It was a fantastic start to the year for Beyonce and her husband Jay-Z as they welcomed their “beautiful daughter” Blue Ivy into the world. Throughout the year the power couple treated fans as they released a series of intimate snaps of themselves with their little one on their website. It was also later revealed that the musical pair had filed legal papers to protect their daughter’s name soon after her birth. However, it was later announced they lost the right to trademark the name as a small wedding planner based in Boston had called her company Blue Ivy in 2009.
On the strength of that a capella opening to I Will Always Love You, Whitney Houston was a performer of extraordinary power. Add to that six Grammys, 11 US and four UK number ones and she earned her place firmly in the pantheon of the greats. One of the most celebrated female artists of all time, she sold 170 million records worldwide. But in February 2012, tragically the demons she had battled for so long caught up with her. One of the greatest talents of her generation passed away on February 11, just hours before she was due to attend a pre-Grammys party.
It has been a fantastic year for singer Adele; in February she won six awards at the Grammys and was swiftly awarded the Brit Award for Best British Female Solo Artist. The British songstress’ album 21 sold over 4.5 million copies in the UK alone and she wrote and performed a song for the latest Bond movie, Skyfall. The absolute cherry on the cake, and by far the best news of all, was when Adele and partner Simon Konecki welcomed their first child together in October.
The hype surrounding Angelina Jolie right leg’s appearance almost over shadowed the main event at this year’s Oscars. The Hollywood star posed on the red carpet at the Academy Awards in a slinky black Versace gown which was slit to the thigh, flashing her slender, snow white limb. A Twitter account called @AngiesRightLeg soon gained thousands of followers and it sparked the internet term “Jolie-ing”. Angelina said at the time: “I honestly didn’t pay attention to it. You know what I mean? I don’t watch those TV shows and if I go online and see something about myself, I don’t click on it. And the people I surround myself with don’t really talk about that kind of stuff. I heard something, but I didn’t pay any attention. It’s as simple as being a woman picking a dress you like and having a night, and not really thinking about anything else.”
Despite The Help’s pre-Oscar showing, it was a British film about former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and a silent, French black and white movie that triumphed at the Academy Awards. Meryl Streep for Iron Lady and Jean Dujardin’s performance in The Artist took home the top acting gongs at this year’s ceremony.
Ahead of the Olympics, the sporty Duchess of Cambridge ditched her heels and swung back into action in the hockey field with Team GB. Later in the year she repeated the moves as she visited her former school where she had first been taught to play. But by that time – although unknown to her hosts and the world – she was pregnant with her and Prince William’s first child.
It was a huge year for Kate as she gradually got used to her new royal duties, following her magnificent wedding to William last year. In her first official joint visit with the Queen, she and her grandmother-in-law kicked off the UK Jubilee tours with a stopover in Leicester.
After a seven-year romance and six children together, Angelina Jolie finally agreed to become Mrs Brad Pitt in 2012. The Hollywood actor sealed the deal with an engagement ring from jeweller Robert Procop. “Brad had a specific vision for this ring, which he realised over a year long collaboration with Robert,” said the jeweller in a statement. Brad revealed he had been “getting a lot of pressure from the kids” to get married.
Justin Timberlake serenaded his bride Jessica Biel with a song specially written for her as she waltzed down the aisle in a spectacular pink Giambattista Valli gown. This was the scenario as the Hollywood sweethearts tied the knot in an intimate Italian wedding at the magnificent Borgo Egnazia resort in Puglia. HELLO! was delighted to offer its readers the first picture from the couple’s emotional ceremony.
Just over a year after Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux started dating, the screenwriter popped the question on his 41st birthday. The pair’s spokesperson release a statement confirming the happy news: “Justin Theroux had an amazing birthday on Friday, receiving an extraordinary gift when his girlfriend, Jennifer Aniston, accepted his proposal of marriage.”
The moment that Twi-hards had been waiting for finally arrived when Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart teamed up to unveil the final film in the Twilight saga for the first time since the actress’ “indiscretion”. While there were no big public displays of affection, the couple looked happy and relaxed in each other’s company as they walked the red carpet together in LA. At one point they posed for photos with their arms interlinked, much to the delight of their fans.
President Barack Obama was re-elected to a second term on November 6 in what many called the closest presidential race in recent U.S. history. Minutes after his victory was announced, the president tweeted: “We’re all in this together. That’s how we campaigned, and that’s who we are. Thank you.” He also posted a picture of himself embracing his wife Michelle with the caption “Four more years” – and the post rapidly became the most popular tweet of all time.
The Victoria’s Secret Angels showed off their trim bodies once again at the annual lingerie Show. This year Alessandra Ambrosio was the lucky angel picked to model the $2.5million Fantasy Bra but it was fellow angel Adriana Lima who stole the show. The Brazilian made an incredible return to the prestigious catwalk a mere eight weeks after giving birth to her second child.
HELLO! correctly predicted the news everyone was waiting for, the Duchess of Cambridge was pregnant with her first child. The statement issued by Clarence House simply read: “Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that The Duchess is expecting a baby. The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry and members of both families are delighted with the news.” The happy news was revealed as the expectant Duchess was admitted to King Edward VII hospital with acute morning sickness. She finally left the hospital four days later with her husband Prince William by her side. The pair happily smiled to photographers who had been waiting outside the hospital for a glimpse of the royal.
Wiping several tears from his eye Barack Obama delivered a heartfelt speech in the wake of Connecticut’s fatal school shooting. Speaking from the White House the President described his “overwhelming grief” for the incident which left 27 dead, 20 of them children. “I react not as a president, but as a parent.” The father-of-two paused several times to fight back tears as he spoke of the “beautiful little kids” who died during the shooting.