ByTommy DePaoli, writer at
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Tommy DePaoli

Another year, another inevitable look back at the people who caused the biggest stirs!

2015 was a roller coaster of ups and downs, and Google's recently released list of the most searched topics is certainly proof of that. In between viral stories like Cecil the Lion and nationwide marriage equality, a few standout people managed to snatch the world's fleeting attention for both good and bad reasons.

These are the most Googled people of 2015.

10. Josh Duggar

As one of the kids from the popular TLC show 19 Kids and Counting, Josh Duggar clung to the moral high ground until he admitted he molested five young girls, including his own sisters, when he was a teen. Later in 2015, a data breach at Ashley Madison, the website for spouses seeking an affair, turned up his name. As a result of this snowballing scandal, TLC opted to cancel 19 Kids and Counting.

9. Adele

This truly elusive chanteuse wasn't around for much of 2015, but when she returned in October with the release of the global smash "Hello," the world was more than ready. Now that her album 25 has broken countless records only about a month after it came out, Adele is back on top, and globe has put her back at number one.

8. Rachel Dolezal

One of the few non-celebrities on the list, Rachel Dolezal caused a nationwide controversy when it was revealed that Spokane's former NAACP President had been actively lying about her racial identity and background. The activist and former Africana studies instructor had been living her life as a black woman, and when the internet discovered she was in fact born white, everyone had an opinion on cultural appropriation, fraud, and the strange, new concept of a "transracial" identity.

7. Brian Williams

The esteemed anchor for NBC Nightly News came under fire in 2015 when it came to light that he had misrepresented facts about his coverage of the Iraq War in 2003. At that time, his story claimed that a helicopter he was riding in was almost hit with an RPG, but that actually happened to a different helicopter altogether. In February 2015, Williams was suspended from Nightly News without pay for six months as punishment.

6. Charlie Sheen

After staying out of the headlines for most of the year, Charlie Sheen made an unexpected announcement in November. He took to The Today Show to publicly reveal that he has been HIV positive for about four years, and he had spent that time paying extortionists huge amounts of money to keep his status a secret.

5. Ruby Rose

Australian model, DJ, and actress Ruby Rose took 2015 by storm when she appeared on the third season of Orange Is the New Black. The show is known for creating reliable buzz, but this year it seemed like all anyone wanted to talk about was the alluring, androgynous beauty. Interest only grew as Rose opened up about her genderfluidity and sexuality.

4. Donald Trump

The businessman-turned-reality star-turned-frontrunner for the Republican Presidential nomination sure knows how to get people talking, and 2015 was his most bombastic year yet. As political pundits consistently predicted the end of his campaign, Donald Trump only remained at the head of the pack. Increasingly, he is becoming indicative of a great divide not only within America, but also within his own political party.

3. Ronda Rousey

If you weren't aware of mixed martial artist and judoka Ronda Rousey before, chances are that all changed when 2015 came around. After appearing in Furious 7, being voted ESPN's Best Female Athlete Ever in a poll, and becoming the highest paid fighter in the UFC (regardless of gender), Rousey stunned everyone when she was knocked out by lesser-known opponent Holly Holm in November.

2. Caitlyn Jenner

In June 2015, Caitlyn Jenner (who up until then had been known as Bruce) debuted her new name, image, and publicly announced to the world that she is a transgender woman. In multiple interviews and TV segments, from 20/20 to I Am Cait, Jenner brought about unprecedented visibility to transgender individuals and rights. After appearing on the cover of Vanity Fair in July and beating the record for gaining one million Twitter followers, Jenner pushed the conversation about trans issues forward and brought about discourse we've never seen before.

1. Lamar Odom

As with other years, scandal and gossip have dominated the search engines, and 2015 is no different. Lamar Odom turns up at the top of the list as the most searched individual after he was discovered unconscious at a brothel in Nevada, which caused many to speculate about alleged rampant drug use. Though he suffered several strokes and kidney failure, he eventually regained consciousness and remains in the hospital where he continues to recover.

It's hard to believe that the year is almost up, but looking back at this list, it was certainly a full and exhausting year.

(Source: Google)


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