YOUNG stars are moving and shaking the entertainment industry so hard that it is tough for the older generation not to take notice of them.
In the last two years, entertainers under the age of 25 dominated the music and movie charts and their predecessors had no choice but to take a back seat and watch in awe as the youngsters showed everyone what they can do.
Whether the older generation actually feels threatened by the emergence of younger talents who seem to be doing it all – act, sing, write, produce and even start businesses – is anyone’s guess.
One thing is for sure, though, these young artistes are not asking for anyone’s approval. They are here and ready to claim the spotlight and it’s only advisable that the the veterans stand aside and give way.
When country act Taylor Swift, then 20, beat 28-year-old Beyonce for the coveted best female video award at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, it was too much for rapper Kanye West. He actually walked on stage and cut Taylor off while she was giving her acceptance speech!
Well, Kanye, you have to give the kid recognition where it’s due even when you personally think that Beyonce had “one of the best videos of all time”.
So far, Taylor has won over 70 music awards, sold over 19 million albums worldwide and was named one of Forbes’ most powerful celebrities in 2009 and 2010. Many singers twice her age don’t boast such achievements in their whole careers!
These days, the music industry is ruled by youngsters just like Taylor, and it doesn’t seem like there’s anything stopping them from going above and beyond their fast rising stars.
Lady Gaga burst into the music scene in 2008 with her critically-acclaimed debut album The Fame, and subsequently her EP The Fame Monster. Though people scratched their heads in confusion as to whether to love or hate the singer’s outlandish outfits, unfathomable music videos and plain ol’ crazy ways, one thing is certain – everyone loved her music.
She has been included in Time magazine’s annual list of most influential people in the world, as well as in Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful and Influential celebrities.
Last month, Lady Gaga was named Billboard’s top-selling artiste of 2010.
While haters scream that Gaga is nothing but a cheap and tacky imitation of the reigning Queen of Pop, Madonna, it cannot be denied that as cheap and tacky as she may be, the girl knows how to sell records and stay on top. Oh, and she’s only 24.
Even younger than Gaga and making all the girls go gaga is none other than 17-year-old Justin Bieber, who swept into the music scene (he’s also into acting these days) like a raging storm and has caused so much furore ever since.
The singer, who was unfairly snubbed at the recent Grammy Awards, is a teen heartthrob who has brought back a sort of “Beatles-esque” mania with his hair-flipping ways (well, not anymore since he got a haircut), boyish good looks and catchy tunes.
While his existence is pure annoyance (for some inexplicable reason) to some, his force in the industry is so strong it just cannot be ignored. Under the tutelage of former teen heartthrob Usher Raymond, Justin emerged as one of the best young acts of 2010, outselling even some of the most prominent names in the industry.
Look out for:
A Canadian singer/songwriter, Drake got his first taste of fame playing Jimmy Brooks on Canada’s famous teen show Degrassi: The Next Generation.
But acting is not the only thing in Drake’s blood. In 2009, he got a recording contract with Lil’ Wayne’s label, Young Money Entertainment. His first studio album Thank Me Later debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and has since gone platinum.
The singer can be heard collaborating with Rihanna on the latter’s latest single, What’s My Name, which is currently on heavy rotation on local radio stations.
A super talented English singer and songwriter, Jessie J catapulted to fame after she wrote tracks for Justin Timberlake, Alicia Keys and Christina Aguilera. Jessie is also behind Miley Cyrus’ catchy hit single, Party In The U.S.A.
In 2010, she launched her solo career with the feisty single Do It Like A Dude and then collaborated with rapper B.o.B on Price Tag, which went on to become her first number one single in Britain. Jessie also received the Critic’s Choice nod at last month’s BRIT Awards.
<b>Let it roll</b>
The kids of the Twilight franchise have nothing to complain about for the past two years, except for maybe fending off crazy fans and their requests to be bitten by the actors who play vampires and werewolves in the movies.
Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner are all famous and multi-millionaires, too, thanks to the inexplicable success of the movie franchise (based on the Stephanie Meyer books). Oh, and they are also all under 25.
While their acting skills leave a lot to be desired, the lack of talent didn’t stop them from becoming the most talked about celebrities in the whole universe. Johnny Depp who? Okay, maybe that’s stretching it a little too far, but Kristen, Robert and Taylor did reign at the box office with their limited expressions and one-dimensional acting.
What’s more surprising is that they have all successfully booked other movies and are currently in the midst of filming some of them.
However, 2010 was not just filled with bad actors with a good publicist or marketing team. There were numerous stars that managed to shine brightly amid all the Twilight fawning.
One such person was Jennifer Lawrence, whose stunning performance in the Winter’s Bone garnered her a best actress nomination in the 83rd Academy Awards. Having acted alongside other Oscar winners such as Charlize Theron and Kim Basinger, Jennifer proves that sometimes, one awesome performance is all it takes to get noticed in the cut-throat movie industry.
Tagging behind her is Hailee Steinfeld, the talented actress who played Mattie Ross in the Oscar-nominated True Grit.
Hailee, 14, was nominated for 24 acting awards, out of which she won 12 awards, for her outstanding acting in the film. She unfortunately lost the best supporting actress Oscar to Melissa Leo, who won for her portrayal of the mother of two boxing champs in The Fighter.
Such talent at an early age is nothing new as we have seen the same magic among the cast of the Harry Potter movies – which have churned billion-dollar revenues in the last decade.
Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson were barely 11 years old when they started working on the first Harry Potter movie in 2000; now they are household names with millions in their bank accounts.
They ruled the box office last year with Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part One and are set to do the same again this year, when the final film is released.
Look out for:
Not taking her Salvia-smoking, pole-dancing, inappropriate pictures into account, Miley Cyrus is one of the most successful Disney “products” of all time. Riding behind her and catching up slowly but steadily, is none other than her nemesis, Selena Gomez.
The actress gained fame through the Disney Channel original TV series The Wizards Of Waverley Place and subsequently, her music band Selena Gomez And The Scene.
With a goody-two-shoes image and a decent voice, Selena is well on her way to becoming America’s next sweetheart. The actress made her theatrical film debut in Ramona And Beezus, and her two studio albums have gained positive response from the public and critics alike.
She is currently dating Justin Bieber, much to the chagrin of millions of Bieber-fans around the world.
Daughter of actor Eric Roberts and niece of Julia Roberts, Emma started acting at the age of nine, playing Johnny Depp’s daughter in the movie, Blow.
By age 13, she had her own television series titled Unfabulous and made appearances on a variety of television shows.
Emma’s performance in Aquamarine earned her the best supporting young actress trophy at the 2007 Young Artist Award, and went on to play the lead roles in in Nancy Drew and Hotel For Dogs.
Already getting comparisons to her famous aunt Julia (they almost have the same smile!), the young actress is trying hard to detach her success from her famous lineage.
At the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival, Emma gave an interview for the movie Lymelife in which she said: “Some people look at me and think, ‘She’s just Julia Roberts’ niece’. So, I wanted to do something smaller and edgier, something that would show I really am an actress.”
Good luck girl, you have what it takes to be the next big thing!
Best known for his role in the sitcom Arrested Development, Michael was one of those guys whose face you recognised but just don’t know by name.
However, all that changed when he starred in youth-centric movies like Superbad, Juno and most recently, Scott Pilgrim vs The World.
Michael won the Breakthrough Artist award in the 2007 Austin Film Critics Association Awards. An indie movie enthusiast, Michael has also starred in Paper Heart, which won a screenwriting award at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.
He is currently working on a variety of independent movies and slated to act in the Arrested Development film. He is also an established bass player and performed on the Scott Pilgrim vs The World movie soundtrack.