5 / 10

Whitney Houston

At once shocking and yet not unexpected, legendary singer Whitney Houston was found dead at age 48 from an accidental drowning in a hotel bathtub. An autopsy later found drugs in her system. (Alicia Gbur/Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.)

Year in Review 2012: Top 10 Searches

Chalk up another one for the voter: People may have been wearied by the negative campaigns, but they persevered through the slog of politics and made "elections" the year's most searched term. The fifth iteration of an Apple smartphone, a glorious gathering of athletes, the passing of a superstar, and a bevy of celebrities—including one duchess—also mesmerized online audiences in 2012.