Celebrity Year In Review

2011 was big year in many ways. There were lavish weddings, explosive breakups, affairs to remember, very public meltdowns, and tragic losses. And that’s just in Hollywood. Here’s a look back at a few of the biggest celebrity stories of the year.

1. The Royal Wedding

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Photo by Peter MacDiarmid/Getty Images

Who doesn’t love the story of a regular girl marrying a prince? Dreamers, romantics, and fairy tale lovers around the world got their wish as millions around the world tuned in to watch the wedding of Britain’s Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Not only was the lavish royal wedding a spendor of royalty, tradition, and fashion, the world was introduced to Kate’s younger sister Pippa, who has now become as much of a fashion trendsetter as her newly-royal sister.

2. Kim Kardashian’s 72-day Marriage

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Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

It was supposed to be the American equivalent of a “royal” wedding of sorts. Reality TV’s crown princess, Kim Kardashian strolled down the aisle in August in a $10 million ceremony meant to unite her and Kris Humphries in marital bliss.

The bliss must have been in short supply, Kim filed for divorce on Halloween, after 72 days of marriage, in one of the biggest shockers of the year. Kris isn’t taking this lying down. He filed for annulment on December 1st, citing fraud.

3. Ashton Kutcher’s Cheating Heart

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Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Things seemed to be peachy-keen in the May-December marriage of Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore. That is, until a 23-year old blonde stepped forward and said that she slept with Ashton in San Diego on what was supposed to be Ashton & Demi’s 6th anniversary, September 24th.

While there were no out-right denials of the story, Ashton & Demi sought couples counseling and went on a camping retreat. To no avail, Demi called it quits on November 17th. Despite filing for divorce, Demi is in no rush to change her Twitter handle, @MrsKutcher.

4. Justin Bieber’s Baby Mama Drama

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Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

In November, a 20-year old woman named Mariah Yeater filed a lawsuit against Justin Bieber, claiming that the 17-year old pop star is the father of her 5-month old son. Justin’s representatives vehemently denied the claim, and Justin agreed to a DNA test.

Then the story gets interesting. Mariah’s lawyers dropped the suit, then jumped ship on her. Even more troublesome for her case, TMZ obtained texts sent from Mariah asking for messages contradicting her claim be erased.

The drama for this one isn’t over yet, but it’s not looking good for the baby mama. Bieber’s camp has vowed to file a countersuit against Mariah once Justin is found to not be the father.

5. Rebecca Black loves “Friday”

An internet sensation was launched upon the world in March. The saccharin-coated pop song “Friday” sent 14-year old [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Rebecca Black[/lastfm] into the stratosphere of instant stardom. The original posting of the music video for “Friday” garnered 167 million views on Youtube before it was yanked over a copyright dispute. It’s back up now, and has another 11 million views.

6. X-Factor

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Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

When Simon Cowell’s X-Factor made it’s premiere on FOX, Cowell said he expected it to average at least 20 million viewers, and anything less would be “a disappointment.” Sorry, Simon. X-Factor is averaging 11 to 12 million viewers, half of what American Idol pulled sans Simon and Paula.

7. Charlie Sheen, Winning, and Goddesses

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Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images

It was the trainwreck of the year. It started with a wicked bender at the end of January that landed Charlie Sheen in the hospital. “Two And A Half Men” went on hiatus so that Sheen could sort out his chemical demons, and it was announced he was doing an in-home rehab program.

It was downhill from there, as Charlie called in to ESPN and complained that “Two And A Half Men” producers had locked him out. The show’s creator, Chuck Lorre, fired back, and the subsequent interview with Sheen on “The Alex Jones Show” became legendary. Charlie talked about “winning” and “being an F-18.”

There was also the interview with ABC News where Charlie said, “I am on a drug. It’s called Charlie Sheen… It’s not available, because if you try it once, you will die. Your face will melt off, and your children will weep over your exploded body.” He also revealed that has “tiger blood” and “Adonis DNA.”

8. Amy Winehouse dies at 27

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Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images

Tragic and sad, but no to surprise to those familiar with her history of drug and alcohol abuse, [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Amy Winehouse[/lastfm] was found dead in her London flat by her security guards on July 23rd. The hugely talented soul singer joined the 27 Club, which includes ultra-talented musicians who died at the age of 27 like [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Jimi Hendrix[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Janis Joplin[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Kurt Cobain[/lastfm], and [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Jim Morrison[/lastfm]. The coroner’s report backs up claims from her family that Winehouse had kicked her drug habit, but it was her alcoholism that claimed her life and cut short her talent.

Her post-humous album, “Lioness: Hidden Treasures,” was released earlier this month.

9. Steve Jobs

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Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

If there was ever a name more synonymous with Apple products, it was Steve Jobs. The man, the legend, and the genius behind the computers and technology that has revolutionized our culture; Jobs retired earlier this year citing failing health. Sadly, he succumbed to pancreatic cancer in October. The world mourned his passing.

It was his genius that created the first Apple computers. After he was sent packing from Apple in 1985, he brought forth Pixar, which teamed with Disney to bring us Toy Story, WALL-E, Finding Nemo, and Up, among other digitally animated classics. His return to Apple changed the world forever. iTunes. iPod. iPhone. iPad.

Genius.

10. Conrad Murray Found Guilty Of Killing Michael Jackson

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Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

On November 7th, Dr. Conrad Murray was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Michael Jackson[/lastfm]. He was sentenced to the maximum 4 years in prison.

The trial itself was the usual media circus. Pictures of Jackson’s corpse and disturbing audio of him under the influence of some sort of sedative went public and were nearly inescapable.

Murray is currently appealing his conviction.

More News Of Note In 2011

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Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images

British chanteuse [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Adele [/lastfm]has had a massively successful year. She’s garnered all sorts of awards and nominations, however vocal problems forced her to cancel two tours, including North America. She underwent vocal chord surgery and went on vocal rest. She’s expected to fully recover in time to record her 3rd album.

Lindsay Lohan found herself in a word of trouble after stealing a necklace in February. She spent a few hours in jail, and has been on probation. She was close to heading back to jail for not fulfilling community service commitments, but she has since been a model volunteer at the LA County Morgue.

The former governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, was revealed to have fathered a love child with his housekeeper. The boy, named Joseph, was born just one week after his legitimate son with Maria Shriver. He had been secretly providing financial support to Joseph and his mother. As a result of the revelation, Maria Shriver filed for divorce a week before the news went public.

On January 18th, “the hardest working man in showbusiness,” Regis Philbin, announced he would be leaving Live with Regis and Kelly. His last episode was November 18th. Philbin holds the Guiness World Record for the most time in front of a television camera, 15,188 hours in 2004.

Another explosive split of the year was that of Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony. While the reasons were never exactly clear, J-Lo seems to have moved on. She was seen on a couple of dates with Bradley Cooper and has now hooked up with one of her backup dancers.

TV legend Andy Rooney announced his retirement from 60 Minutes in October. Not a month later, the 92-year old, known for his wit and commentary, passed away from complications following a minor surgery.

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