Breakthrough celebrities of 2016

Of course, we’ve talked about Brad and Ang’s split, the breakdown of Kanye West and of course the robbery of Kim Kardashian, but these are the breakout stars of 2016. These are the relatively new faces to the scene who managed to grab as many headlines, and not just for their spats with other celebs.

See our pick of the breakthrough celebrities of 2016.

Bella Hadid

Sister Gigi was first on the list last year, but this year has definitely been all about Bella, who not only walked in the Victoria’s Secret show for the first time, but walked all over the runways in New York, Milan and Paris, and bagged plenty of magazine covers too.

The model has certainly enjoyed her success this year, and we suspect it’s only going to continue in 2017.

Breakthrough celebrities of 2016

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Millie Bobby Brown

Millie is the 12-year-old British actress and standout star of Netflix’s Stranger Things. She has fast become a household name and it’s believed she’s in line to earn £3m a movie in 2017. With trips to New York Fashion Week, and countless TV chat show appearances, and plenty of movie offers on the table, it’s no wonder that Millie has certainly become a breakthrough star of 2016.

Breakthrough celebrities of 2016

Helga Esteb/

Winnie Harlow

Winnie Harlow has had quite the year, The Canadian was first discovered on Instagram by Tyra Banks and appeared on the 21st cycle of America’s Next Top Model. She was the second contestant to leave the show and finished sixth in a later series for eliminated contestants.

Having bagged a Diesel campaign, graced the front cover of many glossy magazines and appearing in Beyonce’s visual album Lemonade, asked by Bey herself, it certainly has proven quite the breakthrough year for the model.

Breakthrough celebrities of 2016

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Ezra Miller

Ezra Miller might have had his breakout role in 2011’s We Need to Talk About Kevin, but in 2016 he appeared in not one but two superhero films, Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, all, of course, preparing him for his appearance in Justice League and the standalone The Flash film.

Not only that but he played the creepy Credence Barebone in JK Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. With these sort of roles, we imagine next year his CV is only going to continue to grow.

Breakthrough celebrities of 2016


Tom Holland

You first saw Tom as a teen in 2012’s emotional disaster film The Impossible (alongside Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts). He then went on to star in TV miniseries Wolf Hall. But this year he made his first appearance as Spider-Man/Peter Park in Captain America: Civil War and the trailer for his rebooted standalone film has not long been released. And despite the many reboots of the franchise, we’re still a little excited for this release in 2017.

Breakthrough celebrities of 2016



Bruce Fielder – known professionally as Sigala – might have started to break through in late 2015 with the release of ‘Easy Love’ which samples ‘ABC’ by the Jackson 5, but for 2016 his fame rocketed with the four singles. He’s got a tour planned for 2017, so make sure you check out the dates.

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Gal Gadot

The Israeli actress/model might have been best known for her role as Gisele in Fast & Furious, but 2016 was the year that changed, she’s easily best known now as Wonder Woman.

She made an appearance in Batman v Superman, and Warner Bros. kept the momentum rolling through summer by release two blockbuster trailers during San Diego Comic-Con, one for Justice League and the other for Wonder Woman standalone film, in which Gadot stars alongside Chris Pine. Successful as 2016 was for Gadot with respect to DC Comics diehards, she rounded out her year with turns in the action comedy Keeping Up With the Joneses, crime drama Triple 9, and Criminal.

Breakthrough celebrities of 2016


Iskra Lawrence

The plus size model has been a positive spokesperson for body positivity throughout 2016 sharing multiple untouched photos and videos of herself on social media, she’s landed plenty of big campaigns too, so we expect 2017 her celebrity is only going to continue to grow.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan

On The Good Wife, Jeffrey Dean Morgan played Jason Crouse, who had a more than unsatisfying departure from the show, but by this time he was already busy wielding Negan’s baseball bat on The Walking Dead. Here we have a character who is reigning with serious terror, and who knows when it’s going to end.

Breakthrough celebrities of 2016


Brie Larson

Brie Larson began 2016 with a deserved Best Actress Oscar win for Room, as she wrapped up production on Kong: Skull Island, prepped for her directional debut, Unicorn Store, shot two other movies, and landed the role of Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel in the Marvel Comic Universe.

Breakthrough celebrities of 2016


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