Published20 hours ago
2023 was the year of big films and celebrity deaths – if Google’s yearly review is to be believed.
Barbie and Oppenheimer were the most searched films in 2023, at least when people weren’t looking for news about those who passed.
Footballers Kylian Mbappe and Harry Kane were heavily searched for while Shakira was most Googled in music.
The results are based on the terms that had the highest spike in search in 2023 when compared to previous years.
Cinema-goers broke records by seeing Barbie, about the doll’s feminist awakening, and Oppenheimer, about the development of the atomic bomb, back-to-back.
The films took £30m in their opening weekend, which was the best for the industry since 2019.
Meanwhile, Shakira was in the news twice in 2023, first making headlines in January for her song about ex-partner Gerard Pique, which broke YouTube records in Latin America.
She then found herself in the spotlight throughout the second half of the year after she was accused of tax fraud in Spain – which she settled for €7.5m (£6.5m) out of court, while denying any wrongdoing.
The considerable interest in Barbie and Oppenheimer resulted in the creation of a new word – Barbenheimer – to capture how many people were talking about them at the same time. The two films are now leading the way in Golden Globe nominations.
And while Barbenheimer was the big cultural moment in film, people in the UK also searched for Guardians of the Galaxy 3 – which came out in May – while the 9th most-searched movie was Netflix special Bank of Dave, an optimistic story based on Burnley businessman Dave Fishwick.
Fans remember Matthew Perry
Unsurprisingly, many of the searches made in 2023 were looking for information on those who passed away.
Friends star Matthew Perry, who died in October, aged 54, garnered most searches globally in this category.
Perry was also much loved by gamers for his appearance as Benny in Fallout: New Vegas.
Tina Turner, Sinead O’Connor and Paul O’Grady were also the subject of many searches in the UK, as was S Club 7 star Paul Cattermole, who died weeks after the band announced a comeback tour.
Meanwhile, Smash Mouth was the fourth-most-searched music act globally in 2023, after frontman Steve Harwell died aged 56 in September.
The band is most-known for their hit All Star which, amongst other things, appeared in 1999 films Mystery Men and Inspector Gadget, and served as the title music of 2001 cult classic Shrek.
Footballers lead athlete searches
French footballer Kylian Mbappe – considered to be one of the best in the world – was one of the most-searched for athletes in 2023, while Englishman Harry Kane also made the list after his high-profile £86.4m move to Bayern Munich in August.
Kane has had a fantastic season so far in Germany, having scored 18 times in just 13 league games for Bayern.
But the most-searched for athlete is a name that might not be familiar to many in the UK – American football star Damar Hamlin.
The Buffalo Bills player collapsed during a National Football League game in January and was resuscitated on the field.
After a long period of rehabilitation, he made his first regular season appearance for the Bills in October, drawing international interest.