Eddie Murphy – “Up”
He was the king of comedy in the 1980’s and this year he made a comeback, with the hit movie Tower Heist and an offer to host the Academy Awards. We look forward to big things from Mr. Murphy in the near future.
Oprah Winfrey – “Down”
America’s “queen of talk” had a down year after launching her new network OWN and receiving minimal ratings. She is currently launching a fresh slate of programming in hopes of connecting with a new audience in 2012.
Rihanna – “Up”
Rihanna released Loud a year ago, and this year she gave us Talk That Talk. Ri Ri is proving nothing can hold her down. She speaks her mind on Twitter and keeps it real (sometimes a little bit too real) 24/7.
T.I. – “Down”
Although T.I. has a new reality show on Vh1, this has been a tough year for the Atlanta based rapper. He was released from prison in August and forced to return to prison a month later after violating his parole.
Gayle King – “Up”
After launching the second season of The Gayle King Show on OWN, Gayle was offered a gig hosting The Early Show on CBS. She soon will be the new face of morning network news.
Tracy Morgan – “Down”
Comedian Tracy Morgan received major criticism this year after he went on an anti-gay rant during a comedy routine in Nashville, Tenn. He eventually made a public apology, but is still trying rebound back into the public’s good graces.
Kanye West – “Up”
The public has had a love-hate relationship with Kanye through the years. But hate him or love him none can deny that it was sheer talent that earned him 7 Grammy nominations this year.
Stacey Dash – “Down”
This year Stacey Dash was on her way back to being a successful working actress with her role on VH1’s Single Ladies. But due to her reportedly diva-like ways she and the network parted ways.
Beyoncé – “Up”
This year Beyoncé put out her fourth album, 4, but making music is not the only reason Beyoncé remains on top. She announced earlier this year that she and Jay-Z are expecting their first child together. 2012 might be her best year yet!
Chris Brown – “Up”
Chris Brown has been struggling to win back the respect of his fans ever since the Rihanna debacle from 2009. This year his career is on mend with several amazing live performances and the success of his latest album F.A.M.E.
Tyler Perry – “Up”
This year Tyler Perry topped Forbes’ list of highest-paid men in entertainment bringing in $130 million from May of 2010 to May of 2011. He is on a winning streak, and doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
Soulja Boy – “Down”
This year Soulja Boy went from being known as a one or two-hit wonder, to making headlines for bogus purchases and allegations of being evicted for not paying the rent on his Atlanta home.
Kim Kardashian – “Up”
This year Kim has battled allegations of staging her wedding with Kris Humphries, and now a very public divorce. However, she raked in millions in 2011 remains focused on her product endorsements and TV productions.
Terrence Howard – “Down”
Years ago, Terrence Howard was nominated for an Academy Award, but lately he has starred in a slew of poorly reviewed films, and most recently is battling allegations of domestic violence.
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2011 has been a memorable year in entertainment.
Rihanna ran around topless in a field, Eddie Murphy backed out of hosting the Oscars, Tyler Perry topped Forbes’ Hollywood moneymakers list and Chris Brown threw a chair into a dressing room at Good Morning America.
With every year there are moments that overwhelm us with pride, and take our breath away. And then there are moments that just make us pause and shake our heads.
Here is theGrio’s list of celebrity entertainers who we think finished this year on a high and those who we think ended it on a low.