10. Cristiano Ronaldo
When you look back in time, you`ll see there are many successful “Ronaldos” that conquered the football world, but no one has ever showed a more fantastic growth than Cristiano Ronaldo. Even his life story seems to be something that jumped out of a movie script. It all started in the small village of Santo Antonio. Ronaldo started playing football on the streets of his neighborhood and the only thing he`d ever ask for on his birthdays was a soccer ball. People who`ve known him since he was little can probably say that he was able to play football before he could even walk.
His career started with local tournaments and at the age of 8 he officially joined CF Andorinha, but his talent soon earned him a spot in one of the Island first division team Nacional. After just one season on the team, he caught the eye of Sporting Lisbon who didn`t waste any time to recruit him. The Sporting Academy is responsible for the player Ronaldo is today. That was his home, where he lived, studies and played; and all his efforts paid off in 2002 when he had his first appearance on Sporting Lisbon first division team, his first senior game. After that, it didn`t take long for him to prove himself one of the key players of that season. The following year, his career took a turn for the best when Manchester United persuaded Ronaldo to join them. He spent the next 6 years playing for them, doing everything a young football player could dream about, and even managing to earn a Ballon d’Or trophy award despite being handicapped by his ankle surgery.
After his achievements with Man United, it was hard to believe he could go even further than this, but when it comes to Ronaldo, the impossible becomes possible. After 3 championships on the team, he decided it was time to move on even further and he signed with Real Madrid for no less than 94 million euros, establishing 2 more records, one for the most expensive transfer ever heard of and the other, for the most attendance on the stadium at a player`s presentation, well over 80.000 people. Somehow it makes you wonder, what will he achieve next? Up until now he`s had a surreal career and there aren`t any signs that he plans to slow down for a while. His skills and commitment to maintain his high standards will fuel the Portuguese for many years to come and it seems unlikely that there will be a single stepover.
9. Ellen DeGeneres
Ellen DeGeneres is America`s most beloved comedians, so successful in fact, that her show is closing in to almost 2.000 episodes. Ellen`s talent for comedy was initially shadowed by her older brother, Vance, who worked as a comedian for The Daily Show, but it finally came out of its shell during a public speaking event, when Ellen used humor to overcome stage fight. The public absolutely loved her and she soon received more offers to do stand-up comedy, officially starting to perform in 1981. She started her career in a local coffee house, but her big break came years later when she got invited to star on “The Tonight Show.” After impressing Johnny Carson to the extent that she became the only female comic to ever sit on the famous “couch”, Ellen started making regular appearances on the show.
She became so popular with the audiences that she was finally able to succeed as an actress and start her very own television sit-com, “Ellen”. Ever since its beginning, the series grew from a simple ensemble show into a showcase for Ellen. What set her apart from all the other talk shows is her ability to emotionally connect to her guests and viewers, offering the same amount of attention and warmth to people who are already famous and to those who have yet to make a name for themselves.
Ellen DeGeneres’s show is the kind of place where regular people prove they can be stars too. She criticizes the society, cutting across divergent demographics, but at the same time she manages not to alienate anyone. She isn`t the kind of celebrity that gives off the impression of being on a pedestal, but rather, she fits in the coziest sort, her fans viewing her with the familiarity you`d feel towards a friend, as if any of her fans could go grab a drink with her after work, and that`s why the public loves her.
When you look at Rihanna`s story, you`ll realize that it took one headstrong woman to succeed the circumstances she faced in life. Her childhood was a sequence of struggles, poverty and illness. However, her life took a turn for the best at 16, when her audition caught Jay Z`s attention. Roughly 10 years later, Rihanna has 8 Grammys, 7 released albums and another one on its way and she`s the first female artist to have ever had 4 No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 in a single year. None of these achievements just dropped in her lap, though, and now, after a decade, her career has been one hot streak after another.
Rihanna`s luck started changing when she won a beauty pageant in high school, performing Mariah Carey’s song “Hero”
One year later, she was discovered by Evan Rogers, who knew he had stroke gold the moment he saw her perform. In just a matter of months, Rihanna left her hometown and moved in with Rogers and his wife where she recorded a demo version of her debut song “Pon de Replay.” The track was later on sent to the newly appointed Def Jam president, Jay Z who was instantly captivated by the young Barbadian. Four months later, “Pon de Replay” hit the music market and reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, fueling Rihanna`s long expected fame.
Today at 27 years old, Rihanna`s moment doesn`t seem to be anywhere near exhausted, in fact, she`s just getting started. Already fulfilled as a philanthropist, fashion icon and actress, she has beaten overwhelming odds to get where she is today, and that is one of the most popular celebrities in the world.
7. Justin Timberlake
Justin Timberlake is one of the artists who was simply born with music in his blood. At only 32 years old, his CV is already swarming with Grammy Awards and multi-platinum albums. Justin`s first official job was on the stage of Disney Mickey Mouse Club. His debut on the TV show turned out to be a life changing experience, both professionally and personally, as the show was the place where he would meet his future girlfriend, Britney Spears and a partner with whom he formed the band N`Sync. They released their first single in 1996 and afterwards they became practically unstoppable. 4 years later, their first album ‘No Strings Attached’ became the fastest selling album of all time. However, the fame they achieved soon started to take their toll on the group and the members decided to take a break from the exhausting schedule.
After the breakup of his boy band
Justin wanted to continue performing and he became so successful in his solo career that very few people remember him as the former singer of N`Sync, not to mention as a Mouseketeer. Going solo was Justin`s opportunity to break away from his old look and develop a new self-image; he sought for something more mature and at the same time a sexier style, in both fashion and singing styles. After months of hard work, his first solo album “Justified” was released, the music style being radically different from his past performances.
It was energetic and sophisticated, instantly portraying him as an adult and earning the attention of Michael Jackson, an artist with a similar growth as an artist. Justin`s fame spiked up to a whole new level when he “accidently” ripped Janet Jackson’s costume at the Super Bowl half-time in 2004. The bit of naughtiness that he showed himself capable off didn`t hurt his likeability, in fact, we could even say it made him even more desirable to the female fans. Naturally, he later on apologized for the incident.
As of recent, Justin is currently busy with his latest album “The 20/20 Experience.” His single “Mirrors” would eventually take 2nd place on the Billboard Hot 100, as the album became the fastest selling on the iTunes Store. Finally, after a 4 year`s wait, Justin announced the World Tour that would promote his new album. The tour became one of the highest-grossing of the decade, making him the most successful solo touring artist of the year. Next on his schedule is his collaboration for the upcoming movie “The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea,” for which he`ll serve as the music supervisor in charge with composing the soundtrack.