The pop culture moments that defined 2021 1 year ago

The pop culture moments that defined 2021

What a year.

Let's be real - 2021 kinda sucked.


After 2020 gave us a global pandemic and we endured lockdowns that felt endless, we all thought 2021 was going to make up for lost time. Yeah, it was gonna be an unreal year.

But it wasn't, was it? It was Groundhog Day.

Luckily, there were plenty of pop culture moments to keep us entertained and some of them even made the year a little more bearable. Here's a quick rundown of some of the best.

Taylor Swift's scarf


Taylor Swift absolutely dominated headlines when she re- released Red but not exactly for the reasons she might have expected. The album documents her break-up with Jake Gylenhaal and in All Too Well, she sings: "And I left my scarf there at your sister’s house. And you’ve still got it in your drawer even now."

And that was enough to make the internet go crazy. For a while there, all anyone cared about was whether or not Jake still had the scarf - and where the hell was it?

Britney gets free


Fans all over the world celebrated as Britney Spears was freed from her 13-year-long conservatorship. The story of Britney's road to freedom was undoubtedly one of the biggest of the year, with an over-abundance of documentaries telling the tale. This year, she hired her own lawyer who finally won the case and ended the conservatorship. Amazing.

The rise of Pete Davidson 

Yeah, so, that happened. No one can quite put their finger on why. His relationship with Kim Kardashian absolutely catapulted him into the mainstream but his past dating history is impressive too, from Ariana Grande to Kate Beckinsale. There's just something about the guy.


The Squid Game phenomenon 

Not too sure how an insanely violent show about fighting for your life became so mainstream, but we were all feeling a little angry at the world in 2021. The show became Netflix's most-watched series, attracting more than 142 million member households in its first four weeks. Wow.

Lil Nas X giving the devil a lap dance


2021 was Lil Nas X's year. His singles Montero and Industry Baby rose to number one and were accompanied by must-see music videos - including one where he goes to hell and gives Satan himself a lap dance and another involving naked male prisoners dancing, a sequence designed to raise eyebrows.  He also caused a lot of controversy when he kissed a male backup dancer on stage. There's really no one coming out of 2021 more iconic.

Adele's divorce

Adele's divorce felt like the most publicised thing of the entire year. We heard about it a lot and the singer herself admitted the amount of coverage embarrassed her. It was never-ending. The amazing album 3o did come out of it all though, with its first single Easy On Me becoming the most-streamed song in a one day on Spotify with 24 million streams.

Kimye split up

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are no strangers to making headlines but this year it was for something a little different. The couple reportedly had a falling out in December 2020 and that solidified Kim's decision to file for divorce. Kim also said that the long distance between them was too much to deal with and left her feeling lonely.

And Just Like That...

The much-hyped Sex and the City reboot, And Just Like That... hit screens in December and we were in our element seeing the gals back in action. The reboot is trying to right some of the wrongs of the '90s series in terms lack of gender, sexual and racial diversity too - which we love to see.

The return of Avril Lavigne 

The princess of pop punk made her comeback in November and oh, the nostalgia. She released her new single Bite Me under Travis Barker's label and we were all transported back to secondary school. We are excited to see what 2022 has in store for her.

A few more honourable mentions include JoJo Siwa officially coming out, Lady Gaga killing it in House of Gucci and Meghan and Harry spilling the royal tea on Oprah.