Celebrity  

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This page Celebrity is part of the bread and circuses series. Illustration: Pollice Verso by Jean-Léon Gérôme, 1872
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This page Celebrity is part of the bread and circuses series.
Illustration: Pollice Verso by Jean-Léon Gérôme, 1872

"On July 21 356 BC, a young man called Herostratus set fire to the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. His motif? Fame."

Mona Lisa, or La Gioconda. (La Joconde), is a 16th century oil painting by Leonardo da Vinci, and is one of the most famous paintings in the world.
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Mona Lisa, or La Gioconda. (La Joconde), is a 16th century oil painting by Leonardo da Vinci, and is one of the most famous paintings in the world.
Napoleon was a VIP Illustration: Napoléon Bonaparte abdicated in Fontainebleau (1845) by Paul Delaroche
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Napoleon was a VIP
Illustration: Napoléon Bonaparte abdicated in Fontainebleau (1845) by Paul Delaroche

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Celebrity is the fame and public attention accorded by the mass media to individuals or groups or, occasionally, animals, but is usually applied to the persons or groups of people (celebrity couples, families, etc.) themselves who receive such a status of fame and attention. Celebrity status is often associated with wealth (commonly referred to as fame and fortune), while fame through entertainment are commonly associated with celebrity status, while political leaders often become celebrities. People may also become celebrities due to media attention on their lifestyle, wealth, or controversial actions, or for their connection to a famous person.

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Famous for being famous

Paris Hilton, famous for being famous

Famous for being famous, in popular culture terminology, refers to someone who attains celebrity status for no particular identifiable reason, or who achieves fame through association with a celebrity. The term is a pejorative, suggesting that the individual has no particular talents or abilities. Even when their fame arises from a particular talent or action on their part, the term will sometimes still apply if their fame is perceived as disproportionate to what they earned through their own talent or work.

15 minutes of fame

See also: 15 minutes of fame, One-hit wonder

Andy Warhol famously coined the phrase "15 minutes of fame". "Celebrities" in the 21st century can now be famous simply by being in the right place at the right time. Certain "15 minutes of fame" celebrities can be average people seen with an A-list celebrity, who are sometimes noticed on entertainment news channels. These "celebs" are regular people who originally are not celebrities, becoming celebrities, and are often turned into celebrities based on the ridiculous things they do. "In fact, many reality show contestants fall into this category: the only thing that qualifies them to be on TV is that they're real."

Certain people are only remembered today because of a movie portrayal, certain story or urban legend surrounding their life and less for their accomplishments. Antonio Salieri was a famous and well-known 18th-century composer, but his fictional portrayal as an antagonist (for example, in the musical and film Amadeus) has been more famous than his music since the end of the 20th century. Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle and O. J. Simpson are more notorious for their association with murder trials than for their respective movie and sports careers. Ronald Reagan is more famous as a politician today than as a movie actor. Centuries after his death, Andrea Mantegna is now better known as the mentor of Leonardo da Vinci than for his own paintings.

Social networking

Celebrities have been flocking to social networking and video hosting sites such as YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and MySpace. Social networking sites allow celebrities to communicate directly with their fans, removing the middle-man known as traditional media. Social media humanizes celebrities in a way that arouses public fascination as evident by the success of magazines such as People Weekly. Celebrity blogging have also spawned stars such as Perez Hilton who is well known for not only blogging, but also outing celebrities.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Celebrity" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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