The term celebrity is often used to refer to people who command great public attention and a high level of media scrutiny. This can be in the form of wealth, fame, or a particular career that commands widespread attention.
The word comes into English at the beginning of C15 from Latin celebritas (commonly pronounced “celeb-bee-tay”), meaning “fame.” It is closely related to French célébrite and German kommunikative, both of which mean “crowded.” Both are obsolete now but survived until about C19, when they were adapted to mean “the object of fantasies,” as in the case of the singer John Lennon, who famously said, “We’re more popular than Jesus now.”
A celebrity is a person who has a high profile and whose life is subject to scrutiny by the press. This may be because they have become famous through a career in the media, such as a musician or actor, or they may be known for a specific scandal or criminal activity.
While celebrities can be admired for their talent, some also have trouble coping with the attention they receive. Some are criticized for their lifestyle or their misdeeds, while others are lauded for their accomplishments.
Some celebrities also enjoy the attention of fans, who will travel to see them perform or watch them in a movie or television show. This can be an expensive and time-consuming activity, especially for the poor.
It can also be a source of excitement and pride for the celebrity, as it may lead to increased popularity and greater fame. In addition, the star’s name and image can generate financial income from sales or sponsorships of merchandise and services.
In the 20th century, TV and popular music gave rise to new forms of celebrity. This was particularly true for rock stars and pop groups, such as the Beatles and Elvis Presley.
These actors had their own individual identities and personalities, which meant that they could not be easily replaced. It was not uncommon for them to move from acting in films to starring on television series, often with only a few years between. In this way, they often became a more popular face to the public than the actors who starred in the same movie but were not on television.
Another type of celebrity is the television presenter or talk show host. This person’s name and image can generate considerable financial income by selling their own products or hosting special events, such as live appearances or awards shows.
This form of celebrity has changed the ways in which Americans think about their place in society and how other people regard them. Thanks to publications such as People and tabloids like Star, as well as talk shows where celebrities are given a platform to open up about their lives to the public, Americans are now invited to feel they know their heroes intimately.
However, this form of celebrity can also be dangerous if the public doesn’t recognize red flags. For example, a Facebook or Instagram account that is purporting to be from a famous celebrity will solicit donations for a charitable cause or promise a big prize if you respond. It is also common for impostors to post a message that sounds like it is from the real star, but which is actually an opportunistic ruse designed to steal your personal information or money.