With all of the celebrity scandal headlines and popular star breakups we’ve seen in recent months, you can’t be expected to have remembered it all. Or have you? Let’s test that knowledge and refresh some memories by looking back at the stars that generated the most buzz over the past year. The following are the 14 most memorable celebrity news stories of 2015.
1. Rachel Dolezal’s race scandal: A civil rights activist and former president of a chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Rachel Dolezal made headlines when she claimed to be the victim of hate crimes, until her parents revealed her to be a white person falsely claiming to be African-American. The scandal generated a lot of buzz about race and ethnicity in popular culture.
2. The Kardashians: It was a busy year for one of the world’s most famous (and arguably most popular) families, but is that any different from the buzz they stirred up in 2014? That said, the biggest headlines and most memorable moments of 2015 for this particular family would have to be the breakup of Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick; the birth of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s second child, Saint; and, of course, Bruce Jenner’s transition into Caitlyn Jenner.
3. Tom Brady and Deflategate: The name for the investigation into possible ball tampering by the New England Patriots during the AFC Championship game (they’re easier to throw and catch when deflated), the scandal tainted the Patriots and saw star player Tom Brady suspended for four games for his part in it.
4. Josh Duggar molestation scandal: Josh Duggar, star of the TLC reality show 19 Kids and Counting, was revealed to have molested five young girls—and what’s worse, that included his own sisters. Needless to say, TLC cancelled the show soon after.
5. Ariana Grande’s anti-America comments: In one of the weirder, but still most memorable news stories of 2015, the singer was seen licking donuts before declaring, “I hate Americans. I hate America.” She later apologized, saying she was proud of her country, but just upset at how Americans eat without thinking about their health. Guess her fans are pretty forgiving; most people wouldn’t still have a career, at least not a very popular one, after saying they hate America!
6. The death of Bobbi Kristina Brown: Not only was this one of the most memorable moments of 2015, but it was also one of the most heartbreaking. The daughter of Whitney Houston was found unresponsive in January and put into a medically induced coma. Unfortunately, she ultimately passed away in July. The cause is still classified, though there was said to be no evidence of drugs or alcohol. That being said, many headlines speculated that her boyfriend, Nick Gordon, had something to do with her death.
7. Charlie Sheen: In November, the former Two and a Half Men star revealed that he was HIV positive and has been for at least four years, attributing his past “meltdowns” to his reaction upon getting the news. He also said he has paid over $10 million to people extorting him to keep his diagnosis private and that he was certain he didn’t infect any bedmates, all of whom he told; some claimed otherwise.
8. Lamar Odom’s brush with death: Discovered unconscious at a brothel in October, the former NBA star came dangerously close to leaving us all forever. The only positive is that his wife, Khloe Kardashian, called off their divorce to help him recover, though they have yet to fully reconcile.
9. Zayn Malik leaving One Direction: Another year, another popular boy band member pursuing a solo career, right? Try telling that to all his young fans who were devastated to see him go. But while most boy bands break up upon a member leaving, One Direction continues to tour as a quartet—for now, at least.
10. Viola Davis making history: The actress became the first black woman to win the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Annalise Keating on How to Get Away With Murder. Her acceptance speech was just as inspirational as the win itself. Davis proudly stated that “the only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity.”
11. Charlotte Elizabeth Diana: The second baby born to Prince William and Kate Middleton entered the world to a lot of buzz on Saturday, May 2. In a touching display, the couple chose to withhold the baby’s name until they had told the Queen, Elizabeth II. That didn’t stop headlines from making their own guesses and suggestions, though!
12. Adele’s big comeback: October 2015 marked the return of Adele after three years of no new material. The wait was well worth it, with the album, 25, becoming the first album to sell more than three million copies in a week in the U.S. alone—the largest single sales week potentially ever (Nielsen didn’t begin tracking sales until 1991).
13. David Letterman says goodbye: The popular long-time talk show host finally retired in May, having hosted over 6,000 episodes and becoming the longest-serving late night host in U.S. TV history. He was replaced by Stephen Colbert, who has yet to enjoy similar success (attributed to a lack of Republican viewers). Lamar Odom’s brush with death: Discovered unconscious at a brothel in October, the former NBA star came dangerously close to leaving us all forever. The only positive is that his wife, Khloe Kardashian, called off their divorce to help him recover, though they have yet to fully reconcile.
14. Zendaya Coleman vs. Fashion Police: The last of the most memorable moments of 2015 came when Giuliana Rancic made the mistake of saying Zendaya’s dreadlocks looked like they smelled of “patchouili” or “weed,” later claiming she was referencing hippies and not something more racist. Zendaya’s very intelligent response was later posted to social media for all the world to see. She also got the last laugh, because Mattel ended up immortalizing her buzz-worthy dreads with a Zendaya-look-alike Barbie.