Fame is a funny thing. It comes and goes in waves. Especially in the current era of social media, news cycles move extremely fast, so it becomes difficult for any one celebrity to remain on the minds of the masses for long periods of times. That's why household names like the Kardashians and Kanye West are so great at playing the fame game. They are extremely skilled at toying and baiting the media and paparazzi to create constant buzz and hype. In the following article, we talk about 13 celebs who made a return to the limelight in 2014. Some of them are musicians who had been relatively quiet for a long period of time and others are actors who appeared in movies that were received with critical acclaim. There is even a movie director on this list who helmed the extremely successful Batman movies in the past. This year, he tried his hands with a sci-fi epic, and once again his brilliance shined through. Without further ado, check out the piece below:
13 Gwen Stefani
For a while there, it seemed that Gwen Stefani would be lost from the music game forever. But it seems that in her lengthy absence, she was just plotting her major return to the industry. This year Gwen Stefani was all over the airwaves – on television, on radio, on stage, everywhere. A big part of her comeback can be attributed to her role as a judge on popular singing show The Voice. But she was able to capitalize that exposure into two successful singles “Spark the Fire” and “Baby Don’t Lie.” She is even performing at the first ever People magazine Awards. Yes, Gwen Stefani is back in a big way!
12 Michael Keaton
Sometimes in Hollywood, all you really need is the right movie to come along and resurrect your career. That’s what happened to Mickey Rourke in the movie The Wrestler and even to John Travolta with Pulp Fiction. This year, it was Michael Keaton’s career that needed resuscitation and the film that did that for him was Birdman directed by Mexican auteur Alejandro Inarritu. In a funny way, the film mirrored his life – an actor who played a big superhero role but was yearning to regain his respect as a genuine actor. He has been nominated for a Golden Globe for his role, and now his career is certifiably off life support.
11 Katherine Heigl
Katherine Heigl may be only 36 years old, but she has already had quite a go of it in Hollywood. She came to the forefront as one of the main stars on the show Grey’s Anatomy in 2005 - she was one of the show’s biggest stars till 2010. She left the show to strike out and become a big Hollywood star, but it didn’t quite work out like that. She’s been quiet on the movie front for the last several years, but this year, she made her glorious return back to television in the CIA drama State of Affairs. The show is smart and action-packed, and it’s looking like it might get renewed for a second season. We wish her the best of luck.
The last time D’Angelo dropped an album was in 2000. It’s hard to believe that was 14 whole years ago. On that album, he had the smoldering video for the song “Untitled” in which he was completely naked and showing off his chiseled body. In the gap since then, he has gone through some addiction problems, a few arrests and an uncharacteristic bloating in weight. But in the last few years, he has been touring constantly and reacquainting everyone with his refined brand of classic neo soul. Well just this December, he released his new album titled Black Messiah. It features 12 new songs and cameo appearances from Q-Tip and Questlove from the Roots. Rolling Stone already gave the album 4 stars, and all his fans are rejoicing that their sexy crooner is officially back.
9 Christopher Nolan
In Hollywood circles, Christopher Nolan is known as one of the most cerebral and gifted directors around. He was the mind behind projects like the brilliant Batman Trilogy featuring Christian Bale, Memento and Inception (starring Leonardo DiCaprio). However his last hit before this year was Dark Knight Rises in 2012. But this year, he returned in a big way with a Sci-Fi epic named Interstellar featuring an ensemble cast including Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine and John Lithgow. The film has been a massive hit, and since its release in the beginning of November it as grossed over $620 million worldwide.
8 Viola Davis
Even though Viola Davis is known as one of the most talented actresses in Hollywood, it had been a while since she really had a vehicle to really show off her true skills. That’s until the new show by Hollywood power woman Shonda Rhimes came along. For those who don’t know, Rhimes is the talented genius behind shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal. She casted Viola Davis in a complex and textured role as a law professor with shady moral underpinnings in a new ABC drama called How To Get Away With Murder. Television viewers loved it and she was also nominated for a Golden Globe for her pitch-perfect performance.
You can’t be a true music lover and not love or at the very least, have the utmost respect for Beck. Over his long career, he has released more than ten albums and has stayed true to his musical and artistic sensibilities. He has also never been afraid to take risks and try new things like collaborating on albums with artists like Childish Gambino or modeling for Yves Saint Laurent and even doing collab sunglasses with Warby Parker. This year, he released another spectacular moody and spacey album called Moon Phase. It’s the type of album you play on dreary, rainy Sundays, and it’s no surprise that it was nominated as Album of the year for the 2015 Grammy Awards.
6 Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer Aniston is one of those actors whose career constantly vacillates between being a supremely talented actress or just another pretty Hollywood face. In the last two to three years, she’s been mostly referred to as the significant other of Justin Theroux, the star of the HBO show The Leftovers. But this year, she made a strong comeback to the forefront with roles in hit movies like Horrible Bosses 2 and Cake. What makes her appearance in these movies even more commendable is that the former was a risqué comedy and the latter was a really dramatic, heartfelt and poignant film. She was even nominated for a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award for her stellar performance in the movie Cake.
There’s a running joke in the world of rock music that revolves around the British group Coldplay. Even though they have sold over 80 million records to date and won so many accolades and awards, they still have a slightly derogatory reputation for being a little cheesy and soft. Well, these haters can say what they want, but this year, the band still proved that they had the magic touch. Their newest album Ghost Stories released this year was a true masterpiece. It featured hits like “Ink,” “Magic” and perhaps their best single ever released “Sky Full Of Stars.” The latter was a collaboration with the exceptional DJ/producer Avicii. These guys are masters at what they do and no one can ever deny them that.
4 Claire Danes
Claire Danes is one of those actresses who really throws herself headfirst into every role she takes. That’s why the Showtime series Homeland was such a perfect vehicle for her. For all regular watchers of the show, we can agree that Season 1 & 2 were pretty brilliant. However something happened in Season 3 and the show got so bad so quickly. The writers must have stopped taking their vitamins or something. But Season 4, which debuted in 2014 might just turn out to be the best season of all. Claire Danes is excellent as crazy Carrie Mathison, Mandy Patinkin is intense as Saul Berenson and story line (based in Afghanistan and Pakistan) is gripping and pressure-packed. This might just be the best show on the box now. Well done!
3 MF Doom
For those who may not be fans of underground rap, the name MF Doom might not sound familiar. But for the last 15 years, he has been one of the most consistent rappers that Hip-Hop purists love and worship. He is definitely a mercurial character and he’s hardly ever seen without his metal mask to obscure his face. He never does any pop music and he always keeps his music raw and diluted. There had been a dearth of music coming from him in the last few years until he released a new project this year with a young New York rapper called Bishop Nehru (people are tipping Nehru to be the next Nas). The album was titled Nehruvian Doom and it was pure quality. It’s also being rumored that Doom will be featured on a collaborative album next year with none other than Ghostface Killah of the Wu-Tang Clan – can’t wait!
2 Jack White
Jack White is one of the more enigmatic rockers on the music scene. He really made a name for himself with the duo The White Stripes and he also sold a lot of records with side projects like The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather. In 2012, he released his first solo album called Blunderbuss, and this year he debuted his second solo album called Lazaretto. The new album this year featured White’s unique brand of prog-rock tunes along with his usual approach of creative, out-the-box visuals. His live shows are also known to be very amusing. Similar to another opinionated musician (Kanye West), he’s prone to launch into full-on rants about his take on media, music and culture. His fans love him though and his Lazaretto album is up for a Grammy in 2015.
1 Chris Rock
From his early days as a SNL star and throughout his movie and stand-up career, Chris Rock has been proven himself to be a giant amongst his peers. He’s one of those names that garner respect whenever he’s mentioned. But in 2014, he stepped up his game in a big way. He came back to host SNL with an amazing guest music performance by Prince, and he wrote and directed a movie that’s getting a lot of critical praise called Top Five. The movie is co-produced by Kanye West and Jay-Z, so there was already a lot of buzz about it. But now that it’s getting great reviews, it’s certain to be a hit for Mr. Chris Rock.
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