The internet and social media have greatly changed the way that we go about our lives. News, gaming and even celebrities have forever been changed. In fact, while today we are used to seeing celebrities come and go thanks to this popular form of communication, it can make famous people rather disposable. After all, where are some of the earliest celeb’s who got their fame thanks to the internet? As you’ll see, some of moved on to more “normal” lives while others are still desperate to extend their “15 Minutes of Fame”. Here are 10 real stories behind popular internet stars.
10: Patricia Krentcil
In 2012 this New Jersey mother made headlines when she got caught trying to sneak her daughter into a tanning salon. Now, is the time people were probably wondering how a piece of bacon could give an interview. Well, that was actually “Patricia Krentcil” who was quickly labeled “Tan Mom” and became an instant internet celeb and meme. Today “Tan Mom” is no longer Tan. No, the 47-year-old has turned in her harmful tanning booth and replaced it with regular injections of Botox. Because that’s better.
9: Antoine Dodson
Number 9 on the list of popular internet stars is Antoine Dodson. In 2010 we were being told to “Hide Our Kids” and “Hide Our Wives” by internet celeb Antoine Dodson. The interview given to a local Alabama News Station following a break-in in the area quickly went viral and an auto-tuned version of the interview became popular as well. The fame quickly faded but Dodson may be close to breaking back into the headlines. He is set to appear in “Airplane Mode”, a movie about the internet and social media stars who are all stuck together on a passenger plane.
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8: Jeremy Meeks
A couple of years ago the internet was captivated by mug shots released by the Stockton police department. His name was Jeremy Meeks and most women agree that he is probably the hottest convicted felon around. Rumors of modeling contracts erupted but the news on Meeks went quiet. It probably had something to do with the fact that he was serving a two-year sentence. Nonetheless, in summer 2016, freshly released from prison the blue-eyed ex-con did not disappoint. Working through a modeling agency, Meeks has released a bunch of new shots on Instagram that his fans can take in.
7: Ghyslain Raza
Number 7 on the list of popular internet stars is Ghyslain Raza. Back in 2002, before Twitter, Facebook or YouTube it took a lot to become an overnight internet celebrity. What did you need? Well, as then 15-year-old French Canadian Ghyslain Raza demonstrated a golf ball retriever and some pretty sweet moves inspired by Star Wars’ “Darth Maul”. When the video hit the internet 2006 his fame exploded and every talk show wanted to interview him. Unfortunately, it also led to bullying and he quickly pulled out of the spotlight. Today, the law school graduate is president of the local heritage society and also an advocate to stop cyberbullying.
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6: Blake Boston
You’re probably hearing this name but unable to figure out who they are or why they are famous. If we told you ‘Blake Boston’ was also known as internet memes “Scumbag Steve”. Then most of you would know who we were talking about. Thanks to this picture his mom took, Boston had his “15 Minutes of Fame”. But what has he been up to in real life? Well, today Blake is actually quite active on the political circuit. He’s made headlines in the media for criticizing presidential candidate ‘Donald Trump’ and has given his support to ‘Hillary Clinton’.
5: Alex Lee
Number 5 on the list of popular internet stars is Alex Lee. Just a couple of years ago a girl took a picture of a hot cashier working at a target in Texas and posted to Twitter. The result was the creation of a minor celebrity. Alex Lee, the 16-year-old in the picture became known as simply “Alex from target”. His fame grew quickly with interviews and even an appearance on “Ellen”. it’s only been two years but today Alex does some modeling, produces endless vines and is followed by more than a few million fans on social media, where he ends up next? We’ll just have to wait and see.
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4: Caitlin Upton
In 2007, the world watched as “Miss South Carolina” tried to tackle a question on education. The result was so bad and the answer so garbled that viewers didn’t know whether to laugh or cringe. Needless to say, she didn’t win the pageant but the video did go viral. Humiliated and bullied, Upton vanished from the limelight. Since then she’s appeared on “The Amazing Race”, appeared in a few commercials and works today as a real estate agent in LA.
3: Gary Brolsma
Number 3 on the list of popular internet stars is Gary Brolsma. In 2004, before YouTube, people started talking about the internet sensation known only as “Numa Numa Guy”. Who was he? His name was ‘Gary Brolsma’ and he recorded himself singing dancing to “Dragostea Din Tei” by ‘O-Zone’. One of the first big internet celebs, Brolsma knew he’d made it big when his character was even featured on an episode of “South Park”. Over a decade later in the fame has definitely calmed down. Today Gary fills us time rocking out with his band or making a living as a web designer.
2: William Hung
In 2004, viewers were first introduced to ‘William Hung’ and the name stuck around for a bit. That’s because hung got famous thanks to his pretty awful rendition of Ricky Martin’s “She Bangs” which he performed on “American Idol”. Nonetheless, for a few years, he worked hard to stay in the limelight and make it as a singer. Then he vanished. So, what he been up to? Hung worked for a few years for the LA county sheriff’s department. Today rather than sing, he reportedly works for the LA county department of health.
1: Rebecca Black – Popular Internet Stars
Remember that song “Friday” that came out in 2011? You know, the song that reminded us that Thursday comes before it and Saturday comes after. It was pretty much labeled as “The Worst Song Ever”. Yet, the whole thing did turn Rebecca Black into a bit of an internet celebrity complete with her own “15 Minutes of Fame”. Several years on and now 19 years old, she has done some acting, blogging and reportedly is working on some new songs that will sound nothing like her breakout hit.
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Well, that’s it for these popular internet stars for now. What do you think? Let us know in the comments down below, we personally love “Numa Numa Guy”. Anyway, before you go, why don’t you go ahead and check out these other lists. Thanks!