As the decade comes to a close, we look back at the defining stories in music, sports, politics and pop culture. A lot happened during the last ten years. Here are just a few of the biggest stories:
Dances Go Viral On The Internet
If there’s anything we did all decade it was dance. For the past 10 years, viral dance trends have come and gone. Some have endured. One literally almost broke the Internet. Let’s take a look at five of the most popular dance trends of the decade.
Donald Trump Becomes President
Donald J. Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election was nothing short of a political earthquake — and the aftershocks continue to rock the lives of Americans. The real estate developer and former reality television star has virtually monopolized headlines for nearly every day of his presidency, thrilling his supporters and alarming his critics with hard-right policy moves, incendiary rhetoric and a freewheeling Twitter feed.
Trump, who is gearing up for re-election in 2020, has already reshaped the landscape with a massive tax cut, sweeping changes to immigration rules, and the consolidation of the conservative majority on the Supreme Court. No matter the outcome of November’s election, Trump has unequivocally redefined the presidency for many years to come.
Prince Passes Away
On the morning of April 21, 2016, Prince, the musician who created more than 30 albums and won seven Grammy Awards over a 40-year career, was found dead in Paisley Park, his Minnesota home and recording studio. The cause of death was ruled an accidental overdose of the opioid fentanyl. He was 57 years old.
In the hours and days after the news broke, fans around the world mourned his death with massive memorials. In a statement, President Obama said, “Few artists have influenced the sound and trajectory of popular music more distinctly, or touched quite so many people with their talent.”
In the years before his death, Prince had been taking prescription pain medication for chronic hip pain. It is believed he was struggling with opioid addiction. He still recorded and performed during this time. His last album, Hit n Run Phase Two, was released in December 2015.
In October 2016, six months after Prince’s death, Paisley Park opened to the public for tours. In 2016, Prince’s estate sold more albums than any other artist that year, dead or alive.
Colin Kaepernick Takes A Knee
In the 49ers third preseason game of the 2016 season, Kaepernick was noticed sitting down during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” as opposed to the tradition of standing. During a post-game interview, he explained his position stating, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder”, adding that he would continue to protest until he feels like “[the American flag] represents what it’s supposed to represent”.
Inspired by Kaepernick, other NFL players and pro athletes conducted various forms of silent protests during the national anthem.
Marvel Dominates The Box Office
All throughout the decade Marvel hit us with one big movie after another, and moviegoers couldn’t get enough. Amazingly, Marvel never seemed to let us down with the Iron Man trifecta, the Captain America series & the Thor trilogy. Black Panther broke new ground and and had fans screaming “Wakanda FOREVER”.
The highly anticipated Avengers series introduced to one of the most feared villains ever and the “snap heard around the world”. Avengers Endgame broke box office records that we may not see duplicated for a long time to come.
Rapper XXXTentacion Killed in Florida
During the afternoon of June 18, 2018, American rapper Jahseh Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy, known professionally as XXXTentacion, was shot and killed in an apparent robbery just outside RIVA Motorsports, an upscale seller of motorcycles and watercraft in Deerfield Beach, Florida. He was shot multiple times in the neck and was in critical condition before being pronounced dead at exactly 5:30 p.m.
In the week following his murder, Onfroy’s highest-charting single, “Sad!”, went from 52nd to 1st on the Billboard Hot 100, making him the first artist to top the Hot 100 posthumously in a lead role since The Notorious B.I.G., with “Mo Money Mo Problems”, in 1997. On June 28, his management team posthumously released the music video for “Sad!”, which has received over 123 million views whilst the audio has over 1.1 billion listens on Spotify
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, was an activity involving the dumping of a bucket of ice water over a person’s head, either by another person or self-administered, to promote awareness of the disease ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) and encourage donations to research. It went viral on social media during July–August 2014. In the US, many people participated for the ALS Association, and in the UK, many people participated for the Motor Neurone Disease Association, although some individuals opted to donate their money from the Ice Bucket Challenge to other organizations.
The challenge encourages nominated participants to be filmed having a bucket of ice water poured on their heads and then nominating others to do the same. A common stipulation is that nominated participants have 24 hours to comply or forfeit by way of a charitable financial donation.
2019: Rapper Nipsey Hussle Murdered
Rapper Nipsey Hussle died after a shooting in Los Angeles near a clothing store he owned. Hussle, 33, whose birth name was Ermias Davidson Asghedom, founded the record label All Money In, which he debuted with the release of “The Marathon,” the rapper’s fifth official mixtape. His death sparked an outpouring of love for the man that came to be known as “Neighborhood Nip”.
A 29-year-old man named Eric Holder was later arrested in connection with Nipsey’s death and the injury of two other men. Holder plead not guilty to the six-count indictment, including one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder, and faces life in jail if convicted.
Popeyes Chicken Sandwich Craze
The fast-food menu item of 2019 is the Popeyes chicken sandwich. The chicken sandwich and the battles it sparked defined fast food in 2019. Even before the’ chicken sandwich rolled out nationally in August, chicken was already a hot topic in the fast-food industry. Chick-fil-A has seen massive growth in recent years, due in large part to its iconic chicken sandwich, becoming the third largest restaurant chain in the US at the end of 2018.
The sandwich hit menus across the US in early August. Even before the national launch the hype was building. Business Insider’s Irene Jiang tried the sandwich prior to the national roll out and declared it the best chicken sandwich available in fast food.
Hype around the sandwich and the social media debate on which chicken sandwich reign supreme helped drive customers to the stores across the US. Soon, locations began to run out of the sandwich. On August 27, just two weeks after Popeyes introduced the menu item, the chain announced that the chicken sandwich was officially off the menu. It did not return for more than two months, hitting menus nationally once again in early November.
The chicken sandwich’s impact is set to continue in 2020.
Police Shootings Lead To Protests Across The Nation
Fatal shootings by police are the rare outcomes of the millions of encounters between police officers and the public. Despite the unpredictable events that lead to the shootings, in each of the past four years police nationwide have shot and killed almost the same number of people – nearly 1,000.
Last year police shot and killed 998 people, 11 more than the 987 they fatally shot in 2017. In 2016, police killed 963 people, and 995 in 2015.
Years of controversial police shootings, protests, heightened public awareness, local police reforms and increased officer training have had little effect on the annual total. Everyone agrees – criminal justice researchers, academics and statisticians – that all of the attention has not been enough to move the number.
Mayweather VS McGregor
Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor, also known as “The Money Fight” and “The Biggest Fight in Combat Sports History”, was a match between undefeated eleven-time five-division boxing world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. and two-division mixed martial arts (MMA) world champion and, at the time, UFC Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor. The fight took place at T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada, on August 26, 2017, at the light-middleweight weight class (154 lbs; 69.9 kg). It was scheduled for twelve rounds and recorded the second highest pay-per-view buy rate in history.
Mayweather extended his professional boxing undefeated streak to 50 victories and 0 defeats (50–0), surpassing the 49–0 record of Hall of Famer Rocky Marciano, after defeating McGregor by technical knockout (TKO) in the 10th round. Mayweather’s guaranteed disclosed paycheck was $100 million and McGregor’s guaranteed disclosed paycheck was $30 million. However, the purse for the two fighters was expected to be substantially higher for each, with Mayweather reportedly earning $275 million from the fight and McGregor earning $85 million
Solange Attacks Jay-Z In Elevator
Jay Z was ferociously assaulted by Beyonce’s sister Solange, who was wildly kicking and swinging at him inside an elevator and the attack was captured on surveillance video obtained by TMZ. It all went down at a Met Gala after party at the Standard Hotel in NYC. In the video Jay Z, Beyonce and Solange step into the elevator and then Solange goes crazy, screaming at Jay before unleashing a violent attack.
At one point Solange throws a kick and Jay grabs her foot, but never attempts to strike her. Beyonce stands by without getting physically involved. The fight literally captivated the world, and let to great music from Jay & Bey.
Mass Shootings Dominated the headlines
The decade unfortunately was marked by some of the worst mass shooting s in US History. Her are 5 of the worst of the decade.
The Harvest Music Festival: 58 killed – October 1, 2017 -64-year-old Stephen Paddock, fires from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on a crowd of more than 20,000 at the Harvest Music Festival. He kills 58 people and injures more than 500. It is the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.
Pulse night club: 49 killed – June 12, 2016 – Omar Saddiqui Mateen, 29, opens fire inside Pulse, a gay nightclub, in Orlando. At least 49 people are killed and more than 50 are injured.
Sandy Hook: 27 killed – December 14, 2012 – Adam Lanza, 20, guns down 20 children, ages 6 and 7, and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, before turning the gun on himself. Investigators later find the shooter’s mother, Nancy Lanza, dead from a gunshot wound.
First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs: 26 killed – November 5, 2017 – A manwalks into a small church in a rural Texas town and guns down 26 people. The shooter, identified as Devin Patrick Kelley, is found dead after a brief chase, but it’s unclear if he is killed or takes his own life.
High school in Parkland, Florida: At least 17 killed – February 14, 2018 – A former student opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The suspect, a former student, was expelled for disciplinary reasons, officials said.