23 stars who need to realize they aren’t famous anymore
You know those celebrities that you see everywhere…except in movies, on TV, in music videos, or in concert? These stars are always hanging around, but never actually accomplishing anything significant, and at this rate, they’re like “fetch.” They’re just not going to happen.
Hailey Baldwin is only relevant because of the people around her. Her dad is the second or third most relevant Baldwin brother, she’s dated Justin Bieber, she’s pals with Kendall and Kylie Jenner, and she occasionally hits a red carpet when she can serve as someone’s plus-one. She’s supposed to be a model, but until recently, her biggest runway was Instagram. In March 2016, Baldwin switched model management companies, moving to IMG, the same agency that handles Karlie Kloss and the Hadid sisters, so we may get to kick Hailey off this list in the future.
Chantel Jeffries dated Bieber briefly during the height of his legal troubles in January 2014 and has reportedly hooked up with him off-and-on ever since. The Instagram beauty keeps showing up on red carpets, and we can’t figure out why. Seriously, what does she do? And who keeps inviting her to things?
Frankie J. Grande keeps trying to piggyback off half-sister Ariana Grande’s fame. The problem is, where Ariana is a talented vocalist, seasoned Broadway performer, and former Nickelodeon star, Frankie doesn’t actually do anything. He shows up at awards shows, dances occasionally, and was one of the most reviled cast members of Big Brother. It’s about time he accepted that his sister got all the star power in their gene pool.
Christina Milian had a hit back in 2004 with “Dip It Low.” She has a reality show, Christina Milian: Turned Up, and occasionally appears as a correspondent on The Voice, but she hasn’t had a hit song of her own in ages, despite being talented and stunningly beautiful. Here’s hoping she’s investing the money she has strategically because she may be forced into retirement sooner than she thinks.
Tyga may have thought shacking up with a satellite Kardashian would be good exposure, and to be fair, he’s partially right. A lot more people know the “Rack City” rapper’s name now, but it’s because he embarked on a relationship with a minor, and now we’re all just really grossed out. Kylie Jenner is legal now, but regardless, this PR-heavy romance hasn’t helped Tyga’s album sales. His most recent release, The Gold Album: 18th Dynasty, had moved fewer than 5,000 copies at the time of this writing.
This brings us back to the Kardashian connection. Tyga has a son named King Cairo with a former stripper named Blac Chyna. At the time of this writing, Chyna was engaged to be married to Kylie’s half-brother, Rob Kardashian, and was carrying Rob’s child. That means if Tyga marries Kylie, his son and Rob’s child will be siblings and cousins. This won’t make him famous. It will make him infamous. There’s a difference.
At some point, Kristin Cavallari realized that unlike Lauren Conrad, she doesn’t have the enviable lifestyle or design skills necessary to maintain her Laguna Beach fame on her own. She attracted some limelight when she hooked up with Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, then broke up, then made up, got knocked up, and walked down the aisle. Since then, Cavallari has kept her name in headlines with occasional music video cameos and rampant anti-vaccine propaganda. Girl, just give it up and be a WAG.
Cody and Alli Simpson
Cody Simpson is talented, but he lacks the essential star power to make it big. He’s had a lot of chances, opening for Bieber and occasionally appearing on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills with then-girlfriend Gigi Hadid, but the Aussie teen star can’t seem to break through in the States. Similarly, his younger sister, Alli, has been trying to ride his coattails, and considering he can’t even happen, it’s a safe bet that she won’t either.
Jonathan Cheban has been riding the Kardashian wave since it started, appearing on countless episodes of Keeping Up with the Kardashians and other reality shows, including Millionaire Matchmaker. If he’s wondering why no one takes him seriously, it’s because he has even less discernible talent than the family that he follows around all the time.
Rita Ora has all the makings of a star: She has a body made for sin, the voice of an angel, and Jay Z in her corner. But the British beauty just can’t seem to get a hit song, no matter how many features she gives (to Chris Brown and Snoop Dogg) and receives (from Drake and Calvin Harris) or how many cameos she has in movies like Fast & Furious 6 (2013) and Fifty Shades of Grey (2014).
Ora is known more for her messy relationships than her music. In 2016, she attracted the attention of Beyoncé’s “Bey Hive” after rumors about Ora and Jay Z hit the tabloids. Ora is also embroiled in lawsuits with Jay Z’s Roc Nation music label. According to Page Six, Ora sued in December 2015, claiming the label wasn’t doing a good job promoting her career; Roc Nation responded with a suit accusing Ora of breaking her record contract and failing to deliver promised albums. Word is, Jay Z has agreed to release Ora from her contract, which may make this entire “courtship” disappear. Beyoncé/Jay Z v. Ora is not a fair fight, but that’s what happens when you’re more focused on turning yourself into a tabloid staple than you are in recording, writing, or promoting your own work.
When Paris Hilton lost Nicole Richie, she lost all the actual appeal of The Simple Life. Her televised efforts for a new BFF didn’t last, nor did her music or acting careers. She’s making money as a deejay now and attempted a musical comeback with Cash Money Records, but none of that money is coming from anyone with an actual appreciation for production. Mic drop.
Hilary Duff has been rumored to call the paparazzi on herself when she’s running errands, because, well, there’s little else to catch her doing in recent years. Her attempt at a musical comeback flopped, with “Chasing the Sun” peaking at No. 79 on the Billboard Hot 100. Her second single, “All About You,” didn’t chart at all, and her third strike, “Sparks,” peaked at No. 93. Her album, Breathe In, Breathe Out fared somewhat better, peaking at No. 5 on the Billboard 200, but never made any radio impact—even when she tried to promote herself as a Tinder user.
According to Billboard, Duff signed a management deal with Scooter Braun in August 2016. That means she can either have a Bieber and Ariana Grande-like return to fame, or she can strongly consider keeping her day job on Younger, because Braun’s track record isn’t the best.
Another Scooter Braun failure, Tori Kelly, has been trying for years to break into the business. In 2010, she auditioned for American Idol, where Simon Cowell told her that her voice was “almost annoying,” but she did make it to the Hollywood round before the public voted her off. In 2012, she went viral with a YouTube cover of Frank Ocean’s “Thinkin’ About You.” Since Braun picked her up, Kelly has delivered solid, if unremarkable, performances at the Billboard Music Awards, BET Awards, and MTV Video Music Awards, but she can’t seem to make anyone care enough to buy her records. Her debut album, Unbreakable Smile, respectably debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, but her success on the Billboard Hot 100 leaves much to be desired: “Nobody Love” peaked at No. 60, “Should’ve Been Us” at No. 51, and “Hollow” at No. 68.
Kelly’s biggest radio success may have been as a featured artist with Pentatonix on their mashup of “Winter Wonderland/Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” which could give her a temporary boost again during the holidays.
Kevin and Danielle Jonas
Joe Jonas has DNCE. Nick Jonas has his solo projects and acting. Kevin Jonas has…his wife, Danielle Jonas. The forgotten JoBro had a reality show with Danielle, Married To Jonas, which lasted one year. The couple now rely on social media and branding projects, most notably involving Danielle’s pregnancies.
Another failed Diddy protege, Aubrey O’Day gained notoriety in 2004 for her appearance on Making The Band 3, in which she joined Danity Kane. She was fired from the group in 2008 for allegedly trying to use the band to catapult herself into solo stardom. It didn’t work. O’Day dabbled in music but has done mostly reality TV, including her single-season star vehicle All About Aubrey in 2011, The Celebrity Apprentice in 2012 (where she was fired again), and a Celebrity Big Brother stint in 2016, which may or may not chronicle the end of her relationship with Jersey Shore star Pauly D.
Camilla Belle is the sort of old Hollywood beauty that’s rare in the age of Instagram sensations. Unfortunately, that’s all anyone really knows about her. Her acting resume is full of duds (many of which aren’t necessarily her doing), and she suffered some severe slut-shaming at the hands of a venomous Taylor Swift song called “Better Than Revenge” after dating Swift’s ex, Joe Jonas. Belle still shows up to fashion shows and events, and the brunette stunner has acting gigs lined up through 2016, but will anyone be around to watch them?
Kim Kardashian became famous after Ray J sold their sex tape. Kardashian has an empire, two of the cutest celebrity kids in the world with rapper husband Kanye West, and a ton of money and A-list status. Ray J had a VH1 dating show and a supposed diss track that failed to chart. Hopefully he finds solace in just being Brandy’s brother again.
After Twilight, Ashley Greene just couldn’t seem to escape Alice Cullen. She starred in The Apparition (2012), but the movie was a critical and commercial bomb, returning less than a third of its budget at the box office. It was a pattern for her: CBGB (2013) made $4,000 on opening weekend. It’s budget was $5 million. Her television work hasn’t fared well, either, with Pan Am (2011-2012) only lasting one season.
Melanie Martinez was on The Voice, which usually doesn’t lead to much success for its contestants. She was dissed by Christina Aguilera during her time on the show, got tangled up in a rumored beef with Halsey, and stirred up some bad press for yelling at her own fans for taking pictures of her. Maybe it’s a good thing she’s not super famous because it doesn’t seem like she could handle it.
Jaime King was a successful model in the late 1990s and early 2000s. She’s had small parts in movies and TV shows, but has never been a star in her own right. Perhaps that’s why she spends most of her time (and most of her interviews) kissing Taylor Swift’s butt as one of the oldest, most out-of-place members of Swift’s infamous squad.
If nothing else, Tila Tequila may have one of the most eclectic resumes on the planet. She was a MySpace celebrity, then a bisexual reality star, then the fiancée to a late heiress, then a Neo-Nazi, then a reality star again—but not for long, because that pesky Nazi stuff caught up with her—then a conspiracy theorist. Sure, she may not be entirely stable, or morally sound, but what matters to her is that, for better or worse (usually worse), you remember her name.
Olivia Culpo was Miss Universe in 2012. She’s gorgeous! But what else does she actually do? Her only mainstream relevance outside of pageantry was dating Nick Jonas, and that’s over (and even Jonas’ BFF, Demi Lovato, didn’t think she was that great.) Culpo is still all over the place on red carpets and seems to be trying to jump-start an acting career, giving a brief appearance in The Other Woman (2014) and joining the cast of American Satan (2016), which stars such huge names as…Denise Richards and Drake Bell.
Lindsay Lohan has had tons of second chances following her multiple arrests and reputation for a complete lack of professionalism. Her most recent feature film was the independent critical flop The Canyons (2013), from which The New York Times reports she was almost fired more than once for failing to show up to set and being difficult. Charlie Sheen helped her nab a role in Scary Movie 5 (2013), then she refused to kiss him in their love scenes. Oprah Winfrey attempted to help Lohan get back on her feet with her Lindsay miniseries on OWN, during which Lohan often refused to film and supposedly talked back to Winfrey several times.
Lately, Lohan’s headlines revolve around lying about pregnancies, maybe being engaged to a controversial Russian rich guy, and making outrageous demands to appear on a Russian TV show. Girl, enough.
Ashlee Simpson used nepotism to her advantage, riding the coattails of big sister Jessica Simpson into fame, then dissing the entire process in her song “Shadow.” She had jet black hair and a punk persona. She also got busted lip syncing on live television, then got booed when she made a screechy attempt to actually sing live again. Still, she soldiered on, getting a nose job the very same week she appeared on the cover of Marie Claire telling women to embrace their flaws.
Ashlee hasn’t had any singles chart since 2006, and the New York Daily News reports that when she and new husband Evan Ross attempted to sell photos of their wedding in 2014, no one really wanted to pay for them…unless maybe big sis Jessica was in them, too. Ouch.