One good way to determine the most popular stories and events is to look at the most Googled celebrities of the year. Here’s a look at some of the most Googled celebrities of 2022, and some of them may surprise you.
15. Ryan Reynolds
Possibly the most well-liked celebrity in Hollywood (alongside his wife, Blake Lively, of course), he’s famous for his movies and his sense of humor. He also won the People’s Choice Icon Award this year and thanked his whole family in a hilarious and heartfelt speech.
14. Harry Styles
From the release of his third solo album, Harry’s House, his residency-style tour, and the release of movies like Don’t Worry Darling and My Policeman, it’s safe to say that 2022 was a great year for Harry Styles. He also made headlines for his personal life, including his breakup with Don't Worry Darling co-star and director Olivia Wilde and all of the drama regarding the release of Don’t Worry Darling.
13. Taylor Swift
Though her fans spent most of the year wondering which album she would re-record next, Taylor Swift made headlines in August with the announcement of her new album, Midnights. Midnights was not only a smash hit, but her upcoming Eras Tour led to a fiasco with Ticketmaster that broke the internet.
12. Stephen Curry
Who doesn’t love Stephen Curry? He made headlines after the Golden State Warriors won their first NBA finals in four years, leading to Curry’s first NBA Finals MVP award. His family is also adorable, which is why he’s one of our favorite athletes.
11. LeBron James
As one of the most prolific athletes in the world, it’s no wonder that LeBron James made this list. He spent much of 2022 being vocal about political issues, particularly about WNBA athlete Brittney Griner's imprisonment in Russia.
We might be biased because she’s one of our favorites, but Zendaya dominated in 2022. The second season of Euphoria was one of the most popular shows this year and won her her second Emmy award, and we can’t get enough of her adorable relationship with Tom Holland.
9. Millie Bobby Brown
The fourth season of Stranger Things was one of the most popular shows of the year, so it makes sense that the most popular star of this show made the list. She’s also the star of Enola Holmes (alongside the incredibly handsome Henry Cavill) and is the founder of the popular beauty brand Florence by Mills.
8. Will Smith
It’s no secret that Will Smith is a talented actor, but that’s not why he made headlines this year. He shocked the world when he slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars after Rock made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, resulting in him being banned from the Oscars for the next 10 years.
7. Elon Musk
Elon Musk has always been an interesting yet controversial figure, but he broke the internet when he bought Twitter in April for $44 billion. His acquisition of Twitter has been as chaotic as it has been controversial, leading to thousands of headlines about him this year.
6. Pete Davidson
When he started dating Kim Kardashian in late 2021, the internet began to wonder why he dated so many gorgeous women. He made headlines for dating Kim for the majority of the year (including the controversy of his feud with Kanye West) before they broke up in late August.
5. Kim Kardashian
From her tumultuous divorce from Kanye West, her relationship with Pete Davidson, the premiere of The Kardashians on Hulu, and the launch of her skincare brand, Kim Kardashian has had a busy year. She also made headlines for allegedly removing her butt implants and her reluctance to criticize Balenciaga after their recent scandal.
4. Tom Brady
It would be an understatement to say that Tom Brady had a dramatic year. He announced his retirement in February, only to come out of retirement in March, leading to rumors about his personal life. After months of speculation, he and his wife, Gisele Bundchen, confirmed their divorce in late October.
3. Queen Elizabeth II
Though Queen Elizabeth II made history with her Platinum Jubilee in June, her death in September was one of the biggest stories of the year. Not only did she live a historic and eventful life, but her funeral was also one of the most-watched events in television history, with 27 million viewers in the UK alone.
2. Johnny Depp
The Depp vs. Heard trial captured the minds of millions earlier this year, resulting in a victory for Johnny Depp. The way Depp handled himself during the trial led to a resurgence in his popularity (let’s be real, we all binge-watched some of his movies during the trial), including an appearance in Rihanna's Savage X Fenty fashion show in November.
1. Amber Heard
While Depp’s popularity grew during the trial, so did Amber Heard’s, but not in a positive way. From accusations of her pooping on Depp's bed to the way she clearly gaslit and abused him throughout their marriage, it’s clear that Heard was one of the greatest villains of 2022, proving that not all publicity is good publicity.
From the Depp vs. Heard trial to the slap heard around the world at the Oscars, it’s clear that pop-culture events influenced what we Googled in 2022. This goes to show that pop-culture matters more than most realize, leading us to wonder who we’ll see at the top of the list in 2023.
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