Google Reveals Barbie and Shakira as Top Searches in 2023


Google’s annual review of search trends in 2023 reveals that big films and celebrity deaths dominated the year. The most searched films were Barbie and Oppenheimer, while footballers Kylian Mbappe and Harry Kane were heavily searched for. In the music category, Shakira topped the list. The results are based on the search terms that experienced the highest spike in 2023 compared to previous years.

Barbie, a film about the doll’s feminist awakening, and Oppenheimer, a film about the development of the atomic bomb, broke records at the box office, earning £30m in their opening weekend. This was the best opening weekend for the film industry since 2019. The popularity of these films led to the creation of a new word – Barbenheimer – to describe the phenomenon of people talking about them simultaneously. Both films are now leading the way in Golden Globe nominations.

In addition to Barbie and Oppenheimer, people in the UK also searched for Guardians of the Galaxy 3, which was released in May. The 9th most-searched movie was Netflix special Bank of Dave, a feel-good story based on Burnley businessman Dave Fishwick.

Unsurprisingly, many searches in 2023 were related to celebrity deaths. Friends star Matthew Perry, who died in October at the age of 54, received the most searches globally in this category. Perry was also beloved by gamers for his appearance in Fallout: New Vegas. Other celebrities who were the subject of many searches in the UK include Tina Turner, Sinead O’Connor, Paul O’Grady, and S Club 7 star Paul Cattermole, who died shortly after the band announced a comeback tour.

In the music category, Smash Mouth was the fourth-most-searched act globally in 2023 after frontman Steve Harwell passed away at the age of 56 in September. The band is best known for their hit song “All Star,” which appeared in several films including Mystery Men, Inspector Gadget, and Shrek.

In terms of athletes, French footballer Kylian Mbappe and Englishman Harry Kane were among the most-searched for in 2023. Mbappe is considered one of the best footballers in the world, while Kane made headlines with his high-profile move to Bayern Munich for £86.4m in August. However, the most-searched athlete was American football star Damar Hamlin, who collapsed during a game in January and was resuscitated on the field. After a long period of rehabilitation, he made his first regular season appearance for the Buffalo Bills in October, attracting international interest.

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