Seven Entertainers to Watch in 2017

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Vanessa Obioha

BEYONCE
The 35 year-old singer had a Lemonade year in 2016, scooping awards and making history as the first artiste to be nominated in the rock, pop, R&B and rap categories of the Grammys in the same year. Janet Jackson and Paul McCartney had been nominated in these categories but not in the same year. Beyonce clinched a total number of nine nominations at the 2017 Grammys, setting a record for the most nominated woman in the history of Grammy. Will she continue her winning streak at the music event coming up in February?

Another aspect of her that is worthy of observation is how she will keep up with her campaign for feminism and Black Lives Matter, considering the volatile views of president-elect, Donald Trump on such matters. Will her voice be cowered or rise above the hatred?

KIM KARDASHIAN
Social media queen has definitely upped her game in the new year. Instead of satisfying the insatiable lust of her fans with flashy diamonds, expensive designer wears and seductive birthday suits, Kim decided to look inwardly to keep her brand relevant in the online space. Tongues wagged when she suddenly disappeared from social media following the Paris robbery in October 2016. Accusing fingers blamed the celebrity for bringing the ugly incident upon herself due to her ostentatious lifestyle on social media. Her husband’s hospitalisation and rumours of split in her marriage ignited more buzz on Kim’s Omerta.

But all that negative reactions changed the moment she posted a video of her happy family on Instagram this new year. In the video was a new Kim who wasn’t baring her body for all to see or displaying her latest fashion fantasy. Even her husband was not ranting. With that homely video, Kim won back the hearts of her fans and haters too. Maybe, it’s all part of her publicity strategy as Vanessa Friedman argued in New York Times, to make us believe that we are seeing more, a happy family behind all the gloss and rumours, whereas we are seeing what they actually want us to see.
Will 2017 see the end of the flamboyant lifestyle of the glamorous reality and social media celebrity?

KANYE WEST
In his wife’s first Instagram video of the year, controversial rapper looked tamed and ready to embrace a new life. It all looked too good to be true that Kanye will abstain from controversies. He made headlines last year with his ‘Famous’ hit where he threw a shade at pop singer Taylor Swift. “He made her famous”, he sings on the song. In addition, his video which content displayed a motley group of celebrities sleeping on the same bed made headlines. But the climax of his rumpus was his rant at one of his tours that led to hospitalisation. Will Kanye West stay out of trouble this year? Will he find a new pet or will he still keep Taylor Swift on a leash?

DRAKE
Will the Canadian rapper finally settle down in 2017? He’s been linked to many women including Tennis star, Serena Williams, Tyra Banks, and his on-and-off relationship with singer, Rihanna. Recently, Jennifer Lopez was added to the list. The rumour of their relationship started last Christmas and the pair spent the New Year Eve together. The veracity of their relationship is still unclear since J-Lo is promoting her upcoming album. Not a few think it’s all a publicity stunt. Perhaps, Drake may finally pop the question to J-Lo or any other damsel he fancies this year. Who knows.

MARIAH CAREY
Mariah Carey started the new year with headlines. Her poor live performance at the Time Square’s New Year’s Eve celebration cast a gloom on her music career. Her futile defense so far worked against her and critics are having a field day making vile remarks and commentaries about her performance and career. How will she bounce back to positive fame?

LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA
2016 was a year for the ‘Hamilton’ creator. He dominated the Tony Awards and went on to scoop other awards and gain more nods including the American Film Institute Award. He is one of Oscars favourites. Certainly, Lin-Manuel Miranda will have a fantastical 2017.

AVA DUVERNAY
The Selma director made history last year when she became the first woman of colour to direct a live-action film worth over a $100m. The film is a Disney production entitled ‘A Wrinkle in Time’. She also directed the Netflix documentary ‘13th’ adjudged as one of the best films of 2016. What other ceilings will DuVernay shatter in 2017?

RYAN REYNOLDS
If all things go as planned, Ryan Reynolds may get his wish to have a Deadpool and Wolverine team-up film. His persistence to make Hugh Jackman still wear his claws seems to be working as Jackman is harbouring second thoughts on retirement. Jackman had earlier hinted that he will hang his claws after the latest flick ‘Logan’, but Reynolds is bent on changing his mind. However, for the Deadpool star who recently earned a star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame, it is an expansion of his career. And who knows, he may fill in the shoes of Jackman’s Wolverine, that is, if the latter retires.