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A Review of 2005's Entertainment Highlights


2005 was a year that saw familiar faces rise to the top of the music charts and successful movie franchises rule the box office. VOA's Crystal Park reports on who made the biggest impact this past year in the entertainment industry.

The drama Million Dollar Baby was the big winner at the Oscar Awards, winning four major categories including Best Picture. Hillary Swank won her second Best Actress award for her role as a female boxer. Morgan Freeman won the Best Supporting Actor award and Clint Eastwood, who also co-starred in the movie, was named Best Director.

Jamie Foxx won the Best Actor trophy for his portrayal of legendary musician Ray Charles in Ray.

At the box office, the big winners were successful franchises. Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith was the top grossing movie of the year -- earning close to $850 million globally at the box office. Revenge of the Sith was the last of 3 Star Wars movies made as prequels to the popular trilogy of movies made from the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Harry Potter mania continued as Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire grossed over $200 million at the box office. Meanwhile, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the sixth book in author J.K. Rowling's series, has sold over 11 million copies in the United States alone since its July release.

Music sales continued to fall this year as Internet piracy remained a problem. But digital music sales are rising globally due to the popularity of Apple's iTunes and other online music stores.

50 Cent's The Massacre was the top selling album in the U.S. this year, selling over four-and-one-half million copies.

At the Grammy's, eight seems to be the magic number. The late Ray Charles won eight awards this year, including Album of the Year and Record of the Year.

Pop singer Mariah Carey, who made a comeback with the album The Emancipation of Mimi, received eight nominations for next year's Grammy Awards.

Hip-Hop artist and producer Kanye West and R&B singer John Legend also received eight nominations for 2006.

Many popular musical artists performed at Live 8. Over a million people attended 10 concerts on four different continents and an estimated two billion more watched globally on television.

The goal of the event, which occurred 20 years after the original Live Aid, was to raise awareness of global poverty and request more assistance from the leaders of G8 nations.

Scripted television shows made a comeback this past year. Lost, a drama about a group of plane crash survivors, and Desperate Housewives, a comedy revolving around a group of suburban housewives, were U.S. television hits.

Several celebrity couples caused a big stir this past year. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, who starred in War of The Worlds and Batman Begins respectively, announced their engagement and the birth of their upcoming child after a series of high profile appearances together.

Movie stars Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston divorced after five years of marriage. Pitt has most recently been romantically linked to actress Angelina Jolie, his Mr. & Mrs. Smith co-star.

Video and Images courtesy of:
WARNER BROTHERS - MILLION DOLLAR BABY
UNIVERSAL PICTURES - RAY
LUCASFILM - STAR WARS: EPISODE III - REVENGE OF THE SITH
WARNER BROTHERS - HARRY POTTER and the GOBLET of FIRE
G-UNIT - 50 CENT
CONCORD RECORDS - RAY CHARLES
ISLAND/DEF JAM RECORDS - MARIAH CAREY
ROC-A-FELLA/DEF JAM - KANYE WEST
COLUMBIA - JOHN LEGEND
CAPITOL/EMI - MADONNA AT LIVE 8
PARAMOUNT PICTURES - DURING WAR OF THE WORLDS CLIP
20TH CENTURY FOX DURING MR. & MRS. SMITH CLIP

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