Carrie Fisher suffers a heart attack
Actress Carrie Fisher had a heart attack while on a flight and was rushed to hospital, with her brother reporting she was in the ICU hours later. Her mother, actress Debbie Reynolds, tweeted a few days later with the news that she was in a stable condition and thanked fans for the outpouring of love that Fisher received across social media. Fisher is best known for her role as Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise, a role she reprised in the recent Star Wars VII.

In addition, she’s also a bestselling author, with ‘The Princess Diarist’ being her recent endeavour. She has been vocal about her bi-polar disorder and the importance of talking about the matter of mental health. She has also firmly spoken up about the sexism and ageism she had to go through; she was asked to lose weight for her role in the recent Star Wars films, among other things she also spoke about the comments she received that her male co-stars did not received regarding their looks.

Many on Tumblr and Twitter shared their support for her, including Mark Hamill who played her twin brother Luke Skywalker. Of the fans, some said 2016 was bad enough without losing the actress with others saying she was tough and would pull through.

Donald Trump’s inauguration
News of the dearth of A-listers on Donald Trump’s inauguration performance list has been doing the rounds on social media, as many stars including Celine Dion and Elton John denied agreeing to perform at the event. President Obama had the likes of U2 and Beyoncé at his inaugurations, and George W. Bush had Ricky Martin and Destiny’s Child. Singer Andrea Bocelli was slated to perform but after receiving backlash online for his decision, decided to step down.

So far, Trump’s performers are 16-year-old Jackie Evancho, a former contestant of America’s Got Talent, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and The Rockettes. Some of the dancers in the latter group were disappointed with this, and took to social media to speak about their disappointment. They were told however, by the American Guild of Variety Artists that they were obligated to perform as employees, with politics not belonging in the workplace. Trump himself tweeted that celebrities were lining up for tickets but that he was not interested in them, he wanted the people.

Largest Christmas tree
Sri Lanka made worldwide news with what will hopefully be a record-breaking artificial Christmas tree that was set up at the Galle Face beachfront. The finished tree stands at 73-metres or 238-feet, and is taller than the 55m artificial tree that was set up in Guangzhou, China last year.

Costing 12 million LKR, the tree wasn’t welcomed with open arms, with the Catholic Church having opined that the money could have been spent on the poor. Though the work was temporarily halted, the tree was completed, albeit coming off shorter than its original planned height, and was lit, up with people flocking to take pictures of the tree as they celebrate the holidays. It is hoped that the tree will be declared the tallest by the Guinness World Book of Records.

George Michael dies at 53
Singer George Michael died of heart failure at age 53. The popstar started out his career with Andrew Ridgeley in the group Wham! who were famous in the 80s with hits such as ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go’, ‘Careless Whisper’, and ‘Last Christmas’. After their breakup he enjoyed a successful solo career, with songs ‘Faith’ and the duet “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” with Elton John.

Fans started laying flowers at his residence in England, with celebrities and fans taking to twitter to mourn his passing, including Elton John, Madonna, the members of Duran Duran and Brian May of Queen. The year saw the deaths of many veteran musicians including Prince, David Bowie, and Leonard Cohen.

Prayer ‘Hail Mary’ replaced by rap
Sri Lanka was also talked about this week for something completely different – when the hundreds of people gathered at the 2016 Catholic Joy to the World Festival received a nasty shock when the lyrics to the prayer ‘Hail Mary’ were replaced by the words of an obnoxious rap by Tupac.