The 13 Biggest Celebrity Beginnings and Endings of the Year

Look, other stuff *did* happen in 2020

In a year that’s been dominated by one massive, all-consuming news story (rhymes with Miley Cyrus), it can be easy to feel like literally nothing else has happened. Which obviously isn’t the case! Pandemic or no, life *has* gone on—and the celebs of the world have had their share of Life Events. From breakups to babies, marriages to Megxit, the circle of celebrity life continued—with all its endings and beginnings—generating a few major moves along the way. Thanks, Famouses—we appreciated the distraction!

Beginning: Ashley Graham had a baby! 

Back when 2020 felt all shiny and new, the model and her husband, Justin Erwin, welcomed their son into the world. Isaac Menelik (means “son of the wise,” apparently) was born on January 18, via a home birth after which Graham said, “There’s nothing that could come my way where I say, ‘Oh, that’s too hard, I can’t handle that.”

Ending: Meghan and Harry ditch the royals and move to Los Angeles

After spending the holidays in Canada, Meghan and Harry blindsided the world—and the Queen herself, apparently—by announcing they would be “stepping down as senior royals,” which is comms speak for “this institution is stifling, and we’re off to live our lives our way, thx bye!”. Fast forward a year, and they’re settled in a mansion in Montecito, using their newfound freedom to spotlight issues they weren’t able to as royals, like racial inequality

 

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Beginning: Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt clasp wrists at the SAG Awards

OK, it all came to nothing in the end but…there was a tantalizing reunion backstage at the awards show in January that had all of the die-hard romantics hoping this was the start of a reunion between the two. Turns out they’re just supportive exes but still! It was nice to dream. As their gift to us, the ex-couple also reunited in September for a virtual table of Fast Times At Ridgemont High, throwing in some cute Zoom-flirting (and a blush from Brad!) as an extra treat. 

Ending: Mary-Kate Olsen filed for divorce the second courts re-opened post lockdown 

During the first of a wave of pandemic-related splits, one half of the Olsen twins (metaphorically, of course, it was actually her lawyer) sprinted to the courthouse the second they re-opened in NYC in May, filing papers to split from her husband of nearly five years, French banker Olivier Sarkozy.

 

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Beginning: Grimes and Elon Musk have a baby with an unpronounceable name 

Little “X Æ A-12” was born in May, and while everyone was happy for the Canadian-born singer and her billionaire inventor man (who, incidentally, birthed a truly baffling music single at the start of 2020), the name had everyone…confused? Grimes helpfully broke it down on Twitter—it involves elven spellings, artificial intelligence and a “metal rat”—but precisely how you make sounds out of those characters remains a mystery.

Ending: Lori Loughlin’s “Aunt Becky” persona officially dead as she takes a plea deal; goes to jail

Loughlin, of Full House fame, was one of the celebrity parents (that also included Felicity Huffman) who were caught paying a con artist hundreds of thousands of dollars to get their children into top universities under false pretences. After initially claiming her innocence, Loughlin took a plea deal in May—turns out she *did* pay $500,000 to pretend her daughters were star athletes so they could get into USC—and served two months in prison later in the year. 

 

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Beginning: The “bonus Jonas” is born unto Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner

She’d prefer you call her by her actual name (Willa, thanks), but yes, it’s true: After months of pap snaps of a pregnant Sophie with Joe taking quarantine strolls around L.A., the little girl—a first for both—was born in July. Neither have actually commented on any of this, which is 100% their prerogative. 

Ending: Demi Lovato got engaged—and then quickly disengaged

If you spent the summer reading Deux Moi—the Insta gossip account that blew up this year—you would have seen this coming, thanks to all the people who wrote in about how shady Max Ehrich, her fiance, was. It was a whirlwind, COVID bubble romance—they got engaged and split in less than six months—but Demi, per People, regrets nothing, although “it was hard for her to admit she made a mistake when it comes to Max.”

 

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Beginning: Princess Beatrice had a teeny tiny royal wedding 

Like many people, the British royal (grand-daughter of the Queen; cousin to Wills and Harry; child of the scandal-embroiled Prince Andrew) had to entirely re-imagine her wedding plans this year. The original big bash in May was cancelled in favour of a very small wedding in July (like, so petite not even Will and Kate made the list), for which she wore a vintage dress belonging to the Queen, and ignited in us all a fervent urge to have massive floral arches over all our doorways too. 

Ending: Kelly Clarkson ended her marriage (and then a whole bunch of other long-term shacked-up celebrities called it quits, too)

Clarkson split from her husband, Brandon Blackstock, after spending months quarantining with him on their ranch in Montana. Untangling the seven-year marriage has been a messy one—her husband is suing her for over $2 million in allegedly unpaid commissions from when he worked as her manager, for starters—and it turns out the 38-year-old was just the first of many long-ish term celebrity couples to end things this year. Among their ranks? Jason Sudeikis and Olivia Sudeikis (seven years); Queer Eye’s Karamo Brown and his fiancé (10 years); Armie Hammer and Elizabeth Chambers (13 years); Kristen Cavallari and Jay Cutler (seven years;) Lili Reinhart and Cole Sprouse (two years, which is *forever* when you’re young!). 

 

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Beginning: Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik had a baby (and then so did many other celebs, too!)

It was a chapter in the Zigi saga we didn’t see coming, at least not yet! After years of on-and-again off again drama, the model and her ex-1Der announced that they were expecting a daughter, whose gestation (eww, gross word, sorry!) was documented over the summer Gigi and Zayn spent at her mom Yolanda’s farm in Pennsylvania. Their daughter—name still a subject of speculation—was born in September, joining the ranks of the mini-Hollywood baby boom of the fall. Among the celebs who either welcomed a child or announced they were expecting one are: Cameron Diaz and Benji Madden; Nicki Minaj and Kenneth Petty; Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix; Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom; Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake; Princess Beatrice and her husband Jack; Katherine Schwarzenegger and Chris Pratt. TBH, we’re as exhausted as those new parents just listing this!

Ending: The role that celebrities play in our lives?

This is a question mark, but in a year without red carpets, and in which celebs’ privileged existences (and tone deaf attempts to relate to a world turned upside; we will never forget “Imagine,”) felt increasingly removed from what everyone else was suffering through, it did feel as though a shift has taken place in how much celebrities matter to us right now. That all may change again in 2021 but…food for thought, nonetheless.