Can a city be famous? Los Angeles is. Or at least, the sheer star power of its Hollywood celebrity culture has made LA famous for its famous. People come from places like Ohio, Michigan, Missouri and beyond to experience the famous landscape here. Some end up with dashed dreams. Others become the next Brad Pitt or Halle Berry. You never know. To quote the closing lines of Pretty Woman, "Welcome to Hollywood! What's your dream? Everybody comes here; this is Hollywood, land of dreams. Some dreams come true, some don't; but keep on dreaming. This is Hollywood. Always time to dream, so keep on dreaming."
"Nobody's from LA," say people who really don't know LA at all. In fact there is even a long roster of celebrities who were born or at least raised here. Think about it. While many denizens of the last big Hollywood generation (the baby boomers) may have moved to LA to pursue their dreams, many of them hunkered down, stayed here, and then had kids and raised them in Los Angeles. And the next generation of stars was born.
Just like we root for the Lakers when they go off and play another team in another city, LA's music fans root for their 'home teams,' or local So.Cal and LA bands when they get famous and tour the nation or the world. Rock celebrities like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and adult contemporary/classical acts like Josh Groban probably spent their adolescent days loitering around the Beverly Center or skateboarding and surfing in Santa Monica like typical LA kids.
Californians--and Angelinos in the film industry--are known for being a bit left of center and progressive. One favorite pet cause with celebrities in LA is marijuana legalization. Not every famous person is ready to come out and wave the green flag, so to speak. But some of those who have--like Woody Harrelson and Cheech and Chong--have become figureheads for the movement and thus famous for something other than their film and TV roles.
Each year, Los Angeles residents (and folks across the nation) start the year with a celebration of our musical giants: the Grammy Awards. Where else would they want to hold this famous awards ceremony but Los Angeles--home to one of the most prolific and well-known music industries (next to Motown, New York and Nashville)?
It's Hollywood's annual glittering moment...the pomp, circumstance, glamour (and critics would say vanity) of the Academy Awards or Oscars ceremony. National magazines devote scores of pages to celebrities' fashion highlights and faux-pas. The international press hinges on every word of every acceptance speech, waiting to print the flubs, emotional uproars and political messages that Hollywood's A-listers come up with.
You don't have to be famous (yet) to be famous. The American Idol phenomenon has proven that. The talent contest, filmed at CBS studios here in LA has consumed a nation with celebrity fever and not just from a viewers' perspective. The competition can make careers--big careers. TV audiences delight in seeing today's nobodies turn into big time somebodies through the course of a TV season.
Viewed by film snobs as the 'real Oscars,' this ceremony thrown by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is televised and adored by fans for its spontaneous moments. Big stars and starlets sit at tables getting sloshed on alcohol as the night progresses, yielding some truly stellar and sometimes gulp-worthy moments.
This is the one 'top list' nobody wants to be on--well at least nobody who values their privacy. The top three on this list--Spears, Lohan and Hilton are famous for sparking all-out paparazzi wars. Ask any of the residents of the Hollywood Hills or Malibu who--during key moments of these celebs' lives--are privy to an all-night helicopter fest above their homes.
Though originally from Gary, Indiana, late pop sensation Michael Jackson grew up before his fans' eyes. Most of that growing up (in a career and personal sense) was done in LA and Southern California. From the recording of his famous album Thriller to his tragic rush to the hospital and ultimate demise--LA was a major player in this celebrity's life.
Whether they knew him or not, members of the entertainment community in LA all shared a close 'relationship' to deceased pop star Michael Jackson. His music had an impact on the lives and creative pursuits of many Angelinos. A handful of Los Angeles entertainment insiders shared their thoughts about the Prince of Pop after his untimely death.