Legendary actor and comedian Robin Williams, known his for high-energy, rapid-fire improvisation and clowning passed away on 11th August 2014, of asphyxia, a suspected suicide. He was 63 years old. The cause of death was only officially confirmed in November, with the coroner concluding he cause as “asphyxia due to hanging” and the manner of death as “suicide”. Although Robin Williams had spoken openly in the past about his battles with alcoholism and drug abuse, the coroner confirmed that he was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of his suicide. His wife Susan Schneider confirmed that her husband was suffering from depression and the early stages of Parkinson’s disease.
This was his last known interview before his death:
9. Bend it like an iPhone
One word – “BendGate”. Yes, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus launched in September in the grandest of ways. So grand, the tech giant even built a massive not-so-inconspicuous structure for the launch. But everything soon fell apart when the new smartphones came with U2’s brand spanking new album, which people felt were being shoved down their throats. And then came the issue of the BendGate, which of course went on to spawn numerous embarrassing spoofs from various competing and even non-competing brands. Needless to say, it was even worse than that time when Apple tried to introduce their own Maps, an app that quite literally melted right off the face of Earth.
10. #TheFappening, a celebrity leak of massive proportions
Also in September, pandemonium was unleashed as photos that show Candice Swanepoel, Avril Lavigne, Cara Delevigne, Jennifer Lawrence, Ariana Grande, Kate Upton, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and more than 100 other Hollywood stars nude leaked online. The international scandal was the work of a 4Chan user, who allegedly hacked private iCloud memories and successfully recovered deleted nude photos of an array of celebrities. Not only did the hacker release them in exchange for some BitCoins, he/she also released a master list of A-list Hollywood celebrity names of whom were hacked.
Other “honourable” mentions include:
- K-Pop idol boy group BIGBANG‘s leader G-Dragon spotted out on a date with model and long-time rumoured girlfriend, Kiko Mizuhara.
- Ex-Playboy bunny Felixia Yeap publicly announcing that she was embracing Islam, and later revealed her Muslim name, Raisyyah Rania Yeap.
- Marvel dropping the bomb on all is fan boys/fan girls and announcing a slew of movies through 2019.
- Warner Bros doing the same by announcing the full movie slate for DC Comics’ films through 2020.
- Jessica Jung, one out of the 9 members of SM Entertainment’s top K-Pop idol girl group SNSD Girls’ Generation abruptly booted.
- Korean ice cream trends such as Milkcow and Jipangi opening up outlets in Malaysia. Also, the non-Korean Magnum Cafe.
The above is, of course, based on what we wrote about throughout the entire year. Opinions may vary! That having said, which one was your personal “top story” of the year? Let us know in the comments box below.