AP PHOTOS: The year entertainment went radically off-script

In this June 13, 2020 photo, singer-songwriter John Legend appears during a photo session at The Bel Air Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., to promote his latest album "Bigger Love." (Photo by Rebecca Cabage/Invision/AP)
In this June 13, 2020 photo, singer-songwriter John Legend appears during a photo session at The Bel Air Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., to promote his latest album “Bigger Love.” (Photo by Rebecca Cabage/Invision/AP)

Norah Jones
In this June 8, 2020 photo, singer-songwriter Norah Jones poses for a portrait in upstate New York to promote her latest album “Pick Me Up Off the Floor.” (Photo by Victoria Will/Invision/AP)

Mickey Guyton
Mickey Guyton is photographed during a remote portrait session with the photographer in New York and subject in Los Angeles on Aug. 3, 2020. (Photo by Victoria Will/Invision/AP)

Pedestrians look up at a mural by artist Shane Grammer of the late actor Chadwick Boseman's character T'Challa from the 2018 film "Black Panther," Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, in Los Angeles. Boseman died August 28 at age 43 after a four-year battle with colon cancer. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Pedestrians look up at a mural by artist Shane Grammer of the late actor Chadwick Boseman’s character T’Challa from the 2018 film “Black Panther,” Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, in Los Angeles. Boseman died August 28 at age 43 after a four-year battle with colon cancer. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

A makeshift memorial for the late actress Naya Rivera is pictured at Lake Piru, Monday, Aug. 3, 2020, in Los Padres National Forest, Calif. The 33-year-old Rivera, who played on the television series "Glee," was found dead in Lake Piru on July 13, five days after her son, Josey, was found alone there on a boat the two had rented. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
A makeshift memorial for the late actress Naya Rivera is pictured at Lake Piru, Monday, Aug. 3, 2020, in Los Padres National Forest, Calif. The 33-year-old Rivera, who played on the television series “Glee,” was found dead in Lake Piru on July 13, five days after her son, Josey, was found alone there on a boat the two had rented. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

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In this June 13, 2020 photo, singer-songwriter John Legend appears during a photo session at The Bel Air Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., to promote his latest album "Bigger Love." (Photo by Rebecca Cabage/Invision/AP)
Norah Jones
Mickey Guyton
Pedestrians look up at a mural by artist Shane Grammer of the late actor Chadwick Boseman's character T'Challa from the 2018 film "Black Panther," Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, in Los Angeles. Boseman died August 28 at age 43 after a four-year battle with colon cancer. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
A makeshift memorial for the late actress Naya Rivera is pictured at Lake Piru, Monday, Aug. 3, 2020, in Los Padres National Forest, Calif. The 33-year-old Rivera, who played on the television series "Glee," was found dead in Lake Piru on July 13, five days after her son, Josey, was found alone there on a boat the two had rented. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

The year started out like any other, with a parade of awards shows that culminated with Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite” making history by being crowned best picture at the Academy Awards.

It was one of the last normal nights in Hollywood, and well, everywhere.

Multiplexes and movie palaces shut down, Broadway stages went dark, red carpets remained rolled up and stars stayed home as the coronavirus pandemic ground life to a halt.

But creativity and entertainment were not extinguished. Celebrities spoke directly to fans from their homes, and in the wake of George Floyd’s killing, joined protesters in the streets to push for change.

Cramped carpets and fashion runways morphed into social-distanced events, with air kisses and stylish masks becoming the go-to accessory.

Associated Press photographers around the world chronicled the shift, donning PPE and taking a few extra steps back for portraits. For some shoots, like John Legend, a pool created safe distance. For Norah Jones, it was her living room window. And some stars, like Mickey Guyton, turned the camera on themselves for photo shoots.

As the crisis stretched on, ingenuity and careful planning led to a return of some events, like Italy’s successful hosting of the Venice Film Festival in September.

Drive-in theaters hosted concerts, fashion shows returned — reimagined. So did awards shows, heavily altered by virus precautions.

Loss was a persistent theme of the year, with Chadwick Boseman and Naya Rivera among the stars who died unexpectedly.

The year draws to a close without a clear sense of when the carpets will be back out, theaters will be full again and the cheers of live audiences will return.

2020 will be long remembered not only for its upheaval, but the creative and resilient spirit that kept the entertainment world alive.

Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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