It’s been a busy year for Hollywood, and 2019 will be remembered as the year tabloids broke the internet once again. The year began with the infamous “Space Jam:” scandal, which saw a leaked interview with LeBron James in which he talked about how he was forced to take a year off from playing basketball due to his crippling anxiety. The following week saw the release of the “Tiger King” documentary series, which turned the entire world upside down and made the once-respected Al Jazeera channel a household name. Then there was the cheating scandal that rocked Mötley Crüe, the death of Macaulay Culkin’s father and the return of Bill Murray as a movie star. Later in the year, we were treated to the stunning premiere of “Dumb and Dumber To,” the sequel to the 1994 box-office classic “Dumb and Dumber.” It seems as though no topic was off-limits in 2019. Let’s take a look at how some of Hollywood’s biggest stars have been spending their time since the start of the year.
Sitting pretty at the top of this year’s most followed list is the British actor Robert Pattinson. The “Twilight” franchise may be long gone, but the actor is still going strong, starring in new projects and promoting his latest album, “Goodbye To You.” In October, he released the third music video from the album, “Trap.” In it, he brings the sensual vibe of the sultry “Goodbye To You” along with a sexy striptease to the beach.
Pattinson addressed the erotic nature of his new single in an interview with Billboard. “I’ve never really been one to shy away from showing flesh,” he said. “When I was a kid, I used to love looking at nudie-mags and watching X-rated movies – so, I guess you could say I’ve always been good at pleasing people.”
Pattinson’s latest album isn’t his first foray into R&B. He started 2018 by releasing a single with singer Halsey, followed by a collaboration with rapper Jay-Z. The year before that, he dropped his debut solo album, “Vanishing Point.”
Robert De Niro
It’s always nice when an alum turns out to be so good in real life, isn’t it? Following in De Niro’s footsteps comes BTS rapper Youngkuk, who released his debut album “Dummy” in October. The album features the hit single “Trap,” which samples De Niro’s 1987 Academy Award-winning performance in “The Godfather: Part II.” It also features a guest appearance from Kanye West, who appears on the album’s introspective title track.
When West visited De Niro in his Hollywood Hills home, they sat down to chop it up about old times and shared stories about their shared time in the spotlight. During their chat, De Niro revealed that he’s been working on a project with West for years. He also teased some exciting news about a potential film starring himself and Robert Pattinson. (Pattinson and De Niro filmed a scene for this project back in 2016, but it was never released.)
“Twilight” star Taylor Lautner has been keeping busy as well, starring in an indie film, “Fury,” and a series of dark comedy short videos, “Cooties.” (WARNING: These videos are pretty darn funny.) In August, he released a collaborative album with rapper Quavo called “Welcome To Wherever It Is,” which features the single “Trap.” The song samples De Niro’s “You’ve Got to Keep Your Head Up” speech from “The Irishman.”
In other acting news, it was recently confirmed that Lautner will co-star alongside Jennifer Lawrence and Ben Affleck in the upcoming “X-Men” TV series. The series will premiere in summer 2021 on Fox and be released in cinemas across the world.
In September, after years of being the go-to guy for hilarious one-liners, Bill Murray made his debut as a serious actor in the dark comedy “What Do You want from Life?,” which has been met with mixed reviews. The next month, he’ll reprise his role as an elderly man in the sequel “What Happened, Miss Simone?,” which will star Emma Thompson. He also has a role in the upcoming “The Secret Hitler” alongside Benedict Cumberbatch and Peter Capaldi.
On the musical front, Murray released a jazz album, “Never Been Like This,” in June and a traditional Irish album, “Lost in the Translation,” in November. In 2020, he will star in the Broadway play “The Cat on the Moon,” alongside Bette Midler and Charles Busch. (Bette Midler will also serve as one of the play’s music directors.)
Perhaps the most exciting news of the year for Hollywood fans came in the form of a new album from one of the biggest bands in rock history, The Eagles. The group, which consists of Joe Walsh, Don Henley and Glenn Frey, released a new song last month called “Try and Stop Me.” In the song, the iconic band members trade bars over a driving rock beat. You can’t help but get hyped about a new Eagles album. (It should be noted that Walsh previously confirmed that they’ve been writing and recording new material, but did not specify whether or not it would be made public.)
Walsh teased the new music in an interview with Rolling Stone, saying, “I think you’ll like what you hear. We’ve been working hard, and we really wanted to challenge ourselves musically and try something different.” He continued, “There’s a certain energy in these songs that I think you’re going to like.” (The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
Rapper and entrepreneur Kevin “Ludacris” Lloyd has been very busy this year as well, starring in several high-profile projects. In March, he released his eighth studio album, “DimensioN,” which featured guest appearances from Migos, Cardi B and Travis Scott. Two months later, he released a single called “Old School” with Future. In October, he released the single “Sicko Mode,” which samples the classic “Ain’t That Pussy Hard” by rapper MC Lyte. (Ludacris is part owner of the NBA’s Chicago Bulls and co-founded the basketball apparel brand Uninterrupted.)
On the acting front, Lloyd recently starred alongside Jada Pinkett Smith in “Dancing With Them,” a movie about two sisters who, after being abandoned by their mother, have to learn to dance together. He also stars in the upcoming season of Netflix’s “Luke Cage” as “Baby Cage.” (The latter role earned him a Grammy nomination for Best Duo Performance by a Male Artist and Male Vocalist.)
While we’re on the subject of rappers, let’s not forget about Travis Scott. The “Astronaut” singer has been very busy this year, releasing two critically acclaimed albums, “Rage” and “Black Panties” and collaborating with artists such as Nas and John Mayer. (The latter collaboration, “Dark Nights,” was featured in a Pitchfork short list of 20 Best Songs of 2019.) He also has a role in the upcoming “Dumb and Dumber To” and will be seen on the big screen for the first time in years alongside Robert De Niro and Al Pacino in “The Irishman.”
As for new music, Scott teased fans with a new song called “Goosebumps” in April, which features Nas and was produced by Kanye West. Later that month, he released a song called “Sicko Mode” featuring 21 Savage, Offset and Gucci Mane. In August, Scott released “Dark Fantasy,” the first single from his upcoming album “Rage 2.” The song samples Bob Dylan and has a music video that was directed by Marc Klasfeld. (Scott will also be the host of this year’s MTV Video Music Awards.) (The Associated Press contributed to this report.)