Icons From the '10s You Forgot About (But Shouldn't Have)

In case you've ever wondered: Hey, what happened to Taylor Lautner?

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The early 2010s—and to a lesser extent, the latter half of the decade—gave us celebrities who went viral in enormous ways, but never received the same level of attention for their following projects. Since we're talking about our recent past (rather than, say, the long-forgotten '90s icons of our millennial childhoods), most of these '10s icons are still going strong professionally. In fact, several have movies and songs well worth checking out in the present day, which you'll learn about below.

Below, 32 icons from the '10s you've forgotten about—but shouldn't have.

Clay Aiken

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After finishing second in 2003's American Idol, Clay Aiken released a bunch of albums, appeared on Broadway (Spamalot), ran for office, went on tour with American Idol winner Ruben Studdard, and had a son. And he went on The Masked Singer! If you liked him back in the day, you should follow him.

Iggy Azalea

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Following success as a rapper and then subsequently some personal and professional conflicts, Iggy Azalea has continued to release new music (although she's on and off retired from the music scene). She has done modeling and fashion ventures, and is still a media personality.

Asher Roth

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The "frat rapper," whose work includes "I Love College" and his first studio album Asleep in the Bread Aisle with former manager Scooter Braun, released his last album in 2020. Per his social media, he has continued to perform and write, and has also gone on tour.

Nico and Vinz

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Most known for their single "Am I Wrong," Oslo duo Nico and Vinz (Kahouly Nicolay Sereba and Vincent Dery) have continued to release music and said they were working on a second album in 2019. And they still shout out their original hit from time to time!


10s icons - Kreayshawn

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You may know rapper and singer Kreayshawn from her viral hit, "Gucci Gucci" (which was watched almost three million times on YouTube in three weeks, way back in 2011, and was certified platinum in 2023). According to social media, she says she's working on new music.

Taio Cruz

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Taio Cruz's debut album Departure and follow-up Rokstarr were huge hits in the late '00s and early '10s (the latter includes songs you may know, including "Break Your Heart" and "Dynamite"). He released music later in the decade and "2020" in 2020.

Henry Ian Cusick

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You probably know Henry Ian Cusick for his role as Desmond on Lost (which had its final season in 2010), but fans of The 100 will know he also had an ongoing role in that series. Per his IMDb, he has continued to work, including on NCIS: Hawai'i and Big Sky.

New Boyz

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You may not be familiar with the name New Boyz (Earl "Ben J" Benjamin and Dominic "Legacy" Thomas), but you may be familiar with their music: "You're a Jerk," "Tie Me Down," and a feature on Hot Chelle Rae's "I Like It Like That." They reunited in 2022 to release some new music.

Melanie Fiona

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Canadian singer-songwriter Melanie Fiona actually began her career in the '00s and had her breakout late in the decade with "Give It to Me Right" and "It Kills Me." Her second album in the early '10s was also popular; she released music later that decade. Per her social media, she is a podcast cohost and founder of a lifestyle brand.

Far East Movement

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Far East Movement's debut 2010 single, "Like a G6," is so catchy you'll still be humming it long after you finish this article. They have released more music and started their own label, which includes signing South Korean indie-rock band The Rose in 2022.

DJ Havana Brown

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The Australian DJ and singer-songwriter has released a variety of compilation albums as well as singles like "We Run the Night." She was a contestant on I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! and has released new music and continues to DJ, per her social media.

Kristin Bauer Van Straten

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Kristin Bauer Van Straten (who sometimes goes by Kristin Bauer) was the best part of True Blood (i.e., the grouchy and stylish vampire Pam). She was also Maleficent on Once Upon a Time. More recently, she has co-hosted a True Blood podcast and endorses causes she supports, per social media.


10s icons - Miguel

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Miguel's debut album in 2010, All I Want Is You, was a sleeper hit at the time and brought him to the mainstream for the first time. Believe it or not, a single from that album, "Sure Thing" was a hit long after its release in 2023. He has released new music, per social media,

Nicole Sherzinger

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While you may remember Nicole Sherzinger most vividly from The Pussycat Dolls, you may not realize the singer you knew and loved is now a media personality (including on The X Factor and The Masked Singer) and also has played Norma in the musical Sunset Boulevard.


10s icons - PSY

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South Korean rapper, singer, and songwriter Psy has continued to release and perform veery popular music, even though we probably know him best from his internationally viral hit (and equally viral dance) "Gangnam Style." He founded his own label in 2019.

Ryan Cabrera

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A lot of Ryan Cabrera's viral hits were released in the '00s (including "True," "On the Way Down," and "40 Kinds of Sadness") but he released new music in the early '10s and also launched a web series. Per his social media, he still performs both as a singer and DJ.


10s icons - Dev

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In a synergistic moment, Dev's song "Booty Bounce" was sampled in "Like a G6," which led to her being signed and releasing singles including "Bass Down Low" and "In the Dark." According to social media, she has continued to work and even took the stage at Lollapalooza in 2022.

 Hot Chelle Rae

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Hot Chelle Rae's "I Like It Like That" (featuring New Boyz!) was released in 2011 and basically became the song of the early decade (as was their song "Tonight Tonight," released the same year). They released new music in 2020; per social media, they continue to release and perform new music.

Kaci Battaglia

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Sometimes referred to mononymously as "Kaci," Kaci Battaglia started her music career at 11(!). She rose to prominence with 2001's "Paradise" but you more likely know her from "Body Shots" (featuring Ludacris) which was featured on One Tree Hill in 2010.

Travie McCoy

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The co-founder and lead vocalist of Gym Class Heroes, Travie McCoy also released "Billionaire" with Bruno Mars in 2010, which was incredibly popular (and really, really catchy). In 2021, he signed with Hopeless Records; per social media, he still performs.

Jasmine V

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Like other stars on this list, Jasmine V started performing young. She appeared as Justin Bieber's love interest in the "Baby" music video (2010) and is probably most known for "That's Me Right There" featuring Kendrick Lamar in 2014. She's still active on social media!


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ILoveMakonnen is probably best known for his single "Tuesday" and its subsequent remix by Drake. He retired from music in 2016 after departing his record label, then un-retired; he has continued to release music and is still very active on social media.

Tinie Tempah

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You probably know Tinie Tempah (sometimes referred to as Tinie) from his very popular singles, including "Pass Out" and "Written in the Stars" as well as "Children of the Sun." He created his own entertainment company and has continued to release music. He's on social media!

Carly Rae Jepson

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To be clear, Carly Rae Jepson is still around and making great music—it's just that she's kind of the music aficionado's best kept secret, because everyone else knows her from 2012's "Call Me Maybe." She's performed at Coachella, released new music, and absolutely deserves a follow.

Sam Trammell

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The relatable, down-to-earth Sam from True Blood has also worked on and off Broadway. Post Blood and a role in The Fault in Our Stars, he played the vice president/president on Homeland, and he's continued to act per his IMDb. He's active on social media as well.

Icona Pop

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Icona Pop, made up of Stockholm duo Aino Jawo and Caroline Hjelt, gave us "I Love It" in 2012 (and I haven't stopped singing it since!). They still release music and perform; hilariously, their social media proudly proclaims, "We still don't care," a brilliant reference to their smash hit.

The Ting Tings

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"That's Not My Name" (technically released in 2007 but popular through the early '10s) will forever remain for me one of the catchiest songs of all time. They released and performed new music into the '10s and continue to do so today, per their social media.


10s icons - Fun.

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Technically, Fun was a band made up of members of other bands: Jack Antonoff (Steel Train), Andrew Dost (Anathallo), and Nate Ruess (The Format). They went on hiatus in 2015 and went on to do their own things, but "We Are Young" will live forever in our hearts and minds.

Frankie Muniz

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Your eyes do not deceive you: Frankie Muniz went from acting to racing. Technically, Malcolm in the Middle ended in 2006 and he put his acting career on hold in 2008, but he still had a big presence in the '10s with his racing career and band. He's still done some work as a media personality and still references his roots from time to time.


10s icons - LMFAO Redfoo and Sky Blu

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Redfoo and Sky Blu (now TheSky), who made up LMFAO, is responsible for the '11 mega-hits "Party Rock Anthem" and "Sexy and I Know It"—then the duo announced they were going on hiatus not long after in 2012. They've pursued solo careers since then and are on social media.

Wally De Backer (Gotye)

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"Somebody That I Used to Know" was the most successful song of 2012, making Gotye (Wally De Backer) one of the few Australian artists to top the U.S. charts. Actually, Gotye released new music in 2024: "Somebody (2024)," a remix of his original song; he's said on social media he's working on new music.

Taylor Lautner

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I realize this seems unfair: Taylor Lautner rose to super-stardom thanks to the Twilight films and subsequent projects never quite obtained that (massive, massive) success. These days he's a podcaster and he continues to act, per his social media, and he's also an ex and very public fan of Taylor Swift.

Katherine J. Igoe
Contributing Editor

Katherine’s a contributing syndications editor at Marie Claire who covers fashion, culture, and lifestyle. In her role, she writes stories that are syndicated by MSN and other outlets. She’s been a full-time freelancer for over a decade and has had roles with Cosmopolitan (where she covered lifestyle, culture, and fashion SEO content) and Bustle (where she was their movies and culture writer). She has bylines in New York TimesParentsInStyle, Refinery29, and elsewhere. Her work has also been syndicated by ELLEHarper’s BazaarSeventeenGood Housekeeping, and Women’s Health, among others. In addition to her stories reaching millions of readers, content she's written and edited has qualified for a Bell Ringer Award and received a Communicator Award. 

Katherine has a BA in English and art history from the University of Notre Dame and an MA in art business from the Sotheby's Institute of Art (with a focus on marketing/communications). She covers a wide breadth of topics: she's written about how to find the very best petite jeanshow sustainable travel has found its footing on Instagram, and what it's like to be a professional advice-giver in the modern world. Her personal essays have run the gamut from learning to dress as a queer woman to navigating food allergies as a mom. She also has deep knowledge of SEO/EATT, affiliate revenue, commerce, and social media; she regularly edits the work of other writers. She speaks at writing-related events and podcasts about freelancing and journalism, mentors students and other new writers, and consults on coursework. Currently, Katherine lives in Boston with her husband and two kids, and you can follow her on Instagram. If you're wondering about her last name, it’s “I go to dinner,” not “Her huge ego,” but she responds to both.