Celebrity Photos From The 2000s That Explain Everything

The world faced a lot of monumental and transformational changes during the turn of the new millennium. Social media and the internet were barely starting out and technology was drastically getting more advanced each year.

The 2000s also brought on a new kind of celebrity. People such as Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian are considered to be some of the media’s first influencers they were famous for the sake of being famous. These celebrity photos from the 2000s will bring back the memories of a decade full of growth, despair, and questionable style.

Britney Spears And Justin Timberlake: An Iconic Denim Duo

britney spears and justin timberlake wearing denim
Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage/Getty Images
Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage/Getty Images

Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake met each other while performing on a revival of The Mickey Mouse Club when they were kids. Other celebrities who came out of the show include Christina Aguilera and Ryan Gosling.

The pair were one of the hottest couples of the early 2000s and turned heads with their unique fashion statements. It’s hard to forget their matching denim outfits at the 2001 American Music Awards. Timberlake was asked about the look almost 20 years later and said he had no regrets.

Kelly Clarkson Becomes First American Idol Winner

kelly clarkson singing on American Idol
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

It didn’t take long for American Idol to become one of the most-watched singing competition shows of the 21st century. Audiences were enthralled by the brutally honest judges, overly-charming host, and huge commercial cliffhangers.

Kelly Clarkson got her claim to fame by winning the very first season of the show back in 2002. After the finale, Clarkson released two singles that broke The Beatles’ record for the biggest leap to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The record hadn’t been broken in almost 40 years.

The World’s First Influencers

kim kardashian and paris hilton posing for a photo
John Stanton/WireImage/Getty Images
John Stanton/WireImage/Getty Images

Both Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian have millions of followers on every social media platform and their claim to fame has started an internet revolution. Hilton is an heiress who is part of the Hilton family of Hilton hotels.

Kardashian’s father served as OJ Simpson’s lawyer during his famous trial and her family became well-known for their reality show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians. In the early 2000s, Kardashian worked as Hilton’s assistant and the two became close friends. Paparazzi have earned billions of dollars by taking their photos, thus making them some of the world’s first influencers.

Scarlett Johansson Takes On More Adult Roles

scarlett johansson wearing makeup
Bruno Vincent/Getty Images
Bruno Vincent/Getty Images

Acting has been a part of Scarlett Johansson’s life for as long as she can remember. Her first film role came when she was only nine-years-old and she was mainly known for her kid and teen roles until 2003.

That was the year she landed the lead in Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation opposite Bill Murray, for which she won the BAFTA. Her acting career has been booming ever since and she has become the highest paid actress in the world.

Lindsay Lohan Gets In Trouble With The Law

lindsay lohan's mugshots
Santa Monica Police Department via Getty Images
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department/Getty Images

Many child stars get a nasty reputation that they will lose all control when they grow up. Sadly, that stereotype remained true with Lindsay Lohan. Lohan became a household name after appearing in several kid and teen movies such as The Parent Trap, Freaky Friday, and Mean Girls.

She started to face problems with the law right before she turned 21. Lohan’s arrests include driving under the influence, felony possession, driving with a suspended license, assault, lying to law enforcement, hit and run, and most famously theft of a necklace from a jewelry store.

Malcolm In The Middle Was America’s Favorite Dysfunctional Family

malcolm in the middle cast posing for a photo
Newsmakers/Getty Images
Newsmakers/Getty Images

The majority of sitcoms from the 20th century were about families who seemed to magically get along. At the turn of the century, TV started to change with Malcolm in the Middle.

It was about a family on the brink of dysfunction with tons of moments that most American families thought were very relatable. It also caused Frankie Muniz to become one of the most famous child stars in the world. Muniz stepped away from the spotlight around the time the show ceased production. He and his wife recently announced they are expecting a baby.

Kids Went Bananas Over High School Musical

high school musical cast standing near a poster of the movie
David Livingston/Getty Images
David Livingston/Getty Images

It’s getting close to the 15-year anniversary of Disney’s High School Musical. Since it was a straight to TV movie, no one thought it would blow up as much as it did.

Some of Hollywood’s most popular A-listers including Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, and Ashley Tisdale got their start in the movie about high school students putting on a musical. High School Musical was an instant hit with two sequels, a spin-off series, concerts, and more.

People Are Still Quoting Legally Blonde

reese witherspoon wearing a pink dress in Legally Blonde
Tracy Bennett/MGM Pictures/Getty Images
Tracy Bennett/MGM Pictures/Getty Images

Even though Reese Witherspoon has acted in a wide range of film and TV roles, she admitted that the one she’s most recognized for is 2001’s Legally Blonde. Elle Woods remains a feminist icon to many and it’s hard to imagine her without her signature pink outfits.

The movie followed her journey from an LA socialite to savvy Harvard Law student. Witherspoon was highly praised for her performance, which further cemented her status as a Hollywood leading lady. Legally Blonde went on to have a sequel, musical, reality show, and a third film is on the way.

Selena Gomez And Demi Lovato Were Disney Channel’s Best Buds

selena gomez and demi lovato hugging
K Mazur/Getty Images
K Mazur/Getty Images

Being a kid in the 2000s meant that you got most of your entertainment from Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, or Cartoon Network. Two of Disney Channel’s biggest stars of the 2000s were Wizards of Waverly Place’s Selena Gomez and Camp Rock’s Demi Lovato.

The two had been inseparable since they were kids starring on Barney & Friends. Similar to many childhood friends, the two grew apart. Lovato recently found out her fiancé, Max Ehrich, professed his love to Gomez and other female celebrities on Instagram, thus leading her to call off their engagement.

Rachel McAdams And Ryan Gosling’s On And Off-Screen Relationship

rachel mcadams and ryan gosling posing for a photo
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The Notebook wouldn’t have been the same if it weren’t for its two leads. Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams met on set of the movie in 2003 and actually didn’t get along at first.

As filming progressed, the two fell madly in love and thought there was no end in sight to their relationship. Unfortunately, their busy schedules got the best of them and they split in 2007. Gosling has spoken about the relationship since the breakup and said that his time with McAdams was a better love story than The Notebook.

Christina Aguilera Was At Her Musical Peak

christina aguilera wearing a bandana
Michel Linssen/Redferns/Getty Images
Michel Linssen/Redferns/Getty Images

Two musical stars who seemed to always get compared to one another during the early 2000s were Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. The childhood friends became some of the most successful female solo artists at the turn of the century.

While Spears usually got more attention, there was a moment when it was Aguilera’s time to shine. She was nominated against Spears, Kid Rock, and Macy Gray at the 2000 Grammy Awards for Best New Artist and won. Now, Aguilera has a total of five Grammy wins and 18 nominations.

Harry Potter Was All Anyone Could Talk About

harry potter cast making handprints at Grauman's Chinese Theater
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

The Harry Potter books started to receive some attention in the late 1990s, so it was decided that they would be turned into a movie franchise. Fans from all across the world went absolutely crazy over the films, which launched the cast into superstardom.

Whenever a new book in the series was published or a new movie in the franchise premiered, people would gather in huge groups just to be the first ones to experience the magic. There are now Harry Potter theme parks, Broadway plays, clothing lines, and more.

Brad Pitt And Jennifer Aniston Were Hollywood’s Favorite Couple

brad pitt and jennifer aniston swarmed by paparazzi
Francois Guillot/AFP via Getty Images
Francois Guillot/AFP via Getty Images

The Hollywood “it” couple constantly changes and during the early 2000s everyone had their eyes on Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. He was and is still one of Hollywood’s most popular film actors and she was a world-famous sitcom star for Friends.

Their love story filled up almost all the tabloids with paparazzi following their every move. In 2005, it was revealed that Pitt had found a new woman (Angelina Jolie) on the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Pitt has since split from Jolie and he and Aniston remain close friends.

The World Was Introduced To Lady Gaga

lady gaga performing on stage
Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images
Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

It was time for a music revolution and Lady Gaga was ready to bring it. She became famous after her 2008 hit “Just Dance” topped almost all the music charts. Lady Gaga stood out from her peers because of her campy and original costumes and impeccable live performances.

It probably helped that her songs are really catchy. She set a new standard for the 21st-century pop star and continues to reinvent herself. Over the course of her career, Lady Gaga has earned Grammys, Golden Globes, and Oscars. She has supported almost 100 different charities with causes inlcuding Alzheimer’s, autism, and lupus.

Looking Back On The Office

the office cast posing for a photo
Robin Platzer/FilmMagic/Getty Images
Robin Platzer/FilmMagic/Getty Images

One of the most popular sitcoms of all time was NBC’s The Office. The show ran for nine seasons and starred Steve Carrell, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, and more. The ensemble workplace mockumentary followed the employees at a fictional paper company.

During its first season, the network thought it wouldn’t last, even though they said the episodes were good. When The Office hit streaming platforms such as iTunes and Netflix, younger audiences became the show’s biggest fans and saved it from going into obscurity.

Will Smith Gets Slimed At The Kids Choice Awards

will smith covered in slime
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images

After starring on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in the 1990s, Will Smith transitioned to movies towards the turn of the century. He soon became one of the most successful stars of the 2000s with the majority of his movies being box office hits.

His celebrity status didn’t stop him from showing his goofy side. This photo shows Smith after getting slimed at the 2000 Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards. He’s won 11 of them with 13 other nominations. His most memorable acceptance speech at the award show was in 2005 when he assured everyone watching that no problem is too big to solve.

Halle Berry Sets An Oscars Record

halle berry holding an oscar
SGranitz/WireImage/Getty Images
SGranitz/WireImage/Getty Images

In March 2002, Halle Berry won the Best Actress Academy Award for Monster’s Ball. This award was historic because Berry became the first African American to receive the honor.

During her speech, she thanked all the female actresses of color who came before her and dedicated the award to her peers including Jada Pinkett Smith, Angela Bassett, and Vivica Fox. It’s been almost two decades since her win and there have yet to be any other actresses of color who’ve received the Best Actress Oscar.

Taylor Swift Thought She’d Only Perform Country Music

taylor swift close up
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Before Taylor Swift was one of the world’s most famous singers, she spent her time training to become the best performer she could be. She started vocal and acting lessons at age nine and convinced her family to move near Nashville, Tennessee to further her budding music career.

Her first big hit single came in 2006 with the release of “Tim McGraw,” which had her tapping into the often neglected demographic of teenage girls who listen to country music. She continues to drop number one hits in almost every genre including “Teardrops on My Guitar,” “Our Song,” “Shake It Off,” and “Betty.”

Beyoncé And Jay-Z Were A Musical Match Made In Heaven

beyonce and jay-z performing
Kevin Mazur/WireImage/Getty Images
Kevin Mazur/WireImage/Getty Images

Beyoncé and Jay-Z have become one of music’s most successful singing duos of all time. Their love story goes back to when Beyoncé was just a teenager. They met when she was just 18 and the two began to date after being friends for a little over a year.

As they got to know each other, they realized their music could get better if they collaborated. First, she appeared on Jay-Z’s “03 Bonnie and Clyde,” but it was “Crazy in Love” that set the tone for their combined talent. It earned a Grammy for Best R&B Song in 2004.

Avril Lavigne Was The Quintessential 2000s Punk Rock Girl

avril lavigne photo circa 2002
Scott Gries/Getty Images
Scott Gries/Getty Images

When Avril Lavigne started to make a name for herself in the music industry, she was famously described as the “Anti-Britney.” Her music was full of teenage angst against the sounds of punk rock. It’s hard to forget her greatest hits such as “Sk8er Boi” and “Complicated.”

Her style was certainly one-of-a-kind with dark eyeliner, loose ties with T-shirts, high-top shoes, and leather bracelets. Teen girls wanted to emulate Lavigne’s look, so she launched her own clothing line called Abbey Dawn.

Shakira Popularized Latin Music In America

shakira playing the guitar
Bertrand Parres/AFP via Getty Images
Bertrand Parres/AFP via Getty Images

It wasn’t that common to hear Latin music playing on mainstream radio stations in America before the turn of the century. Shakira helped pave the way for Latin artists and was given the nickname, the Queen of Latin Music.

She made her recording debut at just 13-years-old, but she originally flopped. When she entered the English-language market in 2001, she became a worldwide phenomenon. Shakira is known for songs such as “Whenever, Wherever,” “Hips Don’t Lie,” and “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa).”

Saturday Night Live Remained Hilarious

saturday night live cast of women
Sylvain Gaboury/FilmMagic/Getty Images
Sylvain Gaboury/FilmMagic/Getty Images

There was no shortage of laughs for the episodes of Saturday Night Live that aired in the 2000s. Women dominated the show with Tina Fey working as the head writer and cast members such as Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Kristen Wiig, and Rachel Dratch getting tons of recognition for their hilarious skits.

One skit that stands out during the 2000s was Fey and Poehler as Sarah Palin and Hilary Clinton. Fey uttered the famous line, “I can see Russia from my house,” and the audience was in stitches.

Kanye West Stealing The Microphone From Taylor Swift

kanye west interrupting taylor swift's acceptance speech
Christopher Polk/Getty Images
Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Taylor Swift received the Best Female Music Video award at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. As she was starting her acceptance speech, Kanye West quickly ran up on stage and grabbed the microphone away from her.

He started by saying, “Yo Taylor, I’m really happy for you. I’ll let you finish, but Beyoncé has one of the best videos of all time.” Both Swift and the crowd were mortified by West’s outburst and the show quickly cut to a different clip. The two have tried to reconcile, but remain in a feud.

Friends Comes To An End

cast of friends on set
Paul Drinkwater/NBC via Getty Images
Paul Drinkwater/NBC via Getty Images

During the 1990s and early 2000s, it was rare to find someone who hadn’t seen Friends. After 10 years on the air, the sitcom had its series finale on May 6, 2004.

Their finale was watched by 52.5 million people across the United States, making it the fifth most-watched TV finale in history and the most-watched television episode of the 2000s. Fans of the series might like to know that there will be a possible reunion between the cast members coming up sometime later in 2020 or early 2021.

Amy Winehouse Brought Her Soulful Voice To 2000s Music

amy winehouse performing
Chris Christoforou/Redferns/Getty Images
Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

It was easy to tell if an Amy Winehouse song was playing due to her unique vocals and contemporary sound. In 2006 she released Back to Black, which became one of the best-selling albums of all time. Winehouse earned several awards and gained a massive following from fans.

Her style was truly original with a beehive hairdo, tattoos covering her arms, and timeless winged eyeliner. Winehouse usually found herself in the tabloids and was constantly followed by paparazzi. Her untimely demise was most likely attributed to her struggles in the public eye.

The Twilight Saga Turned Unknown Actors Into Huge Stars

kristen stewart and robert pattinson posing for a photo
Franco S. Origlia/Getty Images
Franco S. Origlia/Getty Images

Before the Twilight saga was turned into a film franchise, people hadn’t really heard of Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. Pattinson had just finished a Harry Potter film, while Stewart had done a string of independent movies.

By 2008 that all changed. Fans (mostly teenage girls) went bonkers over the books and movies about a girl who falls in love with a vampire. Twilight merchandise popped up in almost every store and the cast was known by name around the world. Now, Stewart and Pattinson are two of the most famous stars in Hollywood with incredible résumés.

Justin Bieber Becomes First Internet Pop Star

justin bieber playing guitar
Irving Shuter/Getty Images
Irving Shuter/Getty Images

Almost five billion YouTube videos are watched every day. The video streaming site was introduced to the world in 2005 and there are quite a few celebrities who found fame though it.

Justin Bieber’s mother started uploading videos of him singing for their friends and family to see and the views skyrocketed. Manager Scooter Braun accidentally stumbled onto Bieber’s YouTube videos and thought he was so good that he tracked him down and signed him to his record label. He soon released many smash hits including “One Time,” “One Less Lonely Girl,” and “Baby.”

TLC Broadcasts A New Kind Of Family

jon and kate gosselin with their eight children
FIRST for Women magazine/Pinterest
FIRST for Women magazine/Pinterest

Reality television shows seemed as if they were multiplying during the 2000s and one that brought in millions of viewers every week was TLC’s Jon and Kate Plus 8. It was the network’s highest-rated program during its run.

The season five premiere brought in 9.8 million viewers, which made it the most-watched television show of the night. Fame started to get the best of the family and led to a very public divorce between Jon and Kate. Many reality shows were inspired by the “large family” structure and it has led to a new generation of “family vloggers” who upload videos of their family on social media.

Avatar Was The Highest-Grossing Film Of All Time

james cameron in front of an avatar poster
Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images
Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

At the end of the 2000s, moviegoers rushed to the theaters to see James Cameron’s Avatar. He was also the mind behind Titanic, which had previously been the highest-grossing film of all time.

Cameron was able to beat his own record by putting Avatar in the number one spot. Although Avengers: Endgame is in the top spot now, Avatar remains a cinematic masterpiece. Critics praised the film for its groundbreaking visual effects, which led to the popularization of 3D televisions.