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  • November 05, 2011

    CELEBRITY HISTORY : 16th century to present day

    16th century to present day

    In the 16th and early 17th centuries, repeated performances of Shakespeare's plays contributed to his fame. Writers gained recognition as literacy levels improved and reading became a form of entertainment. Literary critics consider Lord Byron the archetype of "rock star status"; having drawn extensively from his personal life in his poetry, and much of his works' early successes were based on the perceived similarity between author and poem, frequently touching on sex, alcohol, drugs, isolation and exoticism. On the success of his first long poem, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, Byron stated "I went to bed one night and simply woke up famous."


    In the Victorian era, authors such as Charles Dickens built up their popularity by publishing their work in newspapers and magazines. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the explosion of mass reproduced images made it possible for people of lower spheres of culture such as the popular entertainment industry, to become huge celebrities.

    By the 20th century, public fascination with celebrities and demand for celebrity gossip gave rise to the gossip columnist, tabloids, paparazzi photographs and celebrity blogging. Celebrity blogging has also spawned stars such as Perez Hilton who is well known not for not only blogging about celebrities, but also outing celebrities by determining their true sexual orientation.

    The rise of international celebrities in acting and popular music originates in large part in the scope and scale of the media industries, enabling celebrities to be viewed more often and in more places. Growth in the number of media channels in the late 20th century led to increased exposure for celebrities.