Celebrities who completely dominated in 2018 – Business Insider

As 2018 comes to a close, there have been so many celebrities who completely dominated all year long, giving us new music to stream, new movies to check out, and exciting gossip for us to devour.
From whirlwind celebrity engagements, marriages, and splits like Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry and surprise births from Kylie Jenner, it’s been a wild year for celebrity news.
Here are 21 celebrities who dominated the headlines this year.
For the past decade, nearly every single thing the Kardashian-Jenner family does has made headlines, but in 2018, it was all about Kylie.
The youngest Jenner sister started off the year by announcing that she’d given birth to her first baby, Stormi with partner Travis Scott, after keeping her pregnancy a secret from the public for the latter part of 2017.
In a heartfelt Instagram post on February 4, Jenner apologized for keeping fans “in the dark” and not sharing details of her pregnancy, later sharing a touching video documenting her pregnancy and Stormi’s birth with fans.
She then shared glimpses of her life as a mom, all the while dominating the beauty industry by expanding her namesake line, Kylie Cosmetics. The brand has amassed Jenner a $900 million fortune, landing her the top spot on Forbes’ highest-paid celebrities of 2018, all before Jenner’s 21st birthday.
Throughout the year, Jenner and Scott have sparked engagement and marriage rumors, which she hasn’t confirmed nor denied, but with 2019 right around the corner, we have a feeling we’ll need to continue keeping up with Kylie.
In the early part of the year, Grande announced she would release her fourth studio album, “Sweetener,” her first since the Manchester bombing attack that left 22 people dead at her “Dangerous Woman World Tour” show in the city in May 2017.
In November, she released “thank u, next,” her first #1 single and revealing that she was working on new music. In December, she was named Billboard’s Woman of the Year, addressing her rollercoaster year with the audience.
In her acceptance speech, Grande said, “I find it interesting that this has been one of the best years of my career and the worst of my life,” alluding to her career successes and relationship challenges.
In May, she began dating Pete Davidson after announcing that same month that she’d split from longtime partner Mac Miller. Grande and Davidson had a whirlwind romance that resulted in an engagement and a breakup over the course of five months.
In September, Miller died as a result of an apparent drug overdose at the age of 26.
Cooper has been acting professionally for nearly two decades, but it’s his take on the musical romance “A Star Is Born” that had fans and critics praising him this year.
The film was Cooper’s directorial debut, and he also starred in the film alongside Lady Gaga. The duo earned critical acclaim for their roles, receiving an eight-minute standing ovation from viewers at the Venice Film Festival in August and receiving five nominations for the 2019 Golden Globes, with Oscar buzz not far behind.
In her first big-screen role, Gaga charmed audiences as pop star on the rise Ally in “A Star Is Born,” cementing her status as a movie star.
Aside from her film success, Gaga announced her Las Vegas residency, which begins later this month, which will run throughout 2019. She also reportedly confirmed her engagement to Christian Carino after rumors surfaced that the two had marriage plans in 2017.
Though her star has been on the rise for a few years, Awkwafina became one of the most famous names in comedy after appearing in both “Ocean’s 8” and “Crazy Rich Asians,” two of the biggest film releases of the year.
Her success landed her a scripted Comedy Central series that will debut in 2019, and with several movie roles in the works, we’re sure to see more of Awkwafina next year.
The pop diva has been dominating the charts for decades, but 2018 was a special year for the “Elusive Chanteuse.” After making a triumphant return to the New Year’s Rockin Eve stage to close out 2017, Carey announced her return to Las Vegas, where she has been a regular since 2015.
In April, Carey opened up about living with bipolar disorder, helping shed light on many of the misconceptions and stigma surrounding the mental illness.
Speaking with People magazine, the mom of two revealed, “Until recently I lived in denial and isolation and in constant fear someone would expose me. It was too heavy a burden to carry and I simply couldn’t do that anymore. I sought and received treatment, I put positive people around me and I got back to doing what I love — writing songs and making music.”
In November, she released her 15th studio album, “Caution,” to critical acclaim, topping the charts. In December, she made music history by knocking herself out of the number one spot on the charts after her 1994 holiday album “Merry Christmas” took the reigns yet again, as it seemingly does every single holiday season.
Elba started 2018 off on a sweet note by announcing that he was engaged to girlfriend Sabrina Dhowre in February.
Aside from starring in both big budget blockbusters and small screen hits this year, he also took home the title of People’s Sexiest Man Alive, becoming the third man of color to land the honor, making 2018 a noteworthy year from start to finish for the British actor.
The American snowboarder made sports history at the 2018 Winter Olympics in February when she won the gold medal in the women’s halfpipe at the age of 17. Kim also holds the record of being the youngest woman to ever land two 1080-degree spins in a row at the Olympics. 
After her triumphant wins, Kim, dedicated her performance to her grandmother, who lives in South Korea, cementing her status as an athlete to watch during the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
It’s safe to say that no news story captivated gossip lovers this year quite like Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s wedding, which won the hearts of royal watchers the globe over in May.
Despite Markle’s family drama before and after the wedding, the couple exchanged vows with millions of viewers around the world watching on May 19.
As the two embarked on their first royal tour as a married couple in the fall, they announced that Markle is pregnant with her first child and will give birth sometime in the spring.
Though she became a household name in 2017, we’d be remiss not to call 2018 the year of Cardi. The rapper started the year out by surpassing Beyoncé on the charts, becoming the first woman to have five Top 10 singles simultaneously on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop songs chart in January.
Her music career continued to skyrocket with the release of her first studio album, “Invasion of Privacy” in April. She enjoyed solo success as well as collaborative success with artists like Bruno Mars, Bad Bunny, J Balvin, Taki Taki, Maroon 5, Rita Ora, DJ Snake, and Selena Gomez, reminding us all that it’s Cardi’s world and the rest of us are just living in it.
In April, she announced she was pregnant with her first child, a daughter named Kulture that she gave birth to in July. Cardi shared the first photo of Kulture in December, a day after announcing she’d split from husband Offset, after having confirmed she was married in June.
The rapper made headlines after a public feud with Nicki Minaj, and in November, released her first clothing line with Fashion Nova, which sold out online within hours of its debut.
2018 certainly seemed like the year of quick celebrity engagements and marriages, with Davidson and Grande and Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin, but it’s Chopra and Jonas’s lavish, three-day long celebration in India that fans can’t stop obsessing over.
Chopra, both a massive actress in her native India as well as in the United States, and Jonas, a singer known for his solo success and as part of the Jonas Brothers, reportedly started dating around Memorial Day in 2018, capping off their quickie engagement with two elaborate wedding ceremonies in December.
Though she’s enjoyed plenty of career success ever since becoming the fourth American Idol in 2005, Underwood has been at the top of her game this year.
After a fall at her home in late 2017, Underwood recovered while she worked on her sixth album, “Cry Pretty,” the titular song from which she debuted at the 53rd Annual ACM Awards in April.
In September, Underwood became the first female country artist to have four No. 1 albums at the top of the all-genre charts, making chart history and surpassing Cardi B’s debut album. She cemented her place in country music history by becoming the most-awarded artist of all-time at the 2018 CMT Awards. That same month, she revealed that she had suffered three miscarriages and announced she was pregnant with her second child and is due in early 2019, helping shatter stigmas against pregnancy complications for women everywhere.
Jordan’s star has been steadily on the rise for a few years, but his turn as the villain in “Black Panther” at the beginning of the year and his return to the ring in “Creed II” at the end of the year served as bookends to a career-making year for the California native.
As one of the stars in GQ’s Men of the Year, Jordan took home the Leader of the Year title, proving that he’s only getting started in his career as a bonafide movie star.
As Swift started out the year on a career high, embarking on her massively successful “Reputation Stadium Tour,” which helped the pop star break her own record of the highest grossing North American tour by a female artist, she also famously spoke out about politics for the first time in October.
Swift endorsed two Democratic candidates up for election in Tennessee in a series of posts on her Instagram page, causing a boom in voter registration of nearly 65,000 voters, according to stats released by Vote.org.
After launching her inclusive, 40-shade beauty line in 2017 to rave reviews and impressive sales, Rihanna made history yet again, this time in the fashion industry.
In May, the music icon released Savage x Fenty, revealing that she was “inspired to create a line of intimates that complements a variety of shades and shapes” and that celebrates “fearlessness, confidence, and inclusivity.” The expansive line had an equally inclusive fashion show to close out New York Fashion Week in September, showing an array of models of different body types in her designs.
Aside from her beauty and fashion success, Rihanna also starred on the big screen in the summer smash “Ocean’s 8” and teased new music, proving that Rihanna reign just won’t let up.
At the 2018 Winter Olympics, Rippon enjoyed professional success, taking home a bronze medal during the figure skating portion of the competition. He also celebrated a personal milestone, becoming the first openly gay athlete at the Winter Olympics.
Later in the year, he won season 26 of “Dancing with the Stars,” becoming the first openly gay celebrity to win the reality competition and take home the mirrorball trophy.
Even though her smash hit “Havana” was released in 2017, Cabello rode the success of her debut solo album and singles all year long. Aside from dominating at awards shows all year, “Havana” became Spotify’s most-streamed song ever by a female artist in June, eventually snagging upwards of a billion streams.
She earned two 2019 Grammy nominations and a slew of nods at the MTV Video Music Awards, American Music Awards, and Billboard Music Awards, among recognition at other global awards shows.
BTS first received international recognition when they took America by storm in 2017, but it was 2018 that truly turned them into global superstars.
The South Korean group released three albums this year alone: FACE YOURSELF, Love Yourself: Tear and Love Yourself: Answer. Love Yourself: Tear received a 2019 Grammy nomination for “Best Recording Package.”

They also became Spotify’s most-streamed artist of 2018 and the first Korean group to reach a billion streams on Apple Music, according to Newsweek, who also reported that they became the most tweeted about celebrities of 2018, beating the likes of Grande, Kanye West, and even Donald Trump.
Williams has long been considered the greatest athlete of all time, making a triumphant return to the court at the 2018 French Open after the birth of her first daughter in 2017. But Osaka gave the tennis champ a run for her money this year, nabbing her first Grand Slam title in the US Open to become the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam singles tournament at the age of 20.
Both women proved their prowess on and off the court, supporting each other’s victories after they battled it out in September.
Perhaps best known for her role as Dr. Cristina Yang on “Grey’s Anatomy,” Oh joined the cast of BBC America’s “Killing Eve” this year, starring as the titular character and earning rave reviews.
It was this role that landed her an impressive career accolade: Oh is the first actress of Asian descent to be nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.
She will join Andy Samberg to host the 2019 Golden Globes in January.
After becoming the first black woman director at the helm of a movie with a $100 million budget with “A Wrinkle In Time,” DuVernay joined another $100 million club: She became the first black woman director to make a movie that hit the prestigious milestone in box office sales thanks to the movie’s success with audiences.
After achieving the impressive accolade, DuVernay tweeted, “Lovely room to be in. But can’t wait for more sisters to be here too.”
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