DeGeneres lands on the cover of fashion magazine Allure with the headline, "The Comedy and the Tears." She publicly reveals her stepfather's sexual abuse for the first time: "It's important for teenage girls out there to hear that there are different ways to say no. And if it ever happens to them, they should tell someone right away."
DeGeneres hosts the 57th Annual Emmy Awards a few weeks after Hurricane Katrina. She keeps the evening respectful but light, starting with her opening monologue: "This is the second time I've hosted the Emmys after a national tragedy, and I just want to say that I'm honored, because it's times like this that we really, really need laughter. And be sure to look for me next month when I host the North Korean People's Choice Awards."
DeGeneres is tapped to emcee the 79th Annual Academy Awards at Kodak Theatre, the second woman (Whoopi Goldberg was first) ever to host the show solo – and the first to do so in pants. Her performance gets mixed reviews.
DeGeneres appears on the cover of W, but refuses to wear a dress. "I don't want to apologize for who I am," she says. "I usually wear Jil Sander, or I wear Marc Jacobs, or I wear Viktor & Rolf...I love clothes...You know, I'm not wearing Kmart."
DeGeneres, 50, and girlfriend Portia de Rossi, 35, marry at their L.A. home. Their intimate ceremony comes after a judicial ruling that struck down California's laws against gay marriage. "What can I say? I'm the luckiest girl in the world," says DeGeneres. In November, Californians vote to ban same-sex marriage, setting the stage for a court battle over the legitimacy of marriages like DeGeneres. "I was saddened beyond belief," she says of the ban.
On an episode of her talk show, DeGeneres announces that she is the "new face of CoverGirl." While striking an exaggerated model-like pose, she then explains, "That's the first thing they teach you when you're a CoverGirl." The 50-year-old host, who appears in ads in January, admits, "It's a very cool thing, I'm honored and the photo shoot was 'easy, breezy, beautiful ... CoverGirl.'"
When judge Paula Abdul decides to leave American Idol, DeGeneres steps onto the judges' panel with Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi. "Hopefully I'm the people's point of view because I'm just like you," she says. "I'm looking at it as a person who is going to buy the music and is going to relate to that person."
Months after Simon Cowell announces his departure from American Idol, DeGeneres follows suit after just one season on the judges' panel, citing that the show "didn’t feel like the right fit for me." "I also realized this season that while I love discovering, supporting and nurturing young talent, it was hard for me to judge people and sometimes hurt their feelings," she says.
DeGeneres announces via Twitter that she will host the 2014 Academy Awards, her second time emceeing the show. "I'd like to thank the Academy, my wife Portia and, oh dear, there goes the orchestra," she Tweets, while producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron release a statement in praise of the star. "She is beloved everywhere and we expect that the audience at the Dolby Theatre, and in homes around the globe, will be as excited by this news as we are," it reads.
BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Mathew Imaging/FilmMagic; ANDREW ECCLES/ABC; Courtesy W Magazine; Courtesy of EW; Michael Becker/FOX; Don Arnold/WireImage