The 2000s was a pretty cool time to be alive; not only were we entering a brand new millennium, but early in the 2000s, we witnessed some truly astounding pop culture events. Consider this, in the early 2000s we experienced the premiere of Survivor, Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Chappelle Show, Napster was beginning to revolutionize the music industry, the iPod was released and, a little-known company called “YouTube” was formed.
Beyoncé’s “Crazy In Love” and OutKast’s “Hey Ya!” became pop songs of the decade. Jay-Z teased retirement with the superb The Black Album. The era also ushered in such MTV reality show gems as My Super Sweet Sixteen, Next, Punk’d, and Cribs. And who can ever forget the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards, where we bared witness to the Britney Spears, Madonna, and Christina Aguilera kiss?
Even if you disagree that the early 2000s hold any special relevance in the grand scheme of history, you would be hard pressed to find an age with as many celebrity knockouts! Even more impressive is that a lot of the celebrities that were turning heads in the 2000s are still relevant today. Sure some have had their ups and downs, while others chose to step away fame. Either way, looking at these 15 photos from the early 2000s has us falling in love with these celebrities all over again.
15. 15. P!nk
Pink was a radical and alternative pop-punk rock star back in the early 2000s, as well as a gorgeous and sexy woman. This album cover really expresses the style Pink wore back in the day. Her attitude and music dared to defy the formulaic “pop star” image that we were so accustomed to seeing throughout the late 90s and early 2000s. It’s hard to imagine a Pink outfit that had her conforming to the latest fashion trends.
Pink was looked upon as a major influence and role model to those that didn’t “fit in”, she was a voice for the voiceless and encouraged freedom of expression. Her songs always seemed to capture the difficulties of being branded an “outcast” and as a result she was certainly an uplifting figure for many back in the day.
Former member of Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé has proved time and time again to be an outstanding performer, even back in the day when she performed with Michelle and Kelly (and that other girl who’s name a lot of people don’t remember).
Here we have one of the most famous pictures of “younger” Beyoncé from a short time after going solo. This picture gives an identity to the beautiful song “Crazy in Love” and it’s hard to imagine another photo that captured the theme of the song like this did.
Beyoncé’s body has always been amazing, with her curvy figures and great assets, she manages to look flawless in every single photoshoot for every album. She’s one of the stars on this list who has only continued to be more and more successful since her debut.
13. Jessica Simpson
This multi-talented artist has been around for a while, and while some of us are still confused about what “chicken of the sea” is, there is no doubt that Jessica Simpson is a beautiful woman who had a physique to die for. Simpson has always seemed to have an innocent yet stunning look about her and this photo truly showcases the contrast in elements that made the star so attractive in the early 2000s.
Jessica Simpson’s celebrity hit an all-time high during the three seasons that Newlyweds aired on MTV. The reality show focused on Simpson and Nick Lachey‘s marriage and also helped promote the recording of Simpson’s third studio album. To some people’s surprise, the show instantly became a pop culture phenomenon, as Simpson’s “dumb blonde” routine helped make the couple a household name.
12. Christina Aguilera
Christina Aguilera seems to have the uncanny ability to constantly transform herself as required. This particular photo from the 2006 MTV Movie Awards is definitely one to remember as Aguilera is able to effortlessly pull off a classically stunning and elegant look. The inspiration for this look dates back to 2004, when Aguilera was working on her new album Back to Basics and decided to embrace an image that one would have seen back in the 1920s, 30s, and 40s.
Even more impressive is that this classical look comes after she took on a more provocative image in 2002. As it’s hard to forget that when Aguilera released her album Stripped, she dyed her hair black and showed-off several tattoos and piercings. This was the album that released such memorable hits as “Dirrty,” “Beautiful,” and “Fighter.”
11. Avril Lavigne
Was any celebrity able to capture the hearts of teenage girls more than Avril Lavigne did in the early 2000s? Lavigne always had a great voice and her songs resonated with the younger generation at the time with her catchy and relatable lyrics. She seemed to effortlessly carry herself in a mischievous, fun and laid back manner, all the while still showcasing her sex appeal.
Lavigne was able to present herself as a “beautiful rebel” and a “punk rock princess,” and in this photo it’s easy to see why she was so popular with girls and guys back in the early 2000s. That being said, Avril Lavigne is one of those celebrities who just doesn’t seem to age and remains just as attractive today as she did yesterday.
10. Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez has always been one of the most gorgeous women in Hollywood and has consistently managed to maintain a body that most people would die for. At the 42nd Annual Grammy Awards back in 2000, Lopez wore this little green dress that received significant global media coverage. Evidently, the image of Lopez in the revealing dress was downloaded more than 600,000 times from the Grammy website within a 24-hour period.
As Lopez was recording her second album she changed her stage name to J.Lo and started transforming more into a sex symbol. The approach seemed to work. In 2001, Lopez became the first woman to have a number one album and number one film in the same week. This impressive achievement took place when her album J.Lo was released on January 23, 2001 along with her romantic comedy film The Wedding Planner.
9. Gwen Stefani
Gwen Stefani has been rocking out since No Doubt broke onto the scene in 1996 and she looks the exact same, if not even more glamorous. Over the past 25 years, Gwen has transformed from a vibrant SoCal punk with No Doubt, to an urban fashion icon who launched a solo career and fashion line, L.A.M.B.
The Hollaback girl is seen by many as a great role model, singer, and business woman and is the perfect mix of sex, swag, and rock and roll. And just when you think it wasn’t possible for her to become any cooler, her relationship with Blake Shelton is what dreams are made of. The two award-winning singers are head over heels for each other. While I doubt she’ll ever reveal the secret behind her ageless beauty, we can agree that we all want to be her best friend.
8. Hilary Duff
We all remember early 2000s Hilary Duff as Lizzie McGuire on the Disney Channel. Every young teen boy wanted to date her and every girl wanted to be her best friend. Since then, Hilary Duff turned her career towards music and has become a huge babe. Hilary Duff released her second studio album, Metamorphosis, in August 2003. The album became a major hit for Duff, going on to sell over five million copies within its first two years of release.
16-year-old Duff fell in love with Good Charlotte lead singer Joel Madden, who was then 25 years old. Madden worked with Duff on her compilation album, Most Wanted. In November 2006, Duff and Madden broke up. Duff’s next serious relationship was with NHL star, Mike Comrie. Duff and Comrie married in 2010 and soon had their first child. Their marriage came to an end in 2016 and today, Hilary is dating singer-songwriter Matthew Koma.
7. Elisha Cuthbert
Elisha Cuthbert was certainly one of the most popular up and coming stars in the early 2000s. Cuthbert consistently ranked high on the world’s top hottest female lists from 2000 – 2010. Fans of the show 24 will remember Cuthbert as Kim Bauer, daughter of federal agent Jack Bauer, played by Kiefer Sutherland. The sexy Canadian got her break in a major film role in 2004’s The Girl Next Door. She played an ex–porn star, Danielle. Cuthbert was unbelievably sexy in this role and it launched her to the top of Hollywood’s “it” girls list.
6. Mandy Moore
Once known for a sweet alternative to Britney Spears, if anyone was the girl next door of the 2000s, it was Mandy Moore. Moore’s sweet look turned heads in the early 2000s with album releases like So Real, I Wanna Be With You, Mandy Moore, and Coverage. Also in the 2000s, Moore began her acting career with roles in The Princess Diaries and A Walk to Remember and would go on to play leading roles in several teen films.
Moore has been in a few high-profile relationships with Andy Roddick, Wilmer Valderrama, and Zach Braff. Most recently married to Ryan Adams, the musical couple is now ending their six-year marriage. 15 years after A Walk to Remember, Moore is back on NBC’s breakout hit This Is Us. Spoiler alert – she looks like she hasn’t aged a day!
5. Charlize Theron
When you think of Hollywood blondes do you think of Charlize Theron? Probably not. As one of the most underrated beauty queens, Charlize Theron is a gifted actresses who is hot, fearless, and has graced the covers of many magazines as the sexiest woman alive. While she isn’t raved about with the same tirelessness as, say, Scarlett Johansson, Theron is a South African beauty with a virtually flawless exterior, and acting skills that are just as grand. She is the type of woman that displays the confidence and allure that most women only dream of.
The most intriguing quality that Charlize possesses is that she’s a chameleon. She is one of the most versatile actresses out there and is never typecast like the majority of Hollywood hotties. Her leading roles in films such as Monster and Mad Max prove that she’s talented and a timeless beauty.
4. Jessica Alba
For as long as I can remember, Jessica Alba has been everyone’s Women Crush Wednesday, every day. Remember her role as a stripper in Sin City? Me too. What’s so refreshing about Alba is that while she rocks her skin tight outfits in movies like Sin City and Blue Crush, she’s known for being a very low key boxers and t-shirt kind of girl off the set. Who doesn’t love a girl that they can hang out with and have a beer?
That being said, she isn’t just a hottie with a fantastic bod. She’s a super successful businesswoman as the co-founder of the Honest Company which is now valued at almost 2 billion dollars. Sometimes power is just as sexy as a bikini bod (…Right?).
3. Paris Hilton
Some know her for her sex tape and some know her for Juicy Couture sweat suit wearing, jet-setting lifestyle. What we all know is the established socialite oozed sex appeal. Paris Hilton has spent the better part of a decade trying to build herself into a hot marketable brand. This model, singer, designer, actress, and now DJ has a lot to show, more than her incredible figure, but we can’t leave her off the list.
Hilton became a household name in 2003 when she co-starred with then-best friend and socialite counterpart, Nicole Richie, in the reality series The Simple Life. She became known for an onscreen dumb blonde persona, no matter how many times she said it was an all an act. While The Simple Life and her sex tape are forever buried in the past, Paris Hilton will always be the mother of all attention grabbing celebrities (it’s no wonder her and Kim Kardashian were best friends).
2. Lindsay Lohan
It started with The Parent Trap and ended with Mean Girls. Lindsay Lohan launched her career in 1998 with Disney’s The Parent Trap. In 2004, Lohan had two lead roles – Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen and Mean Girls. Mean Girls immediately become a cult classic and cemented Lohan’s status as the new teen movie hottie, making her a household name.
However, 2004 is when her life began to take a downward spiral. Lohan became known for partying, substance abuse, and failed rehab programs, making her a frequent target of gossip sites and tabloids. I can’t not mention her love life – what a rollercoaster! In 2014 Lindsay’s sex list was leaked (and what a list it was). Stars from James Franco, Justin Timberlake to Zac Efron are a few of the names that top the list.
1. Britney Spears
The Queen of Pop! It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that Britney Spears is on this list. I could list off endless reasons for why Britney ruled the early 2000s – but we all know what tops the cake – the kiss! In 2003, Britney opened the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards with another legend of the 2000s, Christina Aguilera. Halfway through the performance Madonna joined them on stage and shared a passionate kiss with both starlets. The incident marked the 2003 MVAs as the sexiest award show to date.
Not only was Britney coasting on major waves of success after the release of her #1 album, Oops I Did It Again, her relationship with NSYNC’s Justin Timberlake made them the pop music world’s dream couple. After their breakup, Britney played the field and eventually married backup dancer Kevin Federline. This relationship was chaotic to say the least (some argue it was the demise of her career). After their divorce, Brit went a little crazy, shaved her head, and then went silent. She slowly came out of her funk and is back on the stage.