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Metro.Style's Year-Ender List: The Top Celebrity Breakthroughs And Controversies Of 2018

Goodbye 2018, and hello 2019!

A year full of new possibilities is upon us, but before we bid a final farewell to 2018, we're taking the time to look back at the year's most eye-catching celeb headlines. From Hollywood breakthroughs to firsts in the music scene to reunions and women empowerment, here's everything you need to remember the entertainment industry in 2018 by! 


READ: Metro.Style's Year-Ender List: All The Celebrity Weddings We Loved In 2018



Kylie Jenner lands a Forbes Magazine cover and became a mom

In a surprise move, the prestigious magazine released a digital cover of the 21-year-old in July, describing her to be "on track to become the youngest self-made billionaire ever, ahead of even Mark Zuckerberg, who became a billionaire at age 23." 

The cover story details how the mom of one and youngest Jenner-Kardashian sister used her influence to reel in millions from her fanbase, taking full advantage of a digital landscape she conquered with social media platforms Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter. (The article estimates that the Kylie Cosmetics owner is worth at least $900 million, to date). 


READ: 20-Year-Old Kylie Jenner Is Worth $900 Million (Or, Approx. Php40B), All Thanks To Her Beauty Empire And Massive Digital Influence—Here's How She Did It




Adele becomes UK's richest celebrity

Women in the entertainment industry were very much in the lead in 2018, with Adele being one of the frontliners as UK's richest celebrity. 

Worth £147.5 million—a breezy approximate amount of P9,885,450,000, in other words—the "Rolling in the Deep" singer officially surprassed fellow English entertainers One Direction and the Harry Potter cast in terms of net worth. The English songstress' wealth is attributed to her maximizing all revenue-generating avenues for a star in the music business: her album sales are phenomenal, while tour ticket sales constantly exceed quota. 


READ: Adele Surpasses One Direction And Harry Potter Stars In Richest UK Celebrity List



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Ariana Grande breaks music streaming records

Despite a painfully public breakup with ex-fiance Pete Davidson, the petite singer with a larger than life voice hit a very, very sweet spot with the release of her hit single, "thank u, next." 

The tune that talks about the lessons the 25-year-old learned from former relationships quickly rose to the top of charts, making her the global Spotify record-holder for most streams for a single in a day for a female artist. Likewise, the single became the only pop song that made it to the top of the US Apple streaming charts. 

Now this is how to turn a breakup around!


READ: Ariana Grande's "Thank U, Next" Breaks Music Streaming Records




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Crazy Rich Asians makes Hollywood history

For the first time in Tinseltown's long, event-filled history, Asians were portrayed as influential, beautiful, desirable, and sophisticated in this screen adaptation of Kevin Kwan's best-selling novel of the same name. 

It was a landmark film—an all-Asian cast was recruited, Asian tradition was presented with respect and awe rather than packaged as curiosities for Westerners to pick apart, Asian locations were highlighted, and most crucially, Asian identity was elevated instead of being made to look inferior to its Western counterpart.

What was a romantic comedy on the surface turned out to be a catalyst for change in Hollywood, marking an important milestone for actors with non-Caucasian heritage. 


READ: Finally, The Asian Rom-Com Success Story



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Lady Gaga shines in A Star is Born

Who knew that Lady Gaga first tried to make it as an actress before she found international fame as a pop star? Well, the multi-awarded musician, singer, and songwriter finally got to show off her acting chops in this Bradley Cooper-directed treasure, and boy were they a sight to see (and hear). 

Critics and the public alike reached a unanimous decision about the brilliance of her acting and singing performances in the Golden Globe-nominated film instantaneously.

Displaying a depth of emotion drawn from actual life experiences and effortlessly bringing those to the screen, Lady Gaga was on-point from beginning to end, pretty much leaving her audience with one burning question: when will we see her on the big screen next? 


READ: A Director Is Born: A Review of 'A Star Is Born'




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Sharon Cuneta marks her 40th year in the industry

Megestar Sharon Cuneta's definitive status as one of Philippine entertainment's most successful and loved singers of all time was put into focus this year.

2018 marked Sharon's fourth decade in the industry, highlighting her many triumphs behind the mic, onstage, and on camera, and of course, of all the years to come. 

For months, fans anticipated this Metro.Style cover girl's lineup of activities to celebrate the milestone, the biggest one of all being her 40th anniversary sold-out concert held last September. 


Look! Scenes From "My 40 Years," Sharon Cuneta's 40th Anniversary Concert



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The Spice Girls announce a reunion

90s kids from all corners of the globe who spent hours memorizing dance move after dance move of this iconic girl band screamed in unison when the girls made it official: they're getting back together for a reunion tour in 2019, and the said dance moves, among other things, will be performed onstage. 

The Spice Girls made the news official over a creative teaser on Instagram, followed by the tour poster and shortly after that, the list of the cities they'll be visiting. 

While otherwise a perfect way to reminisce what youth was like two decades ago, a downside to the news came in the form of Posh Spice, now better known as Victoria Beckham, politely declining to perform with her fellow "Wannabe" singers; during her speech at the Fashion Icon Award, she said, "I hung up my microphone some time ago and I get scared when I get up on stage and see a mic." 


READ: Spice Up Your Life! The Spice Girls Are All Set For A Reunion Tour!



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Bohemian Rhapsody becomes an instant classic

Director Bryan Singer knew that he was onto something good when he took over the filming of Bohemian Rhapsody, a movie that chronicles the personal life and work of rock band Queen's Freddie Mercury, but it's likely that he didn't anticipate the tidal waves of success his project would make.

The band's fans and even the most painfully difficult to please film and music critics were over the moon with what turned out to be a masterpiece; Rami Malek's dedication to transform into Mercury, his castmates' portrayals of Queen's three other members, the clever incorporation of music with scenes, and the remaking of Queen's iconic Live Aid performance exceeded expecations in every possible way. 

Watch it to believe it, or rewatch it! 


READ: It Doesn’t Quite Bite The Dust: A Review Of Bohemian Rhapsody



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EXO's Oh Sehun lands a Vogue Korea cover 

When you're as big a star as Oh Sehun, your influence extends well beyond concert stages, fan meet and greets, and even YouTube and Spotify prominence. When you're Oh Sehun, you become the propelling force behind Vogue Korea's record-breaking sales, the best numbers they've seen since releasing its first issue in the nineties. 

Korean boybands and the icons they build are no joke; more than just cute faces or fashion statement-makers, they're emblems of cultural and social movements, and in this case, highly bankable stars that any brand would love to partner with. 


READ: K-Pop Boy Band EXO Is Set To Make A Comeback, And We're Sure They'll Do So In Style




Black Panther challenges Hollywood's attitude towards race 

Just as Crazy Rich Asians changed perceptions about Asian culture and talents in the movie industry for the better, Black Panther played a similar and equally powerful role, this time tugging at the heartstrings of members of the African-American community.

In a landmark move, black superheroes were put on a pedestal alongside their white counterparts found in Spider-Man, X-Men, and the ever popular The Avengers; for the first time in graphic novel-turned-big screen hit history, a black cast breathed life into a plot that proudly borrowed elements from a broad swath of African cultures—a massive leap forward for black talent and the attitudes towards them in Hollywood. 


READ: The Panther King: A Review Of Marvel's "Black Panther"



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Brie Larson is Captain Marvel

Whoever said 2018 would be the Year of the Woman was spot on. 

Marvel officially gave the go signal on the production of its first female-led superhero movie, anchored by none other than Oscar winner Brie Larson. In a movie genre traditionally led by men (think of all the comic book films released in the last decade, both from DC and Marvel studios), this proves to be a historic moment.

In Captain Marvel, a woman won't be a sidekick, part of an ensemble, a villain, or a dispensable character who meets her untimely demise that poses no real loss to the plot; she will be a leader, savior, warrior, and compassionate heart all in one. 


READ: Express Yourself And Live An Inspired Life Like These 9 Confident Women



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Carlo Aquino and Angelica Panganiban make their big comeback as a love team

It was just a matter of time when "CarGel" was resurrected, if it even really went away to begin with.

To the delight of Carlo Aquino and Angelica Panganiban's most loyal fans, who have been with them since they first appeared on our TV screens in the nineties as chubby-cheeked pre-teens, the classic love team paired up in a film about the realities of love and the pull of exes in our lives.  

The movie, aptly titled Exes Baggage, was a hit and quite surprisingly, the first time these real-life exes played the leading man and woman in a film together. The relatable piece played so well on the chemistry between Carlo and Angelica that many wondered—is this fictional film, or is this more like a well-made documentary?

Metro.Style's "Kissing Game" video challenge with these two became viral quickly, with more than 1 million views to date.


EXCLUSIVE: "Exes Baggage" Stars And Real-Life Exes Angelica Panganiban & Carlo Aquino Find Love Again



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Tony Labrusca and Angel Aquino break the Internet with Glorious

It's the movie trailer and film everyone will remember, refer to, and make jokes about for years to come.

Glorious, which by today's standards was considered a "daring" film, made the first impression of a lifetime when its trailer that featured a millennial Tony Labrusca participating in (literal) tongue-twisting action with Angel Aquino, an actress almost twice his age, dropped. 

Meant to titillate at first but is actually a poignant film about the intricacies of unconventional relationships and the pressures a judgmental society places on them, Glorious was an unexpected, yet welcome, addition to the roster of Philippine films released this year. 


READ: The Movie “Glorious” Begs To Ask: Is Being A Cougar Still A Thing?



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Kris Aquino and Mocha Uson engage in a war of posts and captions 

When two very vocal women who come from two very different ends of the political spectrum collide, much can be expected from the social media posts they'll both be sharing with their millions of followers about their opposing points of view. 

Such was the case with "Queen of all Media" Kris Aquino and former Presidential Communications Operations Office Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson when the two engaged in a very public discussion about a comment the latter made on the former's late parents. 

It's one of those stories you would have needed to follow from the onset to gain a full appreciation of. We documented the whole thing right here: 12 Quotable Quotes From Kris Aquino's FB & IG Live Message And Challenge To Mocha Uson.



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Ellen Adarna and John Lloyd continue to mystify everyone

It's now public knowledge that Ellen Adarna and John Lloyd are a couple, but more so, parents to a baby boy—but it wasn't always like that. 

The Lloyd-Adarna saga was once an emotional rollercoaster and detective novel come to life; confusing fans by quite literally disappearing from the public for what felt like years and years, this famous couple kept us all guessing about what they were up to, and truly, if everything was alright. 

Their social media accounts were as silent as tombs and neither was working on projects for the longest time, giving rise to conspiracy theories and tons and tons of rumors. We're glad that that's all over now, but even with the birth of their first child, this couple is staying away from the limelight and living extremely private lives.


READ: Why Did Ellen Adarna Deactivate Her Instagram Account?



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Katy Perry and Taylor Swift make up

The battle between KatyCats and Swifties came to an end in 2018, and a rather peaceful one, at that.

For years, the two massively popular singers were known to dislike each other. But in an unanticipated move to reach out initiated by Katy, involving an olive branch gift and a sweet note, the two have reportedly made amends and put the past behind them. 

They have a lot of catching up to do (their feud lasted for four years, after all), but this is a pretty good start, if you ask us. 


READ: No More Bad Blood—The Katy Perry-Taylor Swift Feud Has Come To An End




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Lea Salonga earns a Grammy nomination

She's been an internationally acclaimed theater actress since her breakout role as Kim in "Miss Saigon," and so a Grammy nomination is further validation of her world-class talent. 

With a career that spans decades, avenues, and countries, you'd think that Lea Salonga might have won or at least been nominated for all major music awards out there, but as she said it herself, even at 47 years old, one can still go through "firsts" in life. 

Lea and her castmates in "Once on this Island" were nominated for the Best Musical Theater Album award at 2019 Grammy Awards; she played the role of the goddess of love in the musical revival, which she reprised last December 27.


READ: Theater Icon Lea Salonga Is Up For A Grammy Award And Is A New Sweeney Todd Star!




Sandra Oh is selected to host the Golden Globes

She's quick on her toes, funny as hell, quirky, and beautiful—Sandra Oh has always had the makings of a perfect awards ceremony host, so we're excited to see her finally get handpicked for the role!

It might not seem a like a big deal for those unfamiliar with Golden Globes history, so know this: the star-studded event has recently become a platform to shed light on current social, political, and cultural movements reshaping America and the world as we know it, so to select a Korean-Canadian to host it in the era of Donald Trump sends a positive message. 

A host who happens to be the child of Asian immigrants and a woman? Sounds like an awesome idea to us!


READ: Sandra Oh Makes History As The First Asian Chosen To Host The Golden Globes



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Kris Aquino joins the Crazy Rich Asians cast

Kris Aquino was tapped to be part of the phenomenal movie Crazy Rich Asians, a role which ABS-CBN News describes as "short but a showstopper." She plays the character of Princess Intan and appeared in the movie dressed up in a stunning yellow Michael Cinco gown.

Kris also attended the world premiere of the movie in California, wearing another yellow number, this time by fashion designer Michael Leyva.



READ: Kris Aquino Stuns In Yellow Filipiniana Gown by Michael Leyva In ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ World Premiere



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