Somebody’s #Winning: Celebs Who Had Their Best Year In 2012
As we prepare to put 2012 behind us, it’s only fitting that we take some time to look back at some of the highlights of the past year when it comes to our favorite celebrities. While it’s easy to focus on the negative when it comes to bankruptcies, deaths, and ratchetry (is that even a word?), let us instead take you back to review celebrity success stories as we bring in the new year.
Once Bey revealed her baby bump last year at the 2011 MTV Music Video Awards, it was on. Just when it seemed that Beyonce could do no more to shine brighter than her already brilliant star, Mrs. Shawn Carter put the world on watch waiting for baby Carter to appear. In January of 2012, Blue Ivy was born and already running NYC – and the world – as she was the most anticipated baby this year. And we’ve been trying to see her face ever since!
Motherhood looks good on Beyonce, as if looking “bad” is even possible for this pop icon. And in true Bey fashion, she made us hate to love her even more when she shimmied her way back on stage only a few months after giving birth, killing it at the Revel Casino and Resort in Atlantic City looking hotter than ever. It doesn’t end there. She recently signed a $50 million endorsement deal with Pepsi in which she will appear in a new TV spot for the company, as well as limited edition cans that will bear her lovely face. To top it off, she’s also performing at the Super Bowl halftime show, which is also sponsored by Pepsi. As part of a power duo, Jay-Z and Beyonce were named the highest paid celebrity couple of the year, with Bey holding her own at $40 million to Jay-Z’s $38 million. Yeah…she’s still gettin’ it.
I could have listed them together, but Beyonce and Jay-Z’s accomplishments this year could hardly be contained on one page, and both are super stars in their own right. While they collaborated on many projects together this year, including the birth of their daughter Blue Ivy and hosting a fundraiser for President and First Lady Obama, Jay’s year has been just as awe inspiring as Bey’s…and deserves its own shine.
First there’s Carnegie Hall. That was probably one of Jay’s highest profile performances of the year – after all, how many rappers do you know that rock out at Carnegie Hall? It was Bey’s first outing after giving birth, and they both wowed the crowd. Then Jay-Z headlined his first annual Made in America Festival in Philly over the summer, which featured performances by Drake and Maybach Music Group. Jigga hooked up with director Ron Howard to document the entire experience so that we’ll get a behind the scenes look at the concert. And last but certainly not least, the man got his own NBA team a new home in his native Brooklyn, The Barclays Center in which Jay made hip-hop history by performing eight back-to-back shows at his newly-opened arena. Jay waited until the final night if the sold-out concert to bring out his wife to rock the crowd, joking, “Of course I had to let BK touch the stage in BK– well BKC now.” You just can’t help but love the Jigga Man, and his empire with Bey by his side just keeps growing.
3. Gabby Douglas
If you were like me, you couldn’t’ get enough of the summer Olympics in London. And even if you weren’t a fan of women’s gymnastics, or paid much attention to it, it was nearly impossible to ignore the buzz surrounding the “flying squirrel” known as Gabby Douglas. With her infectious smile and amazing talent, the teenager soon became a household name – and then a worldwide star after winning the Olympic all-around title in London, the first African-American gymnast to do so. As a result, her world turned upside down as she shot to celebrity status seemingly over night and is slated to earn millions in endorsements. And now she has earned another honor. Douglas was selected The Associated Press’ Female Athlete of the Year. While she says she may not compete in 2013 in order to take some time to herself and take advantage of her many opportunities, including writing a book, don’t count her out for an Olympic run in 2016. She plans to defend her title, and her coach Liang Chow says he believes her best years are in front of her. Go Gabby!
4. Steve Harvey
He seems to be the hardest working man in show business these days, and in 2012, Steve Harvey is doing it all. He has already enjoyed success as a stand-up comedian and actor, having had his own television sitcom and hosting the Apollo. Now, he’s taking his career to the next level as a one man media mega star.
He became a best selling author when his books Straight Talk, No Chaser: How to Find, Keep and Understand a Man and Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man took off – which prepared him for greater things this year. He executive produced the film Think Like a Man, an adaptation of his book, which became the #1 movie in America during its opening weekend in 2012 and continued to bank at the box office for weeks thereafter.
Steve Harvey is also the host of the long-running syndicated game show Family Feud, this being his third season. On September 4, 2012, he debuted his new syndicated daytime show Steve Harvey. As if he’s not busy enough, Harvey can be heard on the nationally syndicated Steve Harvey Morning Show, which is the only Urban Syndicated Radio Network that is broadcasting in 8 of the Top 10 radio markets. When does he have time to breathe?
5. Nicki Minaj
You may not be ready for her, but she’s coming for you regardless! Nicki Minaj is all over the place, and just when it seemed like we couldn’t get any more of the Pink Friday star, she signed on as a judge on American Idol…and quickly made headlines beefing with Mariah Carey, the other super star female judge signed on to the hit show. She then took us on tour with her, and gave us a glimpse into her professional and personal life chronicling the entire thing giving Barbz’ behind the scenes access in her documentary My Time Now on MTV and a three-part docu-series on E!. With the re-release of her chart topping Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded – The Re-Up, as well as dropping her new fragrance Pink Friday and Mac Viva Glam lipstick, there’s no stopping this train…so just get on and enjoy the ride. She’s a monster!
6. NeNe Leakes
It seems as if the celebrity life looks good on NeNe Leakes, and why shouldn’t it? She’s definitely earned it. Whether she earned it the way we feel she should have is irrelevant, she’s just doing the damn thang! After her success as the standout and very outspoken character on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, NeNe was able to parlay her 15 minutes of fame into other projects that have made her one “rich Beyotch.” First there was her stint as a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice, and it was through her Trump connections that she was able to pursue other endeavors. While her personal life may be a bit iffy, (she is currently divorced but still dating ex-husband Gregg) her professional life and taken off. She has appeared as a regular on the hit show Glee, and she now has landed a role on NBC’s The New Normal. While currently in her 5th season as a housewife, she says she has no plans to leave RHOA any time soon. She says, “I just want to do it all! Why not? I’m only going to be young for a little while longer.” I’m not mad at her.
7. Shonda Rhimes
There is a woman who is running prime time television right now, and her name is Shonda Rhimes. As the creator, head writer and executive producer of three of television’s most successful shows – ABC’s Greys Anatomy, Private Practice and Scandal – Rhimes is a force to be reckoned with. She won the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Drama, Writers Guild of America Award for Best Screenplay – New Series, and the Norman Felton Producer of the Year Award in Episodic Television – Drama. This year, her newest drama hit series Scandal, starring Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, a political crisis management expert who happens to also be in love with the President of the United States, brings in over 6 million viewers a week and has solidified Rhimes’ title as a TV maven.
8. LeBron James
LeBron James is perhaps one of the most loved…and hated…players in the NBA – but that hasn’t stopped his shine one bit. After being nicknamed King James when he first entered the league, the King finally got his crown in his 9th season in the NBA, and with his new team, when he won a championship with the Miami Heat in 2012.
In 2010, he left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Heat in a highly publicized “The Decision” special that aired on ESPN during his free agency period. His announcement didn’t sit well with sports analysts, other players and basketball fans (particularly Cavs fans) alike, and he was criticized for leaving the team in such a fashion even though the telecast raised $6 million for various charities. He failed to win a championship his first year with the Heat, but in 2012, he led Miami to their second NBA title in franchise history, winning his first overall. Not taking much time to savor his championship title, he then went on to win gold as part of the US Olympic Men’s Basketball Team in London this past summer. To top it all off, LeBron proposed to long time girlfriend and mother of his children Savannah Brinson last New Year’s Eve – so it looks like he brought 2012 in with a bang which ultimately led to an incredible year.
When it comes to Robyn Fenty aka Rihanna, it seems there’s nothing that can stop this 24 year old phenom. Although she’s had her share of drama and loss this year (her Gran Dolly passed away over the summer), 2012 proved to be a kickbutt year for the Bajan beauty who is said to be on-again, now off-again, and who-knows-again with her love, Chris Brown.
Personal relationships (on Twitter) aside, this has been the year of Rihanna, who snagged her first number one album with the release of “Unapologetic” and landed her 12th number one single with “Diamonds.’ She also kicked off her 777 Tour in which she brought along 200 fans and journalists, released her Nude perfume, got some hot, new ink and covered several magazines, won music awards, debuted her acting skills in Battleship, was named as one of Forbes “Highest Paid Entertainers Under 30, and will kick off her Diamonds Tour next year. Whew! I haven’t even named all of her accomplishments in 2012, but you get my drift. Something tells me 2013 is looking to be a stellar year as well, and we ain’t mad. Fans just can’t seem to get enough of her.
10. Barack Obama
We all got to witness history again as President Barack Obama was elected to his second term. That is no small feat, especially with an uncooperative Congress and a still weak (but improving) economy. He was even named, for the second time, Time’s Person of the Year – the first time receiving the honor in 2008 when he was President-elect.
Michael Scherer, the magazine’s White House correspondent, points to “the Obama effect,” and explained the choice this way: “It could be measured — in wars stopped and started; industries saved, restructured or re-regulated; tax cuts extended; debt levels inflated; terrorists killed; the health-insurance system re-imagined; and gay service members who could walk in uniform with their partners.” Even in the midst of challenges to his Presidency and to the country, he has shown himself to be a leader, as well as father and a husband who shows compassion, intelligence and integrity and who brings dignity to the White House.