Pop culture’s 10 biggest names in 2015

Magazine cover of donald trump with family As the year nears its close, it’s time to reflect on all that’s happened, both to us and to those names we saw countless times in the news. 2015 was a year of trailblazing, hashtagging and serious debating over whether or not the dress was blue/black or white/gold, or whether or not Starbuck’s new cup is offensive to humanity.

Arguments aside, it’s time to see if we can agree on the top 10 names that ruled pop culture in 2015. As the result of an online survey, these were the 10 that deemed victorious, one winning it all as “pop culture person of the year.”

Names from politics, music, and film were all included in a five-way tie. Jennifer Lawrence made us laugh as usual, and with her press tour for the final “Hunger Games” saga instalment, she was well in the public eye throughout the year. However, it was her essay on equal pay in the film industry that grabbed everyone’s attention. “I liked the way she stood up for herself, not caring what other people thought. It was a big step, for women all over,” said one survey participant.

Also with Lawrence was a man who spoke his mind on many policies in hope of becoming the next President of the United States. Love him or hate him, Donald Trump was indeed everywhere this year. Between his belligerent speeches, offensive tweets and his most recent hosting gig on Saturday Night Live, Trump and his opinions were hard to ignore.

Next in this five-some was a woman who, opposite to Trump, just resurfaced a couple of weeks ago, yet we all cannot stop talking (or singing) about her. Adele came back into music with her new song “Hello”, which has spent its first two weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at number 1. This is the first track of her new album “25,” which is expected to drop Nov. 20.

Speaking of chart-toppers, Drake’s song “Hotline Bling” is currently sitting at number 2 on the same chart, after 14 weeks. The song arguably gained attention after the music video  premiered, becoming the basis of all current parodies (including Trump on his aforementioned Saturday Night Live gig), as well as a popular Halloween costume. University of British Columbia students also parodied the video in hopes of getting Drake to perform at their school. “Because I’ve seen so much of it on my news feed in the last week!! Difficult to even get away from it…,” said one participant. Chris Pratt GQ cover

In the final spot of the five-way-tie, Ed Sheeran had a steady presence this year with his most recent album “X”‘s singles being constantly played on the radio.

Spots four and five are also a tie, but the two men who take up these spots are very different. The first, the lead in the new Jurassic Park film as well as one of the leading voices in The Lego Movie is Chris Pratt, the once funny-in-a-dumb-kind-of-way Andy in Parks and Recreation who traded in his khakis and dopey smile to become one of this year’s biggest action stars.

Tied with Pratt, Justin Trudeau became a name in pop culture, as well as politics, becoming Canada’s newest Prime Minister. The Liberals campaigned on a very social level, and have been capturing everyone’s attention in Trudeau’s first months as the Liberal frontman. His 21st century thoughts have gotten nods not only from reputable news sources but on social media as well. His most popular quote being, “Because it’s 2015,” in response to questions about gender equality and the Canadian cabinet.

In yet another tie, the second/third place spot is shared by two blonde women. First is the originator of “#squadgoals” and queen of the cameos, Taylor Swift. Swift gave us some serious friendship goals this year with her crew of uber-successful singers/actors/models. The crew teamed up in Swift’s music video “Bad Blood”, which won the 2015 Video of the Year at the MTV Video Music Awards.

Amy Schumer on the cover of EWNext is one of this year’s biggest breakout stars and everyone’s imaginary best friend, Amy Schumer. She had the world in stitches with her skit-show Inside Amy Schumer, for which earned her her first Emmy. The feature-length film she wrote and starred in, Trainwreck, earning $113 million at the box office. With a recent HBO special, as well as a hosting job on Saturday Night Life, Schumer does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon: “She’s everywhere! TV, movies and politics,” wrote one participant. Rumour has it she and best friend Jennifer Lawrence are in the works of writing a film together.

With a top 10 list full of ties, there was one clear winner. The biggest name in pop culture is one that left all of our lips and entered all of our ears on a constant basis throughout 2015. The unveiling of Caitlyn Jenner was deemed the biggest story of 2015. pie chart that shows voting outcome of survey

Caitlyn Jenner on cover of Vanity Fair Previously known as Bruce Jenner, Olympic athlete extraordinaire (and, for all the millennials out there, that dad on Keeping Up With The Kardashians), Jenner came out as transgender and revealed her transition in what Fortune is calling one of the most iconic magazine covers of all time. Jenner immediately became a huge advocate for the transgender cause, and broke barriers left, right and centre for the trans community. “[Her] story touched a lot of people struggling with self realization,” wrote one participant.

With a year of trailblazing, truth-revealing and advocating, it looks like the celebrity culture is shifting into using their power for good. If this trend of self-love, women’s rights, trans-rights, etc. continues, we will soon be seeing a more diverse Hollywood.

Jamie Hoholuk

Jamie is a second year Journalism and Communications student. Her writing focus is on celebrity culture and its everyday effect and representation of our society.

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