After a year of shutdowns and cancellations, 2021 brought rebirth and revival to the entertainment industry. Glamour made a big comeback on runways and red carpets in Europe and the U.S., which saw the return of the Met Gala and major film festivals and award shows.
Photographers for The Associated Press captured major moments in another topsy-turvy year of change and adaptability for the entertainment world.
Events turned more intimate, whether it was the Grammys where Beyoncé triumphed or at the Oscars where Emerald Fennell appeared shocked backstage after winning for original screenplay. Family stayed close, as when Pink and her daughter put on a dazzling trapeze show at the Billboard Music Awards.
The virus, of course lurked. Cara Delevingne posed in a fashion show behind plexiglass while Hollywood Boulevard shut down and played host to a massively social distanced Gucci show. Stars dropped their masks for the cameras, but premieres and shows generally were held with limited capacities and strict pandemic protocols.
Events crackled with new, playful energy, like when actor Jean Dujardin did a handstand for photographers at Cannes or Jamie Lee Curtis channeled her mother, Janet Leigh, on the “Halloween Kills” carpet. Jojo Siwa exuberantly snapped a selfie with BTS, finally free to perform stateside again, at the American Music Awards. Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon shared a kiss in a Thunderbird resembling the one they drove in “Thelma & Louise.” But THE KISS belonged to one of the year’s greatest revival stories: a reunited Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck making their reunion official at a PDA-filled Venice Film Festival premiere.
It may not have been the year anyone anticipated. Difficult as it was, at least it didn’t resemble Zack Snyder’s apocalyptic vision for Las Vegas.