• Ifeoma Ahuna

What Happened to These Pop Culture Celebrities?

With all the pop culture news of today's age, it can be hard to keep up with every new socialite, actor, actress, and musician. We really believe it all started when YouTube and SoundCloud broke barriers allowing anyone to become 'famous'. Then, thanks to the creation of TikTok, everyone and their grandma could become the next big thing. Sometimes it takes a random blog, like this one (wink), to remind you of who once was.


Lucky for you, we have put together a list of iconic celebrities who simply just went off the grid in their own respective areas. Once insanely popular, to now super low-key, these celebs are living life just like you and me...sort of. From the world of Disney Channel to the one-hit-wonders of the industry, let's see what they've been up to!


Rita Ora


First, on this list, we have the pop break-out queen, Rita Ora. If her name doesn't sound too familiar, maybe the picture helps? Rita Ora, a Kosovo Albania native, moved to the United Kingdom (UK) at the age of one and started out as young as 16 years old performing as a singer-songwriter.


In 2011 and 2012, Ora rose to fame with her hit singles "Hot Right Now" and "R.I.P", featuring Tinie Tempah. From there she was a judge on The X-Factor UK and worked with top artists like Chris Brown and Iggy Azalea on songs. But what is she doing now you ask? In 2015 and 2016, she continued projects in the industry taking on endorsements with Adidas, trying out acting in Fifty Shades of Grey, and even hosting America's Next Top Model.


Now in 2021, she's back to more music, more projects, and a bit of controversy. In February of this year, she released a new EP titled Bang and then later collaborated with Shoe Dazzle on a shoe line. Recently, she also got some backlash for ignoring COVID guidelines while hosting her 30th birthday party, with allegedly over 30 guests.



Taylor Momsen


Any true Gossip Girl fans know the humble beginnings of Miss Taylor Momsen. However, even before being "Little J", Momsen made her way around the acting scene as a young child. She starred as Cindy Lou Who in How The Grinch Stole Christmas and had appearances in movies like Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams.


From 2007 to 2012, she played Jenny Humphrey, sister to the Dan Humphrey, in the hit show, Gossip Girl. While that was a huge start to her career, she ended up switching her type of creative expression along with her style. Taylor Momsen soon left the "good girl" look for a straight-up rocker chick when she started her band, The Pretty Reckless.


For Momsen, this edgy all-black look was actually more of her true self. "I started modeling at 2, and then acting at 3, and then Gossip Girl when I was 12, so I wasn't really making my own decisions", she said. The Pretty Reckless singer started off really successful making many records and going on international tours, which they still go on to this day. Now, the band has a new album, Death By Rock and Roll, out now on all streaming platforms. What a 360.



Dave Chappelle


Born in Washington D.C., Dave Chappelle began his early career doing stand-up in high school. He did a few films and then in 2003, landed his most popular gig on Comedy Central's, Chappelle Show. The show received Emmy nominations due to the popularity and controversy over it. Through comedy, it addressed everything from culture, race, and even drugs.


It wasn't until the filming of the third season that things went downhill for the show and ultimately for Chapelle's career. In a now new David Letterman Netflix special, Chappelle described what happened before he ultimately left the show and turned away a $50 million contract from the network. Some actions and "wrong laughs" from his crew made him debate whether his show was satirizing racial stereotypes or reinforcing them.


After the show, Dave Chappelle decided to go back to his roots, taking a trip to South Africa and eventually moving back to his hometown in Yellow Springs, Ohio. He mentioned in Letterman's My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman that he continued to do stand-up tours, started working with more social issues he cares about, interacting with his community, and spending time with his family. After his dispute with Comedy Central, he finally cut a deal with Netflix where you can now find his shows.



Vanessa Carlton


Vanessa Carlton was the face behind the 2000's anthem "A Thousand Miles" which seemed to remain an anthem forever. With her debut single being a popular bop and reaching the top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the early 2000s, we thought we would see more of her. She even had preceding albums like Be Not Nobody and singles such as "Big Yellow Taxi" with Counting Crows in 2002. To top it off, in 2004, her song was made even more popular in the movie White Chicks in the infamous Terry Cruz scene.


Since then, however, she has had some major life events. What many didn't know is the singer-songwriter struggled with anorexia and depression and overcame her illness. After overcoming that, she announced that she was bisexual. Shortly after, she got engaged to John McCauley, and had her first child in 2015.


Now she is making more music! While she may be low-key, she still makes appearances, works on projects, and even did a video with Architectural Digest. If you ask us, she got in her bag from the one-hit-wonder effect then left the scene, and we don't blame her.



Bella Thorne


Do you ever wonder what happened to the new-age Disney stars? We do too. Next, we have Bella Thorne, or formerly known as "CeCe Jones" in Disney Channel's Shake It Up. Bella Thorne started young as a child actress starring a variety of movies and shows like Shake It Up, Famous in Love, HBO's Big Love, Wizards of Waverly Place, Stuck on You, and much more.


She was known for her rise through Hollywood as well as for speaking out as someone with dyslexia, acting as an advocate for her peers. During her time acting, she also became a popular topic due to the new boys she was dating. She had relations with celebrities like Charlie Puth and dated Gregg Sulkin for an extended period.


Later in her career, she switched from her casual image to a very racy, controversial, and real side of herself. She was in countless online drama, came out as pansexual, dated YouTuber Tana Mongeau, and even had inappropriate photos leaked at one point. She became a target for online bullies on Twitter and Instagram as people deemed her as "dirty" and "too revealing". She even came out with a book called "The Life of a Wannabe Mogul: Mental Disarray" addressing her life traumas, and new music, some music aimed directly at Tana and her's relationship. Now, the singer, model, and actress is happily engaged and living her best authentic life.



Who knew?! You can pick your jaw up off the ground now. For the most part, these celebrities are doing pretty well for themselves. And you can still find them all on Instagram if you're ever curious as to what they are up to.


Are you shocked to see what some of these celebrities have been up to? Let us know in the comments who we should feature next!

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