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These Were the Most Talked-About Moments on Instagram in 2020

Photo: Walt Disney Pictures/Kobal/Shutterstock

There are many reasons why 2020 might feel like the longest year on record, and it’s certainly a year that we’ll never forget. From the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s bombshell announcement that they were leaving royal life behind to Michelle Obama’s rousing commencement speech and the release of Beyoncé’s era-defining visual album Black Is King, Instagram wasn’t short on internet-breaking moments this year.

Here’s your recap of 2020’s most talked-about Instagram posts.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announce they’re leaving royal life behind


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A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal)

In January, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex revealed on Instagram that they would “step back” as senior members of the royal family and move to the US with their son Archie. Following a week of discussions, the couple posted a statement from the Queen, which confirmed they had “found a constructive and supportive way forward”.

Shakira and JLo’s Super Bowl halftime show


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A post shared by Jennifer Lopez (@jlo)

For the first time in its 54-year history, two Latina superstars headlined the Super Bowl halftime show, putting diversity at the forefront of the US’s most-watched TV event, with 99.9 million viewers tuning in to watch. JLo shared the inside take on the duo’s blockbuster show on Instagram, writing: “LOVE this moment with me and @Shakira literally seconds after we went off air!! We were so happy!! #MissionAccomplished.”

Michelle Obama’s commencement speech 2020


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A post shared by Michelle Obama (@michelleobama)

This year’s graduating class of 2020 may have missed the highs of an in-person commencement ceremony, but Barack and Michelle Obama weren’t about to let the occasion go by without a celebration. The former president and first lady hosted a virtual graduation ceremony on YouTube to mark the achievements of millions of students around the world, which saw Michelle deliver one of—if not the—most inspiring speeches of the year, referencing both the Black Lives Matter movement and the challenges we’re facing in our communities during the pandemic.

“For those of you who feel invisible, please know that your story matters,” she reminded the class of 2020. “Your ideas matter. Your experiences matter. Your vision for what our world can and should be matters, so don’t ever, ever let anyone tell you that you’re too angry or that you should keep your mouth shut. There will always be those who want to keep you silent, to have you be seen but not heard.”

Beyoncé releases her iconic visual album, Black Is King


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A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce)

Back in June, Beyoncé unveiled the first teaser for Black Is King, a visual album—originally filmed as a companion piece to The Lion King: The Gift soundtrack—in celebration of the breadth and beauty of Black ancestry. The film helped bring in nearly three million additional subscribers to Disney+ in July.

Black Is King is a labour of love. It is my passion project that I have been filming, researching and editing day and night for the past year,” wrote Beyoncé on Instagram before releasing the first teaser on 29 June. “The events of 2020 have made the film’s vision and message even more relevant, as people across the world embark on a historic journey… I believe that when Black people tell our own stories, we can shift the axis of the world and tell our REAL history of generational wealth and richness of soul.”

Lady Gaga wins five MTV Video Music Awards


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A post shared by Lady Gaga (@ladygaga)

Lady Gaga scooped up five MTV Video Music Awards on August 30 at this year’s show, hosted by actor and singer Keke Palmer. She won Artist of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Collaboration, Best Cinematography and also the VMAs’ first-ever Tricon award, which recognised her achievements in music, fashion and acting. Gaga stole the show with her performances in a number of social-distancing-appropriate looks. Posting to Instagram, she wrote: “This NYC girl is so overwhelmed with all of the love. Thank you for always sticking with me. I love you so much.”

Versace unleashes Versacepolis


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A post shared by Versace (@versace)

Versace’s SS21 live-streamed runway show provided unadulterated escapism in the form of an underwater city—think ‘life after lockdown’ meets the ‘life aquatic’. Even Instagram sensation Churro the Octopus took part in creating some pre-show buzz.

“I wanted to do something disruptive and break the rules because I think that what worked a few months ago does not make any sense today,” Donatella Versace revealed on the day of the show. “Creatively, that meant finding a way to bring the DNA of Versace to a new reality and to people who have undergone a deep change.” Also, spot the references to Gianni Versace’s SS92 Trésor de la Mer collection.

Kamala Harris congratulates Joe Biden on becoming the next US president


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A post shared by Kamala Harris (@kamalaharris)

“We did it. We did it, Joe. You’re going to be the next president of the United States,” exclaimed vice president-elect Kamala Harris in an Instagram video congratulating president-elect Joe Biden on their election victory. In the clip, Harris is seen jogging in Nike running gear, with her husband Doug Emhoff and a secret service officer—arguably the most iconic jog of 2020. Harris will be the first woman, the first Black, and the first South Asian-American vice president in US history.

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