Once upon a time, children were told, “Because you live in America, you could one day become President of the United States.” Being a powerful world leader was the ultimate role model at the time. Today, it seems everyone wants to be a rock star or a Kardashian. As Sheryl Crow sings, “What used to be a freak show is now reality TV.” (“Crazy Ain’t Original”) Here are some surprising (or not so surprising) examples:

Kanye West


Almost everyone has heard of this popular rap artist, songwriter, and record producer. He is one of the best-selling recording artists of all time. Never guilty of false modesty, West has made headlines by being an outspoken and controversial celebrity. However, even his biggest fans were shocked when he crashed the stage at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards and grabbed the microphone from award winner Taylor Swift. To everyone’s amazement, he proclaimed that Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” was one of the best videos of all time, implying Swift did not deserve the award. Perhaps the most chagrined guest was Beyoncé herself, who later stood to congratulate Taylor Swift, showing a level of class that West could only dream about.