Top 15 Pop Culture Moments of 2001

We will never forget these movies, styles, and songs.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone film still
Photo: Courtesy of The Everett Collection

Who doesn't love to take an occasional stroll down memory lane? Whenever we go down that path, we like to hold on to the nostalgia for a bit. In this specific case, we're throwing it back to 2001, the year the first Harry Potter movie was released and Madonna rocked our magazine cover.

Scroll through to relive the top-charting music, award-winning TV shows, top-grossing films, and best in style for the year 2001.

01 of 15

"Hanging by a Moment" by Lifehouse

The group, Lifehouse, pose togther at an awards red carpet.
Steve Granitz/WireImage

Topping Billboard’s 2001 Hot 100 Singles chart was Lifehouse’s “Hanging by a Moment” in all its angst-ridden longing for love. After a brief hiatus and various solo works, the band released their most recent album titled Out of the Wasteland in May 2015 with Ironworks.

02 of 15

“Fallin'" by Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys poses on the red carpet at an event.
Steve Granitz/WireImage

Alicia Keys showed off her incredible vocal range and swept the 44th Grammy Awards with “Fallin'” as Song of the Year, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, and Best R&B Song. Keys also won Best R&B Album for Songs in a Mirror, which featured “Fallin'” as Track 4 and Best New Artist in the same year.

03 of 15

"All for You" by Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson performs with two back up dancers on stage.
George De Sota/Getty

We were also listening to the Prince of Pop’s sister, Janet Jackson back in 2001 when she released her chart-topping single “All for You.” It was the dance-pop hit of the singer’s seventh album that also launched her “All for You” tour.

04 of 15

"Drops of Jupiter" by Train

The band, Train, perform together on stage.
Paul Drinkwater/NBC

Still not completely positive about what "Drops of Jupiter" look like in someone’s hair, but Train made the phrase seem wildly romantic back in ’01. Since then the Grammy-winning hit has been covered by Boyce Avenue, Matt McAndrew, and Taylor Swift, to name a few.

05 of 15

Sex and the City

The main characters from the TV show, Sex and the City, pose together.

Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall), Charlotte York (Kristin Davis), and Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon) reigned as the ultimate ladies of Manhattan when Sex and the City won an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series of 2001. The show has since been rebooted (with a different title) so Carrie and her besties’ words of wisdom are back to teach us all about life, love, and New York City living.

06 of 15

The West Wing

Still from the TV Show, The West Wing.
NBC/Courtesy of The Everett Collection

Aaron Sorkin’s masterpiece of political idealism, The West Wing, won the ultimate prize at the 2001 Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Drama Series. Through its seven-year stretch on television, the show earned a grand total of 26 Emmys and three Golden Globes, among others. It is still seen as a beacon of optimism to look to in times of real political turmoil in Washington.

07 of 15


Jeff Probst poses with two players from the TV Show, Survivor.
J. Countess/WireImage

This CBS reality TV series hosted by Jeff Probst is still kicking at 43 seasons. As always, participants are cast-off on an island and challenged with various tasks to see who can best survive or risk being voted off. The 2001 season earned the show an Emmy for Outstanding Non-Fiction Program.

08 of 15

The Simpsons

Still from the TV show, The Simpsons.
20th Century Fox/Courtesy of The Everett Collection

This famously yellow, animated family The Simpsons, featuring Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie, have been poking fun at pop culture since 1987. The show won an Emmy in 2001 for Outstanding Animated Program as well as Outstanding Voice-Over Performance for Hank Azaria.

09 of 15

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Movie still from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.
Warner Bros./Courtesy of The Everett Collection

November of 2001 marked the release of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in the US (known elsewhere as Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone). It was the first of J.K. Rowling’s top-selling fantasy books to be turned into the iconic franchise we know today. This film, which follows Harry, Ron, and Hermione's first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, was the top-grossing movie of the year, bringing in more than $317 million.

10 of 15

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Movie still from The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.
Warner Bros./Courtesy of the Everett Collection

Coming in at a close second for the top-grossing film of 2001 with more than $313 million, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring also had our attention at the theater. This was the first film rendition of J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic novel trilogy.

11 of 15


Movie still from the film, Shrek.
DreamWorks/Courtesy of The Everett Collection

Debunking the fairytale cliché of damsels in distress, Dreamworks’ Shrek burst onto the animated movie scene with humor and plenty of ogres in tow. The film earned more than $267 million at the box office and went on to win an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film.

12 of 15

Monsters, Inc.

Movie still from Monsters, Inc.
Buena Vista Pictures/Courtesy of The Everett Collection

Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan opened the door to a better way for monsters and humans to coexist in Disney-Pixar's animated chart-topper. Monster’s Inc.’s soundtrack song “If I Didn’t Have You” earned a Grammy and Academy Award for Randy Newman.

13 of 15

January 2001 Covergirl Madonna

Madonna on the cover of InStyle's January 2001 magazine.
Regan Cameron

Looking back to the covers of four of our 2001 glossies, we can see that the red leather, girl power, and iconic powerhouse, Madonna, were all very InStyle.

14 of 15

April 2001 Covergirl Faith Hill

Faith Hill on the cover of InStyle's April 2001 magazine.
Sante D'Orazio

The wildly successful country singer Faith Hill brought a new ‘do to the front cover of April 2001’s InStyle. Her messy part and face-framing layers were a definite marker of the early 2000s.

15 of 15

November 2001 Covergirl Cate Blanchett

Cate Blanchett poses on InStyle's November 2001 cover.
Andrew Macpherson

The year 2001 was quite busy for Cate Blanchett who was our November cover girl. She had five upcoming movies, including a role as Galadriel the elf in The Lord of the Rings of which she said in the cover interview, “When you're dealing with people's fantasies, there is an enormous intake of breath and you think, I hope I can live up to everyone's expectations.” The Golden Globe and Oscar-winning actress wore a bright orange Vera Wang dress for our cover shoot.

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