Now You See Them, Now You Don’t: 10 Super Reclusive Celebs Who Like To Stay Out Of The Spotlight
If you’re looking for them, many of the people on this list can’t be found on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or Instagram. They’re reclusive. They don’t like to talk a whole lot and they don’t like to come out of the house for the parties, dinners and things that many of your current favorites put on designer threads for. These uber-talented people like to live privately, keeping their business on the low low and allowing their art to speak for them. Maybe that’s why we like them so much? Here are 10 famous folks known for being reclusive.
Only D’Angelo could step out of the spotlight after releasing his classic debut album, Brown Sugar, come back with the tightest set of abs for Voodoo, step back out and gain a smooth 100 pounds (which we only found out because he got arrested), drop the weight, and return as if all of this never happened. D’Angelo did some touring last year and talked about his music in Brooklyn last month for the Red Bull Music Academy, but for the most part, he weaves in and out of the spotlight, leaving fans in suspense about his next move (like when a third album is coming out!).
Think about it: How often have you really seen Adele out and about in between the making of her albums 19 and 21 when she’s not at awards shows? After winning Album of the Year for 21, Adele went and got married and had a baby. She’s not a consistent presence on social media (she does have Twitter though), so any peeks you can get at her here and there are always exciting, because everyone is eagerly anticipating her next album.
Once he left the Chappelle Show behind, only the lucky few who were able to catch him do stand-up shows here and there knew what he was up to. He’s bulked up in muscle and still pops up at concerts and walking the streets with his wife and kids, but that’s about it. However, for those who want to see Chappelle back in action, there’s good news! He’ll be doing a week of shows at Radio City Music Hall from June 18-26, his first New York engagement in more than 10 years.
Early in The Weeknd’s (Abel Tesfaye) career, he was an extremely mysterious individual. His songs and mixtapes, which were blowing up on YouTube and his website, rarely featured his actual face, and were often accompanied with images of anonymous women. Once he finally decided to put his face out there and his government name, the singer started doing more live performances for fans and on TV, but to this day, don’t expect to see him at awards shows and giving out many interviews…or talking that much in general when he’s not singing. If it’s not about the music, he doesn’t want to be bothered. But clearly this approach has paid off. His debut album debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200.
Hill is becoming less and less reclusive with time, probably because she knows she needs to get out, do shows here and there, and make this money to keep the damn IRS off of her back for the future. But for years after the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Ms. Hill ran out of the spotlight (which was extremely bright on her after the release of that landmark album). She focused on raising and having children before she decided to take a stab at a failed Fugees reunion and to try and give her fans new music as a solo act again.
The three-time (count ’em) Academy Award winner is the male, British version of Meryl Streep. When he’s cast in a movie, he transforms into the character and leaves everybody talking and applauding. But he doesn’t act very often these days, as he’s very selective of what roles he takes on. In the last 14 years, he’s been in five movies, winning two Oscars during that time. The actor rarely speaks on his personal life, and really, is rarely seen moving out and about, except for when he’s going to sweep up his plaques and little golden men during awards season.
“If You Want Me To Stay” is still one of my favorite songs. Sly Stone, known as an “enigmatic” artist, was huge in the ’70s, but after delivering classics to us, he quietly stepped out of the spotlight and stayed there. Last time people really talked about him, Stone was rumored to be living in a van and homeless, but word was, he had a home, but stayed in the van because he wanted to. Last time many of us saw Stone, he was performing at the Grammys, doing some shows here and there, and that’s how he prefers it.
When I saw a picture of Frank Ocean at last month’s Met Gala, I could only laugh. While he looked dapper, the look on his face and his stance made it seem like he loathed being out of the comfort of his home, let alone, out and about in a Givenchy suit. Since he dropped the awesome Channel Orange, Ocean’s picked up awards, beefed with Chipotle, and stayed relatively out of public view. Ocean once said, “seems healthier to be a little more reclusive.”
It’s like Where’s Waldo? If you can pick these two men out of a lineup successfully, you deserve a prize that I can’t afford to give. Obviously the masks help Thomas and Guy-Manuel live in privacy, but they’re also musically reclusive. They’ve been active since 1993 and have only released four albums in that span of time (including last year’s massive hit, Random Access Memories), and they started playing live less and less. As Thomas put it, “We don’t theorise, but it’s true, weʼve hidden and weʼve been reclusive and not responded to 90 per cent of the responsibilities we’ve had.”
I love me some Anita Baker. She’s one of the most underrated talents and was a major voice during the late ’80s and early ’90s. But while you can see the Patti LaBelles, Gladys Knights and Aretha Franklins out doing interviews and performing, Baker had been quiet for years (except for the time she was given the Legend Award at the Soul Train Music Awards in 2010). But she came out of her home in Michigan to perform a cover of “Lately” (the Tyrese version) on Jimmy Kimmel Live last February and attended the Grammys because she was nominated for the song.