Cardi B, Beyoncé and Lady Gaga. Picture: Compiled/AP

It’s time look back at some of biggest pop culture moments that left us gagging, shook and pleasantly surprised.

Marvel's box office domination and Wakanda forever 

Wakanda took over the world with Black Panther fever running high. The Chadwick Boseman-led film exceeded expectations and broke box office records. 

And after 10 years of interconnected movies, the Marvel Cinematic Universe finally brought most of our favourite heroes together to face off against Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War. However, we also lost Marvel’s creative leader Stan Lee. His frequent cameos in the films will be missed. 

The rise of Cardi B and disintegration of Nicki Minaj 

Cardi B continued her success of the previous year when her debut album, Invasion of Privacy, topped the Billboard 200 chart. 

She also had two of the biggest songs, I Like It and Girls Like You. Cardi B released her successful collaboration with Fashion Nova, took Coachella by storm (performing while heavily pregnant), announced her marriage to rapper Offset and gave birth to Kulture. 

She announced her separation from Offset.

In contrast, Nicki Minaj’s year has been a mess. Her latest album, Queen, wasn’t well received and had botched single releases. 

She cancelled the North American dates of her world tour. Minaj has made bad decisions this year: she’s worked with statutory rapist, Tekashi 6ix9ine, and is dating a registered sex offender (in the age of #MeToo?). 

Then there’s the feud with Cardi B. After shading each other online, it came to a head during New York Fashion Week, when Cardi threw a shoe at Minaj. 

After a few social media incidences, where they both called out the other for their “lies”, they buried the hatchet. 

Minaj didn’t receive any nomination for the 2019 Grammy Awards, while Cardi’s album was nominated for album of the year, plus four other categories. 

Tristan Thompson gets caught cheating on Khloe Kardashian 

Basketball player Tristan Thompson was caught red-handed making out with multiple women on camera. It happened to be the same week Khloe was due to give birth. It is believed the added stress forced her into labour. 

The Year of Beyoncé 

Following the birth of her twins, Rumi and Sir Carter, the singer has been in full Beyoncé mode. 

She became the first black female artist to headline the Coachella music and arts festival, went on a sold-out tour, On The Run II with her husband, Jay-Z, dropped the long-rumoured joint album with Jay, and returned to South Africa after 15 years, to perform at the Global Citizen Festival Mandela 100 in Johannesburg two weeks ago. It was confirmed that Beyoncé will star as Nala in the upcoming Lion King movie and sing the theme song. 

Lady Gaga becomes A Star is (re)Born 

After Mother Monster took a detour into country music during her Joanne era, she landed the role of a lifetime in A Star is Born thanks to director Bradley Cooper believing in her. Her performance gained critical acclaim and earned her a best actress nomination at the Golden Globes. The soundtrack of the film spent three weeks at number one on the Billboard 200 chart. The singer scored five Grammy nominations. She’s set to debut her Enigma Las Vegas residency show. 

Ariana Grande says thank u, next 

The singer’s fourth studio album, Sweetener, made its debut at the top of the Billboard charts and she scored her first No 1 single with Thank You, Next. Billboard also named her Woman of the Year. 

However, her personal life has been torturous. Grande broke up her long-term relationship with Mac Miller and then mourned his suicide, publicly. She got engaged to SNL comedian Pete Davidson and later broke it off. 

She was groped by the pastor at Aretha Franklin’s funeral with the world watching. The singer is set to release another album before the end of the year. 

Weddings, weddings and more weddings 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tied the knot in a glamorous royal wedding with A-list celebs. The Duchess of Sussex’s friend, Priyanka Chopra and her new husband, Nick Jonas, have been hogging headlines with their fairytale wedding/PR romance. Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin shocked the world when they got hitched. 

Then there was Sonam Kapoor and Anand Ahuja’s wedding and Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh’s. Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth also finally tied the knot after 10 years of dating which came as a surprise to everyone.

Other blushing brides were Malin Akerman, Mandy Moore and Princess Eugenie. 

Tax drama galore 

Pay your taxes kids, just ask Bonang Matheba and Fan Bingbing. In July, the Chinese superstar disappeared and was detained in a secret location. When she reappeared, she apologised for tax evasion. Bingbing has to pay $129 million (R1.8 billion) in fines and is banned from acting for three years. 

Matheba reportedly owed millions to Sars. She made several court appearances, pleaded guilty and paid a R30 000 fine. 

Sexual assault in Hollywood exposed 

The downfall of Bill Cosby hit many Cosby Show fans hard. The 80-year-old actor was charged with three felony counts of aggravated indecent assault stemming from drugging and molesting a woman 14 years ago. The #MeToo movement was put in the forefront as several high-profile actors and actresses came forward about their abuse. 

The biggest person to fall was Harvey Weinstein who turned himself in.