(CNN) – The year began with the shocking death of David Bowie. Few had known the 69-year-old music pioneer was ill and no one was prepared when prince died in April, of an accidental opioid overdose at age 57.
Actor Anton Yelchin was just 27 when he died in a freak accident, and we lost such beloved figures as Gene Wilder, Alan Rickman, Garry Shandling, and Florence Henderson.
2016 also saw Hollywood’s most famous couple de-couple. After more than a decade together, “Brangelina” broke up, as Angelina Jolie filed for divorce from Brad Pitt. They’re still negotiating custody of their six kids.
Another star couple had a star-crossed year. Kanye West was hospitalized for exhaustion, after delivering a bizarre on-stage rant and then canceling tour dates. Earlier, his wife, Kim Kardashian, was robbed at gunpoint in Paris.
On the brighter side, it was another big year for “Hamilton,” the Broadway smash won 11 tony awards, then stepped into present-day politics when star Brandon Victor Dixon read a message for Vice President-elect Mike Pence.
“We are the diverse America, who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us,” said Dixon.
That prompted calls for a boycott, after which the sold-out show had its best week ever.
Beyonce remained the queen. She won awards for her second visual album, “Lemonade,” broke records with her “formation” tour, and performed everywhere from the super bowl to the country music association awards.
Leonardo DiCaprio finally won an Oscar, taking best actor for facing un-bear-able conditions in “The Revenant.” Disney dominated the box office, with three of the year’s top four films: “Finding Dory,” “Captain America: Civil War,” and “The Jungle Book.”
Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize for literature, then said he wouldn’t show up in Stockholm for the ceremony. As a laureate, he’s supposed to give a lecture there within six months, we’ll see whether he changes his tune in 2017.