A Year in Review: 2023’s Defining Moments in Pop Culture

From memorable milestones to viral sensations, these stories shaped entertainment and captivated audiences worldwide.

While the month of January has brought intense focus towards what 2024 has in store, The Hourglass is taking one last moment to look back at the unforgettable pop culture moments that defined 2023.


January – March

In the music industry, Shakira made a shocking comeback with her hit single, “Bzrp Music Sessions #53.” 

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Miley Cyrus released her track “Flowers,” which topped the Billboard Hot 100 for eight weeks. 

Beyoncé’s invitation-only performance in Dubai, which earned her 24 million dollars, was illegally filmed and leaked all over social media.

Jason and Travis Kelce faced each other in the Super Bowl when the Philadelphia Eagles played the Kansas City Chiefs. The story of brotherhood rivalry gained national attention. Also at the Super Bowl, Rihanna returned to the stage with a stunning halftime performance, revealing her pregnancy. 

Bonnie Raitt won Song of the Year at the Grammy awards for her track “Just Like That,” and Beyoncé won a record-breaking 32nd Grammy. 

Taylor Swift’s multibillion dollar Eras Tour started on March 17 in Glendale, Arizona.


April – June

Musical artist Frank Ocean made a return at Coachella, in a performance that some described as disappointing. But not all was bad: Labrinth’s set (featuring Zendaya and Billie Eilish) received praise from fans on Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms. 

Feline fashion ran the Met Gala: Jared Leto showed up in a fur suit of Karl Lagerfeld’s cat, and Doja Cat meowed before answering interview questions. 

King Charles III officially succeeded Queen Elizabeth II. 

Beyoncé began her six-month long Renaissance Tour. 

McDonalds’ limited edition Grimace Shake, sold to celebrate their mascot Grimace’s 52nd birthday, took TikTok by storm.


July – September

Movies Barbie and Oppenheimer were both released in theaters on July 7 in an exciting event dubbed Barbenheimer, revitalizing cinemas worldwide.

Swift released Speak Now (Taylor’s Version). 

Ariana Grande and her ex-husband Dalton Gomez were reported to have ended their nearly four-year relationship. 

Swift also attended boyfriend Travis Kelce’s football game, drawing in 64% more viewers than the average NFL game. Timothée Chalamet and Kylie Jenner were spotted together at the U.S. Open. 


October – December

Grande started dating her Wicked co-star Ethan Slater.

Nicki Minaj released Pink Fridays 2, the sequel to her debut album Pink Fridays. Gypsy Rose Blanchard finished her eight-year prison sentence and has since amassed over 8 million followers on Instagram.

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