Justin Bieber’s Breakup, Kimye’s Hookup: Top Newsmakers Of 2012

MTV News counts down the stories that mattered to you most this year, from 20 to 11. Check back Tuesday for our top 10!

As pop-culture curators record their final flourishes for 2012, MTV News is also putting pen to paper (metaphorically, of course) to reflect on the year that was in entertainment. From Whitney Houston’s untimely death to TomKat’s divorce to the surprise success of “Twilight” fan fiction “Fifty Shades of Grey,” few could have predicted the headlines that would hit our soft spots in 2012.

Over the next two days, we’ll be reflecting on the top 20 newsmakers of the year, beginning with 20 through 11. Come back tomorrow for the top 10!

20. TomKat Split
It was news that took a second to settle in, since TomKat seemed so unshakable. After welcoming Suri into the world, a splashy Italian wedding and years of crazy rumors about everything under the sun, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes officially went their separate ways back in June. In what has to go down in history as the tidiest split in Hollywood, only weeks after announcing they were ending things, the divorce was finalized . — Jocelyn Vena

19. Miley Cyrus Hearts Liam Hemsworth
They met on the “Last Song,” broke up, got back together (broke up and got back together again), but true love prevailed when Miley said “yes” to Liam’s wedding proposal back in June . The “Hunger Games” actor asked the former Disney princess to be his future “Mrs.” with a 3.5-carat diamond ring, and the world couldn’t get enough, wondering when they might tie the knot officially. While the engagement prompted many headlines initially, it went under the radar for a while after — until October, when Miley’s ex, Nick Jonas, debuted the song “Wedding Bells” about her engagement. Based on her reaction to it , we wonder if his invite will get lost in the mail. — JV

18. Kimye Make Their Debut
For an artist who despises the scrutiny of the press, Kanye West certainly picked one of the most scrutinized women in contemporary culture as his partner in Kim Kardashian . The “Kimye” phenomenon began with West professing his love for the most famous Kardashian on “Cold” and continued with appearances on “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” matching Halloween outfits and plenty of canoodling on red carpets. Now we wait to see how their love progresses when Kim’s divorce is finalized. — Nadeska Alexis

17. “The Avengers” Assemble
When you promise a superhero team-up but require fans to wait four years and sit through five movies, the thing better deliver. Thankfully for Marvel, the fans and planet Earth, Joss Whedon assembled an “Avengers” movie that delivered the obligatory action and so much more heart than we ever could have asked for. Stay angry, my friends. — Kevin Sullivan

16. Whitney Houston’s Death
Sadly, given the battles with substance abuse that marred the final decade of her life, Whitney Houston’s death on February 11 wasn’t entirely shocking. And yet, despite that, it’s almost impossible to imagine the music world without her in it. So great were her talents — her voice, her attitude, her volumes of undeniably classic songs — that Houston casts a shadow so formidable it not only blots out the tabloid coverage of her final years, but continues to color contemporary pop, soul, gospel and R&B. Make no mistake about it: We lost a true titan this year, and that loss will only continue to be felt for decades to come. — James Montgomery

15. “Fifty Shades of Grey” Ties Up Readers
From subways to Starbucks, it seemed no matter where you turned this year, someone was clandestinely (or not-so-clandestinely) paging through a copy of E L James’ erotic bestseller “Fifty Shades of Grey,” which chronicles the sexual exploits of controlling entrepreneur Christian Grey and his naive paramour Anastasia Steele. The literary phenomenon, which has sold more than 60 million copies, gained even more steam when it was optioned by Universal Pictures and Focus Features in March, raising a bevy of questions, from how the film would earn (an admittedly tame) R rating to which Hollywood hunk would play the mercurial billionaire. Expect this titillater to dominate headlines for years to come. — Amy Wilkinson

14. Tupac Is Back … In Hologram Form
Artists frequently bring surprise guests onstage to spice up their performances and give the audience a special treat. But Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg took that concept to a whole new level when they introduced Tupac Shakur to the stage at April’s Coachella festival — more than 15 years after his death and in eerily lifelike hologram form. Music fans were alternately fascinated and horrified by the idea, wondering which late superstar would be exhumed next for a cash-grabbing stunt. There were even reports that Holo-Pac would go on tour , taking his posthumous show on the road. The buzz (both positive and negative) has quieted down since then, but that night in the California desert made it clear that technology still leaves plenty of room for surprises in pop culture. — Katie Atkinson

13. Justin Bieber: From BelieveTo Breakup
It’s been another wild year for Justin Bieber. He spent the top half of 2012 working on his sophomore album release, Believe, promising that he’d grown up quite a bit since his “Baby” days. And he sure had. Once he dropped the album in June, it was clear he was making a play for the pop&b crown once worn by the likes of Justin Timberlake and even his mentor Usher (take a listen to “Boyfriend” one more time). But, with the career highs also came some personal lows. The world was pretty much in shock when he and Selena Gomez reportedly parted ways back in November. But after some sushi dates and time apart, it seems these two are back together . Phew! — JV

12. Frank Ocean Opens Up
Frank Ocean’s undeniable talent for tugging at the heartstrings through lyrics has made him an in-demand songwriter, but this summer the singer shared an intimate piece of himself without rhyme. He pre-empted the release of Channel Orange by sharing liner notes on Tumblr and revealing that his first love was a man . Not only did that clarify the male references on his album, but it strengthened his connection with existing fans and earned him a new set of admirers who could relate to his personal journey. — NA

11. “The Dark Knight Rises” Ends an Era
Batman is greater than any one man. Heck, if you ask the MTV Movies team, he’s greater than every other movie released in 2012 too. Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy ended in fantastic form with “Rises,” closing the book on one of the most riveting, can’t-miss pop culture events of the past decade. The story might be over, but the legend lives on — and as the Caped Crusader taught us all, few things are more powerful than a well-told legend. — Josh Wigler

Stick with MTV as we count down the Best of 2012, including the Best Songs of 2012, Best Albums of 2012, Best Artists of 2012 and Best Movies of the year.