The Biggest Pop Culture Moments of the Decade

• The deaths of David Bowie and Prince jolted us out of our some-people-just-live-forever alternate universe. TBH, we liked it better there.

• Beyoncé re-wrote the rules yet again with Lemonade, her second straight surprise album that delved deep into the experiences of black women and themes of family, trust, lust, infidelity, spirituality and strength.

• The world went mad for Pokémon Go, the interactive mobile game that had people literally falling off cliffs in search of virtual pocket monsters. But at least it got people outside, right?

Simone Biles led the Final Five of the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Team to team gold and captured another three for herself at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, emerging as one of the biggest stars of the Games, as well as perhaps the most preternaturally talented gymnast ever.

• Swimmer Michael Phelps returned from retirement to capture four golds and one silver and be the most decorated athlete for the fourth Olympics in a row. On the flip side, Ryan Lochte won one gold as a member of the 4 x 200m relay team and then embarrassed America by making up a story about being robbed at a gas station with several other swimmers.

• Fox News CEO Roger Ailes—the man responsible for the conservative-opinion-based programming that has proved so successful—was ousted after fired host Gretchen Carlson sued him for sexual harassment and accusations from other women, including star anchor Megyn Kelly, started piling up.

• The Chicago Cubs won the World Series, ending a 108-season drought and making super-fan Bill Murray so, so happy.

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Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders had 99 percent of the celebrity endorsements, but it was the celebrity candidate, Donald Trump, who won the 2016 presidential election, after which pop culture was sent to its room without supper to think about what it had done.


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