As usual, it has been one wild ride of a year. Therefore, we must spend some time recapping all that we witnessed.
And, since it was so much stuff, I will break it down into categories!
First, Let's Talk Sports:
One of the most significant moments in sports history for 2023 was the pregnancy announcement of the Oscar-nominated pop superstar Rihanna at her Super Bowl performance in February of 2023.
After a five-year hiatus, Rihanna graced the stage with her baby bump on display, singing nothing but hits back to back. And we should shout out to her sign language interpreter, Justina Miles, who helped bring the show to life.
Fans speculated on all social media sites, prompting a personal confirmation from the Queen. Even if you didn't watch the Super Bowl this year, you knew about Rihanna's viral moment. I cannot wait to see and hear more from her soon.
For my real sports fans, one of the biggest names discussed in the NBA this year was the one and only Ja Maront. Whenever I turned on ESPN or listened to Stephen A. Smith's comment on his podcast, I heard breaking news from the NBA commissioner about what Maront would be facing for his actions.
Now, I don't have to recap what he did, but for the first time, I saw the NBA commissioner be puzzled by the actions of someone he had hoped would get it together. Whether you agree with Maront's actions, everyone deserves a second chance.
Therefore, in 2024, we will hear positive things from the young star on and off the court!
One of the last moments that is important to highlight is the rise of Angel Reese. Whether you watched women's college basketball before this year or not, I bet you and your friends are tuning into it now.
Leading the LSU Tigers of the Southeastern Conference to victory, Reese has shown women worldwide that you can be anything you set out to be with grace, poise, and practice.
I salute all of the winning champions of the LSU Tigers and cannot wait to see how their 2024 season goes!
Now, It's Time to Talk Celebrities:
One of the famous names I heard throughout the year 2023 was none other than "U Got It Bad" singer USHER (Usher, 2001)!
Whether he was in the limelight for his phenomenal residency in Vegas or his controversial participation in relationship drama, Usher was a name we heard repeatedly. It shows that longevity and reinventing yourself are how you stay successful in this business.
Speaking of individuals who keep reinventing themselves is Keke "Keep a Job" Palmer; while she may have found herself in a scuffle with the "Good Good" singer, Keke kept getting to the bag (Usher, Summer Walker & 21 Savage, 2023)! Using her viral moment with the popular sensation as an opportunity to be in a music video with the artist and re-launch her music career, Keke saw a golden opportunity and ran with it.
Showing us that although moments may be considered "controversial," it doesn't mean they cannot be turned into moments of success.
Another name that has been heard over and over again throughout the world is none other than Jada Pinkett Smith. Whether you know her for her movies like Set it Off or her remarkable relationship with Tupac, Smith's marriage has been a hot topic throughout 2023.
And, in the words of the great Wendy Williams, many have asked Smith after her controversial book tour, "How are you doing" (Wendy Williams Archive, 2023).
Fans across social media sites have worried about the stability of Smith and her husband's relationship due to controversial moments shared personally by family members. But, instead of falling into the gossip trap, Jada has set a new path for herself.
Processing her life on large platforms, she has protected herself from others assuming or trying to say she is hiding something. But more importantly, it has shown others that you will be all right if you mind the business that pays you.
And, in the great words of RHOA royalty Sheree Whitfield, she has let her haters know, "Who gon check me boo," to which they have only been able to respond with no one (Malec, 2022).
In the theme of celebrity relationships, the one and only Shenseea and Jada Kingdom have been buzzing topics throughout the year, with fans asking who they are dating and why.
It has always puzzled me how entitled others feel to know about someone else's life once they have hit celebrity status. But, individuals like Kingdom and Shenseea have left audiences confused, shocked, and bewildered.
Some individuals connected to these two great artists have been Burna Boy, Pardison Fontaine, and London on the Track. While the lovely Jada Kingdom has confirmed who she is loving, Shenseaa has left room for mystery.
Therefore, I ask you all: is it essential to know who celebrities are dating? Or is it okay for them to have some form of mystery?
Finally, Let's Talk Music:
Now, we are almost at the end of our recap of 2023. But, with this being a radio station, it is only fitting that we discuss music because that's what we play every day here at SparkFM Online.
I would be remiss if I didn't discuss some of the hottest records in 2023.
Starting in no particular order, we have to give credit where credit is due to the one and only Beyonce. By selling out arenas around the globe, Beyonce has provided the world with a great album and an even more fantastic experience.
You may be unaware of the hype the Renaissance Tour created if you don't follow social media sites. But, women, men, children, and elders dressed in their best silver outfits and dressed in style to the party with the Queen.
Instagram Reels by the thousands, with tickets sold garnering over "$579 million; Beyonce saw over 2.7 million fans" and is just getting started (Horowtiz, 2023). The Beyhive showed up for this Queen.
Another woman who is killing the music scene is SZA, with "Snooze" being the longest-running song on the Billboard 100 for 2023; I can say without a doubt that SZA is in her bag. Although it isn't always easy, SZA is creating a sound in her lane and showing up as her authentic self, which is precisely why she is winning.
How many of you will take a page from SZA's book in 2024 by showing up authentically as you are without fear of others' judgment?
We also have to give it up for our Rap Girlies. Individuals like Latto, Sexxy Red, Ice Spice, Glorilla, and Doechii had some of the hottest records, leaving the streets bouncing and records flying off the shelf.
But, the Queen has returned to her rightful place, leaving the Barbz with an album filled with hits after hits. Shout out to the one and only Trini, Nicki Minaj, for her newest album, Pink Friday 2, which debut at #1 on the Billboard chart.
And, in Caribbean culture, some of the hottest artists to do it in 2023 include but are not limited to Sean Paul, Popcaan, Vybez Kartel, Shenseea, Byron Messia, and Stefflon Don! If you have yet to be in your Caribbean bag, it's time to step up your game cause we are still taking over the airways one station at a time!
Well, ladies and gentlemen, it's about my time! Thank you so much for tuning into our 2023 end-of-the-year recap!
Let me know your thoughts in the comments on things we've discussed this afternoon!
And have a wonderful Happy New Year!
Peace and prosperity, as always!
Jadis "IHateAdulthood" DeShong-Venay
Horowiz, J. (2023). "Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé’ Review: Concert Doc Highlights the Pursuit of Perfection, With Dazzling Results." https://variety.com/2023/film/reviews/beyonce-renaissance-tour-film-review-1235808935
Malec, B. (2022). Housewives History: Shereé Whitfield Tells All on the Fight That Spawned "Who Gon' Check Me, Boo?" https://www.eonline.com/news/1328710/housewives-history-sheree-whitfield-tells-all-on-the-fight-that-spawned-who-gon-check-me-boo
Usher. (2001). U Got it Bad [Song]. On 8701. Arista; LaFace.
Usher, Summer Walker & 21 Savage. (2023). Good Good [Song]. On Coming Home. Mega; Gamma.
Wendy Williams Archive. (2023). "Wendy Williams: How You Doin' 101. Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ase117lais