The rapper known as 50 Cent is living proof that hip-hop is as much a lifestyle as it is a type of music. He was a star in the underground mix-tape circuit for several years, but the rest of the world did not hear about him until 2002, when his first single, "Wanksta," appeared on the soundtrack of the film 8 Mile.
Since the 1970s Mahmoud Abbas has been a key player in Middle East politics, but until the early 2000s he primarily worked in the shadow of Palestinian leader Yassar Arafat (1929–2004). Although a popular and charismatic leader, Arafat was also known for his terrorist tactics and his resistance to working for a peaceful settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict that had been brewing in the region for decades.
Freddy Adu is like any average teenager. He goofs around with his friends, enjoys going to the movies, loves PlayStation, and hates doing his homework.
For nearly thirty years Iraq-born Iyad Allawi lived in Great Britain, where he was known for his skills as a neurologist (brain doctor). At the same time, he was an important player in Iraqi underground (secret) politics.
Although she has been a writer of prose and poetry for most of her life, Julia Alvarez did not have a significant impact until 1991, when at the age of forty-one her first novel, How the García Girls Lost Their Accents, was released. With the publication of García Girls, Alvarez was viewed not only as an emerging Latina writer; critics also lauded her as an important new voice in American literature.
With his boyish face and gap-toothed smile, and weighing over 270 pounds, Anthony Anderson is not a typical Hollywood leading man. In fact, for most of his career he has played second banana in such films as Big Momma's House (2000), Barbershop (2002), and Kangaroo Jack (2003).
Avi Arad may have the coolest job in the world, considering that he gets to hang around with the likes of Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk, and the Fantastic Four. As chief creative officer (CCO) of Marvel Enterprises, Arad has a hand in all areas of the superhero business, from developing and marketing toys to publishing comic books.
Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the former president of Haiti, has had a political history as troubled as that of his country. At one time the priest-turned-politician was considered to be the savior of Haiti's poorest citizens.
Lance Armstrong is one of the most celebrated athletes in the world, making history in 2005 by winning the prestigious Tour de France bicycle race for the seventh consecutive year. But he is more than just an amazing cyclist with phenomenal endurance; he is also a survivor who has inspired millions of people around the world.
Christian Bale has performed a feat that is astonishing for most Hollywood actors. Although he became a professional performer at age ten and a star at age thirteen when he played the lead in Steven Spielberg's World War II epic Empire of the Sun, Bale did not follow the usual path of the child actor.
By the time she was twenty-four years old, actress Kristen Bell had a resume that most seasoned performers would envy. She had starred on Broadway while still in college and had several film credits under her belt by the early 2000s.
In baseball circles outfielder Carlos Beltran is known as a five-tool player. He has amazing fielding skills and a fine-tuned throwing arm; he has a high batting average and is a power hitter; and to top it all off, he can steal bases in the blink of an eye.
For twenty-seven years, from 1978 until his death in 2005, John Paul II (1920–2005) served as pope of the Roman Catholic Church, the Christian church consisting of bishops and priests with the pope as its head. (Christianity is a religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, a prophet who lived between approximately 6 BCE and 30 BCE.
By the mid-2000s, despite a constant roller coaster ride in the ratings, the Fox channel emerged as one of the edgiest and most innovative networks on television. The reason for its success was a dedicated and creative staff, led by the charismatic Gail Berman.
Jack Black is a one-man dynamo—a manic, scruffy ball of energy who has quietly been shaking up the entertainment world for years. Acting steadily since the mid-1990s, Black usually took on smaller roles that were usually quirky, but always unforgettable.
Orlando Bloom is best known for playing the elf warrior Legolas Greenleaf in the epic film trilogy The Lord of the Rings. His ability as an actor was appreciated by critics, but the bigger story was that over the course of the three films Bloom attracted an enormous number of fans.
In the early 1990s Wes Boyd was flying high as a successful entrepreneur in the computer industry. He earned millions of dollars and made his way into the homes of thousands of PC users, all because of a popular screen saver that featured tiny winged toasters.
By the mid-2000s Tom Brady was the undisputed king of the gridiron. In 2002 he became the youngest quarterback in the history of the National Football League (NFL) to lead his team to a Super Bowl victory.
Many experts consider Larry Brown to be the best coach in the National Basketball Association (NBA). In Brown's case, that ranking is based not on the number of championship teams he has coached—the native New Yorker has led just one team to an NBA championship—but on his skill as a rebuilder of teams.
In May 2000, when Americans first heard the phrase "the tribe has spoken," television as we knew it changed forever. The speaker was host Jeff Probst; the television show was Survivor; the show's creator was British-born producer Mark Burnett.
Author Meg Cabot is a one-woman marketing sensation. She is a publisher's dream because she is able to produce novels with amazing frequency.
In the mid-2000s there was a slew of young musicians climbing their way to the top of the music charts. Some were studio-created products, but others were serious musicians who penned their own songs, played their own instruments, and helped produce their own albums.
In today's Hollywood it is not enough for young celebrities to be merely actors or just recording artists. Teen stars like Lindsay Lohan (1986–) and Hilary Duff (1987–) have made the transition from television, to film, to music, becoming crossover stars and making millions of dollars.
Video games are one of the fastest growing industries in the United States, worth a reported $7 billion, and escalating year after year. One man in particular is almost wholly responsible for the boom—a quirky, skinny, programmer extraordinaire named John Carmack.
Ben Carson is one of the most famous and respected doctors in the world. Since the 1980s, his surgeries to separate conjoined twins have made international headlines, and his pioneering techniques have revolutionized the field of neurosurgery.