| Jackie Willis |
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Before this year, we couldn’t pick most of these stars out of a line-up. Now, they’re topping charts, starring in block-buster films and marrying A-listers.
From Ariana Grande’s big year in music to
Amal Alamuddin landing the most famous ba-chelor in Hollywood, here are 8 of the biggest breakout stars of 2014…
- Meghan Trainor: The 20-year-old singer/songwriter had everyone declaring “no treble” this summer with her catchy hit song “All About That Bass”. Not only that, the pop star also landed two Grammy nominations, including Record of the Year and Song of the Year.
- Ariana Grande: Though she got a little buzz in 2013 thanks to her Justin Bieber, Scooter Braun connection, it wasn’t until 2014 that Ariana Grande really blew up the music scene with her song “Problem”. Since then, the petite girl with a big voice has picked up two Grammy nominations (Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and Best Pop Vocal Album), collaborated with Jessie J and Nicki Minaj on the hit song “Bang Bang”, dodged diva rumours and taken up with with rapper Big Sean – not to mention her serious image transformation!
- Chris Pratt: “Parks and Recreation” fans know him as the lovable, doughy Andy Dwyer, but the world got to know Chris Pratt as the incredibly buff action star in “Guardians of the Galaxy”. GQ magazine took note of the actor’s breakout 2014 and crowned him one of their Men of the Year.
- Amal Alamuddin: She was deemed Barbara Walters’ Most Fascinating Woman for a reason! After decades of romance, British attorney Amal Alamuddin made an honest man out of George Clooney. The two were married in Venice, Italy this past September, thus leaving Walters to proclaim Alamuddin to be on par with Jackie Onassis, Princess Diana and Kate Middleton when it comes to praise (and scrutiny) for every-thing she says, does and wears.
- Iggy Azalea: The Australian rapper burst onto on the scene with her hit song “Fancy”, and within months, Nicki Minaj and Snoop Dogg were taking notice and throwing shade. Azalea’s fan base grew even more when she teamed up with Jennifer Lopez for her “Booty” song and collaborated with British pop star Rita Ora for “Black Widow”. She’s also up for several Grammy Awards, including Best Rap Album, Record of the Year, Best New Artiste and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.
- Shailene Woodley:This 23-year-old actress got a bit of critical acclaim with her supporting role as George Clooney’s daughter in the 2011 Oscar-nominated movie “The Descendants” – but in 2014, she was the leading lady! Woodley had two major films this year that put her on the map, both co-starring Ansel Elgort. She landed the role of Tris in the action/adventure movie “Diver-gent”, and portrayed Hazel in the teen dramedy “The Fault in Our Stars”. Both were a big success at the box office and among fans of the books.
- Idina Menzel: America still isn’t ready to let “Frozen” go. Idina Menzel voices the wildly popular Disney character Elsa, and if you didn’t know her name before the 2014 Oscars, you know it now. Prior to performing “Let It Go” at the Academy Awards, John Travolta introduced the actress, and majorly messed up the pronunciation of her name, referring to her as “Adele Dazeem”. His flub only added to her fame.
- The cast of “How to Get Away with Murder”: Shonda Rhimes brought in a bunch of new faces for her new ABC mystery drama, and just like the stars of “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy”, the cast was a hit among viewers. Aside from Golden Globe nominee Viola Davis, Jack Falahee – who plays the charming gay law student Connor Walsh – has garnered much of the fans’ attention thanks to those super hot scenes.