13 People 2015 Changed Forever, From Justin Bieber To Jennifer Lawrence
With every new year comes the possibility of change. If you've ever watched the ball drop in Times Square and thought, "OK, this is the year where I make things happen!" you're not alone. Some years do bring great things: scoring a new job, going on that trip you've been dreaming about, finally dating a guy from Tinder who doesn't suck. Other years, though, things stick to the status quo, without any major changes or discoveries. There are plenty of celebrities for whom 2015 would qualify as one of those years — they stuck with the same routines, and nothing truly major happened, for good or for bad. Others, however, turned 2015 into a year of transformation. For these celebs, the people they were at the start of the year are definitely not the same ones they are today.
The changes that these celebrities went through in 2015 range from personal to professional, but no matter what their transformations were, these people proved that they keep moving forward no matter what life throws their way. They should remind you that it's never too late to take your life into an entirely different direction, and when the clock strikes midnight on Jan. 1, remember their examples when looking towards the future.
Here are the stars who 2015 changed forever:
1. Justin Bieber Redeemed Himself
No reason to mince words here: Bieber was a bit of a joke in 2014. Though most people would agree that Bieber had talent to back up his fame, it was hard to ignore stories of his wild antics, which included everything from egging a house to driving under the influence. Then, in 2015, his album Purpose dropped, and everything changed. His singles were strong, his behavior cleaned up, and his talent was finally able to shine through the way it did when he was just a kid making YouTube videos. The world is optimistic about the Biebs for the first time in a very long time.
2. Taraji P. Henson Got The Role Of A Lifetime
Henson's work in films like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was met with great praise, but 2015 was the year she stepped into a career-defining role. Henson steals the show as Empire's fierce, dynamic Cookie, and it's a role that fans hope she plays for years to come.
3. Kylie Jenner Made A Mark As An Individual
2015 was the year that the youngest Jenner didn't settle for the sidelines. Love her or loathe her, you have to admit that Jenner has definitely come out on top this year in the celebrity game. She launched a popular app, released a lip kit that sold out immediately, and seems to cover even more magazines than any of her big sisters, including Kim.
4. Lady Gaga Tried Something New
Lady Gaga was the quintessential pop star, famous for her wild antics and even wilder costumes. But 2015 introduced us to a far tamer Gaga. Gone were the meat dresses and dance anthems: instead, the only music that Gaga released in 2015 was a personal and powerful ballad for the campus rape documentary The Hunting Ground. Then, she took an even bigger turn when she chose to put music aside and take the lead role on American Horror Story: Hotel, in a part that seems tailor-made for her — likely because it was.
5. Amy Schumer Had The Best Year Ever
If 2015 was a so-called "good time" for women in comedy, then it was certainly an excellent one for Schumer. The comedian's first feature film Trainwreck solidified her status as a box-office darling, she released an HBO comedy special to rave reviews, and her Comedy Central series Inside Amy Schumer had its most hilarious (and feminist) season yet. Schumer is on a ride that won't slow down anytime soon.
6. The Weeknd Became A Bonafide Hit Factory
There's a good chance that you didn't know who The Weeknd was before 2015, despite his appearance on songs like Sia's "Elastic Heart." It wasn't until 2015 that he truly solidified himself as an artist to watch — and, yes, we can partially thank 50 Shades of Grey for putting his song "Earned It" on its soundtrack. Now, this guy is rolling out hit songs left and right, all of which are worthy of a serious car singalong.
7. Zayn Malik Took A New Direction
It takes a lot of confidence to walk away from the most popular boy band on the planet. Yet that's exactly what Malik did, much to the horror of One Direction fans everywhere. He is currently working on new solo music, and is reportedly dating Gigi Hadid.
8. Jennifer Lawrence Stood Up For Herself
This year, J.Law said goodbye to Katniss Everdeen and The Hunger Games franchise, but that's not the only way she transformed in 2015. In October, Lawrence penned a Lenny letter which discussed her reaction to being paid significantly less than her male co-stars on American Hustle. Ultimately, she blamed her desire to remain "likeable" as the reason for not fighting for a higher salary. She declared that she is "over trying to find the “adorable” way to state [her] opinion," and given the success of her salary negotiations for upcoming film Passengers, it seems she is now fighting hard for what she wants.
9. Joel Edgerton Proved His Talent Onscreen And Off
Edgerton was the face that you instantly recognized on film, but perhaps didn't attach a name to it. 2015 was the year that (hopefully) changed all of that. The actor was able to shine in Black Mass, despite playing opposite Johnny Depp's Whitey Bulger. He also wrote, directed, and starred in the thriller The Gift, proving that he's just as much of a talent off-screen as he is on.
10. Alicia Vikander Appeared In Everything
Vikander has been working steadily since 2005, but 2015 was the year American audiences took notice. She starred in Ex Machina, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Burnt, and the highly-anticipated The Danish Girl in 2015 alone, solidifying her status as a household name and making her one to watch when Oscar season rolls around.
11. Cara Delevingne Switched From Fashion To Movies
Don't call her just a model. Despite her talent for strutting the catwalk, Delevingne re-focused from a fashion career to acting in 2015. She starred in Paper Towns as quirky dream girl Margo, appeared in Pan as a mermaid, and filmed her biggest role to date as Enchantress in Suicide Squad, out next year.
12. Zendaya Reminded Everyone To Love Ourselves
In 2014, Zendaya was best known as a Disney darling, a teen still coming into her own. Today, she makes headlines for her brilliant take-downs of traditional Hollywood standards, and encourages women everywhere to celebrate body positivity. She even schooled Fashion Police on E! for making comments about her dreadlocks on the red carpet that she felt spoke volumes about how women of color are discussed in the media.
13. Rowan Blanchard Became A Feminist Warrior
If you don't watch Disney Channel, you may not have thought of Blanchard at all before 2015. The Girl Meets World star stepped into Cory Matthews' shoes onscreen, but the actress herself stepped into the role of tween feminist. She has penned several essays on gender equality, even choosing to discuss nuanced issues like "white feminism." This girl has truly grown into her own in 2015, and reminds all of us that you're never too young to take a stand.
14. Ruby Rose Became An International Sex Symbol
There was one woman that fans couldn't take their eyes off of in Season 3 of Orange Is the New Black, and that was the then-relative-unknown Rose. The Australian model/DJ (ugh, like she wasn't already the coolest) stole fans' hearts as the uber sexy Stella Carlin, causing many people on Twitter to express their adoration for Rose. Clearly, 2015 marked the year that Rose couldn't go out in public without people fainting at the mere sight of her.
15. Justin Timberlake Had A Baby
He once brought the sexy back, but in 2015, he brought a baby into the world. (Well, okay, his wife Jessica Biel did that, but he helped.) JT is officially a dad, and the Timberlakes are an adorable family. I'll never look at the singer the same way, but that's definitely not a bad thing.
16. Caitlyn Jenner Became A Role Model
Jenner bravely came out as trans earlier this year, and the real change in 2015 came from her decision to become an activist for trans youth. No longer just a side character on Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Jenner launched her own docu-series, I Am Cait, that explores issues related to the trans community, in the hopes that discussing these stories would help others.
Here's to many more transformations in 2016, because it's a reminder that all of us can strive for the best.