29 Dec 2017
10 biggest entertainment newsmakers of 2017
Has it already been a year since our last Top 10 roundup!? And is Christmas really over!? And is it really going to be 2018 soon!?
Pardon our dramatic display of disbelief, but it still feels as though we were very recently just welcoming the start of 2017, but boy, what a rollercoaster of a year it has been. Ahead, we’ve rounded up some of the hottest headline-making people and topics in showbiz, from the triumphant to the tragic to the “they did WHAT!?”
Happy New Year!
29 Dec 2017
Weddings we didn’t see coming
It’s one thing to be surprised when someone you thought was single suddenly announces that they are seeing someone, but to wake up one day to the news that they’re about to make that trip down the aisle and be joined in holy matrimony (or have already done so)? More like holy moly.
While some of the big reveals came as a little less of a surprise (say, Jesseca Liu and Jeremy Chan, who did tease about their wedding plans a month prior to their July nuptials), others had us completely taken aback – or as they say on the internet, #shook – when their engagements were made known (we’re looking at you, Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo, and you, Xu Bin, and you, Tracy Lee), as they had never even spoken about being attached in the first place.
Other stars who waited until the very last minute to be all like “oh, by the way, I’m married” are Aaron Kwok (who wed model Moka Fang in April) and Shawn Yue (who wed model Sarah Wang earlier this month). For more lovey-dovey happenings that took place in 2017 (surprising or not), check out our roundup here.
29 Dec 2017
Babies we didn’t see coming
What’s even more startling than finding out someone is unexpectedly about to tie the knot? That they’re unexpectedly going to be – or have already become – a parent. Such was the case for Edison Chen, Mike He, Kang Gary and our very own Constance Song, all of whom only publicly disclosed the good news only after their little ones were safely welcomed into the world.
Mike’s unveiling came as a double shock as he also revealed that he married his high school sweetheart not long after his daughter, nicknamed “Meibao”, was born. As for Edison, it was only after adorable Alaia was born that he and his model girlfriend Qin Shupei became more open about their private lives (much to our delight – we can’t get enough of their cuteness on social media).
Gary’s two bombshells were dropped seven months apart: in April, the former Running Man star announced that he is now a married man, and in November, a picture of his son’s tiny feet popped up on his Instagram.
Constance remains the new mother we know the least about – we never even knew that she had a bun in the oven in the first place! The fiercely private Tanglin actress has also kept mum on the details of her partner – no one is sure if she is married – or the name of her baby girl, who was born on May 18 (which also happens to be Constance’s birthday).
For more star offspring who were delivered in 2017 (again, surprising or not), check out our roundup here.
29 Dec 2017
South Korean top stars turn troublemakers
No, we’re not talking about Hyuna and Hyunseung’s Trouble Maker, the controversial K-pop duo of the same name. In fact, the sizzling stunts they pulled on stage are nothing compared to the mess that Super Junior’s Siwon and Kangin, BIGBANG’s T.O.P, SHINee’s Onew and Girls’ Generation’s Taeyeon got into at various points of the year.
The case that arguably caused the biggest stir is T.O.P, whose sudden hospitalisation from a suspected drug overdose in June had both VIP and non-fans alike concerned for his wellbeing. He eventually regained consciousness, but the worry made way for wrath when he was charged with marijuana use and sentenced to 24 months of probation in July, and the rapper has been laying low ever since.
The rest of the incidents prove that it hasn’t exactly been the smoothest-sailing of years for S.M. Entertainment. In August, Onew was accused of drunkenly sexually harassing a woman at a nightclub, and while the charges were dropped, the damage to his reputation had been done. Siwon’s image also took a hit in October when his dog bit and killed his neighbour (she passed away from sepsis from the bite), and last month, Taeyeon enraged netizens when she caused a three-car accident in which three people sustained minor injuries.
Then there was repeat offender Kangin, who was in the news for all the wrong reasons again when he was reported to have assaulted a woman (said to be his girlfriend) in November. He was previously fined for a drink driving accident in 2016 – his second traffic offence after the first in 2009. Let’s hope he has finally learned his lesson and has a much more well-behaved 2018.
29 Dec 2017
BTS conquers the United States
Thankfully, not all Hallyu headline-makers were in the press for negative reasons. When BTS hit the magenta carpet at the Billboard Music Awards in May (where they won Top Social Artist), little did we all know that it would open the floodgates for more opportunities and achievements that would further cement their status as K-pop royalty not just in the region, but also in the west.
The septet was back stateside in November to attend and perform at the American Music Awards, checking “U.S. TV debut” off their increasingly accomplished bucket list. During their visit, they also made appearances on popular talk shows Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Ellen DeGeneres Show and The Late Late Show with James Corden.
Oh, and let’s not forget their chart record-breaking triumphs. Last month, the addictive Steve Aoki remix of BTS’s ‘Mic Drop’ debuted at no. 28 on the Billboard Hot 100 (usually home to super A-listers like Ed Sheeran and Demi Lovato), making it the highest-charting hit by a K-pop group.
There doesn’t seem to be an end to their impressive feats. What can we say? It’s a good time to be an Army.
29 Dec 2017
Aloysius Pang’s drink-driving incident
Let’s be real here: out of all the local celebrities, Aloy would have been the very last person we’d have predicted to fail a breathalyser test while at the wheel of a vehicle. (This docile, self-proclaimed homebody? Really? Guess you can never tell.)
On May 18, the 27-year-old actor was charged in court for drink-driving, and on July 20, he was fined S$2,000 and had his licence revoked for 18 months. Needless to say, the public backlash and media scrutiny was intense, but Aloy also received immense support from fans and fellow artistes.
Clearly, it hasn’t been the easiest of times, but as the saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining. In Aloy’s case, he told us that having to resort to take public transport to work “has turned [his] life around for the better” as he is more physically active and has better time management. Here’s to a better – and maybe less boozy? – 2018.
29 Dec 2017
It was the year that love rekindled for some…
While there has yet to be an official confirmation of famed former paramours Lin Chi-ling and Jerry Yan dating again after an 11-year split, the mere fact that they were spotted together in Malaysia in November caused quite the stir among fans and the press. Unsurprisingly, the rumour mill continued to churn out all kinds of updates on their supposed reunion, but perhaps we’ll have to wait until 2018 for legitimate developments.
Over in Hollywood, we saw young love find its way back on track again with Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez, who are said to have patched things up early last month and are even undergoing couples therapy and seeking guidance from their pastor in the hopes of a stronger bond (looks like these two are really determined to make things work this time).
Much more brazen about their reconciliation are Brooklyn Beckham and Chloe Grace Moretz, who have never shied about being mushy on social media and continued to do so after getting back together in September (much to our delight, if we do say so).
29 Dec 2017
…but also the year that love died for others
Unfortunately, it was easier to come up with a long list of lovebirds-no-more. There seemed to be a breakup epidemic among Hallyu hotties this year, with some of the biggest headline-hoggers being Sulli and Choiza in March, EXO’s Kai and f(x)’s Krystal in June, Nam Joo Hyuk and Lee Sung Kyung in August, Lee Minho and Suzy in November, and Hyun Bin and Kang Sora earlier this month.
There were quite a few romances that fizzled out in the rest of the Asian showbiz scene as well. The most recent saga involved Taiwanese actress Kelly Huang, who called it quits with her basketballer husband Ho Shou Cheng just two weeks ago. Anthony Neely also split from his wife of seven years in June, and Cyndi Wang and Yao Yuanhao’s on-and-off relationship entered the “off” phase (perhaps for good this time?) much earlier this year in February.
One Hollywood marriage we were sad to see did not survive is that of Chris Pratt and Anna Faris (they were so cute together!). The ex-couple announced in August that they were “legally separating” after eight years of being husband and wife, but it wasn’t until a few months later when they officially filed divorce papers.
Sigh. Love is hard work.
29 Dec 2017
Sexual assault allegations rock Hollywood (and the world)
Ugh, we’re not exactly surprised that Tinseltown has a whole other filthy side underneath its glitzy, glamorous exterior, but the scale on which scandal after scandal was exposed (heh) was enough to make us wonder if there are truly any good famous men left in this world.
It all started with The New York Times publishing a damning essay in October titled Harvey Weinstein Paid Off Sexual Harassment Accusers for Decades, which detailed a number of sexual harassment and assault allegations against the powerful producer (including rape and being forced to watch him shower – gross). More and more women started coming forward with similar accusations, and the disgraced bigwig was fired from his own company and lost a number of honours and memberships.
The response to the stories was overwhelming and even launched the viral #MeToo movement, which people used to disclose their own experiences on social media. Since then, other high-profile figures who have been charged with sexual harassment include Kevin Spacey, Dustin Hoffman, Ed Westwick and Nick Carter.
Let’s hope that in 2018, more people will be unafraid to speak out against their attackers, and that the law ensures these perpetrators get their just desserts.
29 Dec 2017
Sudden celebrity deaths that broke our hearts
Sadly, depression reared its ugly head and claimed the lives three notable figures in music this year, namely Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman Chris Cornell in May, Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington in July, and SHINee lead singer Jonghyun barely two weeks ago.
Hong Kong and Taiwan showbiz bid a final farewell to veteran TVB actor Raymond Tsang in April, renowned host and entertainer Chu Keliang in May, and “golden manager” Willie Chan (who helped launch the careers of A-listers like Jackie Chan, Cherie Chung and Maggie Cheung) in November.
Back here on local shores, one death that was slightly overshadowed by the National Day celebrations was that of former Channel 8 actress Wang Xiu Yun, who passed away at the age of 72 on August 9 from kidney failure. Xiang Yun posted a touching tribute to Xiu Yun with a lengthy Instagram post, referring to her as a caring big sister.
Rest in peace.
29 Dec 2017
Singapore pride strikes again
If you thought Nathan Hartono’s highly successful stint on Sing! China would be the last time a Lion City export does us proud overseas in a while, think again. This year, the one flying the Singapore flag high in the finals of the popular singing variety programme was Joanna Dong, who emerged the second runner-up – we’re still proud of you! – after capturing countless hearts with her unique jazzy Mandopop renditions.
More home-grown – or at least, home-based – acts are set to represent the nation again (this time, in Hollywood, no less!) with the silver screen adaptation of novel Crazy Rich Asians, which is set right here in Singapore and is slated for release in August 2018. Taking on one of the lead roles is Malaysian-born, Singapore-based Henry Golding, and we also have folks like Pierre Png, Tan Kheng Hua, Fiona Xie, Janice Koh, Selena Tan and Koh Chieng Mun in the cast list, which was announced earlier in the year.
So exciting, right!? Who said our little red dot can’t make it big?