Top 12 Celebrity News Stories Of 2020: Kobe Bryant, Tom Hanks, Danny Masterson, & More

A lot of shocking and amazing things have gone down in 2020. From Tom Hanks surviving COVID to ‘WAP’ to Jada Pinkett Smith’s ‘entanglement,’ here’s a look back at the year’s biggest celebrity stories.

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Image Credit: AP

2020 has been a year, and it’s shocking to consider just what went down over the past twelve months. Adele posing in a bikini seems like it happened years ago, but it was in August. Grimes giving birth to her and Elon Musk’s child – and then naming their son X Æ A-12 – happened in April. Thankfully, Google provided a trip down memory lane on Wednesday (Nov. 9). The search engine and tech monolith released a list of the Top Trending Searches of 2020, breaking everything down into categories like “Movies” (Parasite winning Best Picture at the 2020 Oscars, for example), “TV Shows” (a lot of people searched for Tiger King) and 2020-specific categories like “…. during coronavirus.”

The overall top search of 2020 was “Election results,” as the United States waited to see if either Donald Trump or Joe Biden would prevail. Spoiler alert: Joe Biden won. This topped “Coronavirus,” pushing COVID-19 down to the second spot. There were a lot of celebrities in the news this year, and here are 12 of the top stories, according to Google.

Kobe Bryant Perishes Alongside Daughter Gigi And Seven Others

Kobe Bryant perished alongside his daughter and seven others on Jan. 26, 2020 (AP)

The overall third most-trending search in 2020 was the death of Kobe Bryant. The Los Angeles Lakers star died in a fatal helicopter crash, along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna “Gigi” Bryant, and seven others. The deadly accident occurred the same night as the 2020 Grammy Awards, and the night turned into an impromptu memorial for the NBA icon. A proper memorial was held for Kobe and Gianna at the Staples Center in February. Kobe’s widow and Gigi’s mother, Vanessa Bryant, delivered a tearful eulogy. Since then, stars across the sports world celebrated the legacy of “Black Mamba,” none more so than LeBron James and the Lakers. The team won the 2020 NBA Championship and dedicated the win to Kobe.

Tom Hanks Survives COVID-19

A lot of celebrities have caught COVID-19 this year. Kristen Stewart, Jojo Siwa, Bad Bunny, most of the Trump family, Khloe Kardashian are just a few of the stars who tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Tom Hanks will be remembered as the first A-List American celebrity to test positive. He and his wife Rita Wilson revealed their diagnosis on Match 11. “Rita and I are down here in Australia. We felt a bit tired, like we had colds, and some body aches. Rita had some chills that came and went. Slight fevers too. To play things right, as is needed in the world right now, we were tested for the Coronavirus, and were found to be positive,” he said. Thankfully, they would go on to recover, a fate that can’t be said of the 280,000+ Americans who died from the disease.

Jada Pinkett Smith & August Alsina’s “Entanglement”

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith discussed her ‘entanglement’ on a special episode of ‘Red Table Talk’ (Sipa USA via AP)

The words “Entanglement,” “Jada Pinkett Smith,” and “August Alsina” were top searches for “Definitions,” “Actors,” and “Musicians,” respectively. These searches all boil down to August going public with claims that he and Jada Pinkett Smith had a relationship with Will Smith’s blessing. Will and Jada had been subject to relationship rumors for years – did they have an open relationship? Were they swingers? – and this was one accusation they couldn’t shake. Jada sat down with Will for a July episode of Red Table Talk, and she acknowledged she and August had an “entanglement” during a time when she and Will were separated. The Smiths have since made-up, and all is well. August has gone on to say he doesn’t regret getting “entangled.”

Timothée Chalamet & Eiza Gonzales Caught Kissing

Timothée Chalamet caused quite a stir in 2020. He confined he split from Johnny Depp’s daughter, Lily Rose, in April, and two months later, he was spotted making out with Eiza González in a hot tub in Mexico. In October, Timothée would tell GQ he was “embarrassed” after he and Lily were caught making out on a yacht in 2019. “I was on this boat all day with someone I really loved, and closing my eyes, I was like, indisputably, ‘That was great,’” he said. “And then waking up to all these pictures, and feeling embarrassed, and looking like a real nob? All pale?”

Danny Masterson Gets Charged With Rape

Former That ‘70s Show star Danny Masterson was first accused of rape in 2017. Three women came forth and claimed that Danny committed the sexual assault in the early 2000s. The accusations resulted in him being fired from Netflix’s The Ranch. In June 2020, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office confirmed that Danny was arrested and charged with three counts of rape “by force or fear.” Danny’s attorney issued a statement denying the claims, saying that he was “confident that [Danny] will be exonerated when all the evidence finally comes to light.” In a year that also saw Harvey Weinstein sentenced to 23 years in prison after being found guilty of rape in the third degree, 2020 was the year that the #MeToo movement began seeing some semblance of justice.

Naya Rivera Drowns

Naya Rivera drowned on July 8, 2020 ( Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP)

Many celebrities passed away in 2020. Chadwick Boseman, Regis Philbin, Alex Trebek, Kelly Preston, Eddie Van Halen, Nick Codero, and Little Richard are just a small handful of the stars whose lights faded from view. Sadly, Naya Rivera also lost her life this year. The Glee star disappeared on July 8 while taking her and Ryan Dorsey’s son, Josey, on Lake Piru, a human-made reservoir in California’s Ventura County. Her body was discovered days later. The loss sent shockwaves throughout the Glee community, and they continue to mourn the loss of their beloved friend.

Kanye West Loses It

Only in 2020 does Kanye West try to run for president, allege Kris Jenner and Kim Kardashian tried to “lock him up,” yet again fail to release a promised album – and not be the biggest story of the year. Kanye failed to wrestle the spotlight from COVID, Trump’s demolishing of faith in democracy, and the hundred other disasters this year. However, there were moments, particularly after Kanye’s disastrous campaign rally, that Ye was the only thing anyone could talk about. Kim would credit Kanye’s outburst to his “Bi-polar” disorder, and things would be back to relatively normal by the end of the year. Oh, by the way, Kanye also lost the presidential election, but 2024 is still on the table.

Ryan Newman Crashes On The Final Lap Of Daytona 500

Ryan Newman was one of the biggest sports stories of 2020, and he probably wishes he wasn’t. In the 2020 Daytona 500 – the last big sports event before COVID-19 postponed everything from the Olympics to Opening Day – Ryan went airborne in a fiery wreck after his car slammed into the wall on the last lap of the race. It was a blood-chilling crash. He was taken to the hospital was in “serious” condition for a second. Thankfully, the injuries weren’t life-threatening, and he was released soon after.

Tom Brady Leaves The New England Patriots

March 17 will forever be a sad day in Boston. After twenty years with the New England Patriots, Tom Brady announced this year that he would be leaving the team. “Massachusetts] has been my home for twenty years. It has truly been the happiest two decades I could have envisioned in my life,” he wrote, “and I have nothing but love and gratitude for my time in New England. The support has been overwhelming – I wish every player could experience it.” Three days later, he signed a two-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a reported $50 million.

Cardi B And Megan The Stallion Celebrate “WAP”

Over twenty songs topped the Billboard Hot 100 this year. Many will say 2020 was the year of The Weekend’s “Blinding Lights.” Unfortunately, none of those people are on the Grammy nominations committee. Others might point out one song summed up the mood of the year, and that would be none other than “WAP” by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion. Megan has had quite a year herself. She sued her former label to release new music, specifically an EP featuring her biggest smash, “Savage.” She allegedly got shot by  Tory Lanez. She also dropped her debut studio album, Good News, and delivered the year’s most-memorable SNL performance. It’s been up and down for Hot Girl Meg, but one of her highlights is this sex-positive celebration with Cardi. Cardi also had a wild year. She filed for divorce with Offset, only to pull the papers after he got his act together. She also battled every conservative troll over “WAP” – from Ben Shapiro to Candace Owens.

Katy Perry Becomes A Mom

Katy Perry, then-pregnant, performs. She would welcome a daughter, Daisy, in August (AP)

Everyone became a mom in 2020. Katy Perry, Gigi Hadid, Sophie Turner, Grimes, Ciara (for the third time), and Nicki Minaj were just some of the celebs who started a family this year. Surprises were also en vogue this year too. Katy announced she was pregnant with a music video (“Never Worn White”) and Nicki just came out of nowhere in the summer to show off her huge baby bump. A few months later, she and Kenneth “Zoo” Petty became parents to a bouncing baby boy.

Lea Michelle Apologizes

The death of George Floyd at the hands of the police sparked waves of Black Lives Matter protests worldwide. Many celebrities took part in these demonstrations, and it caused a ripple effect, and white people were confronted with their part in perpetuating systemic racism. After Lea Michelle tweeted her support for BLM, her Glee co-star Samantha Marie Ware accused Lea of making her time on the show a “living hell.” Lea would apologize. “Whether it was my privileged position and perspective that caused me to be perceived as insensitive or inappropriate at times, or whether it was just my immaturity and me being unnecessarily difficult, I apologize for my behavior and for any pain which I have caused.”


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