culture Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017  

Elise Hennigan
December 4, 2017 4.1k votes 522 voters 7.8k views 81 items

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.

list ordered by

1
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Leah Remini is listed (or ranked) 1 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.

2
128 77
Selena Gomez is listed (or ranked) 2 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.

3
107 60
Corey Feldman is listed (or ranked) 3 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.

4
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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.

5
61 29
Barack Obama is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
starwarssuperfan added Barack Obama

6
102 67
Leonardo DiCaprio is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
Leonardo DiCaprio

7
85 64
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.

8
25 8
Donald Glover is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
starwarssuperfan added Donald Glover

9
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Carrie Fisher is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
starwarssuperfan added Carrie Fisher

10
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Ariana Grande is listed (or ranked) 10 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.

11
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Lupita Nyong'o is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
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12
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Meghan Markle is listed (or ranked) 12 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.

Mythical Creatures That Were Found in Real Life

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Mark Hamill is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
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Dwayne Johnson is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
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15
107 122
Colin Kaepernick is listed (or ranked) 15 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.

16
17 11
Emma Watson is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
starwarssuperfan added Emma Watson

17
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Rihanna is listed (or ranked) 17 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.

Celebrities With Gay Children

18
111 141
Donald Trump is listed (or ranked) 18 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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Samuel L. Jackson is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
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Daisy Ridley is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
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Tom Petty is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
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Liza Koshy is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
Haidee Van Heerden added Liza Koshy

19 Celebrities Who Were Orphaned as Children

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David Dobrik is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
Haidee Van Heerden added David Dobrik

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Robert Mueller is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
starwarssuperfan added Robert Mueller

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60 82
Taylor Swift is listed (or ranked) 25 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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Gal Gadot is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
The Superhero Nerd added Gal Gadot

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John Goodman is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
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The Most Beautiful Women In Hollywood

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Chance The Rapper is listed (or ranked) 28 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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Gwendoline Christie is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
starwarssuperfan added Gwendoline Christie

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Adam Driver is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
starwarssuperfan added Adam Driver

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Patty Jenkins is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
The Superhero Nerd added Patty Jenkins

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Melania Trump is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
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The Spectacular Rise And Fall Of English Dandy Beau Brummell

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Chrissy Teigan is listed (or ranked) 33 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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Laura Dern is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
starwarssuperfan added Laura Dern

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John Boyega is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017

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Hillary Clinton is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
starwarssuperfan added Hillary Clinton

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Glen Campbell is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
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The 20 Most Epic Wedding FAILs of All Time

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Mike Pence is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
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Jim Mattis is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
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Chuck Berry is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
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Theresa May is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
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Don Rickles is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
starwarssuperfan added Don Rickles

The Most Overrated Actors of All Time

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Bill Paxton is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
starwarssuperfan added Bill Paxton

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Fats Domino is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
starwarssuperfan added Fats Domino

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Andy Serkis is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
starwarssuperfan added Andy Serkis

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Mary Tyler Moore is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
starwarssuperfan added Mary Tyler Moore

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Kelly Marie Tran is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
starwarssuperfan added Kelly Marie Tran

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Anthony Daniels is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
starwarssuperfan added Anthony Daniels

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Oscar Isaac is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
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John McCain is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Celebrities Who Made The Biggest Cultural Impact In 2017
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