Everything We've Been Searching For In 2016

Photographed by Rockie Nolan.
So far, 2016 has been a wild year, and we're not even halfway through. There have been high-profile deaths, tremendous tragedies, and political turmoil. There have also been touching moments, inspiring accomplishments, and pure entertainment galore. With the first day of summer and the midyear mark, June 20, nearly upon us, now seems like a good time to revisit all the ups and downs of the year.

Thanks to our friends at Google, and all their top-secret algorithms that are constantly tracking what we search for, we can identify what pop-culture moments had you transfixed. Some of them might surprise you — or maybe not, since you're the ones who looked 'em up. Either way, consider this your crash course for 2016, part one. Or just a midyear refresher on everything you may have missed.
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Photo: ROGER BAMBER/REX/Shutterstock.
What you Googled in January 2016, Part 1.

Very early on in the year, we had to bid farewell to not one, but two iconic artists in their own right.

The first was the enigmatic and intoxicatingly entertaining David Bowie. The musician, singer, and overall visionary passed on January 10 after losing his battle with cancer. You were wondering what Bowie's best fashion moments were, what songs you should listen to on repeat, and how celebrities were grieving him.

When you weren't getting nostalgic with Ziggy Stardust, you were eager to see Channing Tatum rock it out on Lip Sync Battle as Queen Elsa.

And we ALL were wondering WTF Sean Penn was doing pretending to be a journalist in the middle of a jungle with a dangerous and corrupt cartel leader, El Chapo. #StillUnclear.
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Photo: Moviestore Collection/REX/Shutterstock.
What you Googled in January 2016, Part 2.

Only four short days after the passing of Bowie, we received news of Alan Rickman's death, also from cancer. Everyone mourned the loss of Rickman, but Harry Potter fans especially so. He was an obvious favorite of the series.

On a lighter note, you were also curious if you should spend your money at the box office. With chillier temps, it makes sense to hide in a warm movie theater.

Two movies that interested the masses? Ride Along 2 and The Revenant. Leonardo DiCaprio would indeed go on to win his first Oscar for his intense role in The Revenant. Maybe all we need to do is check Google Trend Searches for next year's Oscar predictions. No offense, Ride Along 2.

Polar opposites in genre and mood, but those were the most searched movies of the month.
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Photo: The Moviestore Collection Ltd/REX/Shutterstock.
What you Googled in February 2016, Part 1.

Ah, February. The month of love and Deadpool. Many of you saw the Deadpool ads that infiltrated every form of social media and couldn't help but Google what it all meant. Short answer — Ryan Reynolds is fab at ambush marketing. You guys Googled him a shit ton, too.

The film ended up doing super well. Much better than, say, How To Be Single. Regardless, everyone still wanted to know what that movie was about. I mean, it had been one year since we saw Dakota Johnson as the awkward girl in 50 Shades of Grey, so I can't blame you for Googling to see if this was a weird spinoff project. (It's not.)

On the small screen, everyone was obsessed with The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, which premiered on FX February 2. Ryan Murphy's retelling of one of the most famous trials of the century got rave reviews. If you're still Googling O.J. Simpson, then have no fear: There is a new ESPN special dedicated to The Juice out this summer.
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Photographer: MediaPunch/REX/Shutterstock.
What you Googled in February 2016, Part 2.

Hellooo, Beyoncé. The music goddess dropped her single "Formation" out of nowhere and rocked our world. Then she rocked it again with her killer Super Bowl performance. She slay, she slay, she slay.

Also on the musical spectrum, everyone was looking up Kanye West's album that was released on Valentine's Day. Whatta romantic! The Life of Pablo confused just about everyone, from its title to the infamous "I made that bitch famous" line to the Yeezy Season 3 fashion show. Also, his bizarre tweets could very well have been the driving factor.

On a bit of a darker note, Jodie Sweetin was heavily searched on the interwebs. The former Full House child star, and current Fuller House reprise star, spoke openly about her previous crystal meth addiction.
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Photo: RON SACHS/REX/Shutterstock.
What you Googled in March 2016, Part 1.

News of the death of 94-year-old Nancy Reagan, former First Lady of the United States, had you Googling away. Celebrities mourned her death on social media.

Later in the month, another celebrity's death was announced via TMZ. Garry Shandling, the esteemed comedian and funny-man friend to many, died at age 66 due to a heart attack.

In other bleak news, Hulk Hogan was involved in a major lawsuit. The former wrestler and reality-show star (#TBT and you're welcome for this clip) sued the website Gawker after it released a sex tape he appeared in. (Quick update: Hogan was awarded $140 million in damages. Whoa.) The lawsuit was so important because it involved privacy laws and the internet. Two things very near and dear to Americans.


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Photo: David Buchan/Variety/REX/Shutterstock.
What you Googled in March 2016, Part 2.

Things were all sunshine and rainbows for Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris back in March. The two celebrated their one-year anniversary with an enviable tropical trip that was heavily documented on social media. The two lovebirds just couldn't get enough of each other. Everyone was looking up Calvin Harris because he wasn't really too relevant until he reached this milestone with Swift. And also, that isn't his real name. It's Adam Wiles. Whoa.

You were also LOLing at this video of Ben Affleck looking hopeless during a press interview for the new Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which was released March 20. Affleck played Batman, and the reviews were not too hot, despite the multimillion-dollar production.

One movie that was Googled a bunch was the wonderful Zootopia. The kids' movie had not only an all-star cast but also a great inclusive message.
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Photo: Ilpo Musto/REX/Shutterstock.
What you Googled in April 2016, Part 1.

Another untimely death in early April had us bereft. Prince's death was announced on April 21, but the cause was not released until a month and a half later. (The medical examiner later ruled his death "accidental overdose of the opioid fentanyl.") Celebrities mourned his creative and captivating talents and celebrated his memory by paying tribute to him on the stage and on social media.

On the small screen, the daytime duo of our dreams split up. Kelly Ripa was allegedly blindsided by the news that her co-host and friend Michael Strahan would be leaving Live! With Kelly & Michael. Ripa took a few days off of work and was publicly criticized for her emotional reaction to the news. Or, as some put it, she was shamed for being a woman. It was cute. Just kidding — it revealed a deep double standard for how women in powerful roles are perceived when they show weakness. But all's well that ends well, and it seems like the hatchet has been buried.
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Courtesy of Parkwood Entertainment.
What you Googled in April 2016, Part 2.

The rest of April was basically Beyoncé, Lemonade, and Who is Becky? On repeat.

Rachel Roy was trending AF, poor woman. She got the full Beyhive treatment, as did her teenage daughter. Fans can be ruthless. I was kind of surprised that Rachael Ray wasn't trending, too.

By now everyone already knows the saga of Lemonade and all the implications Bey brought with it. Cheating, divorce, forgiveness, redemption. Real or not, it got all of you theorizing and Googling up a storm. Lemonade was also the most Googled drink. Go figure.

In other girl-power news, The Powerpuff Girls reemerged in a big way in April. The adorable ass-kicking trio returned to TV with a new villain to take down — Manboy. The episode was basically explaining sexism, feminism, and mansplaining to young girls. It was amazing, and it got ya talking. Cartoon Network also released a website where users could make their own personalized Powerpuff Girl, which drove a lot of traffic their way. I mean, who doesn't want to be a PPG?
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Photo: John Salangsang/BFA/REX/Shutterstock.
What you Googled in May 2016, Part 1.

The news about alleged domestic abuse in Amber Heard and Johnny Depp's marriage came as a shock to many people, and had us all Googling their names for details. The allegations stirred up many opinion pieces and advice columns on how to deal with emotional, physical, and mental abuse from a spousal partner. Especially one who is, um, Depp-famous. The two are now in an intense legal battle.

Another tear was shed following a crazy freak accident at a zoo in Cincinnati. A four-year-old boy climbed into an animal exhibit with a gorilla, which resulted in the killing of the captive animal, Harambe, in order to save the boy. The gorilla's death elicited a very visceral reaction from those on social media. Many, like Kaley Cuoco, said the killing was unjust.
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Photo: Rolf Klatt/REX/Shutterstock.
What you Googled in May 2016, Part 2.

Justin Timberlake released a new song, "Can't Stop the Feeling," for the movie Trolls, and it will be stuck in your head all summer. Sorry, guys, but you Googled it and did this to yourself.

When you're ready for some new music, I highly recommend listening to Chance the Rapper. And it seems like y'all already have. Good job, internet.

The latest film in the X-Men series, X-Men: Apocalypse, came out on May 27 with an all-star cast of both fresh and familiar faces.

The official lineup for season 12 of the grossly addicting show The Bachelorette was released in mid-May. The show premiered in late May and had people thinking, Is this for real? (Ahem — it's not, really.) But no contestant had us more stumped than Chad, a.k.a. The Villain.

Game of Thrones season 6 premiered in late April, giving it all of May to shine as one of the top-searched shows on the web.
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Photo: Helen Sloan/courtesy of HBO.
What You ARE Googling In June 2016 (according to me, and Google).

The death of boxer, activist, and pop-culture icon Muhammad Ali, as well as the murder of Christina Grimmie, the former Voice contestant and YouTube sensation who was shot following a concert in Florida.

All those Game of Thrones theories that are bending our minds. WTF is Arya Stark up to? Will Sansa Stark and Jon Snow conquer Ramsay Bolton together? How much more will Cersei Lannister scheme? Ughhh.

Me Before You, both for the tears and for the controversy.


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And the most Googled song nearly every month of this year (and beyond):

"Happy Birthday To You"

This was just an adorable discovery. Happy birthday, Gemini babies, and everyone else!
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