Why are certain celebrities more remembered than others?

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,739
Florania
The fame of celebrities is mostly ephemeral; I know I have not paid attention to movies, TV series and latest songs for quite long.
Then, some celebrities are more remembered than others, such as the Beatles (when I was on a Royal Caribbean cruise line, a
few concerts were re-singing of songs of the Beatles), ABBA (the performance of Mamma Mia and re-singing of the songs),
Teresa Tang in the Chinese circle, Audrey Hepburn (her figures are still fairly ubiquitous), Elvis Presley, etc.
What are the qualities that render certain celebrities more famous than others?
Why are some movies and songs more remembered than others?
I may edit the song "My Way" to make it gender neutral.
 
Nov 2016
1,267
Germany
The fame of celebrities is mostly ephemeral
(I would suggest moving the thread to the culture forum, where it belongs thematically)

First of all I would like to question the term celebrity, because it is much too general. Queen Cleopatra and Paris Hilton are both celebrities, but they don't have much in common apart from that. Moreover, you do not distinguish between group and individual and between creator and work. ABBA, for example, have created brilliant songs as a group, but their members are not celebrities, i.e. they are only known to fans of ABBA. But a real celebrity is also known to people who are not necessarily familiar with the work or life of the celebrity. Pamela Anderson is a good example. Almost everyone knows her name and her appearance, but who knows the details of her life? As for the Beatles, their work is even more brilliant than ABBA's, but their members are really famous, so they are real celebrities. But are they more than just celebrities? That is the crucial question. John Lennon and Paul McCartney are no more famous than Pamela Anderson, and yet they have a completely different status as a person, not only because they created great music (that's what ABBA did, too), but because they are cultural symbolic figures (which the members of ABBA aren't).

This brings us to a crucial point: a celebrity with strong cultural significance is a 'star'. Here, too, distinctions must be made, because you have to clearly distinguish between a ´mega star´ like John Lennon and a ´giga star´ like Elvis (see below). But first we have to take a look at the history of the star concept, most useful through a brief analysis of the development of the star system in Hollywood. Until the 1950s the so-called Star system was in force in Hollywood, i.e. the studios produced the image of their stars and obliged them to behave according to this image in their private lives as well. The stars were therefore largely a creation of the studios as far as their image was concerned. This image had to correspond to the Motion Picture Production Code in the films, which set certain standards. When a star collided privately with his image, the studio did everything it could to limit the damage and keep it away from the public. This changed gradually in the 1950s, when the public taste had shifted in such a way that the idealism of the pre-war period had to give way more and more to a need for realism through negative experiences (World War II). Accordingly, stars rose to fame, staging themselves as rebels who opposed the ideals of the classic star system (Marlon Brando, James Dean). At the same time, a type of gossip press developed that made the background scandals of Hollywood public, informed by private eyes like Fred Otash and others. This is how the type of anti-hero, such as Frank Sinatra, Clint Eastwood and Steve McQueen, gradually emerged. In music it was above all Elvis Presley who set a new standard with his provocative sex appeal, which combined with his great music and voice made him a ´giga star´.

Which brings us to an important distinction within the star concept: There are stars, mega stars and giga stars. The absolute top stars, the giga stars, have an immense cultural symbolic power. This power manifests in their names and is associated with certain ideals in the minds of people. All you have to do is pronounce their names, and everything is said: Elvis. Marilyn. But say John Lennon, then not much ignites. That makes the difference. But even here you have to differentiate, and there is no better example than Marilyn Monroe (who you forgot in your list, what doesn't surprise me in this forum anymore...).There are two levels of the symbolic: One is a superficial one, which corresponds to the image of the star, as it appears independently of the personal individuality of the star. It can also be a rebellious image, like Brando's or Dean's, but it doesn't have to correspond to the personal truth of these people.

Or, as with Marilyn, it is an image built up by the star system (as sexy bombshell that adapts to the male world), but which is complemented on the private level by special traits of her personality. In this case, Marilyn's personal ingenuity is so heightening the bombshell image that the image goes far beyond the level the star system has set for her. The image is thus transcended to an extent that the studio´s star system could not anticipate. So let's talk about giga stars when it comes to the absolute top stars. And these are, for the 1950s, exclusively Marilyn and Elvis.

But we continue with the differentiation of the symbolic level. There is, as I said, 1) an image produced by the studio, and 2) the certain extra that the star puts on top through his or her personal genius. In addition, there is the distinction between the image and the personal, private dimension of the star, which merges with the star image to form a symbiosis. In the case of Marilyn, for example, this is her early death, which is perceived as very tragic and has triggered huge speculation about murder backgrounds. In addition, there is her personal connection with another giga star, US president John F. Kennedy, who was murdered the following year. These personal connections make up an important part of the fame of both giga stars, i.e. Kennedy is an element of Marilyn's fame and Marilyn an element of Kennedy's fame.

Especially with Kennedy, it is obvious that his fame, his image as a giga star, is largely linked to things that have nothing to do with him as a politician. His tragic death and his countless affairs, especially with Marilyn, have made him famous forever in combination with his sonny boy look. Since 1985, when Anthony Summers published his Marilyn biography, Kennedy's image had been enriched by the theory that he and, above all, his brother Bobby were behind Marilyn's death. The fact that Kennedy had countless affairs also became known through this book, which led to an unflattering change in Kennedy's public image.

So we see that private contexts always contribute to the fame of a star or giga star.
 
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Nov 2016
1,267
Germany
Then, some celebrities are more remembered than others, such as the Beatles (when I was on a Royal Caribbean cruise line, a few concerts were re-singing of songs of the Beatles), ABBA (the performance of Mamma Mia and re-singing of the songs),Teresa Tang in the Chinese circle, Audrey Hepburn (her figures are still fairly ubiquitous), Elvis Presley, etc.
What are the qualities that render certain celebrities more famous than others?
I would like to add that the criterion of forgetting (or remembering) makes no sense, in my opinion, because it is all too subjective. Just look at your list as an example. You mention persons or groups that not many people think about in reality today (even if they are stars of any kind), except special fans. Other people or groups that are just as well known or even better known (except for Elvis, of course) you don't name, i.e. you have "forgotten" them in some way.

Significantly, you have forgotten Marilyn, she of all people, who was voted the Sexiest Woman of the 20th Century by two popular magazines in 1999 and who - from today's point of view - is surely the most famous woman of all time. Only Cleopatra and the Christian Mary can be considered as competitors, although the latter's historicity is controversial. No other name could be placed next to them without appearing artificial.

And when you google the internet for the most famous women in history, then lists come that can't be more ridiculous, as if they were written by fools... (Princess Diana, Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Queen Elizabeth I, so everything but the kitchen sink).

The fact that the songs of the people you mentioned can be heard from time to time only means that these songs are not forgotten. You confuse that with not forgetting the people. But that's a huge difference. I make an exception here again with Elvis, who as a giga star has such a high symbolic value that you think of him independently of his songs. With the Beatles it goes in the same direction, but with them the symbolic power is spread over 4 people, especially Lennon and McCartney, and both of them don't have the legendary sex appeal of Elvis, which raises him far above the others.

And where are the impersonators of Lennon or Mick Jagger or Audrey Hepburn? There are only two stars who have produced legions of impersonators: Elvis and Marilyn. That says it all.

So there are two problems with your question: the subjective criterion of forgetting (or remembering) and the confusion of person and work.
 
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VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,739
Florania
Why on earth would you commit such a bizarre act of vandalism?
The lyrics fit today's women as well; using plurals may just work well.
Humans are sometime called just "people", the speculative documentary of Life After People is a good example.
 

Angelica

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
2,765
Angel City
it could be a phrase, a memorable moment or act that resonated on some level to the point where you are moved by it. Some people leave an impression others leave indelible mark.