With 2012 winding to a close, it's the perfect time to reflect on all the events of the past year. Among other happenings in music, GRAMMY winner Adele gave birth to a baby boy; Taylor Swift decided she was never, ever getting back together with a few people; Korean pop star Psy's viral hit "Gangnam Style" became the first video in the history of the Internet to surpass 1 billion views; and the radio performance royalty issue began to see some resolve as an agreement was reached between Big Machine Label Group and Clear Channel Media Entertainment.
Google released its list of top searches for 2012, with the death of GRAMMY winner Whitney Houston ranking No. 1, followed by Psy at No. 2. Adele was named Billboard's Top Artist of 2012 and her GRAMMY-winning 21 ranked No. 1 on the year-end Billboard 200 Albums chart. Topping 2012's Billboard Hot 100 Songs chart was Gotye's GRAMMY-nominated "Somebody That I Used To Know" featuring Kimbra.
Here at GRAMMY.com, there were quite a few events over the past year that got our search engines started. Here's our list of 10 of the more memorable moments of 2012.
Jan. 20: Jay-Z dusted the dirt off his shoulders again, but this time in a big way. Following the birth of his daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, the rapper vowed to axe the word "b****" from his vocabulary. Jay-Z reportedly made this promise to his newborn daughter via a poem:
Before I got in the game, made a change, and got rich
I didn't think hard about using the word b****
I rapped, I flipped it, I sold it, I lived it
Now with my daughter in this world, I curse those that give it
Though Hova would disavow authorship of the poem, when it comes to his daughter, he made clear he just wants to love her. "No man will degrade her, or call her names," wrote Jay-Z. "I'm so focused on your future, the degradation has passed. I wish you wealth, health and insight. Forever young you may pass. Blue Ivy Carter, my angel." Very sweet.
April 20: As unlikely as it may seem, late rap icon Tupac Shakur could be gracing the stage in an arena near you soon. Putting a new spin on the term comeback, a virtual hologram of the rapper "performed" alongside Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre at the Coachella festival on April 15. Though the virtual Tupac attracted arguably the biggest buzz of the desert festival, it seems this was just the tip of the iceberg. "This is just the beginning," said Ed Ulbrich, COO of Digital Domain, the company that created Tupac's likeness. "Dre has a massive vision for this." According to The Wall Street Journal, that vision could include a massive stadium tour alongside hip-hop stars such as Eminem, 50 Cent and Wiz Khalifa, or an arena run with Dre and Snoop. But be wary of what you'll actually be seeing. "This is an illusion," said Ulbrich, stating the somewhat obvious. Meanwhile, the virtual Tupac on Twitter @HologramTupac now has nearly 25,000 people following … an illusion.
April 27: We know that Ke$ha often wakes up in the morning "feeling like P. Diddy," but what does she do in the wee hours before she even gets to bed? According to a tweet from the pop star, she marks her territory on the streets. In conjunction with a tweet reading, "pee pee on the street. PoPo come n get me if u can find meeee. I blame traffik," Ke$ha shared this photo of herself in the middle of what most of us consider a private act. Hygienic considerations aside, some fans loved getting an intimate peek of Ke$ha's world as one fan tweeted, "LOL stole my move, we are the same person
June 8: Earlier this year we reported that actress Kate Winslet feels like "throwing up" every time she hears the theme song to Titanic. Well, it seems the voice of the song, Celine Dion, sympathizes with her. "If I could just count how many times I've sung ['My Heart Will Go On'], maybe it'll get me sick," Dion said on the "Today" show. "If [Kate Winslet] feels tired just hearing it and like throwing up, I'm glad she was not the one singing it." Fortunately, it seems Dion took Winslet's comments all in stride. This could have been one titanic cat fight.
July 13: It's been parodied or covered by everyone from the Harvard baseball team and a poolside Katy Perry to an animated President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. But, someone we'd really like to call also got into the act. "Sesame Street" star Cookie Monster turned Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" into a lament on his own obsessive/compulsive fixation: cookies. "Me look at you and me tell/You may have Snickerdoodle/Me trade my soul for a bite," sang the perennially cookie-brained Muppets character on "Share It Maybe." Was this the parody to end all "Call Me Maybe" parodies? Call us doubtful.
Aug. 3: Do you remember when "Snoop D.O. Double G" was rolling down the street, sipping on gin and juice? Well, he's probably still doing that, but with a little less bark and a lot more roar. In conjunction with his forthcoming new reggae album and documentary, Reincarnated, Snoop Dogg officially changed his name to Snoop Lion. The rapper reportedly had a "born again" experience during a visit to Jamaica in February and felt connected to the spirit of Bob Marley and is now, as he put it, "Bob Marley reincarnated." "I feel like I've always been Rastafarian," said Snoop. Snoop received his new lionesque name at a temple in Jamaica, and was also given the Ethiopian name Berhane, which means "light of the world." "Reggae was calling … it's a breath of fresh air," he said. "Rap isn't challenging; it's not appealing. … It feels like I'm 19 or 20 years old again." Snoop Lion is still living young, wild and free, fo shizzle.
Oct. 8: Lady Gaga was caught looking for the edge of the stage rather than the edge of glory during a concert in Barcelona on Oct. 6 as the Fame Monster became the latest pop star to fall ill during a performance. It was unclear whether Gaga had a case of bad romance or bad romaine, but an upset stomach caused her to vomit in the middle of singing "Edge Of Glory." Showing her good sportsmanship, after the concert Gaga tweeted, "Was praying nobody saw but actually it's quite a good laugh if u need one!" Separately, during a concert on Sept. 29 in Glendale, Ariz., Justin Bieber took his beliebers by surprise when he stopped to throw up onstage. Other stars who have reportedly upchucked onstage or backstage include Adele, Kings Of Leon's Caleb Followill and Rihanna. Is there something in the pop star water this year, or were these fame monsters just proving that when they say "the show must go on," they mean it?
Oct. 22: After announcing in June that she and boyfriend Simon Konecki were expecting their first child, Adele rolled out a baby boy. Details on the name and exact birthdate of the tiny tot were not revealed. (Adele has since been in trouble with British authorities threatening to fine her for failing to register her newborn.)
Nov. 8: For Jermaine Jackson, older brother of the late Michael Jackson, "ABC" really is as simple as "123" — and he's proven it. According to an Associated Press report, on Nov. 6 the singer filed a court petition to change his famous last name from Jackson to Jacksun. Though his last name would still be pronounced the same, Jackson claimed the change was for "artistic reasons." We hope this isn't further confusing for Jermaine's sun, Jermajesty Jackson.
Nov. 19: With just a few days left on Rihanna's 777 tour, things really started to heat up. While in flight, British radio/TV host Timothy Dormer reportedly got the urge to strip down to his birthday suit and streak through Rihanna's tour plane. "I was just in the bathroom and was like, 'Hell it's 3 a.m. and we're on an airplane, and have been flying for ages," Dormer reasoned. "Plus, I have a massive crush on Sydney, one of the air hostesses." Fortunately, Dormer made sure to stay away from the Barbadian singer's quarters and security, otherwise there would have likely been a man down.
What were some of your favorite moments in 2012? Leave us a comment.