Top Ten Most Missed Celebrities

2012 is a new year with new beginnings. But the past, and the people who helped create it, can hardly be forgotten. Among these are some public figures who entertained and inspired us in years past, and will continue to influence despite not being physically present.

Here is my personal list of the most cherished celebrities and public figures who passed away in the last ten years. They will be most missed in 2012, and beyond.


1. Amy Winehouse (1983-2011)

A multi-talented musician, singer, and songwriter Amy Winehouse rose to fame in the UK in the early 2000s and in the world with her albums Frank and Back to Black. She was known for her sultry voice and creative oldies-inspired musical style.

Amy passed in the summer of 2011 of after struggling with alcohol and drug addiction.


2. Aaliyah (1979-2001)

Aaliyah Haughton was an R&B singer and dancer popular in the ’90s and early 2000s. Her hip-hop influenced music and dance videos captured the hearts of audiences who grew to love her unique personal style and genuinely sweet personality.

Aaliyah and eight others died after their plane crashed while leaving the Bahamas. They were returning to the United States after shooting the music video for “Rock the Boat”.


3. Michael Jackson (1958-2009)

The most successful music artist of all time, King of Pop Michael Jackson was not just a musician but an icon. He is known globally as a transformative figure — his talent and style inspired and created generations of music, and people.

Michael died in 2009 of medication-induced respiratory arrest. His death caused shock and grief worldwide.


4.  Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes (1971-2002)

Lisa Lopes, also known as Left Eye, was a rapper and singer best known as a member of the R&B trio TLC. Her unique and honest rapping added the hip-hop element to TLC which contributed greatly to its success.

Lisa died in April 2002 when her car swerved off a road in Honduras.


5. Paul Newman (1925-2008)

Paul Newman was an actor and heartthrob popular in the ’60s through the ’80s. He is known for films such as Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and The Color of Money, as well as his cool personality and ice blue eyes.

Paul passed away in 2008 at age 83, after a long history in show business as an actor and director.

Continue reading


Top Ten Most Underrated Men (2011)

Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Denzel Washington.


In the world of celebrity men, the same names are mentioned over and over again as ideals of masculine good looks. But what about the famous men who are rarely mentioned? Are they any competition for the reigning Most Gorgeous Men?

Yes, and more.

Here are my choices for the most underrated gorgeous celebrity men, for the 2011 year. As always, feel free to make suggestions.


1. Noah Mills is an American model. He is best known for his work with Dolce & Gabbana, Yves Saint Laurent, and Versace.

If you didn’t know him before, now you know.


2. Alex Pettyfer is an English actor and model. He appeared in the 2011 film Beastly, a modern spin on the classic Beauty and the Beast. He has modeled for the Gap and Burberry.

Photos say it all.


3. Adam Scott is an Australian professional golfer. He won the PGA Tour Championship in 2006 and tied for second place at the Master’s Tournament in 2011.

Adam won’s 2011 Reader’s Choice Awards for Sexiest Male Golfer. But it’s golf — how many people know about individual golfers? He is underrated by default.


4. Matthew Gray Gubler is an American actor, former model, and sketch artist. He plays the genius and geek Dr. Spencer Reid on the TV show Criminals Minds. He is also a director — he directed and produced the Killers’ music video for “Don’t Shoot Me Santa”.

Matthew isn’t as underrated as others on this list — people are beginning to notice his particular brand of geek chic.


5. Tyson Ritter is an American musician and lead singer of the rock band The All-American Rejects, known for such songs as “Gives You Hell” and “Move Along”.

Tyson’s style is pretty unconventional to say the least, but underneath that he has classic good looks.

Continue reading

Best R&B Singers of the ’90s

The 1990s was my all-time favorite period for music. And it was a great period for R&B. The best-selling female R&B group of all time, TLC, were at the height of their career in the ’90s, and the longest-running #1 Billboard hit was a R&B song released during the same period. ’90s R&B continues to be one of my favorite types of music.

This is my personal list of the top 10 best R&B singers and group of the ’90s. The list is based on vocals (range, rhythm, etc) as well as style and quality of music. As always, feel free to make any suggestions.


1. Brandy Norwood is an American singer, actress, and songwriter. She is best known as Moesha from the TV show of the same name, and for her hits “The Boy is Mine” and “Have You Ever?”

Brandy has one of the most unique voices and a wide range — she is irreplaceable. She isn’t a soprano like others, but she doesn’t need to be — her raspy voice has just as much power and feeling.


2. Mariah Carey is an American singer best known for her wide vocal range and series of hit singles, including “Hero” and “One Sweet Day”, a duet with Boyz II Men and the longest-running #1 single in American history.

Mariah’s “My All” is of my favorite songs ever and a classic, like so many of her ’90s ballads. Mariah was at her peak in the ’90s but hasn’t been the same since.


3. Boyz II Men is an American male group and best-selling R&B group ever. Their hits include “End of the Road”, “Four Seasons of Loneliness”,  and “One Sweet Day” with Mariah Carey.

There will never be another Boyz II Men. The amazing combination of their voices, lyrics, and production contributed to making nearly every one of their songs historic. Favorite Boyz II Men song? All of them.


4. Whitney Houston is an American singer and actress and one of the best music artists of all time, based on sales and awards. She covered Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You”.

Whitney has the classic “singer’s voice”; her songs will be listened to for generations. If you haven’t heard of her, you haven’t been alive for the past few decades.


5. Babyface, real name Kenneth Edmonds, is an American R&B entrepeneur: prolific singer, songwriter, and producer. In addition to his own hits (including “When Can I See You” and “Every Time I Close My Eyes”), he wrote “End of the Road” for Boyz II Men and “Let It Flow” for Toni Braxton.

It is not an overstatement to say that ’90s R&B would not have been without Babyface.

Continue reading

Arlenis Sosa

arlenis-sosaArlenis Sosa (1989-) is a Dominican editorial and runway model. She is best known for appearing in Vogue Italia‘s “all black” July 2008 issue and as spokesmodel for Lancôme cosmetics.

Born Arlenis Sosa Peña in Montecristi, Dominican Republic,  Arlenis was discovered by designer Luis Menieur while walking down the street with her parents. Menieur recommended that 5 foot 11 inches (1.8 meters) young Arlenis become a model. After finishing high school, she took his advice and moved to New York to venture into the fashion world.

Her first week in New York she met Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of American Vogue. Wintour helped launched her career: she arranged for Arlenis to attend the famous Met Costume Institute Gala with designer Oscar de la Renta’s son. In March of 2008 Arlenis walked into Marilyn Modeling Ageny, home of models Naomi Campbell and Adriana Lima, and was signed on the spot.

A couple of weeks after her signing, Arlenis booked editorial deals with Vogue and Vogue Italia. She appeared in both Vogue July 2008 issues, including the first all-black issue of Italian Vogue. In the ground-breaking Italian edition, Arlenis shot with legendary models Tyra Banks, Iman, and Liya Kebede. The issue became Vogue Italia’s best-selling issue in history, running out of print twice.

arlenis-sosaSpeaking of her experience as a young black model, Arlenis comments,  “Models need to stick together, especially black models, whom people are always accusing of being too competitive… The important thing is that black models are doing it big now.” Arlenis is an example of this — she is the godmother to black British model Jourdan Dunn’s son and very close friend of fellow Dominican model Sessilee Lopez.

She debuted on the runway in Banana Republic’s fall/winter 2008 show. Since then she has worked the runway for designers Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren, and Michael Kors, among others. She also walked in Victoria Secret’s annual fashion show in November of 2008.

Arlenis was featured as a top ten up-and-coming model by in September of 2008. That same month she became the coveted face of Lancôme, first appearing in advertisements for the cosmetics line in spring 2010.

She is known as sweet, down-to-earth, and wise. She uses her quickly-found fortune for good causes: “I always wanted to have money—not just to have it but to help others”. In 2010 she did so, launching The Arlenis Sosa Foundation, which helps children suffering from diabetes in the Dominican Republic.

arlenis-sosa arlenis-sosa arlenis-sosa arlenis-sosa

See also:

Top Black Models of the Decade (2000-2010)

After music, modeling and fashion are favorite interests of mine. These are my top ten picks for the top black female models of the past decade. The list is based on body of work, appearance, and visibility. Feel free to make any suggestions.


1. Liya Kebede is an Ethiopian runway and editorial model. She is one of the highest paid models in the world. She has an elegant and classically beautiful face.


2. Jordan Richardson is an American editorial model. She has a sweet and hip look.


3. Oluchi Onweagba is a Nigerian editorial, swimsuit, and runway model. She has model long legs and beautiful skin.


4. Jourdan Dunn is an English runway and editorial model. She has a face made for high fashion.


5. Noémie Lenoir is a French editorial and runway model of Malagasy and French descent. She is versatile, with a face that can be sweet and innocent, then strong and fierce.


6. Arlenis Sosa is a Dominican editorial and print model and current spokesmodel of Lancome cosmetics. She has a uniquely beautiful face and glowing skin.


7. Chanel Iman is an American editorial and runway model of black and Korean descent. Her look is cute and fresh.


8. Yasmin Warsame is a Somalian runway and editorial model. She has a strong face that makes her a runway favorite.


9. Yaya DaCosta is an American print model and runner-up on America’s Next Top Model Cycle Three. She is graceful with the body of a dancer (and she is one).


10. Bre Scullark is an American print model. She finished third on the fifth cycle of America’s Next Top Model. She has a sweet face which can also look high fashion.

Honorable Mention (in alphabetical order by first name): Adaora Akubilo, Alek Wek, Danielle “Dani” Evans, Jaunel McKenzie, Quiana Grant, Selita Ebanks, Sessilee Lopez, Toccara Jones

Best Male Vocalists of the Decade (2000-2010)

My top ten list of the best male singers who released an album in the past decade. The list is based on vocals and vocal range, principally. Feel free to make any suggestions.

1. Chris Daughtry is an American singer, songwriter, and lead vocalist of the rock band Daughtry. He was finished fourth on the fifth season of American Idol.

Chris Daughtry is an amazing artist with a voice I could listen to for days. Every song he touches turns to gold.

2. Usher is an American R&B and pop singer. Billboard magazine ranked Usher the number one Hot 100 artist of the decade, with his 2004 album Confessions ranking as the top solo album.

He is a wonderful entertainer and great vocalist; a hit-making machine.

3. Chad Kroeger (Nickelback) is a Canadian singer, songwriter, and guitarist. He is the lead vocalist of the rock band Nickelback and has co-written songs for Daughtry, Tim McGraw, and Carlos Santana.

Chad Kroeger has a classic voice which fits with all types of songs, from rock to country.

4. Jason Wade (Lifehouse) is an American singer, songwriter, and guitarist of the alternative band Lifehouse.

Jason Wade’s soothing, baritone vocals are priceless, but don’t look like they should be coming from him with his boyish good looks.

5. Rob Thomas is an American singer, songwriter, and lead vocalist of the rock band Matchbox Twenty. He collaborated with Carlos Santana on the multi-Grammy winning hit “Smooth”.

Rob Thomas’ has an unforgettable raspy, dynamic voice.

6. Maxwell is an American soul and R&B artist. His first album in almost a decade, BLACKsummers’night, won the 2010 Grammy for Best R&B Album.

“Fistful of Tears” by Maxwell is one of the best songs I’ve ever heard: sincere and soulful.

7. Backstreet Boys are an American pop group. The group is the best-selling boy band of all time, beating out the Jackson 5, with over 130 million albums sold worldwide.

The Backstreet Boys are, of course, five people instead of one person, but I couldn’t choose a favorite. They are one of the rare groups in which all members contribute equally to their success.

8. James Morrison is an English singer, songwriter, and guitarist. His first album Undiscovered, released in 2006, topped charts in the UK.

“The Pieces Don’t Fit Anymore” is my favorite song by James Morrison, and one of my favorite songs of all time.

9. Omarion is an American singer, songwriter, and actor. He was the lead singer of former R&B group B2K.

Omarion was doing much better without B2K, but has dropped as of late. Hopefully he’ll come back with his usual intensity in the coming years.

10. Ginuwine is an American singer, dancer, and sex symbol.

Ginuwine was at his height in the ’90s, but his 2002 hit “Stingy” and strong vocals landed him a place on this list.

Honorable Mention (in alphabetical order by first name): Adam Levine, Anthony Kiedis (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Brad Arnold (3 Doors Down), Chris Brown, Chris Martin (Coldplay), Isaac Slade (The Fray), Jason Mraz, Joe, Justin Timberlake, Mario Winans, Sisqo, Sting

See also: