Arts, Column

When Stars Fall out of Their Constellation

Back in 2010, CeeLo Green’s “F—k You” was the s—t. Pardon my language, but no one can deny that Green was at the forefront of the entertainment world following the release of the soul / R&B star’s single and subsequent album, The Lady Killer. I was just starting to drive the summer that “F—k You” was being broadcasted on nearly every radio station, and once I found the rest of The Lady Killer, you could say I was hooked on a good dose of CeeLo Green for a couple months. I went back and grabbed the albums Green had done with Danger Mouse as the famed duo Gnarls Barkley, and even grabbed a few tracks off of Green’s earlier 2002 and 2004 albums.

Eventually, my Green fever subsided and I moved on to different styles and sounds, but a few tracks from Gnarls Barkley and Green’s Lady Killer could still be found at the top of some of my playlists. It wasn’t until the other day, when I was bumping along to my personal favorite track off of Lady Killer, “Wildflower,” that a thought suddenly dawned on me—where the hell is CeeLo Green?

Referencing the world’s encyclopedia that is Google, I saw that Green had actually released two albums since The Lady Killer right under my radar—CeeLo’s Magic Moment (a Christmas album, which is a harbinger of a dying career in itself) and his fifth studio album, Heart Blanche. Neither of these appeared to do very well, and after a bit of my own browsing, I found that I didn’t think any differently than many of Green’s critics. But finding these two albums still made me very curious—how had these albums, from an artist I had actually grown to like a lot, slid right under my nose?

Then I saw that Green had been charged with drugging a girl he had had dinner with back in 2014. So that kind of answered why no one had been talking about Green’s music very much in the last couple years. Thinking about CeeLo, though, got me thinking about the celebrity limelight a bit more. How easily does one fall into it, and how does one come falling out of it?

Look at child stars. It’s almost a stereotype that they fall from grace at some point. Macaulay Culkin was in court in 2005 for a marijuana possession charge. The Phantom Menace’s Jake Lloyd was jailed after a car chase last year. Angus T. Jones, who started as Jake on Two and a Half Men, quit the show in 2014, considering himself a “paid hypocrite” for continuing the program despite it conflicting with his religious views. None of these once-famous child stars did anything terrible, but since they rebelled against social conformity (and also because none of them are in entertainment anymore) they’ve been labeled as quitters and outcasts.

None of this is really anything new to think about, but I think it’s interesting to try to predict who obscurity might claim next in its hunger. If you had asked people back in 2010 what they thought CeeLo Green’s career would look like in 2016 or people in the early ’90s how they thought Culkin would turn out, I’m sure you would get radically different answers than what we see from these stars now.

As the adorable, engaging, and heart-wrenching boy in Room, Jacob Tremblay quickly won over the heart of America this past awards season. If you look at Tremblay’s Instagram profile, it’s easy to imagine that many of Hollywood’s biggest stars are teasing each other, asking, “Did you get a picture with Jacob Tremblay? Well I did.” How long will Tremblay’s Hollywood fame last, though? I’m not saying I think Tremblay’s heading down a rugged path (I personally love the kid). I’m just thinking it’s hard to tell whether Tremblay is the next Culkin or if he’s the future Leonardo DiCaprio.

Predicting if Hollywood and entertainment’s most precious stars will continue to shine on through the ages or dwindle down to rubble is a tricky business. It doesn’t seem to matter if you’re dealing with child stars, athletes, singers, or actors—once a famous person makes one or two bad moves, the entertainment industry seems likely to turn its back on that person pretty quickly. For now, though, all we can do is hope that Tremblay makes it through all right—we’re all counting on you, kid.

Featured Image By Atlantic Records

April 27, 2016