In celebration of the New Year, we're taking a look at some of pop culture's biggest 2019 anniversary moments, starting with the release of "Avatar" nearly a decade ago. The sci-fi flick directed by James Cameron and starring Zoe Saldana and Sam Worthington hit theaters on Dec. 18, 2009. "Avatar" was nominated for nine Oscars and became the highest grossing film of all time, earning more than $2 billion at the box office! Keep reading for other pop culture anniversaries to expect in 2019…
The Backstreet Boys' biggest hit, "I Want It That Way," was released nearly 20 years ago on April 12, 1999 (we know, we can't believe it either!). The pop ballad reached No. 1 in 25 countries including Austria, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Switzerland and the United Kingdom and received three Grammy nominations including song and record of the year.
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Almost 10 years ago on June 5, "The Hangover" hit theaters. The R-rated comedy starring Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis and Bradley Cooper became the 10th-highest earning film of 2009 with a worldwide gross of over $467 million, and the second-highest grossing R-rated comedy ever in the United States, surpassing a record previously held by "Beverly Hills Cop" for almost 25 years. "The Hangover" was also a critical success, taking home the Golden Globe for best comedy.
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"Mean Girls" will celebrate its 15th anniversary on April 30. The 2004 movie had an immediate impact, making $129 million at the box office and gaining a slew of fans. Fifteen years later, Oct. 3 is unofficially known as "Mean Girls Day" and lines like "She doesn't even go here!" are repeated worldwide.
Usher took over the airwaves in March 2004 with the release of his fourth studio album, "Confessions." The R&B CD, which featured hit singles "Yeah!," "Burn," "Confessions Part II" and "My Boo," was diamond-certified with more than 20 million copies sold worldwide. Almost 15 years later, "Confessions" is the second-best selling album of the 2000s decade and regarded by many as one of the best albums of all time.
The world was left in shock when Michael Jackson unexpectedly died of acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication nearly 10 years ago on June 25, 2009. His memorial service that July was watched by an estimated 1 billion people worldwide and his legacy lives on today. Michael is still regarded as the best pop artist of all time and has been ranked as the top-earning deceased celebrity every year since his death. His net worth currently stands at $500 million.
Nearly 50 years ago on Nov. 10, 1969, "Sesame Street" premiered on PBS. The children's TV show has since become iconic, with generations of people tuning in. An estimated 77 million Americans have watched the series as children and "Sesame Street" has won 167 Emmy Awards and eight Grammy Awards over the decades — more than any other children's show.
Kanye West and Taylor Swift's legendary MTV Video Music Awards moment will celebrate its 10th anniversary on Sept. 13, 2019. Who can forget Kanye jumping on stage after Taylor won the best female video Moonman, grabbing the mic and saying the now iconic line, "I'mma let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time!" Their on-off feud has continued ever since, most recently flaring up after a 2016 incident with Ye's wife, Kim Kardashian West.
"The Matrix" starring Keanu Reeves forever changed cinema when it debuted almost 20 years ago on March 31, 1999. The sci-fi film from the Wachowski siblings received universal acclaim for its then-state-of-the-art visual effects and innovative storyline, which helped it earn more than $463 million worldwide.
"I see dead people" will forever go down in history as one of the greatest lines ever thanks to "The Sixth Sense." The supernatural-horror movie starring Bruce Willis, which was directed by M. Night Shyamalan, premiered almost 20 years ago on Aug. 6, 1999. The film was a wild success, earning more than $672 million at the box office and receiving six Academy Award nominations including best picture, best director, best original screenplay, best supporting actor for Haley Joel Osment and best supporting actress for Toni Collette. In fact, "The Sixth Sense" was the highest grossing horror film of all time until 2017 when it was surpassed by "It."
"Modern Family" will celebrate its 10th anniversary on Sept. 23, 2019. The sitcom, which stars Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen, among others, was a huge hit when it premiered on ABC, receiving critical acclaim for its originality and humor. "Modern Family" is the network's longest running comedy series and the winner of 22 Emmys!
"The Blair Witch Project" will turn 20 years old on July 14, 1999. The horror movie was a game changer when it hit theaters as it popularized the found-footage technique. "The Blair Witch Project" grossed nearly $250 million worldwide on a budget of just $60K, making it one of the most successful independent films of all time.
We can hardly believe it but "The Simpsons" will celebrate its 30th anniversary on Dec. 17, 2019. The critically acclaimed animated sitcom kicked off on FOX in late 1989 and has been entertaining audiences ever since. "The Simpsons" is currently the longest running American sitcom ever.
"Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace" reignited the "Stars Wars" fandom and exposed the franchise to a whole new generation when it premiered in May 1999. Nearly 20 years later, the film is remembered for its stunning visuals, fun action sequences and powerful musical score as well as a controversial character (Jar Jar Binks). With a box-office gross of $924.3 million, "The Phantom Menace" was the highest grossing movie of 1999.
Believe it or not, it's been nearly 20 years since Britney Spears' debut album, "…Baby One More Time," was released in stores. The 14-times platinum album debuted in January 1999 and has since gone on to become a pop classic. The CD featured some of Britney's biggest hits including the title track, "Sometimes" and "(You Drive Me) Crazy," earned two Grammy nominations and sold more than 32 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best selling albums of all time.
"I wrote you 365 letters. I wrote you every day for a year… it wasn't over, it still isn't over!" It's been nearly 15 years since Ryan Gosling said those iconic lines in "The Notebook," which hit theaters in June 2004. The romantic drama based on the Nicholas Sparks book of the same name (it also starred Rachel McAdams) was a sleeper hit that is today regarded as one of the best romance movies ever.
"Livin' la Vida Loca" was the song that wouldn't quit in 1999. The Ricky Martin single debuted in March that year and kicked off the Latin pop explosion that would take over the new millennium. "Livin' la Vida Loca" sold more than 8 million copies, making it one of the best selling singles of all time. Twenty years later, we still love it!
"The Passion of the Christ" will celebrate its 15th anniversary on Feb. 25, 2019. The Mel Gibson-directed biblical drama starring Jim Caviezel had everyone talking when it premiered in 2004. "Passion" was controversial for its extreme violence but still grossed $612 million worldwide, making it the highest grossing R-rated movie of all time.
On Jan. 31, "Family Guy" will celebrate its 20th anniversary! The animated FOX sitcom created by Seth MacFarlane premiered in 1999 and soon gained a loyal following. Twenty years later, "Family Guy" is one of Hollywood's most popular shows with more than 300 episodes aired and 12 Emmy nominations.