Billie Eilish, Selena Gomez, Tyler Perry and More Celebs Who Celebrated Major Milestones in 2020
By Paige Gawley
While 2020 was undeniably a difficult year for many it also included a few bright moments.
Jennifer Lopez headlined the Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show with Shakira, Bad Bunny dropped three albums in one year and Megan Thee Stallion spoke into existence a collaboration with Beyoncé.
Meanwhile, Selena Gomez used quarantine to release new music and a makeup line and become a TV chef. Tyler Perry reminded us of the importance of paying it forward and DJ D-Nice brought us a celeb-filled at-home virtual club. Also bringing joy into our homes was the cast of Schitt’s Creek, reminding us to stay true to ourselves and appreciate our loved ones.
Here’s a look at a few celebrities who have a lot to be proud of this year.
Following its release, Gomez told ET that she “wanted to make something that was transparent yet really classy and very real to me.”
In February, Gomez announced that she was launching Rare Beauty to promote the idea that “being rare is about being comfortable in yourself.” The line launched in October.
“I've stopped trying to be perfect. I just want to be me,” she said. “I think Rare Beauty can be more than a beauty brand. I want us all to stop comparing ourselves to each other and just start embracing our own uniqueness. You're not defined by a photo, a like, or a comment. Rare Beauty isn't about how other people see you; it's about how you see yourself.”
“What really defines success is seeing how people connect to a song or a movie or a TV show. It might have a positive impact on someone's life,” Gomez said during the Latin Recording Academy's 2020 Leading Ladies of Entertainment in November. “Everyone has this right to be seen and visibility and representation are vital to the process of articulating our identities.”
She went on to perform her song, “My Future,” at the Democratic National Convention. During that appearance, Eilish gave an impassioned speech about the need for leaders who will “solve problems” and “fight against systemic racism.” She also encouraged young people to vote, something she was able to do for the first time in 2020.
Club Quarantine was the hottest ticket in town this year, and it’s all thanks to DJ D-Nice. The 50-year-old DJ, producer and rapper, whose real name is Derrick Jones, rose to fame in the ‘80s, but found a brand new audience amid quarantine thanks to his often celeb-filled, at-home club on Instagram Live.
“The self-isolation thing is driving me nuts. I'm like, ‘I need to play music and I need to feel some energy.’ So I decided to go into my IG live and play music,” D-Nice told ET in March. “All of the sudden my friends came in. It was only 200 of us, and then the next day it was 2,000, and then the day after, it was, like, 15,000.”
As the viewers grew, the number of celeb drop-ins did as well, with everyone from musicians to actors to politicians stopping by.
“All of the sudden J.Lo was in there and Drake popped in… You had Michelle Obama, you had Oprah [Winfrey], you had Gayle [King], you had Joe Biden, Bernie [Sanders], Janet Jackson, Patti LaBelle, Justin Timberlake, Lionel Richie, Bradley Cooper,” he said. “It was insane.”
The club got so big, in fact, that D-Nice was tapped to DJ the 2020 Emmy Awards.
“I'm on cloud nine right now,” he told ET after the show. “... I was just happy DJing in the very beginning and now all of these incredible opportunities have come from Club Quarantine…To actually participate and take part in bringing music out and allowing music to uplift spirits, out of all the things I've experienced recently in terms of career within the last six months, this one right here, it means a lot.”
Once quarantine due to COVID-19 began, Stefani and Shelton rode it out together at his Oklahoma ranch. Spending quarantine together, a source told ET at the time, made Stefani and Shelton’s relationship “stronger than ever.”
In June, NBC announced that Stefani would return for The Voice’s 19th season, after last serving as a coach on the competition series in season 17. After the news broke, a source told ET that Stefani was “over the moon” to be back on the show.
“They have lived like a married couple for so long that those closest to them already saw them as 'married' but now they are finally making it official and their family is excited by the announcement,” a source told ET after Shelton popped the question with a stunning ring. “Gwen has always spoken about a big traditional wedding with family and friends but they plan to wait and see how the pandemic pans out. And in the meantime, enjoy their engagement.”
The final month of the year was another high point for Stefani, whose artist on The Voice, Carter Rubin, won the show. It marked Stefani’s first win on the show.
“I think my win was due to Gwen's coaching,” Rubin told ET after his victory. “She's phenomenal.”
Even with all of her acting acclaim, Lopez’s focus on music didn’t slow down. Just the opposite, in fact, as Lopez, along with Shakira, gave an epic performance during the Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show. Lopez’s 12-year-old daughter, Emme, even joined her onstage during the performance, which, the singer later told ET, made the mother-daughter duo “so happy.”
“[The brand is based on] the idea of beauty having no expiration date,” Lopez told ET in December. “You get to a certain age and then people are already kind of like, ‘Boop boop, you next, bye bye.’ And you're like, ‘Hold on, I'm still here.’”
Megan Thee Stallion’s breakout year was one for the books, which kicked off with the March release of “Savage,” which became a massive success.
“It just really blows your mind every day. When I write music or when I am rapping, I am not really thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, it's gonna go crazy.’ I am just making it because I like it and I know my hotties are going to like it,” Megan told ET in May of the song’s success. “For it to blow up the way it did, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is crazy.’”
“I just realized how big of a lack of representation there is for curvier girls, or taller girls, or girls with bigger feet," Megan told ET of her reason for launching the line. “Everybody is not just a cookie-cutter size, so I just want to make sure that starting with this collab, we have better representation with just women in general.”
As if her year wasn’t big enough, Megan went on to win three awards at the BET Hip Hop Awards, win one award at the AMAs, and score four GRAMMY nominations.
“The man is not going to be able to fit his head through the doorway after all this,” Murphy joked to ET about Dan. “I mean, he has worked so, so hard on this show, and it certainly would not be anywhere close to what it is without him, so he deserves every single nomination and hopefully award that's coming at him.”
The show ended up winning nine Emmy awards, which included a sweep of the comedy categories. While the cast was sad to say goodbye to Schitt’s Creek, none of them are ruling out a reunion in the future.
“I do believe that we’re all going to work together again at some point. I can’t see us not doing something,” Hampshire told ET. “Also, we all really like each other a lot. Dan didn’t end this because he didn’t like doing it, he ended it because he has so much respect for the characters, and the story, and the audience and he knew it was the right thing to do.”
“If it was up to me, I would do 25 more seasons. I have been bribing Dan on a daily basis to write another season / do a movie / something. But if that doesn't come to pass, we were so, so, so lucky to be able to go out on a high note,” Murphy told ET. “So, even though it's a bittersweet goodbye, we were so lucky that it ended the way it did.”
Bad Bunny had an insanely productive 2020, dropping three successful albums over the course of the year. Before the new music came out, though, Bad Bunny made headlines for joining Jennifer Lopez and Shakira’s Super Bowl halftime show along with J Balvin.
Bad Bunny’s first album of the year, YHLQMDLG, came in February and peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. In an interview with ET in March, the singer said the inspiration for the album was “good vibes, happiness, nothing complicated or anything serious.”
Bad Bunny’s last album of 2020 was also his most successful. El Último Tour del Mundo hit No. 1 on the Billboard chart, making it the first all-Spanish language album to do so. In an interview with ET, Bad Bunny described his latest album as “dark,” but admitted that working on it was a “relief” amid quarantine.
“For the Governors to even consider me for it and to know that they were watching and paying attention, that was really, really powerful. I was blown away by it,” Perry told ET in August. “When they said I'm getting that award and it's about philanthropy and it's about the contributions to television, I think about all the people who work for me.”
“As I'm directing, I'm editing. So I know I have it, I know if I have the shots,” he told ET of working amid the pandemic. “I got an amazing team, the actors are ready to go. They've had their scripts for months. They don't miss a line. It's pretty amazing.”