Pop Culture In Review for the Year 2006


  • The major movies of this year included ‘Night at the Museum’, ‘Dead Man’s Chest’, ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’, and ‘Cars’.
  • ‘Brokeback Mountain’ was named the best picture of 2005 by the Broadcast Film Critics Association’s Critics’ Choice Awards. The movie also won the best director and best dramatic picture award at the 63rd Golden Globe Awards.
  • Disney announced its plans of acquiring Pixar. This acquisition would result in the rise of the CGI-animated film. The company was acquired at $7.4 billion. Since Steve Jobs was the majority shareholder of Pixar, he also became the majority shareholder of Disney at that time. This occurred because the transaction was done through converting one Pixar share to 2.3 Disney shares.
  • ‘Brokeback Mountain’, ‘Crash’, ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’, and ‘Good Night and Good Luck’ were the stars of the Academy Award, with every movie earning six nominations each (except for ‘Brokeback Mountain, which earned eight’.
  • The major award went to Ang Lee, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Reese Witherspoon, George Clooney, and Rachel Weisz.
  • ‘Star Wars Episode III–Revenge of the Sith’ and ‘Pride and Prejudice’ won the most awards at the 11th Empire Awards
  • Tom Cruise had a baby girl (Suri) with his then-fiancée Katie Holmes
  • Mel Gibson was arrested in a speeding incident on the Pacific Coast Highway after a DUI. He was then put into rehab and apologized for his anti-Semitic comments
  • ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest’ grossed over $55.8 million the very day it opened. This set record for the highest-grossing opening day. The numbers broke the previous record, which was held by ‘Star Wars Episode III-Revenge of the Sith’. It was also the biggest Friday gross in Hollywood history
  • The shockumentary ‘Borat’ was released in November 2006. The full name of this work was ‘Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. The film was unscripted and caused a lot of controversies in the Arab region as well as Russia. It was banned in almost every Arab country and criticized for its content. However, it was sold out in America and received a 92 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes.


  • The top song was Beyoncé’s ‘Irreplaceable’. It was the most successful track from her second studio album. The musician Ne-Yo penned the song; both he and Beyoncé wanted a track that could be relatable for both sexes. The track itself has a message of female empowerment and not staying in an unfaithful relationship.
  • ‘Irreplaceable’ was also Beyoncé’s fourth No.1 single on the Billboard charts
  • Other popular songs thing year included ‘SexyBack’ by Justin Timberlake and Timbaland, ‘Bad Day’ by Daniel Pewter, ‘So Sick’ by Ne-Yo, ‘Hips Don’t Lie’ by Shakira and Wyclef Jean, and ‘You’re Beautiful’ by James Blunt.
  • The one billionth song was downloaded through iTunes. This was Coldplay’s ‘Speed of Sound’.
  • The Rolling Stones took part in a free concert for about two million attendees in Rio de Janeiro on February 22nd.
  • ‘You’re Beautiful’ by James Blunt became the first song by a British artist to reach No. 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in nine years. Before that, this honor went to ‘Candle in the Wind 1997’ by Elton John.
  • On 5th April, Eminem filed for divorce from his wife Kim. The couple had married for the second time less than three months prior to the divorce.
  • The Goo Goo Dolls band completed 20 years of music by releasing their song ‘Let Love In’.
  • Indio, California had the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, with A-list performers such as James Blunt, Daft Punk, Kanye West, Madonna, and Depeche Mode.
  • One the first of May, Jimi Hendrix’s track ‘Hey Joe’ was played at the same time by 1,951 guitarists in Poland. The event resulted in a Guinness Book World Record.
  • Madonna’s Confessions Tour took off in Los Angeles. Tickets for the concerts were sold out in minutes across three continents–Asia, Europe, and North America. This massive demand resulted in the announcement of new concert dates in London, Tokyo, Los Angeles, and New York. All in all, this tour grossed above US $260 million, making it the highest grossing tour by a female artist in music history.
  • The single ‘Hips Don’t Lie’ sold more than 266,500 downloads within the first week of its availability. This broke the record for D4L, which was only 175,000. The song also achieved the most airplay in one week record, having a total of 9,657 plays. The previous record was 9,582, held by ‘Hollaback Girl’ by Gwen Stefani.
  • On 19th June, Taylor Swift’s first single ‘Tim McGrav’ came out. At the time, Swift was just 16 years old. The song became a top 10 hit.
  • The British musical chart show named ‘Top of the Pop’, aired its last week episode. This signaled the end of a 42-year year run.
  • James Brown passed away on December 25, 2006. He was a singer and songwriter who gained legendary status in the area of funk music. His career spanned around 50 years; it was also marred by several accusations of violence by his spouses.


  • On January 22nd 2006, Kobe Bryant, also known as the Black Mamba, scored heavily against the Toronto Raptors. His total score for that game was 81 points. This was the second-highest score for a match, following the 100 points by Wllt. Still, the gameplay made this go down as the greatest-ever game from an individual player in the eyes of enthusiastic basketball fans.
  • Rafael Nadal managed to win the French Open for the second time in a row, successfully defeating the champion Roger Federer in the final set. However, Federer managed to recover and get his back during the Wimbledon finals. The senior tennis superstar managed to win his 4th Wimbledon title in a row. Federer also gained victory in three out of four of the Grand Slam events.
  • Unfortunate news was released about the basketball star Michael Jordan, who went through a divorce with Juanita Vanoy. This divorce was filed after a marriage of 17 years.
  • Red Auerbach, the basketball coaching legend, passed away at 89 on October 28th, 2006.
  • Tiger Woods remained in the first position on the Top Earners’ list, especially after winning the British Open and the OS PGA for the third time.
  • Floyd Landis was the winner of the Tour de France at first, but he was rubbed out after failing a drug test.
  • Roger Federer won the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award
  • JanicaKostelićm, an alpine skier, won the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award


  • The most anticipated program on television was probably High School Musical by Disney. It went on to spawn a lot of merchandise and two sequels. It was also the first Disney Channel Original Movie to spawn a theatrical sequel.
  • There was a mix-up in the waiting room at BBC, resulting in a job applicant giving a TV interview by mistake. The person was Guy Goma, who was a business studies graduate and had come in for a job interview. He was mistaken for Guy Kewney, an technology expert. Goma was interviewed for about 20 minutes about the Apple Corps. Versus Apple Computer deal. While he realized the mistake right away, Goma played along to avoid a scene. .


  • Facebook opened up to anyone above the age of 13 who had an email address. Before this, the social media platform was based on a reference system, with people who were already on the site sending an invite to their friends.
  • White they were originally created back in 2000, 2006 was the year when Blu-Ray Discs were finally available to the public. These had five times the storage capacity of DVDs.
  • In October, YouTube was acquired by Google. The video streaming platform was purchased by hi tech giant for $1.65 billion. At the time, YouTube was a relatively recent startup that began in 2005. The price tag made it Google’s 2nd-largest buy at the time.
  • The first Apple Mac Pro was launched on August 7th, 2006.
  • Drones started becoming more popular and more affordable. However, they were still one of the most expensive toys available.
  • Twitter, then called ‘Twttr’ had its official launch on 15th July, 2006. The first-ever Tweet was by the founder Jack Dorsey, who put up the words ‘Just setting up my twttr’ on March 21.
  • All commercial messaging services and telegram services were discontinued by the Western Union of the United States on March 2, 2006.
  • The volunteer contributors on Wikipedia made the 1,000,000th article
  • The USA Patriot Act was signed by then-President George W. Bush on October 26. This law reduced restrictions for searching email, telephonic, and several other types of communication records.


  • The short, loose-fitting, and sleeveless outfit known as the babydoll dress was quite popular this year. While the style was intended for nightwear, it also served as a formal design with embellishments. Rihanna wore this style at the Olympus Fashion Week in 2006.
  • Short and flowy dresses seem to be in vogue this year, as the slip dress was also very popular, Martha Hunt sported a satin version with heels and a blazer.
  • Blake Lively wore boot cut jeans to a Helio event in 2006. This jeans style was a flattering one, rounding out the shoulders by flaring out underneath the knee
  • The kick-flare jeans gave a more modern and flattering look to the high-waisted design. The high rise made for a comfortable experience, while the focus was on the slim part of the wearer’s ankles.
  • Chandelier earrings were also in at the time, with celebrities like Mary-Kate Olsen and Rihanna spotted wearing them at major events.
  • Artsy earrings with architectural details were also in vogue.


  • Mitch Albom’s ‘For One More Day’ was published and released.
  • The John Green novel ‘An Abundance of Katherines’ was also made available to the public.
  • Other popular books included ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ by Elizabeth Gilbert, New Moon (the second Twilight book) by Stephanie Meyer, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne, and ‘Sharp Objects’ by Gillian Flynn.
  • The second installments of the ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ and the ‘Millennium’ series were also released.


  • On 5th November, 2006, the Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death by hanging. The verdict was guilty of crimes against humanity. Hussein was hanged on 30 December of the same year. The video of his hanging was leaked and available on the Internet in a matter of hours.
  • A woman named Isabelle Diiore made her first public appearance after a partial face transplant. This was the first-ever partial face transplant that was performed on a living person. The woman’s dog had mauled her face, making surgery on her chin, mouth, and nose a necessity.

Unusual Occurrences

  • There were concerns about disappearing bees, with the reason being a sort of colony collapse disorder. There’s no clear reason for this disorder, but this was the start of a dwindling bee population in the United States
  • Disney wanted the cartoon character named ‘Oswald the Lucky Rabbit’, who was the property of Universal. They managed to get Oswald by trading their sports broadcaster, Al Micheals, to NBC.
  • The ex-Vice President, Dick Cheney, shot his then-friend Harry Whittington in his face. The shot was an accident.
  • William Shatner sold a kidney stone (his own) to a website called ‘GoldenPalace.com’.The selling price was $25,000. All of the proceeds went to the charity ‘Habitat for Humanity’.

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