This was not a year for newbies. The powerhouses of yesteryear reigned supreme through 2014, but that doesn’t mean that nothing exciting happened. I mean that’s how you stay relevant right? I find it much more skillful to find a way to stay on top than it is to break into premier tier, and these 10 ladies managed to do just that. Whoever said it was lonely at the tippy top?
1. Jennifer Lawrence:
Aside from being the most talked about actresses in the past few years, Jennifer Lawrence has been able to maintain her America’s Sweetheart status even after hundreds of naked photos of
her were leaked. That’s next level. She’s won a bajillion awards including Oscars and Golden Globes and our national love. This year alone she’s been a part of two blockbuster series: X-Men and The Hunger Games. As if being perfect in just about every way wasn’t enough, she became a top-charting singer this year after she sang “The Hanging Tree” for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay pt. I, which reached many Top 40 charts internationally. Who says you can’t have it all? Well, you can’t actually because Jennifer Lawrence has it. All of it.
2. Cara Delevigne:
She showed up in fashion shows worldwide in 2012 and became the instant “It Girl.” Her British roots paved the way to her amazing success in the fashion industry: her sister, Poppy, is also a model and she was born to quite a posh family. Her father is a famous property developer and her grandfather was a publishing executive. Many of her relatives have been knighted and two men in her family have served as the Lord Mayor of London. Even her God parents are famous; one being famous actress Joan Collins and the other, Nicholas Coleridge, is an executive at Condé Nast. Rightfully so, she’s the face of Burberry Beauty and she’s been the face for H&M, Blumarine, Zara, Chanel, and Topshop. She even designed her own line of Mulberry bags.
It would honestly be easier for me to list off the designers that she hasn’t walked for, so I won’t waste my time, but she famously strut her stuff in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show two years in a row.She has also dated notorious (and super hot) boy-bander Harry Styles, single-handedly brought back the bushy eyebrow, and has even acted in two films. Oh, and she’s 22. What are you doing with your life?
3. Taylor Swift:
All hail T. Swift! She continues her reign of female pop domination this year with hit album 1989. As her first official “pop album,” she already has three hit singles off of it, sold more than 1.2 million copies in its first week, and naturally debuted at #1 on US Billboard 200. Along with her 7 Grammys, 7 Academy
Awards, and hearts of millions, she was named “Immortal” by Rolling Stone magazine. This is all great and everything, but, honestly, my favorite thing about her is that she not only writes her own music, but she writes songs about real-life things and feelings. She also prevents herself from being the butt of jokes (and over the years many have made them) by jumping on the grenade and writing a hit song about it. Taylor actually loves her fans, which is huge because everyone claims it, but this year, she’s been showing up at random fans’ houses and lavishing them and their families with personal gifts. And by personal, I mean she bought a fan’s son a mini car and just rode up the driveway with it. She’s basically fucking Santa, as well as being NYC’s newest Ambassador. She even dated Harry Styles, too. Oh, and basically every other hot dude in Hollywood. No surprise there, though, she performed this year and last at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and she honestly looked like one of the models, just one with a voice. Like I said, all hail T. Swift!
Always the conversation starter, Rihanna has had a pretty great year. At
just 26 years old, she has had 13 #1 singles, 54 million albums sold, 7 Grammys, and 11 Billboard Awards. She’s one of Time Magazine’s Most Influential People. She’s even more famous for her style selections. She was granted the Icon Award at the CDFA this year, and her see-through outfit did not disappoint. RiRi is so well known for her
provocative style and see-through looks that she has been kicked off Instagram multiple times. All of these things are awesome, but what I am truly jealous of is her collabs with Eminem. “Monster” and “Love The Way You Lie” have both been chart-toppers and this year she went on a multiple city Monster Tour with Marshall Mathers, himself. The man is a genius, I would kill to be in her position. I did, however, get to see them at their LA stop and they did not disappoint.
All of the years of listening to Eminem’s albums in secret because my parents did not approve culminated in one of the most epic shows I have ever been too. Childhood (and adulthood) dream acquired!
5. Demi Lovato:
Demi has had quite the year. Sadly, like many young starlettes, Demi’s
hard-partying lifestyle landed her in rehab. But what happened next was anything but typical. Instead of hiding behind her PR staff, Demi stepped forward, not only openly admitting to her issues, but inspiring others to step up as well. She has been open about her troubled past of eating disorders, drug addiction, and alcohol abuse, and, instead of choosing to make it “part of her past,” she used it to make a better future. She recently released a book of daily positive affirmations and tells off Twitter trolls any chance she gets.
She promotes positive body images for young ladies instead of being waif thin and made it ok for young fans to admit that though they may be self-conscious, they have to the power to grasp at whatever they want. A lot of celebrities say things like, “Be who you are” or “be yourself,” but Demi actually lives it, encouraging difference and whole-heartedly supporting the LGBTQ community. And if you have something negative to say about it? Well her hit song of the year says it all: “I Really Don’t Care.”
6. Kendall Jenner:
Sure, Kendall’s whole family is famous (with the exceptions of some half-
siblings on her dad’s side), but the young girl we watched on Keeping Up With The Kardashians is no more. Since turning 18, Kendall has hit the ground running, well, walking actually. And not just walking anywhere, she’s been walking up and down catwalks for shows like Chanel, Givenchy, and Marc Jacobs. At the tender age of 19, her siblings were nowhere near where she is now (Kim did have that classy porno) and her younger sister, Kylie, is following close behind as quite the fashionista. She just recently announced that she is the new GlobalFace of Estée Lauder, NBD.
I actually ran into her at an event recently (I actually got a pic with Lord Disick — no shame!) and she is just as tall and stunning in person. It’s interesting to watch the family dynamic on the show because Kendall starting on the show at such a young age. Given the families innate ability to do pretty much nothing in the most entertaining of ways, it’s pretty epic that Kendall has really made a name for herself, so much so that she has dropped her last name when applying to modeling jobs. Yes, everyone knows anyways, but it’s the gesture that matters. She has also dated boy-bander Harry Styles, who seems to be one of the most common threads between the women of 2014.
7. Ariana Grande:
This tiny lady burst onto the scene in a big way this year. Technically she’s been around a lot longer than most of us think. She got her start on Broadway and was eventually cast in the Nickelodeon show Victorious. She even got her own spinoff from the show called Sam & Cat.
She’s almost unrecognizable from those days: the producers didn’t want all the characters to be brunette, so her hair was a deep red. Both of her albums debuted at #1 on the US Billboard 200 and her hits “Problem” ft. Iggy Azalea and “Break Free” ft. Zedd. Including her entire song catalog, Ariana spent a full 26 weeks in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. Her giant vocal range has brought about comparisons to Mariah Carey, which is not necessarily a compliment: she also is said to be one of the biggest divas on the planet, including having members of her team carry her when she’s tired.
At least she’s only 5 ft tall, but that’s still quite extreme. Even she admitted to standing on her PR person’s back to be in the group photo for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, where she performed a melody of her hit songs during the PINK segment. Even in heels, the pop princess was itty-bitty in comparison to the 5’11” models (who, naturally, are also wearing heels.) She also almost became angel roadkill, but survived unscathed. There is no doubt that there will be big things coming from this tiny powerhouse in the coming years, even if her entire staff quits on her.
8. Miley Cyrus:
Miley is undeniably huge right now. Love her or hate her, you’re talking about her. And no press is bad press right?
Long gone are her days on the family-friendly and wholesome show Hannah Montana, which was a total hit on Disney, she served them well through many seasons. She’s also one of the few Hollywood starlettes that successfully transitioned into adulthood while still remaining famous. Since breaking off her engagement with long-time love, Liam Hemsworth, she has literally been all over the place. She promoted her most recent album, Bangerz, very heavily, and it did not disappoint. The first single, “We Can’t Stop,” hit the top of the charts immediately. And who could ever forget “Wrecking Ball?” The video set the Vevo record of 19.3 million views in under 24 hours and featured a Miley that the world had never seen before: a naked one riding a wrecking ball. Say what you will about the video, but I love it. I feel like the simplicity of it is fantastic and I see her nudity as an addition to the song: standing naked in your truth. Actually riding naked in your truth in this circumstance.
She’s become very vocal about her love of weed and has referenced drugs like molly in her songs. She has even whipped out a joint from her Chanel couture bag and lit it up while on stage at the MTV European Music Awards while accepting the award for Best Music Video of the Year. I know that this makes parents have mini strokes, but the reality is she is singing about real things that have an impact on young peoples’ lives. Like my main man Eminem in a sense, she’s simply pointing out the truths of what’s happening in the world and, instead of talking to their kids, parents would rather point the foam finger right at her. Like Demi (see above), Miley could not care less. And that is what I love about her the most.
9. Selena Gomez:
Selena is famous in her own right, but part of the reason she is continuously in the limelight is because of her tumultuous relationship with America’s favorite douche, Justin Bieber.
They are always on or off or on or off, sort of like the Government. Sadly, he detracts a bit from her natural talent and beauty. This year, she’s become quite the fashionista, wearing big name fashion houses flawlessly on red carpets. I have always been a fan of her music. As one of the Disney girls, she managed to transition into adulthood in an appropriate manner. She sings pretty typical, non-offensive tunes, that still topped charts and are super pop-esque and undeniably fun like “I Love You Like A Love Song” and “A Year Without Rain.” As far as her relationship with Bieber goes, she has become a pro at Tweeting and Instagramming (not so) cryptic things about him.
Her newest song, “The Heart Wants What It Wants,” is my favorite of hers so far because it’s raw and honest. Taking a page out of Miley’s book, she lets her fans in by not only singing about how she knows that her relationship puts her through hell. She even includes a real recording of her in the intro crying and talking about how Justin treats her terribly. Oh wait, except for that one time when he stood up for her while he acted like a giant baby during his deposition for making his body guards do his dirty work because, you know, he’s a giant fucking baby.
10. Nicki Minaj:
It’s undeniable that 2014 was the year of the butt. With the year’s popular tracks including Jason Derulo ft. Snoop Dogg’s “Wiggle,” J. Lo and Iggy Azalea’s “Booty,” and Lil Jon ft. Tyga’s “Bend Ova,” butts have come come back(side) in a big way. Nicki and her voluptuous booty shook all over 2014, providing us with the butt-centric “Anaconda.” Many aspects of this song irk me, but it’s very catchy so I’ll give it that. The song samples the OG butt song by Sir-Mix-Alot, “Baby Got Back.” I honestly wonder how he feels about it being used in such a salacious video. Actually, I can guess how he feels: 1. that Nicki’s booty just don’t quit and 2. he’s receiving mega royalties 20 years since his song hit the airwaves. In the video, she spends a lot of time in the jungle, then does a pretty sick chair routine with other dancers, and then moved on to other things: namely, randomly grinding on rapper / Degrassi star Drake.
This wouldn’t be all that strange if Drake had actually been on a part of the track, but no, no, he’s just getting a lap dance for all the world to see via YouTube. And the world truly did see it — she toppled Miley’s reign and became the most viewed YouTube video in under 24 hours, clocking in at 19,600,000 views. The single artwork for the track naturally featured her butt, which, naturally cause a meme firestorm through the internet (she broke the internet without even trying — take that Kim Kardashian!) She also had other hits this year, including her collab with Jessie J and Ariana Grande on “Bang Bang,” which the three performed together at the MTV Music Video Awards this year. Her quick change resulted in quite the outfit slip, but, no matter, like a true pro Nicki held her dress shut with her hands and didn’t miss a single beat. I am sure that both Nicki and her butt will be even bigger in 2015.