The nation, still rattled by the recent September 11 attacks, is rocked once again when snipers take aim at ordinary citizens in the Washington, D.C., area. President George W. Bush describes North Korea, Iraq, and Iran as an "axis of evil" in his State of the Union Address, and signs the Homeland Security Act to establish the Department of Homeland Security. Meanwhile, the U.S. snags every medal in the men's snowboarding halfpipe event at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.
In music, Ashanti releases her eponymous debut album and dominates the Billboard Hot 100 chart with the hit single "Foolish." Eminem encourages 8 Mile audiences to "Lose Yourself," and Kelly Clarkson, then just first-season winner of a little show called American Idol, debuts her first single, "A Moment Like This."
Revisit all of 2002's biggest hits with a full list of of the Hot 100 chart-toppers here:
Nickelback, "How You Remind Me"
The lead single from the Canadian rock band's third album, Silver Side Up, kicked off the new year at the top of the charts.
Usher, "U Got It Bad"
America couldn't get enough of this R&B ballad, which topped the charts for weeks.
Ja Rule feat. Ashanti, "Always On Time"
Before she dominated the charts as a solo artist, the R&B songstress made it to #1 with rapper Ja Rule.
Jennifer Lopez feat. Ja Rule, "Ain't It Funny"
A remix of J-Lo's original single "Ain't It Funny," this Murder Inc. remix propelled Lopez from pop star to R&B icon.
Ashanti's hit single from her debut album topped the Hot 100 chart for weeks, becoming the longest-reigning consecutive hit single of 2002. The song, which sampled Mark DeBarge's "Stay With Me," earned Ashanti nominations at the 2003 Grammy awards for best female R&B performance and best new artist.
Nelly, "Hot In Herre"
Summer temperatures weren't the only thing rising after the release of this provocative single. The rapper's first Hot 100 number one heated up radios and CD players everywhere.
Nelly feat. Kelly Rowland, "Dilemma"
Nelly again! The rapper knocked his previous single out of #1 with this laid back end-of-summer single featuring then-Destiny's Child member Kelly Rowland.
Kelly Clarkson, "A Moment Like This"
First-season American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson broke into the #1 spot with this single, interrupting Nelly's long success.
Eminem, "Lose Yourself"
The hit single from the soundtrack of semi-autobiographical Eminem film 8 Mile would later earn the rapper an Academy Award for Best Original Song, becoming the first-ever rap song to win the award. The song ended 2002 at number one spot.