2010 marked the end of the first ten years into the new millennium. Although it’s been a crazy ten years, we’ve had some good times and bad times between then and now. We’re here to pay homage to those who made 2010 their year and while some may disagree with the people on this list you can’t deny that they were all the talk for this year. Some we love, others we loathe. Come take a trip with me as we review some of the top people of 2010.
The Queen of Media is finally retiring. Since the 1980s, Oprah has been one of the most dominate talk show hosts; if you’re old enough, you can remember the talk show wars of the 1990s and we lost a lot of people then Ricki Lake, Geraldo, Sally Jesse Raphael, Kathie Lee formerly of Live with Regis and Kathie Lee and countless others. Those who’ve managed to survive are nowhere close to the success of Oprah. The only person in my opinion who’s been as recognized as Oprah is Morton Downey Jr. for innovating trash talk shows (which was Jerry Springer before Jerry Springer) but as far as net worth no one’s been anywhere close. You can bet money that if Oprah endorses a product, it’ll move units. Although a great majority of people will be sad to see her go, it’ll definitely be interesting to see who replaces her…if they can, those are some 100 billion dollar shoes to fill.
Millions of people use your product, but don’t know who you are… until they make a movie about you. In 2010, a movie is released entitled The Social Network which chronicles the trial and triumphs of a college student trying to create the ultimate social networking site back in 2004. This social site would become Facebook and it’s founder would be a twenty something Harvard drop-out by the name of Mark Zuckerberg. Back in 2004, when Mark was attending Harvard he had a dream to bring people together via the internet, a place where old friends could connect and meet new ones. Now thanks to Mark and his friends, a great majority of us rely on Facebook for our social networking needs. Mark’s dream allows millions of people to connect to each other on a daily basis.
It takes a lot to keep this man down. Kanye may be known for his controversial behavior by “telling it like it is” or as he sees fit, but there is no denying his musical genius. He’s brought us great music and with all great talents comes an ego. This isn’t to say that Kanye doesn’t deserve it, when you produce hit record after hit record you begin to think highly of yourself (people who aren’t talented tend to do this too). With the release of his latest album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, West addresses his ego and the controversy surrounding him in the song, “Power” by stating that “no one man should have all this power.” Let’s not forget, how Kanye’s inspiring words affected former President George W. Bush so much so that Matt Lauer had to have a “sit down” between the former President and the rap star.
The Jersey Shore
When I was growing up, the stereotype about Italian-Americans was that they were all in the mafia, but nowadays we have the MTV cast of “The Jersey Shore.” Snooki, Pauly D, “The Situation” and the rest of The Shore cast mates have completely changed my perspective of Italian-American culture. The Jersey Shore crew seems to hold no hopes of slowing down since they launched their reality show back in 2009. Drinking, fighting and hooking up is their MO. We all know of them even if we haven’t seen the show firsthand because people won’t stop talking about them, they’re on all the tabloid newspapers and TV shows it feels like we’ve been a part of the show since it started. A few of the cast members have managed to write books and sell their own individual products. The Jersey Shore crew have made an impression on American pop culture that doesn’t seem to be fading away, some say this show is like “The Real World” when it first premiered and it has become a landmark of gold for the MTV network. If this is just a passing fad, they are certainly making the best out of it.
Drake has come a long way since his days on the TV show Degrassi as “Wheelchair Jimmy”. He has managed to successfully step away from that stereotype that has grounded others in the past, (Look up Brian Austin Green from the original 90210 series). With various mixtapes and guest spots, Drake certainly shows why he’s not to be taken lightly. More than just a pretty face, lyrically he’s able to hold his own as he teams up with heavy hitters like Kanye West, Lil’ Wayne, Eminem, Jay-Z and others. What else can Drake accomplish? At such a young age, he only has room to grow. Even if you’re not a fan of Lil’ Wayne, you’ve got to respect the business decision to sign Drake to YOUNG MONEY. Speaking on personal family matters, Drake bears his soul to the listeners of tales behind the fame to show that even with the success things aren’t always easier with money. His catchy tunes and smooth hooks aren’t easy to ignore with such songs as “The Best I Ever Had” and “Find Your Love” And for bringing real Hip-Hop back, we’d all like to thank you now Drake.
Some people may call her a Lil’ Kim clone, others might just say Barbie, whatever you decide to call her you can’t underestimate Nicki’s sex appeal and lyrical content. She’s been on mixtapes since 2004, but she just recently dropped her debut album, Pink Friday. Currently the only female signed to Lil’ Wayne’s YOUNG MONEY, she’s able to throw punches just as hard as the fellas. Her dreams are now a reality and coming from a broken home, Nicki was able to transform that dysfunction into success. She recently had her own MTV special called: ‘Nicki Minaji: My Time Is Now,’ which featured her triumphs and obstacles in life. People often doubt Nicki’s lyrical ability but no one can say that she instantly popped up overnight. Her rise to fame has been a long time coming with many obstacles in the way. She’s won various awards for her mixtapes, and even beefing Lil Kim proofs that her style isn’t a fluke. You have to admire the determination of this young woman, If you’re not feeling her sound then you can always turn it down, but if you happen to like Nicki and her music, you’ll definitely be impressed with how she’s grown as an artist.
What started as a gimmick to attract female voters to the Republican Party in the ’08 elections has now taken a life of its own. Sarah Palin is literally the talk of the town and her town happens to be America’s largest state Alaska. Sarah Palin is the face and voice of what we know as the Tea Party Movement, which plans to take America back to the good ol’ days (no comment!). Sarah Palin’s daughter appeared on this past season of ‘Dancing With The Stars’ and although Sarah wasn’t dancing they talked more about her than her daughter who was a contestant. Palin’s got her own TV series, a book and a good chunk of followers. Her popularity may remain a mystery to the astute public but for the rest of them, she’s a rock star.
The man every rapper wants to sing their hooks. I’m not sure if B.o.B’s “Nothin’ On You” came out first or Travis McCoy’s“Billionaire,” but whatever the case may be, Bruno has capitalized in the music industry with his smooth vocal tones. It’s no doubt that the rate Bruno is going 2011 will be his year for sure but for now we’ll acknowledge him as more than just an honorable mention. Here’s hoping that Bruno Mars continues to melt our hearts with his voice. When he isn’t singing the hook on songs, he’s writing with other big names like Cee-Lo Green, Flo-Rida and K’naan. Bruno also released his debut album in October of this year, Doo-Wops & Hooligans. He’s been nominated for more than a handful of Grammys. Truly, Mr. Mars the music world has nothin’ on you.
Bobby Ray has had one hell of a year. He’s had hit after hit after hit and he’s just getting started. We fell in love with Hayley Williams as she sung the hook to his song “Airplanes”, Eminem was featured on the remix. Lupe Fiasco, T.I. and a few others stopped by to lend their voices with B.o.B on his debut album B.o.B Presents: The Adventures Of Bobby Ray. Before B.o.B released his debut album, he was featured on various mixtapes and he’s done a lot of guest stops with too many names to count. You wouldn’t know it without looking through the credits but T.I. was the executive producer on his album, which is far from his usual acts of gangsta rap Young Dro, P$C and even Yung LA… Grand Hustle is in the name.
After a five year absence from the music game, Eminem came back to bless us with his presence. He even teamed up with people we wouldn’t expect to see him perform with (Lil Wayne, Drake, Kanye, B.o.B, Pink, Rihanna and that’s just to name a few) We are currently witnessing the evolution of Eminem and rap music, every rapper ( I know of) dreams of being able to team up with Eminem and that’s what we’re seeing now. As he expands his musical empire, he’s released two new albums, Relapse and Recovery. It’s no secret that Eminem suffered a drug problem after Deshaun Holton a.k.a. Proof of D12 and long time friend of Eminem was tragically killed back in 2006. We’re all happy to see Em back in full force and we hope that this isn’t the last we hear of him.
Willow & Jaden Smith
I could write book on Will and Jada’s success alone, but this year was more about their kids, Willow and Jaden. Jaden starred in a summer blockbuster remake, The Karate Kid and Willow stunned the world when she released her first single, “Whip My Hair” as well as signing with Jay-Z. With one of the most successful couples and parents in Hollywood backing them, we’re all curious to see what this family will takeover next.
Some of us have tried to deny it for a long time (even myself) but Lil Wayne is now considered to be a hip-hop legend. Someone once reported that not since Tupac has another rapper had a top selling album behind bars which is no easy fate. Since his days of Ca$h Money, it seems that Lil’ Wayne is the only one still relevant today and selling records. Mixtapes, albums and Young Money all of which are credited to Lil’ Wayne. While Wayne, may have had some legal problems this year, his music continues to sell and that is a true testament to being able to stay ahead of the curve.
T.I. & Tiny
This part is more about T.I. than Tiny but the two have made headlines together and apart. Tameka “Tiny” Cottle was once part of a very dynamic female R & B group in the 90s by the name of Xscape. Years later, she resurfaced on BET’s ‘Tiny and Toya’ with Lil Wayne’s ex-wife. T.I. is multi-platinum selling rapper who happens to be married to Tiny now. T.I. has had some legal charges steaming from those crazy gun charges back in 2007 and most recently was brought up on drug charges along with his wife Tiny. While we often contribute to being a celebrity with such an excessive lifestyle, it’s no secret that if T.I. isn’t careful he’ll be doing more time that Shyne and C-Murder, too much time out of the spotlight and we’ll forget why we fell in love with T.I.P to begin with.
Mr. “Day ‘n’ Nite” isn’t on here just for his music. He managed to briefly breakaway from music to star in an HBO series “How To Make It In America,” which is like the poor man’s “Entourage” and both happened to be produced by Mark Wahlberg. Cudi took us on a journey of the mind and showed up another side to the gun totin, gang bangin, drug slingin side of Hip-Hop that seems to be popular today. With the release of his lastest album Man on the Moon II: The Legend Of Mr. Rager receiving high praise and pretty good commercial success, we can’t help but to wonder what this Kid will do next?
A lot of teen sensations come and go, but Bieber fever is something everyone seems to be catching. Usher’s young protégé Justin Bieber can make little girls cry, sell out shows and make very poppy songs all before his bedtime.
King James to some, ass hole to others, but no matter what you call him, this is the man that made the city of Cleveland cry. LeBron’s year would’ve been just another year of him cashing million dollar checks if it wasn’t for the fact that a whole town hates him more than a bitter ex-girlfriend. This is really the only reason he’s on here, his basketball skills aren’t to go unnoticed, but his marketing skills shouldn’t be denied either.
Remember that all things, this list included are open to interpretation.
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