A journey through 2018's top pop culture moments

This combination of 2004 and 2016 file photos shows fashion designer Kate Spade and TV personality chef Anthony Bourdain in New York. Spade was found dead in an apparent suicide in her New York City apartment on June 5 and Bourdain has been found dead in his hotel room in an apparent suicide in France on June 8. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, Andy Kropa/Invision)
FILE - In this March 4, 2018 file photo, Frances McDormand accepts the award for best performance by an actress in a leading role for "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" at the Oscars in Los Angeles. McDormand asked all the women nominees in the room to stand, and instructed Hollywood to tell their stories. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
FILE - In this Sept. 17, 2018 file photo, Glenn Weiss, winner of the Emmy for outstanding directing for a variety special for "The Oscars," left, surprised the audience, and his girlfriend Jan Svendsen by proposing at the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
FILE - In this July 5, 2018 file photo, US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg speaks after the screening of "RBG," the documentary about her, in Jerusalem. Days after her injuring three ribs from a fall, the 85-year-old Supreme Court justice is back on the job, capping a year in which she’s emerged as a true pop culture heroine. Already in the spotlight for "RBG," the documentary in which she's shown doing pushups among other things, she's also the subject of a popular SNL rap video, and by year's end a new feature film, "On the Basis of Sex." (AP Photo/Caron Creighton, File)
FILE - In this Sept. 6, 2018 file photo, people walk by a Nike advertisement featuring Colin Kaepernick in New York. In his "Just Do It" spot for Nike that marked the campaign's 30th anniversary in September, the sidelined-by-kneeling NFL quarterback somberly challenged viewers to "believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything." Some responded with anger, cutting or burning Nike gear and calling for boycotts. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
FILE - In this May 30, 2018 file photo, Kendrick Lamar holds a certificate after winning the Pulitzer Prize for music for his album "DAMN," during the 2018 Pulitzer Prize awards luncheon at Columbia University in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)
This image released by Boneau/Bryan-Brown shows a scene from the production of"Harry Potter and the Cursed Child," in New York. The two parts of the production are more than a combined five hours. (Matthew Murphy/Boneau/Bryan-Brown via AP)
FILE - In this July 29, 2013, file photo, Les Moonves arrives at the CBS, CW and Showtime TCA party at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif. Writer Ronan Farrow broke the explosive story of sexual misconduct on the part of the powerful CBS chief executive. Moonves resigned on Sept. 9, hours after more sexual harassment allegations involving the network's longtime leader surfaced. On Dec. 17, it was announced that Moonves will not receive his $120 million severance package after the company's board of directors determined he was fired "with cause" over the allegations. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
This combination photo shows House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi wearing a Max Mara coat outside of the West Wing at the White House in Washington following a meeting with President Donald Trump about funding the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
FILE - In this May 7, 2018 file photo, singer Katy Perry wears angel wings at The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating the opening of the Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination exhibition in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)
This Jan. 7, 2018 image released by NBC shows Oprah Winfrey accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif. Winfrey's rousing call for social justice in the name of the MeToo movement drew wild cheers in the ballroom at the Golden Globes Awards in January and reverberated across the land. (Paul Drinkwater/NBC via AP)
FILE - In this March 4, 2018 file photo, Harvey Weinstein accusers, Ashley Judd, from left, Annabella Sciorra and Salma Hayek speak at the Oscars in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
FILE - In this May 19, 2018 file photo, Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ride in an open-topped carriage after their wedding ceremony at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, near London, England. (Aaron Chown/pool photo via AP)
FILE - In this May 30, 2018 file photo, Kendrick Lamar walks onto the stage to accept the Pulitzer Prize for music for his album "DAMN," during the 2018 Pulitzer Prize awards luncheon at Columbia University in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)
FILE - In this June 21, 2018 file photo, first lady Melania Trump arrives at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. wearing a Zara jacket that reads, "I don't really care. Do U?," after visiting the Upbring New Hope Children Center run by the Lutheran Social Services of the South in McAllen, Texas. She later explained it was "for the people and for the left-wing media who are criticizing me." (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
This image released by Disney shows Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins in "Mary Poppins Returns." (Disney via AP)
FILE - In this Jan. 28, 2018 file photo, Kesha, left, performs "Praying" as Camila Cabello, center, and Andra Day stand by at the 60th annual Grammy Awards at Madison Square Garden in New York. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 29, 2018 file photo, Chadwick Boseman, a cast member in "Black Panther," poses at the premiere of the film in Los Angeles. The box office hit has been nominated for various awards and is poised to be the first comic book film to be nominated for an Oscar for best picture. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
FILE - In this May 7, 2018 file photo, singer Katy Perry wears angel wings at The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating the opening of the Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination exhibition in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, file)
FILE - In this Aug. 28, 2018 file photo, Aretha Franklin lies in her casket at Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History during a public visitation in Detroit. Franklin died Aug. 16 of pancreatic cancer at the age of 76. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, Pool)
FILE - In this Oct. 11, 2018 file photo, rapper Kanye West speaks to President Donald Trump and others in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
In this image released by ABC, Roseanne Barr, left, and John Goodman appear in a scene from the comedy series "Roseanne." The comedy about the blue-collar Conner family and its brassy matriarch returned in March as a success for ABC and Roseanne Barr but was canceled in May after Barr’s racist slam of Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett. ABC called her tweet “abhorrent." (Adam Rose/ABC via AP)

And the top pop culture moments of 2018 are ... Wait. WAS there any pop culture this year? Of course there was, but you could be forgiven for forgetting, because more than ever it was politics, politics, and more politics occupying the zeitgeist and sucking the proverbial air out of the room. Still, if you wanted a break from that, there was a royal wedding with something for everyone, some groundbreaking movies, the return of Mary Poppins (to the screen) and Harry Potter (to Broadway), a goodbye to some favorite celebrities, a tale of two coats that were more than just coats, and more. Join us on a highly selective chronological journey through a year in pop culture:

JANUARY

The first awards shows reflect a changed Hollywood, only a few months after the #MeToo movement engulfed the industry. At the GOLDEN GLOBES, the red carpet becomes a sea of glittering black gowns in solidarity with victims of sexual misconduct, and OPRAH WINFREY gives a barn-burner of a speech , looking to a day "when nobody ever has to say 'Me Too' again!" At the GRAMMYS, stars don white roses, and singer Kesha dedicates a tearful performance of "Praying" to the #MeToo movement.

FEBRUARY

Welcome to WAKANDA: The latest Marvel hero to jump off the page into his own movie is the "BLACK PANTHER," and RYAN COOGLER'S film is universally acclaimed. "Show them who we are," goes a line from the film, an appropriate pre-Oscar chant for Coogler and a starry cast including CHADWICK BOSEMAN, MICHAEL B. JORDAN, LUPITA NYONG'O and a slew of others. Ten months later the film will be nominated for a Golden Globe, beginning its awards journey.

MARCH

Speaking of OSCAR, it's that time, and we're still talking about #MeToo, not to mention "Time's Up!" Appearing onstage to mark the moment is a powerful trio of Harvey Weinstein's accusers: ASHLEY JUDD, ANNABELLA SCIORRA, and SALMA HAYEK. And when FRANCES McDORMAND says she has "some things to say," people listen: The best actress winner asks all the women nominees in the room to stand, and instructs Hollywood to tell their stories.

APRIL

Times are changing at the PULITZERS, too, where rapper KENDRICK LAMAR wins the music prize for "DAMN." He's the first rapper to win the prestigious laurel and the first winner who's not a classical or jazz musician. In film, director JOHN KRASINSKI energizes the horror genre with the creepy, silent "A Quiet Place," also starring wife EMILY BLUNT. On Broadway, the enduring magic of HARRY POTTER is conjured with the hit London transplant, "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child."

MAY

Let's say "Do Svidaniya" to our favorite Soviet spy couple as "THE AMERICANS" ends its six-season run on FX with an elegant, surprising and moving series finale. At the annual glittery MET GALA, the theme is "Fashion and the Catholic Imagination ," and imaginations are running rampant — we're talking about you, KATY PERRY and your giant angel wings! But perhaps the most memorable fashion statement comes when the very American MEGHAN MARKLE weds the very British PRINCE HARRY in a refreshingly unadorned white gown. A gospel choir sings "Stand By Me," and an American bishop, MICHAEL CURRY, almost steals the show with a spirited improvisational sermon before saying: "We gotta get y'all married!" Also this month, "THIS IS AMERICA" by CHILDISH GAMBINO, aka multi-talented DONALD GLOVER (also having a big year with "Atlanta") opens at No. 1 on the Billboard chart, accompanied by a viral video of nonstop dancing punctuated by shocking scenes of shootings. And goodbye, ROSEANNE: The show's reboot is canceled following her racist tweet.

JUNE

What was she thinking? MELANIA TRUMP doesn't say, but the writing on her Zara jacket has everyone talking. "I don't really care. Do U ?" reads the garment worn by the first lady on parts of her trip to visit detained migrant children in Texas. Four months later she'll explain it was "for the people and for the left-wing media who are criticizing me." In music, JAY-Z and BEYONCE continue to exert their unique influence with a surprise joint album, "Everything is Love." On a sad note, two admired celebrities are mourned after taking their own lives: global culinary chronicler ANTHONY BOURDAIN and colorful it-bag designer KATE SPADE.

JULY

Last year, it was WEINSTEIN. This year, it's LES MOONVES, one of the most powerful men in television. Reporter RONAN FARROW breaks the explosive story of sexual misconduct on the part of the CBS chief executive; in September, with accusations escalating, Moonves will step down. And at year's end he'll lose his $120 million severance when CBS says it has grounds to fire him for cause, concluding he violated company policy and was uncooperative with an investigation — a claim Moonves' attorney denies.

AUGUST

Farewell to the Queen of Soul: ARETHA FRANKLIN's death sparks worldwide mourning, and the singer is hailed not only for her talent — the greatest of a generation — but her lifelong demand for "RESPECT," as a woman and an African-American. She is eulogized in an epic eight-hour funeral. Another longtime great, PAUL MCCARTNEY, does carpool karaoke with JAMES CORDEN, and their visit to McCartney's hometown of Liverpool that has many fans crying sweet tears of nostalgia.

SEPTEMBER

"Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything," says a new NIKE ad that makes waves because of the man speaking the lines: COLIN KAEPERNICK, the former San Francisco quarterback who began a wave of protests among NFL players against police brutality and racial inequality. At the EMMYS, the awards themselves are upstaged by a surprise marriage proposal. And happy birthday, HARRY POTTER! Wow, you're 20 years old.

OCTOBER

Usually DONALD TRUMP has the spotlight in the Oval Office, but apparently not when KANYE WEST visits. The rapper, ostensibly there to discuss prison reform, delivers a 10-minute speech about the president, politics, and of course himself. "You are tasting a fine wine," he says, referring to, er, his truly. "It has multiple notes to it." Onscreen, the ultimate chameleon, LADY GAGA, reinvents herself yet again with a stunning turn in BRADLEY COOPER's acclaimed "A STAR IS BORN. " And some fine-art news: The elusive BANKSY pulls a stunt for the ages with his self-shredding painting at a Sotheby's auction. But was that him, in the audience? Maybe.

NOVEMBER

Three broken ribs might sideline a football player, but RUTH BADER GINSBURG ? Nah. Days after her injury from a fall, the 85-year-old Supreme Court justice is back on the job, capping a year in which she's emerged as a true pop culture heroine. Already in the spotlight for "RBG," the documentary in which she's shown doing push-ups among other things, she's also the subject of a popular SNL rap video, and by year's end a new feature film, "On the Basis of Sex." Oh, and she's back at the gym, too.

DECEMBER

Wanna be the new Oscar host? They're hiring! (Unless you'd prefer to be Trump's chief of staff.) KEVIN HART is forced to step down — two days after being named — when past homophobic tweets are aired. And remember all the talk over the first lady's Zara coat? Now it's NANCY PELOSI's Max Mara coat we're discussing, a fiery orange-red number that she wears — with Armani shades — emerging from a tense showdown with the president. The fashion label immediately reissues the discontinued "Fire Coat." And speaking of hot (or cool) overcoats: A stylish new MARY POPPINS is on the block, thanks to BLUNT, who proves a worthy successor to Julie Andrews in the Disney sequel. At the end of a tough year, it feels nice to indulge with just a spoonful of sugar.

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For more on the biggest moments of 2018, visit: https://apnews.com/2018-TheYearinReview

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