When you love pop culture and entertainment as much as I do, you come to realize something: Having favorite celebrities is rather different than having favorite actors or singers. You can love a person for who they are (who could have guessed) while not really loving their role choices or song style. To me, that’s the mark of a celeb doing things right. When they’re not fake or trying too hard, but just down-to-earth people who remind us that celebs are people too. Knocking down the stereotypes of “celebrity,” they make us like them just by being them. I, naturally, have a ton of people like this in mind, but let’s start with three:
Justin Timberlake: Here’s the thing about JT. I’ve been in love with him since his spaghetti-fro days and I always suspected he would have a successful solo career. But I haven’t always enjoyed his style of music. When I was a knee-socked elementary school kid, *NSYNC was my jam. Loved them. Knew it was a phase, but loved them. They were my first concert. When they broke up and Justin started doing his own thing, I was just a little disappointed that I didn’t immediately love it all. “Cry Me A River” can still get me singing in my car to this day, but that was about it. And as his style evolved, my enthusiasm waned. Until the “20/20 Experience.” The music was better, but the concert was mind-blowing. It made me love the music in spite of itself. Seeing him live was one of the best experiences of my life and I’m not even remotely embarrassed to admit that. He rose up out of the stage flanked by a full orchestra, decked out in—what else—a suit and tie and I was re-awakened to what it feels like to love JT. He’s a fantastic performer with a wonderful sense of humor—ever see him with Jimmy Fallon? Any conversation they have is hilarious. He’s taking time off now after his whirlwind tour to adjust to being a dad and I can’t wait to see what he does next.
Ellen DeGeneres: I would cut off my own left pinkie toe to drop everything and fly across the country to work for Ellen. I don’t recall exactly when I became such a huge fan, only that there is no one I want to meet more than her, if only to simply say thank you for being such a right ray of sunshine in a not-so-sunny society. Her show is such a mood booster and everything she stands for is so refreshing. She’s funny in a unique way where she barely even has to try to make you laugh—just her vocal inflections and facial expressions are enough to make you grin along with her, as if she just winked at you and you love being in on the joke. She doesn’t have to stoop to being offensive or crude and her language is perfectly PG. She has a huge heart and takes every opportunity to use her show to give back to those in need. How can you not love her?
Neil Patrick Harris: NPH isn’t exactly one of my favorite actors because all I’ve seen him act in is “How I Met Your Mother.” But he’s just so annoyingly likeable. He loves to have fun and I’m pretty excited to watch his new variety show coming to NBC this fall. Also, find me a famous family cuter than his; pictures of his adorable twins and handsome hubby never fail to spark just a tiny bit of jealousy. Seriously, follow him on Instagram @nph for a daily dose of why-isn’t-my-life-that-perfect.