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This week's feature

Best of de la pop culture 2016

Wow! A year’s already zipped by. OK, 2016 isn’t exactly what you’d call a banner year: we lost some of pop’s greatest stars and a host of tragic events darkened our skies. But before turning the page and looking ahead to 2017 with hopes that better times are on the way, let’s relive some of the golden moments of this 16th year of the 3rd millennium. Because golden moments there were indeed!

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So for issue number 81, we gathered all the past year’s highpoints for The best of the best of 2016’s pop culture:

  1. The films that took gold at the world’s top film festivals
  2. The year’s big web-buzzes
  3. The 5 questions to the editors of jeuxvideo.com
  4. The flamboyant David Bowie and an emotional year in music
  5. The year’s highest-paid YouTuber
  6. The man and the woman destined to clash
  7. The best of in music for 2016

Fasten your seatbelts, destination pop culture!

As Usain Bolt famously said after his treble gold at the Rio Summer Games (100 meters, 200 meters and the 3×100 relay):

There you go. I’m the greatest.

10 hits that rocked 2016

Music - December 28, 2016

As 2016 takes a final bow, the Web is aglow with all sorts of rankings for the year’s best songs and music. Pitchfork, THE music webzine, has posted its best-of rankings (all genres) on its site, and despite the passing of David Bowie and Leonard Cohen, the year was a rich and memorable one.

Whatever the category (albums, genres, songs), several artists, like Frank Ocean, Kanye West and Solange, had fantastic years. Beyoncé’s little sister, who hadn’t released an album since 2012, made a stupendous comeback with ‘A Seat at the Table’ (number 1 on Pitchfork’s Best Album list). The singer was even nominated for her first ever Grammy Award, in the category of Best R&B Performance for ‘Don’t Touch my Hair’. R&B sensation Frank Ocean also made a splash with his new album ‘Blonde’, with his eclectic style and great duos with Beyoncé and Pharell Williams. Critics also hailed Anohni for the music and video of his song ‘Drone Bomb Me’, the runaway champ in the category of pop political activism.

Here are the greatest hits of 2016:

  1. Solange, Cranes in the sky
  2. Kanye West, Fade
  3. Anohni, Drone Bomb Me
  4. Beyonce, Formation
  5. Frank Ocean, Ivy
  6. Radiohead, Daydreaming
  7. David Bowie, Lazarus
  8. Chance the rapper, 2chainz & Lil Wayne, No problem
  9. Rihanna, Kiss it better
  10. Jamila Woods, Blk girl soldier

If you have a Deezer account, click here and cue up the playlist on our account!

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Cinema, the big winners at 2016’s festivals

The infographic - December 28, 2016

To the delight of movie-goers worldwide and festival juries, this year was a particularly good one for film. From Ken Loach to Mia Hansen-Love, from Clash to Spotlight, here’s a rundown of the Seventh Art’s best and brightest:

infographic-festival-cinema-best-of-2916-prices-best-film

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The flamboyant David Bowie and an emotional year in music

A picture says it all - December 28, 2016

DavidBowieJimmyKing-last-photo

David Bowie was front and center on pop’s big stage until the day he died © Jimmy King

Musician, singer, song-writer, producer, actor, painter, fashion icon, sex-symbol, trend-setter… David Bowie was all that and more, such is his massive influence and legacy. The photo above is the last taken of this musical legend, published on 8 January 2016, on his 69th birthday, a few days before his death on 10 January, by his photographer friend Jimmy King.

This year wasn’t kind to artists and musicians, some of whom had been singing and playing for over 40 years. The greatest homage we can pay them is to keep enjoying to their songs:

  • Prince (7 June 1958 – 21 April 2016), the “Kid from Minneapolis”, guitar virtuoso, eccentric and gifted composer of landmark albums like Purple Rain and Kiss;
  • Leonard Cohen (21 September 1934 – 7 November 2016), author, folk singer and visionary poet who composed the unforgettable Hallelujah and So Long Marianne
  • Billy Paul (1 December 1934 – 24 April 2016), the soul legend and charismatic singer of the hit Me and Mrs Jones
  • Sharon Jones (4 May 1956 – 18 November 2016), former prison guard who became a funk diva at the age of 40, singer of This Land Is Your Land and “100 Days, 100 Nights”
  • Maurice White (19 December 1941 – 4 February 2016), founder of Earth, Wind and Fire who grooved a generation with songs like September and Boogie Wonderland
  • Paul Kantner (17 March 1941 – 28 January 2016), co-founder of the psychedelic Jefferson Airplane who gave the world Somebody to Love and White Rabbit
  • Glenn Frey (6 November 1948 – 18 January 2016), founding member and guitarist of The Eagles and the man who co-wrote the timeless Hotel California, released in 1976.
  • George Michael (25 June 1963 – 25 December 2016), the co-founder of the mythic music group Wham! died in 2016, the 25th. It really was his Last Christmas.
  • She was an actress but we could not miss giving a last tribute to Carrie Fisher. She was famous for her role in Star Wars as the Princess Leïa, she died on December 27 at the age of 60, leaving the whole pop culture world in sadness and tears as the latest episode of the sage has just hitten the big screens. Goodbye Princess.

Source : nicrobertson23 via Creapills

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Infographic: All I want for Christmas is you by Mariah Carey in amazing figures

 

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How much did the year’s highest-paid YouTuber pocket?

The killer question - December 28, 2016

Topping the rankings for highest YouTube earners goes to gamer PewDiePie, less well known by his real name, Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg (we get why he needs a Web name:P). He hauled in a tidy $15 million in 2016 alone, thanks in large part to his 50,500,000 subscribers! You may well be one of them.

The Swede is far ahead of his closest rivals: American vlogger Roman Atwood who raked in nearly $8 million and Canadian YouTuber Lilly Singh and her “little ones” with 7.5 million. Click here for the rest.

The Web is all abuzz over him at year’s end as rumors of his channel’s demise flourished. The resulting media coverage sent his subscription numbers soaring past 50 million in record time… earning him even more dough! Guess you can be a super gamer and a crack businessman. May give your mom pause next time she tells you to drop the console and go out and play.;)

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A man and a woman destined to clash

Who's who - December 28, 2016

Time magazine names Donald Trump its “Person of the Year”

No other publication but Time could presume to award the honor “Person of the Year”, as it’s done annually since 1927. This year the prestigious weekly has selected American billionaire and president-elect Donald Trump, whose mug adorns the year-end issue. Fond as ever of irony and wit, the magazine calls him, ”The President of The Disunited States of America”, because as the editor-in-chief points out, “So, will he be the best or the worst? The challenge for Donald Trump is a country deeply divided by the answer to that question”.

In the long portrait piece published on Time’s website the freshly elected president responds via video, modestly affirming that he doesn’t need “Beyoncé, Jay Z and Bruce Springsteen to turn out a crowd. Me and my ideas are all people want to hear.” (meaning, “contrary to Hillary Clinton, who trots them out for rallies.”). The future will tell…

donald-trump-time-magazine-personne-annee-2016

Time cover for the 18 December issue © Nadav Kander for TIME.

Madonna is Billboard’s 2016 Woman of the Year

A few days later, Billboard magazine named Madonna its 2016 “Woman of the Year” 2016. She used her reception speech at the Billboard’s Women in Music ceremony on 9 December to blast Donald Trump, branding him a misogynist and racist whose business MO is harassment and denigration. At the age of 58 years, the “Queen of the Pop” isn’t about to leave the stage, or abandon her role of championing women’s causes! A great moment is pop history:

 

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5 questions to the editors of jeuxvideo.com

The 5 questions - December 28, 2016

Jeuxvideo.com is the most-visited French-language gaming webzine, the site of reference for enthusiasts of all stripes. The editorial staff reviews new releases, breaks down trends, tests products, and offers loads of rankings and video. Four of them took time out of their busy days to answer our questions and help us compile a Best Of 2016!

Orange Pop: In a scant two months, Pokemon Go was downloaded 500 million times in over 100 countries. The craze kindled by this new off-the-couch-and-into-the-world style of gaming has tapered off in recent weeks, so the question is: was this a summer flash-in-the-pan or a game-changing innovation in entertainment?

 Julien Rateau, mobile project manager: Pokemon Go is a bonafide planetary phenomenon that took the game out of the console and put it in the real world. You go out and chase those critters in the streets, around your park, everywhere. It really took off during the summer, the July release of Niantic Labs magnifying the global trend. Restricting availability only fanned curiosity around the world to the point where almost everybody downloaded Pokemon GO. Despite the predicted decrease, its popularity continues. PoGO, version 2.0, is set to relaunch the planet. Tough to say after a mere 5 months if it’s here to stay or on the wane: optimists and pessimists abound.

O. Pop: With tens of millions of athletes worldwide and their numbers growing daily, eSports are gaining in notoriety and even going professional. The sums at stake are skyrocketing and investors are pouring money into promoting competitions with global audiences. Many, like NBA player and eSports maverick Rick Fox (Echo Fox), think that eSports are going to “become one of the four major sports in the United States.” Why?

François Aymes, eSport journalist: In recent years, eSports have experienced exponential growth because the serious gaming studios are behind them now. League of Legends has generated huge revenues, as have competitions by Riot Games, Blizzard and Valve, encouraging many more developers to hop onboard. With deep pockets and massive audiences, eSports are attracting more and more investment. With the backing of a connected generation, electronic games may well just become as popular as basketball in a matter of years, though its success will surely be measured differently. After all, most of its profits are internet driven, generated and collected.

O. Pop: A virtual reality revolution was predicted for 2016 but didn’t happen. Why? Are the major studios ready and are they willing to open up this new sector?

Yohan Bensemhoun, virtual reality journalist: Indeed 2016 was to be the global VR revolution. The tech is ready and the fans are thirsty for it, but the price tag is prohibitive. With a PS4 starting at €530, it’s still for the 1%. Gamers hoping for the VR experience for under €400 are still waiting, but developers are betting on it and developing the tech. The revolution is coming, it’s just dragging its heels.

O. Pop: What were the major trends (virtual universes, plot lines, and game decors) that emerged in 2016’s crop of video games? And why so?

Yohan Bensemhoun: Drawing big trends from the rich field of video games is no easy feat. Globally in 2016, open world games seem to have a bright future with the magnificent Dark Souls 3, the very good Watch Dogs 2 and the excellent DLC Blood and Wine by The Witcher 3. And 2016 remained a winner for classic football video games like PES and FIFA. First-person shooter games are dominated by CoD, Battlefield and Titanfall. Between console tech innovations, PCs and traditional games going for face-lifts, two sectors stood out: mobile gaming has come of age (Pokemon GO, and the excellent Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes, Naruto Ultimate Ninja Blazing and Final Fantasy, Brave Exvius and Mobius Final Fantasy), and the fledgling success of virtual reality on four brand headsets.

O. Pop: Finally, your Top 5 games for 2016 (all categories)?

Frédéric Goyon, editor-in-chief: This year, the editorial staff is unveiling Best Game 2016 rankings in a special show called Pixels d’Or“. For Best Game of the Year, there are 3 nominations: Dark Souls III, Dishonored 2 and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. If we were to add two games, they’d be Forza Horizon 3 and Inside, and that would get us up to a Top 5:

  1. Dark Souls III(PS4, Xbox One, PC)
  2. Dishonored 2(PS4, Xbox One, PC)
  3. Forza Horizon 3(Xbox One, PC)
  4. Inside (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
  5. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End(PS4)
interview-site-jeux-video-bestof2016

Julien Rateau alias Silent_Jay, François Aymes, Yohan Bensemhoun , Frédéric Goyon

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TOP 5 The buzz best of 2016

Gimme 5 - December 28, 2016

1. Bob Dylan brings home the Nobel Prize for Literature and sends Patti Smith to pick up the hardware. Folk’s greatest and most politically active emissary, has made pop history, testifying to the artistic integrity of pop music. He couldn’t fit the ceremony into his busy touring schedule, so He sent singer Patti Smith to Sweden in his place to receive the award and sing one of his greatest hits, A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall (1962). The Nobels are pop!

2. Beyoncé’s Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show. The Panthers are still seething over that one. But they can console themselves with the memory of the Queen B’s homage to the Black Panthers. Black beret over a ‘60s-worthy afro and fist raised, she followed Coldplay and Bruno Mars with a big-time tribute to the black rights revolutionaries. Respect!

3. Jimmy Fallon’s “Slow Jam The News” with Barack Obama. The showmanship talents of the States’ 44th president are no secret and Jimmy Fallon harnessed them all for his one-and-only Slow Jam The News. Sensual jazz, classy repartees, some pretty off-color jokes, 8 years in the White House, a presidential legacy… The first black president of the United States has become a pop icon!

4. Leonardo DiCaprio finally brings home the Best Actor Oscar and gives an unforgettable speech. We’d sort of given up on it: The Oscars seemed to have black-listed the star of Titanic, Romeo and Juliette, Gangs of New York, Inception, Django Unchained, The Wolf of Wall Street and finally… The Revenant! A consecration, and a podium from which to deliver a memorable plea for environmental protection. Here’s hoping the fight to save the planet is as successful as his Oscar bid. We Love you, Leo!

5. #RIO2016, the hashtag of the year. Twitter recently unveiled the rankings of its highest-traffic hashtags for 2016. #Rio2016 took number 1 with 187 million tweets and 75 billion views. Here’s the Top 10:

  1. Rio2016
  2. Euro2016
  3. Election2016
  4. Brexit
  5. Trump
  6. RIP
  7. BlackVivesMatter
  8. Oscars
  9. GameOfThrones
  10. PokemonGO

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See you next year!

To be continued - December 28, 2016

What better to end the year on a high note with Google’s top rankings of search!

See you next year 🙂 #HappyNewYear

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