Some people are just destined to live in infamy — for better or for worse, and whether they want it or not. In 2007, Tay Zonday found mainstream fame when his performance of "Chocolate Rain" became a viral video. It currently has more than 108 million views on YouTube. In honor of Tay's 34th birthday on July 6, 2016, Wonderwall.com is taking a look at what he and other pop culture newsmakers are up to now. After "Chocolate Rain" went viral, in August 2011, Tay appeared on "America's Got Talent" and performed 15 seconds of the song. On June 22, 2013, he uploaded a cover of Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe," and his bass singing voice helped him land one of the top 10 covers of the song on Billboard.com. That video has more than 6 million views on YouTube, where he's still going strong with more than 1 million subscribers. Keep reading to see what more pop culture newsmakers are up to these days…
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Courtney Stodden became a topic of tabloid discussion in May 2011 when, at 16, she married "The Green Mile" actor Doug Hutchison, who's 35 years her senior — and reportedly four years older than her own father. Two years later, they split. While single, she starred on Britain's "Big Brother" reality show before — you guessed it — reconciling with Doug in 2014. In May 2015, Courtney released a solo sex tape. One year later, on May 17, 2016, the couple announced that they were expecting their first child, and on May 20, they celebrated their fifth anniversary by renewing their vows.
It was easily one of the biggest moments of 2015: the unveiling of Caitlyn Jenner. In April 2015 — after living as Bruce Jenner for 65 years, the former husband of Kardashian family matriarch Kris Jenner confirmed widespread reports that he was transitioning into a woman. On June 1, 2015, Caitlyn made her debut on the cover of Vanity Fair. Since then, Caitlyn has emerged as an eloquent spokeswoman for the transgender community and launched her own reality TV show, E!'s "I Am Cait." She was also presented with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2015 ESPYs.
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Adnan Syed's trial for the murder of high school student Hae Min Lee in 1999 was documented in Sarah Koenig's "Serial" podcast in its first season in 2014. Thanks to the popular podcast, Adnan's trial quickly became one of the most buzzed-about cases in the world. After 16 years in prison, Adnan was given a new trial. On June 30, 2016, his attorney Justin Brown made the announcement on Twitter. "WE WON A NEW TRIAL FOR ADNAN SYED!!! #FreeAdnan," he wrote.
Rachel Roy worked as the creative director of Rocawear, where she met her husband Damon Dash. In 2004, she started her own fashion collection and five years later, she divorced Damon. While she's been known for her work with the line for more than a decade, she recently found more fame when Beyonce's "Lemonade" dropped on April 24, 2016. In "Sorry," Bey alludes to husband Jay Z cheating with the lyric, "Her heaven will be a love without betrayal. Ashes to ashes, dust to side chicks." She then repeatedly brings up how "He better call Becky with the good hair." Reports instantly claimed Becky was code for Rachel, who's long been rumored to have hooked up with Jay Z (something she's repeatedly denied). In 2014, rumors swirled that Rachel was the reason for the infamous elevator fight between Jay Z and Beyonce's sister Solange Knowles. Rachel fueled the belief that she was Becky when she posted an Instagram pic captioned, "Good hair don't care, but we will take good lighting, for selfies, or self truths, always. live in the light #nodramaqueens" after "Lemonade" dropped. The Instagram post was deleted and Rachel defended herself with a statement to People. "I want to put the speculation and rumors to rest. My Instagram post was meant to be fun and lighthearted, it was misunderstood as something other than that," she said. "There is no validity to the idea that the song references me personally. There is no truth to the rumors."
Teresa Giudice was known for her wild antics and extravagant lifestyle on "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" since 2009, but her drama seemed all the more real in 2014. On March 4, 2014, Teresa and husband Joe Giudice pleaded guilty to multiple counts of fraud in federal court. Teresa began a prison sentence on Jan. 5, 2015, and spent nearly a year behind bars for her financial crimes. Now she's back on reality TV! She returns to "RHONJ" on Bravo when Season 7 debuts on July 10, 2016.
In February 2016, Daniel Laura became known for a viral video: An edited collection of Snapchat videos of him with slip-on sneakers was watched more than 178 million times on Vine, because his friend Joshua Holz says, "Damn, Daniel" in it in a hilarious way. His 15 minutes of shoe-related meme fame lasted longer than expected. Daniel and Josh made it onto "The Ellen DeGeneres show," where the comedian used them as red carpet correspondents at the 2016 MTV Movie Awards. Daniel even worked up the courage to ask Gigi Hadid to his prom. Then Daniel made news once again when Jay Z referenced him in a song in June 2016. "Life made me ambidextrous / Countin' with my right, whipping white with my left wrist / Damn Daniel / FBI keep bringing them all white vans through," he raps in Pusha T's "Drug Dealers Anonymous." Damn, Daniel!
Nyle DiMarco made news as the first deaf winner of "America's Next Top Model" Season 22 in 2015. One year later, he was on "Dancing With the Stars" Season 22 with pro partner Peta Murgatroyd, and he won the mirrorball trophy! He'll soon appear on Hulu's "Difficult People," which returns for its second season on July 12, 2016. As he gets used to more fame, he is also now a part of the romance rumor mill. In June 2016, reports claimed that he was getting cozy with Chris Brown's ex Karrueche Tran.
The images were shocking: With clippers in hand, pop princess Britney Spears was shaving her head. The 2007 incident was just one example of Britney's erratic behavior during a time period that also saw her divorce Kevin Federline, publicly date a paparazzo, attack a photographer with an umbrella, get committed to a psychiatric facility, and lose physical custody of her two boys. After dad Jamie Spears successfully petitioned the court to put him in charge of a conservatorship over his daughter, things began to turn around, and the conservatorship remains in place to this day. Britney turned her career around, regained shared custody of her sons, started dating again and, in 2013, launched a wildly successful Las Vegas residency.
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Caitlin Upton made waves in 2007 while competing in the Miss Teen USA competition when she was asked why Americans can't find the United States on a map. The former Miss South Carolina Teen answered, "I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some, uh, people out there in our nation don't have maps and, uh, I believe that our education like such as in South Africa and, uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as." Eight years later, Caitlin says her answer still haunts her. Not only did she lose a lot of friends over the situation and suffer from intense depression, but her parents received threats. Nowadays, Caitlin says becoming a brunette has helped distance her from her pageant days. "But I also get recognized for having a similar name to Kate Upton," Caitlin told Us Weekly. "So I'll go into my auditions and be like, 'Yes, yes, I know — I'm the other one.'"
"The Hills" made Heidi Montag famous, but the reality TV queen extended her 15 minutes of fame in a big way in 2010 when she underwent 10 plastic surgery procedures in one day. She and husband Spencer Pratt went on to appear in more reality shows including "Celebrity Big Brother" in 2013 — the same year she made headlines for undergoing breast-reduction surgery to alleviate back problems stemming from her first operation — and, most recently, "Marriage Boot Camp" in 2015. She also appeared on the 2016 Lifetime show "Mother/Daughter Experiment," where she addressed unresolved issues with her mom, Darlene Egelhoff.
Kate Gosselin found fame in 2007 when she and then-husband Jon Gosselin starred in "Jon & Kate Plus 8," a reality show that chronicled their lives as the parents of twins and sextuplets. She and Jon went through a nasty divorce two years later, but Kate continued to chase the reality TV dream, writing multiple books and appearing on several reality shows including "Dancing With the Stars," "Celebrity Apprentice" and "Celebrity Wife Swap." She now stars on TLC's "Kate Plus 8." In 2015, she was also linked to millionaire Jeff Prescott, COO and co-founder of photo agency Dreamstime, but they reportedly split and she's a single lady these days.
Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi
Her life was simple: gym, tan, laundry… and a lot of booze! Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi made a name for herself as the diminutive life of the party on MTV's "Jersey Shore." She even once got arrested on the show. No longer interested in the "smush room" or wondering if the "cabs are here," Snooki is now raising two children with husband Jionni LaValle. Snooki, who also made headlines for her dramatic weight loss, went on to star with BFF Jenni "JWoww" Farley in "Snooki & JWoww," which ended in February 2015 after four seasons. She also has a fashion and beauty empire that includes three clothing lines, perfume, accessories, makeup and, of course, self-tanner.
After publicly coming out as a gay man on the cover of People magazine in 2006, *NSYNC boy bander Lance Bass released his autobiography, starred in "Hairspray" on Broadway, came in third on "Dancing With the Stars" and, in 2011, found love with artist Michael Turchin, whom he married in December 2014 with a slew of celebrity friends in attendance.
President Barack Obama
"Yes We Can" turned into "Yes We Did." Barack Obama made history in 2008 when he was elected the 44th President of the United States, marking the first time a black man has ever held the office. He won reelection in 2012 and is now preparing to be a lame duck prez as his second term draws to a close. "I know what I'll do right after the next president's inaugurated," he wrote on Tumblr in 2014. "I'll be on a beach somewhere, drinking out of a coconut."
In 2009, golf legend Tiger Woods found himself in the middle of an unsavory sex scandal when an avalanche of women came forward with claims that they'd slept with the golfer while he was married to Elin Nordegren. Tiger admitted to cheating, Elin divorced him, and his love life and career never really recovered. In May 2015, he and Olympic ski champ Lindsey Vonn broke up after three years of dating. Once the most successful golfer in the world, Tiger has failed to win any major tournaments since his infidelity drama dominated headlines.
He was born to music royalty — his parents are Cher and Sonny Bono — and grew up as a girl named Chastity Bono. But between 2008 and 2010, actor Chaz Bono went through a female-to-male gender transition to become the man he is today. In 2011, Chaz competed on "Dancing with the Stars" and in the summer of 2015, he starred in a stage production of "Down the Road" in Hollywood, California. He remains one of the most high-profile advocates for the LGBT community today.
In June 2015, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner announced that they were divorcing after 10 years of marriage. A month later, a report surfaced alleging that as his marriage crumbled, Ben had hooked up with his kids' former nanny, Christine Ouzounian. Ben's rep has called the claims "garbage," but reports about how he allegedly put her up at the Hotel Bel-Air and funded her new-car purchase dominated headlines for weeks. As Ben and Jen continued to put on a united front for their kids, Christine tried to stay in the spotlight: According to Page Six, she was searching for an agent and was hoping for a reality TV career on a shows like "Dancing With the Stars" or "The Bachelorette," although she's since faded from the spotlight.
An Internet star was inexplicably born in 2010 when Antoine Dodson spoke on-camera to an Alabama news crew about a home intrusion and the attempted rape of his sister. In a flamboyant, unscripted rant, he said to "hide yo kids, hide yo wives and hide yo husband because they raping everybody out here." And that was it: The video went viral and inspired several music remixes including the most famous one, "The Bed Intruder Song." In 2013, the former pop culture phenomenon announced that he had become a Hebrew Israelite and was "no longer into homosexuality." He also got married and welcomed a son with his wife in May 2014.