December 23, 2019
A look back: Here are Google's top searched people from every year over the past decade
Toward the end of each year, Google releases data on the most-searched-for people of the past 12 months.
The tech giant's annual roundup gives us a peek into the American psyche and spotlights which public figures helped to define an era. Some of the athletes, politicians and pop culture icons top the list after inspiring a movement.
Others are Googled following not-so-wonderful events.
As 2020 approaches, here's a look back at Google's most trending people from each year, accompanied by some of the reasons they made waves.
2019: Antonio Brown
This was a turbulent year for the free-agent wide receiver. Brown, 31, played one game with the New England Patriots before he was suspended from the team while the NFL investigated his behavior following several sexual misconduct allegations.
Brown also got into Twitter fights with the NFL, made controversial posts on Instagram and missed several practices this year.
2018: Demi Lovato
The pop star beat out Meghan Markle and Brett Kavanaugh during a year rocked by celebrity cheating scandals, controversial YouTube stars and the #MeToo movement.
Lovato made headlines after she was hospitalized for an apparent drug overdose. The hospitalization was just weeks after the singer released a song called "Sober."
2017: Matt Lauer
Lauer was fired from the Today show over allegations of sexual misconduct. Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, actor Kevin Spacey and former Fox anchor Bill O'Reilly were also among the top trending people.
2016: Donald Trump
The president-elect was the top trending person in 88 countries in 2016. During his presidential run, he attracted attention for his plan to "make America great again." The mantra fueled hope for some while spurring fear in others.
Both Trump supporters and critics looked up information on his campaign. Hillary Clinton was the second-most Googled person that year.
2015: Lamar Odom
The former member of the Kardashian clan suffered a bizarre breakdown in 2015. A four-day binge that culminated with him being found unconscious in a Nevada brothel was the No. 1 searched topic that year.
Caitlyn Jenner, who transitioned to life as a woman that year, was also among the most Googled.
2014: Jennifer Lawrence
The year Kim Kardashian broke the internet by balancing a glass on her behind, Jennifer Lawrence was busy starring in two blockbuster sequels: "X-Men: Days of Future Past" and "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1."
She also picked up a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for her role in "American Hustle."
2013: Paul Walker
While Nelson Mandela, the late South African leader and human rights activist, was the world's top trending search, the late actor Paul Walker was the top trending person in the U.S. The "Fast and Furious" actor died in a car crash that year.
2012: Whitney Houston
The late, great vocalist Whitney Houston topped the Most Searched list after she died in 2012. People around the world searched en masse for updates surrounding Houston's accidental drowning in a bathtub in February.
2011: Rebecca Black
The teenage singer Rebecca Black was the biggest breakout hit on Google after releasing her debut single "Friday." The song was supposed to be a fun project, but it propelled Black to viral stardom.
2010: Justin Bieber
When he was 16 years old, the pop star was the most popular person on the internet worldwide. Google only announced global trending searches that year. The teen sensation was awarded artist of the year at the American Music Awards that year.
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