November 30, 2018 / 2:59 PM / 12 days ago

Successes, scandals and send-offs: 2018's top showbiz stories

LONDON (Reuters) - A royal wedding with a Hollywood ending, a rapping Pulitzer first and a send-off fit for a musical soul queen. The world of entertainment saw a spate of headline-grabbing stories this year with plenty of award-winning highs and some stumbling lows.

Award season kicked off 2018, with pop singer Bruno Mars triumphing at the Grammys while actress Frances McDormand briefly lost her newly-won Oscar at the Academy Awards.

Accolades came for Kendrick Lamar, the first rapper to win a Pulitzer prize, People’s magazine’s “sexiest man alive” Idris Elba and George Clooney, named the world’s highest-paid actor, mainly thanks to the sale of his tequila company.

Bill Cosby was the first celebrity convicted of sexual abuse since the #MeToo movement began. Film producer Harvey Weinstein surrendered to New York police, and is facing charges involving alleged assaults of women, to which he has pleaded not guilty.

Netflix drama “House of Cards” returned without Kevin Spacey after the actor was accused of sexual misconduct. Roseanne Barr’s revived “Roseanne” show was quickly cancelled after the actress sparked outrage by comparing a black former Obama administration official to an ape on Twitter. She apologised but said she had been misunderstood.

Rapper Kanye West made some startling comments, notably describing slavery as a choice and gave a rambling speech at the White House.

In film, mainstream racially diverse movies “Black Panther” and “Crazy Rich Asians” won over audiences and critics, while the trailer for Disney’s upcoming “Lion King” revival, saw a massive 224.6 million global views in its first day.

Pop singer Lady Gaga cemented her move to Hollywood in “A Star Is Born”, garnering Oscar speculation, while in other music news, the Spice Girls reunited - minus Victoria Beckham - and Elton John kicked off his farewell tour.

Slideshow (26 Images)

In front of global audience, Britain’s Prince Harry married American actress Meghan Markle. Pop singer Justin Bieber wed model Hailey Baldwin in a quiet ceremony.

Actors Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie exchanged accusations in their drawn-out divorce. Singer Ariana Grande and comedian Pete Davidson got engaged but split a few months later. Grande’s ex-boyfriend Mac Miller died of an accidental overdose.

The world said goodbye to a number of stars, including Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin, physicist Stephen Hawking, actor Burt Reynolds, comicbook superhero creator Stan Lee, singer Charles Aznavour, chef Anthony Bourdain, DJ Avicii, fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy and film director Bernardo Bertolucci.

Reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Peter Graff

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