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[sm]A celebrity is a widely-recognized or notable person who commands a high degree of public and media attention. The word stems from the Latin verb "celebrere" but they may not become a celebrity unless public and mass media interest is piqued.
There are degrees of celebrity status which vary based on an individual's region or field of notoriety. While someone might be a celebrity to some people, to others they may be completely unknown.
A global celebrity on the other hand is someone who is known by most people or is a mainstream celebrity. Such celebrities are also known as either a household name or superstar. For example, Virgin Director Richard Branson was notable as a CEO, but he did not become a global celebrity until he attempted to circumnavigate the globe in a hot air balloon and generate publicity for himself. Another high profile categorisation of celebrity status is the A-list, based on the marketability of celebrities.
Generally speaking, a celebrity is someone who seeks media attention and most frequently have extroverted personalities. The desire to be notable is implied by some to be a part of western culture and more specifically the American Dream as a measure of success. Celebrities that shy away from the public eye or keep a very separate private life are called a reluctant celebrity. A notable example is Kurt Cobain. On the oher end of the spectrum, those that seek out publicity for themselves are often called a media tart whereas those that use their private life as a vehicle for enhanced celebrity status, sometimes desperately, are referred to as a media whore. Examples of this are fake or planned relationships, reality television appearances, celebrity nudity and in extreme cases, scandal or celebrity sex tape.
There are a wide range of ways people can become celebrities, from their profession, appearances in the mass media, beauty or even by complete accident or infamy. Instent celebrity is the term that is used when someone becomes a celebrity in very short period of time.
In some places, someone that somehow achieves a small amount of transient fame through hype or mass media, is stereotyped as a B-grade celebrity. Often the stereotype extends to someone that falls short of mainstream or persistent fame but seeks to extend or exploit it.
In the 20th Century, the insatiable public fascination for celebrities and appetite for celebrity gossip has seen the rise of the gossip columnist, tabloid, paparazzi and celebrity blogging.[/sm]
Central Celebrities Regional or cultural celebrities Niche' Market Celebrities Professions that can make someone a celebrity Celebrity families Celebrity as a mass media phenomenon