Celebrities are individuals who are very well known largely because of their fame, which is generated through mass media. These individuals include sports figures, television personalities, musicians, and actors, among others. Celebrity, as a phenomenon, used to have positive connotations; however, it is increasingly viewed negatively. Different types of celebrities exist, and they perform different social functions. Since the Second World War, celebrities have steadily grown in number, visibility, and social significance because of the expansion and diversification of mass media, the rise of the promotional industries (such as marketing, public relations, and lobbying), and societies’ growing preoccupation with status. This entry provides an overview of celebrities, including the history of celebrity, the different types and functions of celebrities, and the causes leading to their ...

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