The New Year is here and with it a million-and-one ideas for those New Year’s resolutions. What good is it though, to make plans to be a better you when you haven’t taken time to reflect on the most awesome parts of this past year? To help you out with your meditation, College Magazine has assembled the long-awaited list of the top 10 celebrities of 2011.
10. Heather Morris
While the Glee sensation was by no means new in the year 2011, one musical celebrity is remembered as stirring up even more commotion for the show in these past few months. Heather Morris, a star dancer since her first major appearance in 2006 on So You Think You Can Dance, has put herself in the spotlight this year with incredible performances of covers like Run the World by Beyonce, Candyman by Christina Aguilera and Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses.
9. Florence + the Machine
Despite their usual association with the unknown, underground music scene, Florence + the Machine’s original sound has made a lasting impression on the music industry in this past year. After releasing their second album Ceremonials in October, the band has topped music charts during its debut in both the UK and US and left millions of college kids wondering what the water gave them.
8. The Teen Moms
From marriage to fist fights and jail time to hospital visits, the show Teen Mom brings a whole new meaning to the word drama. “It’s interesting to see how people face the same problems, even in different places,” says Victoria Ripepi at Kent State University. “And it’s easier to imagine how they feel, since they’re basically our age.” While girls all over the country walk alongside these teens through the trials of early motherhood, the constant parent controversy sparks even more media attention: should parents allow their kids to watch a show that may be too realistic? Is it a negative influence, a warning, an inspirational documentary or just another media trick?
7. Emma Stone
Although this girl is definitely an A, she by no means got there easily. Starring in the three hit movies, including Friends With Benefits, Crazy Stupid Love and The Help Emma Stone was in essence a shoe-in for College Magazine’s top 10 list. In addition, the young actress won a number of awards and found rank in basically every “Top 99 Women” list in this past year alone. Both beautiful and completely hilarious, it’s no wonder she’s making strides.
6. Matt Damon
Bourne has gone in for the kill. In 2011, The Adjustment Bureau, Contagion, Margaret, Happy Feet Two and We Bought a Zoo were released, all starring this accomplished acting stud. Damon has also made waves in the political world, blowing up social media with his quotes about the government and the presidency. ‘Nuff said.
Turns out British “Critics’ Choice” No. 1 predicted breakthrough act in 2008 was exactly right. Only on her second album, and she is already a global sensation. “She offers genuine talent in an industry that is driven by exploiting what sells,” says Georgetown University student Jessica Hardin. “So she walks the line between artistic integrity and relating to her audience very well.”
4. Justin Beiber
We’ve seen him in theaters, on YouTube, in our cars and on the wall of at least one college hall mate. Interesting, talented and endearing, the Beibs has become both an international sensation and award junkie in the year 2011. While he seems to be more of a heartbreaker for our little siblings than for us college kids, his songs about “finding the one” help prep us all for the New Year—who wouldn’t want to find their “baby, baby, baby ooooh” in 2012?
3. The Kardashians
When you think of 2011 celebrities, you think of the Kardashians. Kim and Kris’ glamorous, dramatic lives of money, love and divorce put gossip junkies into a trance and have sucked in the listening ears of millions across the nation. In just the past year, the Kardashian girls have become drama magnets and celebrity icons, while already making waves for gossip in 2012.
2. Jason Aldean
Although this lovable Georgian has drawn in fans to come and take a ride on his Big Green Tractor since 2006, country music star Jason Aldean’s career took off this year. Hit songs like “Dirt Road Anthem” and “My Kinda Party” became persistent occupants in radio stations and iTunes libraries alike. Aldean’s popularity has pushed him into a primo spot to dominate the CMAs. High Pointe University student Mike Erdeljac comments, “He puts his pre-fame life into his songs, so his lyrics are really thoughtful.” The secret to Aldean’s success? His unique ability to collaborate with artists outside his genre, such as Kelly Clarkson and Ludacris.
1. Nicki Minaj
This music queen has attitude, talent and, above all, success. She’s blown up every social media network in 2011, from Twitter to Tumblr, Facebook to YouTube. Her shocking appearance, powerful lyrics and plain swag have led her to top charts, command awards, and dominate the radio for weeks on end. According to CBS San Francisco, she was even the most popular Halloween costume for women in 2011. Her prominence this year forces list-makers to place her at number one, and we can be that as we transition into 2012, people will be remembering who the eff she is.