December 14, 2016 9:05 am
Updated: December 14, 2016 11:24 am

Google’s biggest pop culture searches for 2016: ‘Stranger Things,’ Drake, Hiddleswift

2016 was a roller coaster of a year that saw an unexpected U.S. election outcome, the deaths of global superstars and Canada making a name for itself internationally with the continued success of Drake, the Rio 2016 Olympics and the Toronto Raptors. This is what Canadians wanted to know the most this past year.


Google released their “Year in Search,” on Wednesday, and based on the results, it appears we were all captivated by some of the same pop-culture things.

The Canadian results, ranked in order by volume of searches, include the tragic deaths of music heroes like Prince and David Bowie, Gord Downie’s battle with cancer and The Tragically Hip’s 15-stop tour. The death of Canadian singer Leonard Cohen was also one of the major moments that captured our minds.

READ MORE: Instagram’s biggest moments in 2016, from celebrities and sports stars to #love

Toronto rapper Drake and French-Canadian singer Céline Dion topped Google’s list of the Top Trending Canadians for the year.


Drake released his fourth studio album, Views, in April, and the 29-year-old rapper/singer broke records on Billboard’s Hot 100 with 20 songs on the May 21 list; his compilation was also the first to achieve one billion streams on Apple Music.

WATCH BELOW: Drake confesses his love for Rihanna at MTV VMAs

Meanwhile in January, Dion lost her husband René Angélil, 73, and older brother Daniel, 59, to cancer. The chanteuse resumed her residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace on Feb. 23 and was subsequently honoured with the Icon Award at the Billboard Music Awards. She also released a new songRecovering, in honour of her late husband.

WATCH BELOW: Celine Dion kisses the casket of René Angélil

Top Trending Canadians for 2016:

  1. Drake
  2. Céline Dion
  3. Gord Downie
  4. Leonard Cohen
  5. Penny Oleksiak
  6. PK Subban
  7. Andre de Grasse
  8. Samantha Bee
  9. Sidney Crosby
  10. Shawn Mendes

READ MORE: Top YouTube videos of 2016

Donald Trump and the U.S. Election dominated the political conversation in Canada. Trump’s unconventional campaign included plenty of controversy as Canadians took to Google to learn more about key moments on the campaign trail.

WATCH BELOW: How did Donald Trump win the U.S. Election?

Pokémon Go, the smartphone game that took over the world, was a popular trending search, with many trying to find the strangest location to capture Pokémon; the Toronto Raptors made the list due to their epic playoff run.

WATCH BELOW: Toronto Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan on winning game 7 vs. Heat: ‘This organization deserves it’

Canada’s Top Trending Searches for 2016:

  1. Donald Trump
  2. Pokémon Go
  3. Toronto Raptors
  4. Fort McMurray Fire
  5. Prince
  6. Olympics
  7. David Bowie
  8. World Cup of Hockey
  9. Brexit
  10. Canada Post Strike

READ MORE: Twitter Canada’s biggest moments in 2016: Justin Bieber and Justin Trudeau break records

The music lists are dominated by the year’s biggest hit makers, including a number of notable Canadian artists like Drake, Downie and Dion, and chart-topping, Canadian-made anthems like Lost Boy, One Dance and Starboy.

2016 was also marked by the loss of musical icons both at home and abroad. The passing of Prince, Bowie and Cohen had Canadians turning to the internet to both mourn and celebrate their incredible bodies of work.

WATCH BELOW: Prince autopsy reveals cause of death

New albums this year from Beyoncé, Rihanna and Kanye West also landed them top spots on the list.

Google Canada’s Top Trending Musicians of 2016:

  1. Drake
  2. Beyoncé
  3. Rihanna
  4. Céline Dion
  5. Kanye West
  6. Gord Downie
  7. Leonard Cohen
  8. Garth Brooks
  9. Twenty One Pilots
  10. The Tragically Hip

Google Canada’s Top Trending Song Lyrics of 2016:

  1. Panda
  2. One Dance
  3. 7 Years
  4. Work
  5. Stressed Out
  6. Closer
  7. Lost Boy
  9. Starboy
  10. Cake by the Ocean

READ MORE: Kanye West pays visit to Donald Trump at Trump Tower

Toronto-based actress and Suits star Meghan Markle made waves with her recent whirlwind romance with Prince Harry, while the controversial breakups of Brangelina and Hiddleswift had Canadians searching for the latest gossip.

WATCH BELOW: Is love dead? Brangelina calls it quits

Prince George, North West and Princess Charlotte were the top trending celebrity babies. Chrissy Teigen and John Legend’s baby girl Luna, Mila Kunis’s baby boy Wyatt and Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds’ daughter James also made the Top 10 list.

Top Trending Celebrities of 2016:

  1. Drake
  2. Beyoncé
  3. Rihanna
  4. Céline Dion
  5. Kanye West
  6. Brad Pitt
  7. Leonardo DiCaprio
  8. Angelina Jolie
  9. Meghan Markle
  10. Michelle Obama

Top Trending Celebrity Babies of 2016:

  1. Prince George
  2. North West
  3. Princess Charlotte
  4. Saint West
  5. James Reynolds
  6. Reign Disick
  7. Wyatt Kutcher
  8. Sila Timberlake
  9. Daisy Sudakis
  10. Luna Legend

Top Trending Celebrity Moments of 2016:

  1. Taylor Swift Tom Hiddleston Relationship
  2. Gord Downie Cancer
  3. Prince Harry Meghan Markle Relationship
  4. David Bowie Death
  5. Kim Kardashian Robbery
  6. Leonard Cohen Death
  7. Brangelina Divorce
  8. Kanye West Hospitalized
  9. Selena Gomez Rehab
  10. Prince Death

READ MORE: Reba McEntire returning to TV in ‘Southern Gothic soap opera’

2016 also seemed to be the year of the meme, with new ones being made each day. This year, Canadians were searching most for ones based on Harambe (the gorilla who was killed at the Cincinnati Zoo after a child fell into his enclosure in May 2016).

Trump’s ‘bad hombres’ comment during the final presidential debate also sparked hilarious graphics.

Unsurprisingly, Drake also dominated this category: this year he could be seen perched on almost everything (the album artwork for Views featured him sitting atop the CN Tower, which prompted many to get creative with Photoshop).

Top Trending Memes of 2016:

  1. Harambe
  2. Damn Daniel
  3. Ken Bone
  4. Crying Jordan
  5. Ted Cruz Zodiac Killer
  6. Sad Ben Affleck
  7. Bad Hombres
  8. Drake Sitting on Things
  9. The Dab
  10. DJ Khaled (Major Key)

Celebrities were also involved in some of the top searches around fashion, according to Google, with Justin Bieber’s Purpose tour merchandise, Beyoncé’s athleisure line Ivy Parkand West’s Yeezy Boost sneakers attracting our attention. This was also the year of the “pop-up shop.” 

WATCH BELOW: Justin Bieber opens Toronto pop-up shop

Top Trending Fashion Trends of 2016:

  1. Distressed Denim
  2. Purpose Tour Merchandise
  3. Ivy Park (Beyoncé)
  4. Bomber Jackets
  5. Yeezy Boost (Kanye West)
  6. Braids
  7. Sneakers
  8. Huarache
  9. Gauchos
  10. Pleated Skirt

READ MORE: Shania Twain takes home Icon award at Billboard’s Women in Music ceremony

When it comes to television, the sci-fi smash hit Stranger Things attracted the most searches in Canada. Other must-see TV series’ included the dystopian fictions Black Mirror and Westworld alongside highly anticipated reboots of Gilmore Girls and Full House.

WATCH BELOW: Gilmore Girls fans wait for a chance to experience pop-up Luke’s Diner in Vancouver

Top Trending TV Shows of 2016:

  1. Stranger Things
  2. Westworld
  3. Gilmore Girls
  4. Fuller House
  5. Luke Cage
  6. Black Mirror
  7. Supergirl
  8. Designated Survivor
  9. The Crown
  10. Saturday Night Live

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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