About this Blog

"In the future everybody will be world-famous for 15 minutes." So said the bleached-out, late lamented artist Andy Warhol. Having lived and worked in New York City, Warhol came to fully grasp the hold celebrity has on us. In this very famous sentence, he meant to point out that in a culture fixated on fame, many people will suddenly flash brightly onto the public screen, then--poof--will just as quickly disappear from public view--like shooting stars. Other individuals derive their celebrity from one stellar accomplishment (one hit song, one iconic role, etc.) that they never again match.

This blog is devoted to the one part of our celebrity culture that no one has written much about: temporary/one-shot celebrities.

The pace of modern life has quickened, and now we hear people speaking of someone's 15 seconds of fame. These "celebrities with a lower-case c" who will appear in this blog sometimes come to us from the world of entertainment, sometimes from the world of news. All are fascinating.

The need of our communications media for a continual stream of new material assures that we will have no end of colorful people who go quickly, where celebrity is concerned, from zero to hero (or villain) and back to zero. Now you see 'em, now you don't. What a crazy world, eh?

Temporary celebrities coming from the world of entertainment include one-hit recording artists; TV and movie icons who, although they might have had a great many accomplishments in their career, are remembered for one big role; standouts of reality TV; sports figures remembered for one remarkable accomplishment; and people whose celebrity came from one big role in a commercial or print ad.

News-based temporary celebrities come in many forms: mass/serial killers, other murderers of special note, sex-crime offenders, disgraced figures of government/military/business/media/religion, spies/traitors, hoaxers, femmes/hommes fatale, heroes, whistle blowers, inventors/innovators, and victims.

Celebrity Blogsburg will consider each category in turn.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

One-hit wonder Vanilla Ice

Vanilla Ice is the stage name of often troubled entertainer Robert Matthew Van Winkle, whose one big hit song was "Ice Ice Baby." Vanilla Ice has been one of those singers whose work has depended more on his looks and attitude than on his actual singing ability. Even so, his cool, knowing expression and good features helped propel this 1990 song about a Miami gunfight to success on the charts. VanWinkle came by his stage name early on when he was trying to break into show biz by breakdancing and rapping.

A year after his big hit song, a biography full of misinformation appeared. He continued to perform funky rap, appeared on reality TV shows, attempted suicide and was twice arrested for assaulting his wife. All in all, not the smoothest career progression.

1 comment:

  1. From his performance on The Surreal Life, I'm not sure if Vanilla Ice ever actually saw himself as a temporary celebrity. The ego is an amazing thing - even for one-hit wonders.