It's business up front and party in the back. Now the butt of jokes about rednecks, former athletes and washed-up rock stars, the mullet has regardless cemented its place in the lexicon of pop culture. Reaching its peak in popularity during the late 80s and early 90s, the hairstyle actually has a long and celebrated history. In fact, as early as the sixth century, young men were known to wear their hair long in the back and short over the forehead, a style Byzantine scholar Procopius called the "Hunnic" look. Those haircuts, evidenced by ancient Greek statues and etchings, are thought to have helped people of Mesopotamia, Syria and Asia Minor to keep hair out their eyes while still insulating the neck from rain and cold. In fact, mullets have resurfaced time and again throughout history. But it's unlikely the ancient style actually influenced David Bowie and Paul McCartney when the mullet began to resurface in the 1970s.
Around the same time Carol Brady began wearing her hair short in the front and sides while long in the back, David Bowie's stage persona Ziggy Stardust took the mullet mainstream, and soon countless musicians, actors, athletes and even comic-book characters adopted the do. But the name of the hairstyle wasn't actually coined until the Beastie Boys used the terms "mullet" and "mullet head" in the 1994 song of the same name. Ironically, the name stuck about the same time the hairdo began falling out of style.
Regardless if it's in or out of fashion, the mullet isn't going anywhere, and some people can actually pull it off. Check out 15 celebrities who rocked a killer mullet.
15 Hulk Hogan
14 George Clooney
Before he stole hearts across America on ER, George Clooney was the cute handyman next door on 80s phenom The Facts of Life. And while most everyone on Facts donned a mullet at one time or another, Clooney's curly coif was one of the most memorable. Clooney, however, is anything but proud of his mid-80s hairstyle. In a 2014 interview with Vanity Fair, he called his mullet-wearing days his "awkward phase."
13 Patrick Swayze
The most memorable character in 1989's Roadhouse was arguably Patrick Swayze's mullet. So glorious was Swayze's mullet, the late actor's hair could have easily played his sidekick, helping him control rowdy crowds in a rural Missouri bar. And while the mullet will forever help shape his Roadhouse persona, Swayze hated the do.
12 Ellen DeGeneres
11 John Stamos
10 Joan Jett
9 Florence Henderson
8 Billy Ray Cyrus
7 Mel Gibson
6 Brad Pitt
It might have been a mini-mullet, but Brad Pitt was definitely holding a party in the back in his Thelma and Louise pre superstardom days. But Pitt rocked a more traditional mullet even earlier, including during a guest appearance on 21 Jump Street alongside fellow heartthrob Johnny Depp (who was without mullet).
5 Nancy McKeon
4 Mario Lopez
He might have been Saved by the Bell, but one thing Mario Lopez can't escape are the jokes about A.C. Slater's famous permed mullet, or as Lopez called it on Twitter, his "Slater mullet Jheri curl." In 2014, Lopez told BET the hairstyle was the result of trying to make the character look "more ethnic."
3 Paul McCartney
2 Michael Bolton
What really lies at the end of a rainbow? It certainly might be Michael Bolton's glorious golden mullet. The easy-listening idol of middle-aged housewives everywhere may have grown his mullet to compensate for his thinning hair, or perhaps he thought bigger hair would cover up his lack of talent.
1 Nikki Sixx
The mullet reached its peak during the days of the hair band, and few rocked a mullet better than Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx. Glamorous, hard-rocking musicians of the 80s and early 90s threw a party in the back like no other, and bands such as Motley Crue, Def Leppard and Bon Jovi glorified the mullet like never before, thanks to plenty of perms, mousse, picks, spray and other styling products. And as the mullets got bigger, so did their popularity. Soon the mullet was everywhere, from rock and country music to television and movies to college and kindergarten.
Sources: wikipedia, Slate, Men's Health, Bleacher Report, Vanity Fair, BET
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