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    This Is What The World Was Like In 1997

    It was one hell of a crazy year.

    1. Titanic, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and Men in Black were the three biggest films of the year.

    Paramount
    Universal
    Sony

    Titanic would go on to be not only the biggest film of the year, but also the biggest film of all time — well, till 2009, when Avatar surpassed it.

    2. George Clooney was the star of ER and also People's Sexiest Man Alive...

    People Magazine

    3. ...and he also starred in the critically panned Batman & Robin.

    Warner Bros.

    But it had a pretty good soundtrack!

    4. Tyra Banks was the first black model to have a solo Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue cover.

    Time Inc.

    The previous year she had become the first black model to appear on the cover, but she shared it with Valeria Mazza.

    5. Princess Diana died in car crash in Paris. An estimated 2.5 billion people watched her funeral on television.

    Johnny Eggit / AFP / Getty Images

    6. Elton John rewrote his 1973 single "Candle in the Wind" in tribute to his friend Princess Diana. The rewritten version went on to become the second best-selling single of all time.

    UMG

    The single is second only to Bing Crosby's "White Christmas."

    7. Daria, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and King of the Hill all premiered.

    MTV
    Sony Television
    Fox Television

    8. South Park also premiered and was arguably the most controversial show on television.

    Viacom

    9. The Notorious B.I.G. was murdered in a drive-by shooting in LA.

    Vibe / Via rapzines.com

    10. The Spice Girls were the biggest pop group in the world.

    Brenda Chase / Getty Images

    Their debut album, Spice, was also the biggest-selling album that year.

    11. Ellen DeGeneres publicly came out.

    Time Inc.

    12. Brad Pitt and Gwyneth Paltrow announced that they were calling off their engagement.

    Kim Kulish / AFP / Getty Images

    They had been together for two and a half years and had gotten engaged the previous year.

    13. Mulder and Scully (aka David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson) were still TV’s most shipped couple.

    Us Weekly

    14. LeAnn Rimes, who was then 14 years old, became the youngest person to ever win a Grammy.

    Jon Levy / AFP / Getty Images

    LeAnn Rimes won two Grammy Awards: Best New Artist and Best Female Country Vocal Performance.

    15. Madonna took home a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical for her performance in Evita.

    NBC

    16. Aqua released their ubiquitous (earworm) single "Barbie Girl."

    UMG

    17. Hanson released "MMMBop" and became instant tween/teen heartthrobs.

    UMG

    18. TGIF's most popular shows were Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Boy Meets World.

    ABC
    ABC

    19. Legendary Swedish icon Robyn made her US debut with her smash hits “Do You Know (What It Takes)” and “Show Me Love.”

    Sony Music

    20. The Backstreet Boys made their debut in the States with their breakout hit "Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)."

    Sony Music

    21. Gianni Versace was murdered outside his Miami home by serial killer Andrew Cunanan.

    Stringer / AFP / Getty Images
    ROBERT SULLIVAN/AFP / Getty Images

    22. Third Eye Blind’s “Semi-Charmed Life,” En Vogue’s “Don’t Let Go,” Erykah Badu’s “On & On,” and Blackstreet’s “No Diggity” all topped the charts in 1997.

    WMG
    WMG
    UMG

    23. Radiohead released what is widely considered one of the greatest albums of all time, OK Computer.

    Capitol

    24. Virtual pets were among the most popular toys.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiiPr_2sUG4
    http://kidscreen.com/1997/12/01/20099-19971201/
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamagotchi#/media/File:Tamagotchi_0124_ubt.jpeg

    And of course, everyone wanted either a Nano Pet, Giga Pet, or a Tamagotchi.

    25. Teletubbies made its debut — much to the annoyance of parents everywhere.

    BBC

    26. Steve Jobs returned to Apple as its CEO after quitting 12 years earlier.

    John Mottern / AFP / Getty Images

    27. The final season of Seinfeld began to air.

    NBC

    The last episode would air in 1998.

    28. Aaliyah was the face of Tommy Hilfiger.

    Tommy Hilfiger

    29. A 15-year-old Ivanka Trump graced the cover of Seventeen magazine.

    Hearst Corporation

    30. Jimmy Kimmel began his TV career as the co-host of Win Ben Stein's Money.

    Viacom

    31. Jennifer Lopez had her big breakout role when she portrayed slain Tejano singer Selena.

    Warner Bros.

    32. Johnny Bravo and Cow and Chicken both premiered on Cartoon Network.

    33. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was first published in the UK.

    Bloomsbury

    34. And finally, for better or for worse, George Lucas released the Star Wars special editions.

    LucasFilm
    LucasFilm
    LucasFilm

    The movies were updated and re-released in theaters to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Star Wars: A New Hope. The reworked ending of Return of the Jedi also gave everyone a peek at what the prequels would look like, as it featured a small glimpse of the city of Coruscant.

    CORRECTION

    The Lost World: Jurassic Park was one of the biggest films of 1997. An earlier version of this post misstated the name of the film.

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