news Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017  

Elise Hennigan
December 4, 2017 1.1k votes 199 voters 2.5k views 21 items Embed

List Rules Vote up the celebrities who influenced mainstream culture in 2017. No politics :)

The celebrities who influenced culture in 2017 were fashion innovators, outspoken activists, social media influencers, cutting edge artists, and talented musicians. They used their platforms to create or say something original and when these 2017 influential celebrities spoke, the American public took notice. The very nature of being a famous person implied wielding a certain amount of influence, but the celebrity influencers on this list had a greater impact than the average famous person this year. Whether they started a movement - like Colin Kaepernick - or became the first person to do something - like Chance the Rapper, the first unsigned recording artist to win a Grammy without actually selling his music - these celebrity trendsetters were on the cutting edge of culture. 

In a year dominated by news of Donald Trump, he can't help but make the list despite his technical current standing as a politician. As the President of the United States, his influence over American and global culture is hard to deny. But in a year filled with politics, this list is for those celebrities who impacted culture outside of legislature and policy. So leave your political opinions at the door and vote up the celebrity tastemakers who defined 2017.

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Corey Feldman is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
Corey Feldman
  • In 2017, Corey Feldman made it his mission to take down what he identifies as a long-standing Hollywood "pedophile ring." He filed police reports, talked to the press, and appeared on sit-down talk shows.
     
  • In a YouTube video that has been viewed more than 1 million times, he announced that he was ready to identify at least six alleged abusers, including one who remains powerful today. He later disclosed one of those abusers' names on live television.

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Leah Remini is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
Leah Remini
  • In 2017, ex-Scientologist Leah Remini doubled down on her crusade against Scientology, deciding to focus on disconnection (the severance of all ties between Scientologists and non-Scientologists) and abuse.
     
  • Her documentary series called Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath was nominated for an Emmy.

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Selena Gomez is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
Selena Gomez
  • In 2017, Selena Gomez raised awareness for Lupus and was a personal advocate for taking needed mental health breaks. She took one herself disappearing from social media for a bit. When she returned she revealed she'd had a kidney transplant and was taking the time she needed to have a healthy mental state.

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Jordan Peele is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
Jordan Peele
  • In 2017, Jordan Peele made history with his film Get Out when he became the first African-American writer-director with a $100M movie debut.

  • The film encourages conversation about what Peele calls the "post-racial lie" - i.e., that racism is no longer an issue in America now that an African American has served as president.

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Leonardo DiCaprio is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
Leonardo DiCaprio

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Donald Trump is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
Donald Trump
  • We're leaving politics off this list, but let's be real... Donald Trump's impact on American culture in 2017 can't be ignored. From the way people talk, to the way they use Twitter, to the things that people care and share about online and in person, Donald Trump's influence can be felt in the far reaches of society. 

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Ashley Judd is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
Ashley Judd
  • She was one of the first to come out with allegations of sexual misconduct against Harvey Weinstein and hers was the voice that The New York Times led with in their investigative report.
     
  • Ashley Judd, along with other celebrities like Rose McGowan who also went on the record about Weinstein's abuse, paved the way for more than 82 other women to come forward about the producer's abuse.
     
  • The Harvey Weinstein fallout led to the airing of many more accusations against prominent men, both in and outside of the entertainment industry. Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer, Kevin Spacey, and many others similarly fell from public grace. The enormous impact of these accusations will be felt for years ahead.

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Meghan Markle is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
Meghan Markle
  • When she won Prince Harry's heart, she gave the world a wedding to look forward to and a love story to distract from the harsher things happening in the world.
     
  • Once married, she will potentially be the first mixed-race royal in history - although historians now speculate that Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III was of African descent.

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Ariana Grande is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
Ariana Grande
  • Two days after a bomb exploded and 22 people died at her concert in Manchester, England, she returned to Manchester Arena to host a benefit concert honoring the families of the attack's victims.
     
  • After the Las Vegas shooting, she called for stricter gun control laws.

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Colin Kaepernick is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
Colin Kaepernick
  • His national anthem protest before NFL games influenced dozens of other NFL players to do the same and sparked a national conversation about race.

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Chance The Rapper is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
Chance The Rapper
  • His album Coloring Book became the first streaming-only album to win a Grammy in February 2017.

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Matt Drudge is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
Matt Drudge
  • Matt Drudge it the founder and editor of the Drudge Report, a right-leaning website that links to articles written by other outlets. 
     
  • The news outlet has a huge fan in President Trump, who seemingly uses it (along with Fox News) as his sole news source and has a habit of tweeting out its stories.

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Taylor Swift is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
Taylor Swift
  • Taylor Swift successfully sued a radio DJ for a symbolic $1 over a groping incident that occurred in 2013.
     
  • After the trial, she made this statement: "I acknowledge the privilege that I benefit from in life, in society and in my ability to shoulder the enormous cost of defending myself in a trial like this. My hope is to help those whose voices should also be heard. Therefore, I will be making donations in the near future to multiple organizations that help sexual assault victims defend themselves." 

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Matt Furie is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
Matt Furie
  • Matt Furie is the artist who created Pepe the Frog, one of the internet's most famous memes. Pepe started out as a light-hearted character but during the presidential election, and after Donald Trump's election, the alt-right co-opted Pepe and used him to spread racist, sexist and anti-Semitic messages. Furie has sprung into legal action against those who would use Pepe as a hate symbol.

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Rihanna is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
Rihanna
  • "Somebody called me too fat? [Crying-Laughter Emoji]" - Rihanna's comment on a fan's Instagram post about her weight.
     
  • In 2017, the pop star got "thick" - or was she still "too skinny"? Internet trolls had plenty of opinions and Rihanna didn't care about any of them. She announced that she was happy in her skin, sending a welcome message of body positivity.

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Chrissy Teigan is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
Chrissy Teigan
  • Chrissy Teigan tweeted hilarious things at President Trump for the entire year until he finally blocked her in July for tweeting "lol no one likes you." 
     
  • Her fans appreciate her "realness" as she is known for her posts on social media about jealousy, hangovers, bad skin, nip slips, and other things typically not discussed by mega celebrities.

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Riz Ahmed is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
Riz Ahmed
  • In 2017, Riz Ahmed got political, speaking out against Trump's Muslim ban, shining a light on Hollywood typecasting, and raising money for Syrian refugees. 

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Eminem is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
Rahagir added Eminem

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Marc Maron is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
Marc Maron
  • Marc Maron continued to influence culture in 2017 with his popular WTF with Marc Maron podcast, where he had revelatory conversations with celebrities ranging from Kumail Nanjiani to Al Gore. On the show he tackled tricky subjects like the sexual misconduct accusations against his friend Louis CK.
     
  • He also shared his ideas on meditation, mortality, documentary films and our weird modern world in his Netflix special, Too Real.

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Katy Perry is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
Katy Perry
  • Katy Perry became the first person to reach over 100 million followers on Twitter in 2017. She uses the social media platform as her main source of communication with her fans.

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Kim Kardashian is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
Kim Kardashian
  • In the wake of the Paris robbery where she was held at gunpoint, Kim Kardashian retreated to privacy in 2017, but her cultural influence didn't stop as a result. She has more than 100 million Instagram followers alone and it seems like every beauty and fashion trend she tries out is adopted into the mainstream.