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21 Actually Good Things That Happened in 2016

The year was sh-tty, but these things were OK

1 / 21

DAPL got shut out of Standing Rock

While the Dakota Access Pipeline is no longer in danger of poisoning the water source on the Standing Rock reservation, there's still worry about whether the decision to keep the oil pipeline away from Lake Oahe will last.

Image Facebook

2 / 21

Michelle Obama did Carpool Karaoke

Carpool Karaoke is a blessing in general, but when First Lady Michelle Obama got in James Corden's car, it was the real deal. Missy Elliott joined in too, making it one of the most inspiring car rides ever.

3 / 21

Leonardo DiCaprio finally won an Oscar

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio accepts the award for Best Actor in,The Revenant  on stage at the 88th Oscars on February 28, 2016 in

After being snubbed for two decades, Leonardo DiCaprio finally did it. He won an Academy Award for his role in The Revenant.

4 / 21

'Pokémon' saw a resurgence as a mobile game

Sarah Maloy

Pokémon definitely reached a peak in the late '90s, but in 2016, the franchise became the country's favorite game again—this time in the form of a mobile app, Pokémon Go. The combination of a gaming classic and new technology? Perfection.

5 / 21

'Finding Dory' warmed our hearts and became one of the year's highest-earning films


We waited a long time for a follow-up to one of Pixar's most beloved films, Finding NemoFinding Dory hit theaters with a sweet and goofy story in June and raked in over $1 billion on the box office.

6 / 21

'Moana' became a hit (and The Rock sang)

Walt Disney Animation Studios

The Rock busts out his musical chops in Moana, the Disney animated movie with a strong female lead and music by the world's new favorite, Lin-Manuel Miranda.

7 / 21

The 'Stranger Things' kids were literally SO cute and talented

Stranger Things
Courtesy of Netflix

The kids from Stranger Things were convincing as D&D-playing, Demogorgon-battling, Feds-escaping '80s kids in the Netflix series. But during press runs for the show, they were just plain charming. We can't wait to seem them again in Season 2 (and in music videos and late-night talk shows too!).

8 / 21

Gucci Mane was released early and got straight into the studio

ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 18:  Gucci Mane attends his Welcome Home Concert at The Mansion Elan on June 18, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Prince Williams/WireImage

In May, Gucci Mane was released early after serving a sentence for a possession of firearms charge. He'd been releasing music from the inside, but when we got out, he started dropping new material left and right, including his feature on Rae Sremmurd's No. 1 song "Black Beatles."

9 / 21

Frank Ocean finally quenched our thirst for an album

Frank Ocean/Boys Don't Cry

Seriously, how long did we have to wait for a new Frank Ocean album? Too long. Oh, just four years? Whatever. Frank Ocean came back to our open arms with Blonde (and Endless, if you're into that too), finally giving us the return we impatiently awaited.

10 / 21

Solange made a comeback with a v beautiful, socially aware and important LP

Columbia Records

Solange's True EP was short and sweet, and it had us longing for more. At the end of September, the younger Knowles released A Seat at the Table, which was more than we had ever expected, twirling her heart into social awareness, making an album that said everything that many wanted to say.

11 / 21

Ciara got married after that nightmare of a breakup

Ciara (@ciara on Twitter)

Ciara and Future's messy breakup has been playing out for a couple years now. But in the aftermath, she found new love in Russell Wilson. This year, they got married, got pregnant and seem happier than ever.

12 / 21

Adele toured around the world, personally touching each city in the feels

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - MAY 17: Adele performs on stage at Hallenstadion on May 17, 2016 in Zurich, Switzerland. (Photo by Phil
Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images for September Management

Adele went on a marathon tour this year to follow-up the success of her 25 LP. Some memorable moments include her dodging a bat in Mexico, yelling at a fan for filmingendorsing Hillary Clinton and accepting a wedding invitation onstage.

13 / 21

Taylor Swift's charitable year

Taylor Swift (@taylorswift on Instagram)

OK, OK. I know what you're thinking: Taylor Swift had some funky feuds this year with Calvin Harris and Kanye West, but when she wasn't in the headlines for those gossipy reasons, she was giving back in a big way, donating money to Dolly Parton's telethon, paying Kesha's legal fees and giving $1 million to Louisiana flood victims.

14 / 21

Teyana Taylor got the attention she deserves

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 20:  Actress Teyana Taylor attends the 2016 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on November
David Livingston/Getty Images

Teyana Taylor has always been around as a singer/dancer/director/visionary, but when we saw her dancing at the VMAs for Kanye West's "Fade" video, people began to notice. It sucks that it took a man to get her the attention she deserves, but now, you can't stop watching.

15 / 21

Honey Bun Baby made us giggle

Who is the Honey Bun Baby? Don't worry about it. He doesn't.

16 / 21

The Damn Daniel kids donated their Vans prize

Two kids in California got way too famous for wearing white Vans on Snapchat and Vans gave them a lifetime supply of shoes. But Daniel Lara and Josh Holz wanted to do something better. They donated the shoes to kids at Loma Linda University Children's Hospital in Southern California in March.

Image Facebook

17 / 21

The lady wore the Chewbacca mask

"It's the simple joys in life..." Candace Payne wrote on Facebook when she recorded what would be their most-watched FB Live video with 164 million views and counting. In May, she recorded a video wearing an electronic Chewbacca mask, laughing her ass off, and now, she's an internet celebrity.

18 / 21

Hillary Clinton became the first female Democratic Party candidate

LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 19:  Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gestures to the crowd
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Although we're all aware of the results of the U.S. election, Hillary Clinton made history this year by becoming the first woman to clinch a major-party endorsement for POTUS.

19 / 21

Dave Chappelle came back to television

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- "Dave Chappelle" Episode 1710 -- Pictured: Host Dave Chappelle during the monologue on November 12, 20
Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

In November, Dave Chappelle came out of hiding and back to TV with his hosting gig on Saturday Night Live. After that, it was announced that he'd get three Netflix specials next year.

20 / 21

The Cubs won the World Series

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 2:  Kyle Schwarber #12 and Chris Coghlan #8 of the Chicago Cubs celebrate on the field after defeati
Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Chicago celebrated when the Cubs pulled in their first World Series win since 1908—the longest drought in professional sports.

21 / 21

Chance the Rapper was adorable with his partner

After Monica's #SoGoneChallenge swept over Twitter, Chance the Rapper put his twist on it, providing the most adorable display of affection this year.

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Photo of the day

HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 30: NSYNC is honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on April 30, 2018 in Hollywood, Californ

Apr 30: *NSYNC 4EVER

It’s been a while since the guys of *NSYNC reunited. Since their epic onstage reunion at the 2013 MTV VMAs and JC’s 40th birthday, the guys have been doing their own thing, until today! Justin, JC, Joey, Lance and Chris got together to celebrate their new star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and as if the day couldn’t get any better, JC reminds us that tomorrow it’s gonna be MAY.