It was Andy Warhol who summarized the idea of fleeting fame so perfectly when he said that “in the future everyone will be world famous for fifteen minutes.” His astute observation could very well have been made yesterday, but it was made some time in 1968. So, this must mean that we are already in the “future.” Today, the path to becoming famous is a process that has become so simple that anyone in the world could do it. All anyone really needs is an internet connection.
The internet is probably the world’s most important piece of recent technology that has managed to change the entire culture of fame. Anyone who wants to make it big can now set up his own social media account (Facebook, Instagram, Vine, Twitter… among many others) and post funny, sexy, entertaining, cute, stupid or inspiring things to rake in followers. For those who have no real patience with cultivating the loyal follower or fan on one of these social media outlets, there is the viral video approach to consider. For this route to work, YouTube can be utilized. To be sure, even if this is the age of the internet, the older and more mainstream methods of being famous such as by making good movies, great TV, good music and being the best at what you do especially in sports, are still alive and thriving. In fact, there is a mishmash of the two routes to fame in all fields. Either way, the fame produced is just as fleeting and is only sustained so long as you are able to produce to your insatiable fans’ content. When the time comes that you, for any reason at all, fall behind the times either because of age, decline of projects, loss of productivity or even voluntary retirement, then your fanbase will decline eventually leaving you in the throes of obscurity.
12. Left Shark
The Superbowl has turned out to be an event geared not only towards the fans of football, but towards the fans of funny commercials and great musical performances as well. It’s a four hour event that has something for everyone.
The musical superstars who have been lucky enough to be booked by Superbowl enjoy a boost in their fame and subsequent sales. They also become part of the elite in their field, because only the best of the best and the most famous in their time are invited. Because of this, artists make it a point to have everything be perfect. The Superbowl XLIX was a real treat for fans because during Katy Perry’s performance, everything clearly wasn’t going as well as planned. The dancer in the Left Shark costume stole the show with his uncoordinated moves. He gained quick internet notoriety and was soon identified as Bryan Gaw. It is however clear, that this type of fame is hard to replicate and even sustain which makes him a prime candidate of someone people won’t recognize in 5 years.
11. The Food Babe
The Food Babe is the moniker of one Vani Hari, a food blogger with an army of followers who made waves with her blog in 2011. Vani has proven to be a very influential person being able to force big food companies to reconsider ingredients in their food products in reply to the health concerns that Vani puts out in her blog. Some of her most powerful opponents are the Chipotle, Subway and Kraft brands. One of her most recent claims to fame is her blog post concerning the food additive Azodicarbonamide (ADA), which she dubs as the yoga mat chemical simply because it is used to produce rubber products such as yoga mats. While her crusade against food companies is honorable, it has most likely reached its peak in 2014 with her advocacy against ADA. She will most likely go on and fight more battles against giant food corporations but her name will likely just fall into obscurity amongst all other names mentioned in the news.
10. Nash Grier
Nash Grier is one of Vine’s most famous. The popular social media app encourages people to be as creative as possible with only 6 seconds allocated for each vine. Creativity seems to be in short supply because everyone just ends up doing the same idea over and over. There is a big fuss on Vine about stealing and Nash Grier is reportedly a repeat offender. He is clearly popular with his 12 million plus followers but will this sheer number of supporters be enough to sustain his fame for 5 years? Chances are it won’t because even after the fanfare he received, to the point of being invited over for Good Morning America in April 2014, he has made no other breakthroughs in mainstream media.
9. Valeria Lukyanova
Valeria Lukyanova is a Ukranian model famous for her resemblance to Barbie. Yes, that one – the Mattel made doll. The Barbie Doll has had several controversies on her own owing to the fact that “real girls don’t look like that,” and that girls playing with the doll develop a sort of inferiority complex since they compare themselves to the impossible ideal of the doll. Well, Valeria Lukyanova got around all of that and proved to the world that she, a real girl, could in fact look like a barbie doll. She has become famous online for her looks but because she is clearly a one-trick pony, people will probably get tired of her novelty pretty soon.
8. Dr. Oz
Dr.Oz is probably the most popular medical doctor on TV right now. Dr. Mehmet Oz, the arguably quirky Turkish-American doctor first appeared on Oprah’s show. Oprah’s trust and belief in Dr. Oz’s medical claims and ideas rubbed off on a lot of her fans and Oz was instantly made into a star. His stardom was and is still very controversial. Criticism against him come from different angles, one being that he supports pseudo-medical therapies and products. He is a very charming TV personality no doubt, but is he over the hill? One indication of that are his May 2015 ratings. His show had dropped 39% when compared to last year’s figures.
7. Jared Fogle
Jared Fogle used to be a superstar. When he was endorsing Subway and making his health and weight results known, he was everywhere. You couldn’t walk ten feet without seeing his face on a Subway poster, billboard or even on TV. His rise to fame was wholly thanks to the fact that he has lost a big amount of weight with his Subway diet. The change was dramatic, and he had his former big boy pants to prove it. Today however, it’s as if he never existed – for Subway anyway. Fogle was recently jailed for possession of child p**nography and the giant sandwich company immediately took steps to divorce him. They erased him off their website, their YouTube account, their ads, their restaurant decor – everywhere. So in five years, he will be just a very distant hiccup in Subway’s history – one that’s serving time in jail.
It wasn’t only an impending apocalypse that everyone was keeping an eye on in 2012. Psy, the then unknown Korean pop singer and comedian, broke internet records when he posted his vividly colorful music video of ‘Gangnam Style’. Even though most of the lyrics were in Korean with no English subtitles (and with only a few English words sporadically thrown into the mix), it was still a smash hit. It quickly rose as YouTube’s number one video and it still is with more than 2.4 billion views to date. Psy became a powerful force in the music industry and has since released songs such as Gentlemen and Hangover. The viewer numbers are a little telling though. Gentlemen released in 2013 got 800 million, and Hangover, a collaboration with the artist formerly known as Snoop Lion, has a relatively low viewing number of only 200 million. Extrapolating on the downward trend, one would assume that Psy would fall into obscurity in five years time if he doesn’t come up with another hit soon.
5. Perez Hilton
Perez Hilton, the openly flamboyant gay and self-proclaimed “Queen of all Media” blogger secures the 5th spot on this list. Perez is a very successful celebrity news blogger and has managed to maintain said popularity by being unapologetic and blatantly honest. He is however criticized because he is a little too honest when discretion is called for as in his frequent conscious outing of closet gay celebrities like Lance Bass. He also frequently gets into trouble by reporting rumors on his website claiming them to be facts from reliable resources. In 2007 he claimed that on an ordinary day his website gets 8.82 million views. Recently however, his popularity has declined instead being replaced by infamy. He was labeled as ‘Britain’s Most Hated Man’ and interest in his website has been waning. It is speculated that him participating in the celebrity edition of Big Brother is a desperate attempt at regaining some of his lost popularity.
4. Shia La Beouf
Shia Labeouf, the great artiste and former Disney Channel talent, wants to end it all – his career as a public personality that is. Artistically, Shia is as eclectic as they come. He’s had a stint as a comic book creator, a couple of acting roles in very avant-garde music videos wherein he actually stripped down and bared some skin. He has also had a couple of performance art projects or experiments like the time when he wore a paper bag over his face with the words: “I am not famous anymore.” Or the time he let people do whatever they wanted with him inside a room leaving him vulnerable to a sexual assault. His latest stunt is a 3 day marathon of him watching himself in his movies. Now that’s meta. Fame like his can only be sustained by topping the last crazy stunt.
3. One Direction
The very concept of a boyband is fleeting in nature. Rarely do boys become men and still be part of the group enjoying the same level of celebrity. Take for example one of the world’s most popular boybands, Backstreet Boys. In their prime, they were the “it” group. No one could touch them, not even their closest rival, N’Sync. As the years passed however, their fanbase waned and they were relegated into the collective backburner only to resurface in mainstream media as the final punchline in the apocalyptic comedy This is the End. It’s just speculation at this point but if history proves correct, One Direction is soon going to get old, lose a few fans and get replaced by a younger generation. Well that or the more charismatic singer of the group will go solo and be a success.
2. David Letterman
2015 marked the end of an era with David Letterman retiring from The Tonight Show. He had been hosting the show for 22 years before deciding to call it quits. He said that he can no longer keep up with his competition, citing Jimmy Kimmel’s, and Jimmy Fallon’s viral videos as a hit with the audience of today, and that his more traditional methods of actually talking with guests is no longer deemed watchable with today’s generation. This is one 68 year old man’s surrender to the changing times. Instead of struggling to stay relevant, David decided to gracefully bow out.
1. Floyd Mayweather
Floyd “Money” Mayweather holds a perfect professional record of 49W, 0L and 26 K.O.s. Mayweather utilizes a defensive stance in the ring making him almost untouchable to the frustration of his opponents. The boxer nicknamed “Money” is certainly very rich now, being named as the number 1 highest paid athlete above other big names such as rival, Manny Pacquiao and soccer superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi – but he wasn’t always like this. Growing up, his family experienced many problems of which were financial and drug related. This didn’t slow him down one bit on his way to stardom. His stardom is however going to be very fragile because he officially announced his retirement in September 2015 and will be effective after his last fight in 2016. With no fights left, the press will no longer report about him and fight fans will no longer have any controversy to complain about, thus likely making him passe in 5 years.
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