20 Stars Open Up About Their Celebrity Idols, Because Not All Heroes Wear Capes
Whether it's a celebrity or a loved one, we all have someone that we admire and draw inspiration from and that doesn't change just because you're famous. Stars like Storm Reid, Demi Lovato, Kim Kardashian, and Harry Styles have all been open about their celebrity idols, and some have even been lucky enough to meet them and forge friendships. I mean, can you imagine being friends with Beyoncé? Keep reading to see what your favorite stars had to say about their celebrity heroes.
Storm Reid's Celebrity Idol: Zendaya
In addition to playing sisters on Euphoria, Zendaya has been Storm's idol since she was a little girl. "I've always looked up to her . . . she's gone through all the experiences that I'm going through now," Storm told The Hollywood Reporter. "I can talk to her about the industry thing or just talk to her about being, like, a regular teenager growing up here in LA. That is really special, so I'm glad I have that."
Prior to working together, Storm first met Zendaya when she was 9 at a Ben & Jerry's in California. "I literally froze for a good two minutes and just stared at her," Storm recalled in an interview with Variety. "And then I finally asked her for a picture."
Sofia Wylie's Celebrity Idol: Zendaya
Just like Storm, Sofia's celebrity hero is Zendaya. "She started off with Disney and she's just completely grown. She's a fashion icon and she's going to movies now and she's so amazing and beautiful," Sofia said in a 2017 interview with J-14. "I've always loved her ever since she started on Shake It Up. Hopefully, that's how my career goes in the same direction."
Billie Eilish's Celebrity Idol: Justin Bieber
Billie has looked up to Justin since she was a teenager, and she finally got to meet him at Coachella in 2019. "It wasn't like I was just a fan, man," she told Marie Claire. "I've been in love before, and it was with him."
Billie also expressed her love for Justin in his Seasons documentary, saying, "I care about him more than anyone in my life . . . anything that he makes at all, I'm excited about. I don't care if he pooped and put it on a plate and put that in a store, I'm excited."
The two later collaborated on Billie's "Bad Guy (Remix)," and Justin even spoke about wanting to protect Billie in an interview with Zane Lowe, given that he's far too familiar with the pressures of being in the spotlight. "I want her to know that she can count on me. . . . I just kind of let her do her thing, and if she ever needs me, I'm gonna be here for her. . . . I just want to protect her," Justin said. "I don't want her to lose it. I don't want her to go through anything I went through. I don't wish that upon anybody. So, yeah, if she ever needs me, I'm just a call away."
Harry Styles's Celebrity Idol: Stevie Nicks
Harry and Stevie forged a friendship after the two met at a Fleetwood Mac concert in 2015, and the two have not stopped gushing about each other ever since. In March 2019, Harry helped induct Stevie into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by giving a heartwarming speech, in which he called her one of his musical heroes.
"In my family we listened at home, we listened in the car, we listened wherever we could. 'Dreams' was the first song I knew all the words to, before I really knew what all the words meant. I thought it was a song about the weather. But I knew it was a beautiful song about the weather. I always knew the words and I love them all," Harry said. "She is more than a role model — she's a beacon to all of us. Whenever you hear her voice, life gets a little bit better. When she sings, the world is hers, and it is yours. She is everything you've ever wanted in a lady, in a lover, in a friend."
Ariana Grande's Celebrity Idol: Jim Carrey
While Ariana and Jim seem like an unlikely pair, the singer has idolized the actor since she was a little girl. In July 2019, Ariana had the honor of working with Jim when she made a guest appearance on his Showtime series, Kidding.
"There aren't words. I've been staring at my screen and no words do this moment justice," she captioned an Instagram photo of her and Jim hugging. "Thankful for the most special experience of my life. Nothing is crazier than getting to work with and spend time with someone whom you've idolized and adored since before you could speak. Actually, what's even crazier is discovering that person to be more special and warm and generous in person than you ever could've imagined."
Olly Alexander's Celebrity Idol: Rihanna
The Years and Years singer's life was forever changed when he met Rihanna on The Graham Norton Show in 2018. "Rihanna was so warm and kind and genuine and I got to thank her for being the inspiration of life ❤️ !!! I am never ever coming down from this!!!" Olly tweeted.
He later opened up about what it was like meeting his idol in an interview with Beats 1. "I honestly thought I might faint . . . I also felt that I needed to communicate to her like how intense my love is for her, but in a way that didn't freak her out," Olly explained before adding that Rihanna smells like "dreams and wishes coming true."
Zendaya's Celebrity Idol: Oprah
"She's someone who, even with everything stacked against her, has soared to unbelievable heights," Zendaya said of her idol. "If she wants to create a network, she can do it. She wants to produce a movie? She can do it. But then also there's this level of realness to her. You feel like she's your auntie." In addition to Oprah, Zendaya also looks up to her mom, Shonda Rhimes, and Beyoncé.
Jenna Ortega's Celebrity Idol: Gina Rodriguez
Aside from working together on Jane the Virgin, Jenna looks up to Gina because of their similar backgrounds. "I look up to Gina Rodriguez because, like me, she did not have a connection to the business," she told Latina in 2016. "We are both Latinas who do not come from money and did not have an easy way in. She speaks openly about the challenges of being a Latina actress and how Latin actors are not represented on screen the way they should be. She has proven that hard work pays off and I admire that."
Jenna also added that it was "so cool" getting the opportunity to play Gina's younger self in the CW series. "Gina is amazing, so I was honored to get to play the younger version of her," she added. "My favorite days were the table read days because everyone was there. The writing was is so funny, we would spend some time laughing together because it was too funny not to."
Willow Smith's Celebrity Idol: Lady Gaga
Given the fact that Willow comes from a famous family, it's no surprise that her parents, Will and Jada, inspired her to become a singer. However, when it comes to her career, she wants to follow in Lady Gaga and Billy Idol's footsteps. While speaking with Billboard in 2010, Willow revealed that she's a fan of Gaga's because "she cares about everybody and she writes songs about herself and everybody." In a separate interview with Elle, Willow added, "I would like to be a very well known artist. I would like to be as big as Lady Gaga. I would like to be bigger. I'd like to be a big rock star."
And it looks like the feeling is mutual because when Gaga previously stopped by The Jay Leno Show, she couldn't help but gush about Willow. "I love Willow," Gaga said. "I told her that she inspires me to whip my hair back and forth on stage."
Demi Lovato's Celebrity Idol: Christina Aguilera
Not only are these two friends, but Christina was one of Demi's idols growing up. "I grew up listening to Christina Aguilera," Demi told People in September 2017. "She was one of my idols growing up. She still is. Her voice is incredible, and in [Christina's 2002 album] Stripped you really got to hear that. I think it was her breakout album that really transformed her into the icon that she is today. So that inspired me . . . she really inspired this album [Tell Me You Love Me]. I was even inspired by the black and white artwork!"
In 2018, Christina and Demi teamed up for an inspiring self-empowerment duet titled "Fall in Line," and the two are constantly cheering each other on on social media.
Cardi B's Celebrity Idol: Lady Gaga
Cardi's prayers were finally answered when she met Gaga at the 2019 Grammys. The rapper has always been open about her admiration for Gaga, and back in 2016, she tweeted, "When I was a teenager lady Gaga changed my life. She inspired me to be myself & be different."
Gaga also supported Cardi after she received backlash over her rap album of the year Grammy win. "It is so hard to be a woman in this industry," Gaga wrote alongside a photo of the two on Twitter. "What it takes, how hard we work through the disrespectful challenges, just to make art. I love you Cardi. You deserve your awards. Let's celebrate her fight. Lift her up & honor her. She is brave."
Normani's Celebrity Idol: Beyoncé
Normani had the honor of meeting Beyoncé at Roc Nation's pre-Grammys brunch in 2018, and it was a moment she'll never forget. In an interview with Hot 97, Normani gushed about their meeting and why it was so special for her.
"They say never meet your idols, but I've heard nothing but great things and I knew that she would be amazing," Normani said. "I almost started crying . . . I was like, 'Ever since I was a little girl, I've looked up to you, especially me being an African American female in the entertainment industry. You make me feel like I can do absolutely anything.'"
Adele's Celebrity Idol: Beyoncé
Both Adele and Beyoncé have expressed love for each other, but the "Hello" singer really made her admiration known when she praised Beyoncé at the 2017 Grammys. After winning record of the year and album of the year, beating out Beyoncé in both categories, Adele made sure her idol still got all the recognition she deserved.
"I can't possibly accept this award, and I'm very humbled, and I'm very grateful and gracious, but the artist of my life is Beyoncé," she said. "And this album to me, the Lemonade album, was just so monumental, Beyoncé, so monumental, and so well thought out, and so beautiful and soul-bearing, and we all got to see another side to you that you don't always let us see. And we appreciate that, and all us artists here f*cking adore you. You are our light, and the way that you make me and my friends feel—the way that you make my Black friends feel is empowering, and you make them stand up for themselves. And I love you, I always have, and I always will."
Coco Gauff's Celebrity Idol: Michelle Obama
In 2019, the tennis pro finally got to meet her role model. Coco gushed about the exciting experience on Instagram, writing, "Today I got to meet my idol @MichelleObama. Her words and wisdom on my journey will stay with me on the court over the course of my career. She is a true inspiration. I have never arrived, I am always becoming! Thank you for your time."
In addition to swapping autographs during their meeting, Michelle wrote a touching note for Coco in her Becoming book that read: "I wish you courage, strength, joy and love on your journey to become more." Aw!
Kim Kardashian's Celebrity Idol: Jennifer Lopez
Kim and Jennifer's friendship is proof that dreams do come true. The reality TV star and singer have been close for over a decade now, and Kim has always been open about her love for Jennifer. In 2018, Kim totally fangirled when she had Jennifer over for a movie night at her house.
"Never in my life would I have imagined that my idol would want to come have a movie night with me," she said. "My inspiration for everything has been Jennifer Lopez. I would try and see what shoes she'd wear, what makeup, what hair — I became obsessed with glam because of Jennifer. I never would have imagined this would have been my life. I always fangirl for her. Dreams do come true, guys!"
Marsai Martin's Celebrity Idol: Beyoncé
Marsai is a big fan of Beyoncé, so when she met her at the White House in 2017, she cried naturally. "It was amazing. If you know, Beyoncé is like my favorite person. I love her so much," she later told Conan O'Brien in an interview. "I cried. I was shaking . . . It was really cool."
Chance the Rapper's Celebrity Idol: Kanye West
Chance made it clear that he's one of Kanye's biggest fans when he graced the cover of GQ magazine's February 2017 issue. In the accompanying interview, Chance praised Kanye, calling him "the smartest man in the world."
"I remember my dad would introduce us to folks and they would ask, 'What're you going to be when you grow up?' . . . . And I remember they asked me, and I said a rapper. And my dad laughed it off, like, 'No, he doesn't.' You know?" he explained. "And I remember that sh*t used to bother the f*ck out of me, because I thought Kanye West was the smartest man in the world. The best poet in the world. The freshest-dressed in the world. That's what a rapper was to me, and I wanted everybody to feel that way about the word 'rapper.'"
Kelly Clarkson's Celebrity Idol: Reba McEntire
Not only is Kelly married to Reba's stepson Brandon Blackstock, but Kelly has always looked up to Reba. When Kelly brought her out on stage to perform "A Minute + a Glass of Wine" in 2019, she told the crowd, "I'm super excited about my guest . . . I asked this person because this person has been such an influence, not just musically but personally. It's just a really rare thing to like — meet your hero and they live up to it. I think everybody knows what's about to happen."
Lea Michele's Celebrity Idol: Barbra Streisand
Lea's love for Barbra is pretty well known, and in her 2014 memoir Brunette Ambition, Lea reflected on what it was like meeting her idol. "In January, 2011, Barbra Streisand was honored at the Grammys, and as is the tradition there was a Music Cares Benefit on her behalf a few nights before the ceremony. I was invited to sing," she wrote. "There she was in the audience, right in front of me. I was incredibly nervous — there was nothing that could have fully prepared me to sing in front of my idol — but I was so honored and happy to be on that stage that I just powered through my performance . . . sometimes you meet your idols and they don't live up to your expectations, but that moment was one of the best in my life."