Pop Culture in review for the year 2011

Pop culture is a continuous phenomenon, it does not take a break. The year 2011 was a breaking point for many reasons. From Hollywood to politics, many important events took place that we can today remember and look back. The year 2011 was not any different than previous yearsinterms of both good moments and bad. However, some events were so major that the world had its eyes set on them for months to come. It began with the global crises and ended with events such as the killing of Osama Bin Laden. Both the Middle East and Africa were tangled in revolts while General Gadhafi was killed. It would be right to say that it was a rebellious run but events such as the wedding of Prince and Princess shaped the other side of the world. Let us take a look into the dynamic events that helped shape 2011.


Britney Spears ‘Hold It Against Me’

2011 was a big one for Britney Spears. Her single ‘Hold It Against Me’ was released and was a huge success. It debuted at the No.1 spot on the US Billboard Hot 100. As a result, Britney Spears was termed as the second artist who had multiple singles to debut at no.1 spot. Before her, it was Mariah Carey who took the top spot. Furthermore, she followed Madonna, Janet Jackson, and Cher to reach the Hot 100 in three decades. Overall, she was the seventh artist to do it.

Lady Gaga ‘Born This Way’

Lady Gaga was another amazing talent, waiting to get her wings and she did, in 2011. She released her single ‘Born This Way’, which was also the name of the album. As soon as the single was released, it was downloaded in millions on iTunes and became the fastest iTunes single of the time. Then, it climbed the No.1 spot at the Billboard Hot 100 and held the spot for consecutive six weeks.

Justin Bieber goes platinum

For the youngest singer of the time, Justin Bieber, 2011 was nothing less than heaven. He had released his second mix album ‘Never Say Never: The Remixes’. The album topped the charts and went platinum for the second time. This was huge for the singer who was just a teenager at the time. Considering the numbers his album did, there was nothing stopping him for years to come. Today, he has billions of views on Youtube and a massive following on social media platforms such as Instagram.


Museo Soumaya

Rhein II

Rhein II was a colored photograph that was created by Andreas Gursky in 1999, who was a German visual artist. In the photograph, a river could be seen flowing between two lush green fields. Furthermore, little details such as dog walkers and a factory building were removed by the artist using digital editing. In 2011, the photograph was sold for $4.3 million, which made it the most expensive photograph to be ever sold.

Museo Soumaya

MuseoSumaya is a private museum that was designed by designer Fernando Romero. Located in Mexico City, this museum consisted of over 66,000 pieces of artwork. The name of the museum is inspired by the wife of the founder Carlos Slim, SoumayaDomit. In 2013, around 1,095,000 people visited the museum, which made it the most visited art museum in Mexico. Then, in October 2015, it welcomed its five millionth visitor.

Mougins Museum of Classical Art

The Mougins Museum of Classical Art is located in the Alpes-Maritimes region of France. It was opened in June 2010 to the public and features an antique collection of artwork. Over the years, it has earned several awards both at the local and international levels. Moreover, it proudly displays Roman, Greek and Egyptian sculptures that are nowhere to be found in the world. Christian Levett is the founder of the museum who was an avid collector of unique items since childhood. Today, Leisa Paoli looks over the museum as a director.


100 Thousand Poets for Change

Founded by Michael Rothenberg in 2011, the 100 Thousand Poets for Change was introduced and created to focus on arts, particularly music, poetry, and literary arts. It was a non-profit organization that was solely dedicated to literature. The idea behind 100 Thousand Poets for change was that events would take place worldwide simultaneously on the same date i.e. September 24, 2011. Events were organized and hosted by literary volunteers in their own schools and cities.  As a result, a total of 700 events took place in 95 countries and 550 cities.

Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar Literature Museum Library

The literature world saw a huge contribution with the opening of AhmetHamdiTanpur Literature Museum Library in Turkey. It was dedicated to Turkish literature and was named after AhmetHamdiTanpinar who was a renowned essayist and novelist. The building features a 19-century style layout with almost everything Turkish literature has to offer. 


The year 2011 is remembered as the year that experienced the greatest number of sequels released, ever. In total, 28 sequels were released along with other notable film releases.

To begin with, ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’ was released, which grossed $1,045,713,802 at the box office, making it the second film in the series to gross more than $1 billion. Furthermore, it became the 37th highest-grossing film of all time.

Following Pirates of the Caribbean was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows-Part 2, which became the third-highest grossing film. Furthermore, it was the highest-grossing film in the Harry Potter franchise. It shattered each and every single record of any movie that was released in 2011. At both single-day and opening weekends, the movie created mammoth records interms of money it racked in.

Overall, the year 2011 for the film industry was humongous. Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter, and Transformers: Dark of the Moon, combined brought in more than $1 billion sales each i.e. more than $3 billion total. In the previous year, two films had grossed the two billion-dollar mark. Amongst them, Pirates of the Caribbean was the only franchise to have more than one film crossing the $1 billion mark.

While Transformers: Dark of the Moon didn’t beat Pirates of the Caribbean in the box office, it was still able to increase the reach of the Transformers franchise around the world. In fact, it was also in 2011 when Playskool (a subsidiary of Hasbro) released a Transformers toy line that is specifically designed for kids, and this toy line is called Transformers: Rescue Bots. You can find out more about this toy line by reading our article titled “Learn About Playskool the Pop Culture Icon.”


Premier of Games of Thrones

The Television world was about to experience a series that would make the world go crazy. Games of Thrones premiered in April 2011 on HBO. To date, it is one of the most top-rated and highest-grossing TV series ever. The series ran for eight seasons before coming to an end. The last episode was aired in 2019 and was watched by around 19.3 million people.

Post-Recovery Interview of Gabrielle Giffords

Gabrielle Giffords was an Arizona congresswoman who was shot at point-blank range by Jared Lee Loughner. The incident raised eyebrows across the world and had it wondering what would happen next. Gabrielle Giffords after recovering gave a heartwarming interview to Diane Sawyer on ‘20/20’. Gabrielle was shot in the head, as a result of which the bullet traveled through her brain, damaging her eye sockets and fracturing the skull. Although doctors were off the view that she would not be able to speak but Gabrielle made a remarkable recovery. During her interview, she expressed her determination to continue politics and her road to recovery. The recovery process was captured on video by Gabrielle’s husband, Kelly.

Two and a Half Men

Two and a Half Men was a comedy series that featured famous actor Charlie Sheen. In January 2011, CBS announced that Two and a Half Men would be discontinued for an indefinite time period due to Charlie Sheen being admitted to the rehabilitation center. This was exactly one day after his hospitalization due to hernia condition. Charlie Sheen was suffering from a severe drinking problem and was one of the most highly-paid actors of the time, with $1 million paid for each episode.


Entune by Toyota

Toyota in 2011, introduced Entune, which was basically a multimedia in-car communications, available for only 2011 selected models. The device consisted of HD Radio, Pandora, iHeartradio, Bluetooth, and USB connectivity.

Local Community Radio Act

The Local Community Radio Act was signed by President Barack Obama, which gave the local low-power broadcasting the license to operate. Previously local-low power stations were not allowed to broadcast. In total, four Local Community Radio Acts were created as revisions were done. Finally, the last Local Community Radio Act of 2010 was implemented and remains implemented to this day. Several unnecessary restrictions were forcing these stations to remain off-air, however, with this act, those restrictions were lifted.


Government Repeals ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

The policy of the U.S military, ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ expired in September 2011. The policy allowed gay military personnel to serve openly and publicly. However, with the policy not closed, things were supposed to be the opposite. It was President Clinton who had brought it into power while Barack Obama ended it. Although, majority of Americans agreed with putting an end to the policy but some lawmakers and military personnel remained critical.

Osama Bin Laden is Killed

Osama Bin Laden was the most wanted terrorist before he was killed. He was responsible for carrying out, planning, and training terrorists to carry out terrorist attacks. He was the primary suspect in the case of the 9/11 attacks against America. He was a fugitive for many years until the U.S forces decided to launch a military operation. He was found in Abbottabad by the U.S forces and killed along with his companions. The search ran for 10-long years.

News of The World Last Paper

News of The World was a famous newspaper that was involved in a phone-hacking scandal. The investigation and scandal continued for a long time until it released its last edition in July 2011. There was a time when News of The World was the best-selling English language newspaper. However, it was found out that the newspaper had private a hired investigator who had hacked into the voice of MillyDowler who was a British Teenager. The event received immense public backlash and therefore forced the newspaper to shutdown.


Novak Djokovic Wins His First Wimbledon Title

Serbian tennis player in 2011, competed against Rafael Nadal and beat him to claim his first-ever Wimbledon title. Later, he went onto win five Wimbledon Titles that made him stand amongst the most awarded tennis players. Furthermore, it was the first time since 2002 that the title was not won by either Nadal or Roger Federer. Novak continues to compete on all types of courts and is known to give tough competition to his opponents.


Steve Jobs Resigns as Apple CEO

The year 2011 was a big blow to Apple users and fans. The CEO of Apple at the time decided to step down due to health reasons. Although Apple fans were aware of his situation, they were skeptical about the company’s future. Steve Jobs was suffering from pancreatic cancer. He had told the world that when the time came that he was no longer able to fulfill his duties, he would step down and he did. In October of the same year, Steve Jobs breathed his last in the company of his family members.


Melissa McCarthy wins an Emmy

Melissa McCarthy’s Emmy win caught everyone off guard. Reason being that Melissa McCarthy played funny characters and was not a serious type in movies. It began with the comedy series ‘Bridesmaids’, which knocked ‘Sex & the City’ out of the park. McCarthy’s win demonstrated that even funny leads, especially women in movies could win such awards. But the fact of the matter is that McCarthy was able to attract millions of viewers both male and female to the box office.

Final Word

Concluding, the year 2011 was a big one interms of Osama Bin Laden being killed and Steve Jobs passing away. But that doesn’t mean that we have to take away some important moments that changed the course of history such as Melissa McCarthy’s win at Emmy’s. One could say that 2011 was not that bad as compared to 2010, which experienced events leading to loss of human life. Overall, it was a year of politics and the end of some spectacular careers and franchises.

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