Though she was one-third of Destiny’s Child, Kelly Rowland has had trouble carving out her own career. Though she had some success with the hit “Dilemma,” it was nothing compared to the fame she has received across the pond. Having teamed up with various DJs, Rowland has finally found her musical niche.
Her song “When Love Takes Over,” and other dance-inspired tracks quickly jumped the charts in the U.K. but failed to make a dent stateside. She even became a popular host on the British music reality show, The X Factor UK. and while she might be back in the United States, she remains a popular star in Europe.
Avril Lavigne - China
Yes, there was a time when we used to belt out the lyrics to "Sk8r Boi" while we waited for our parents to pick us up from the mall. Some of us may have even sported pink locks to look like our pop rock princess. But for many of us today, the music of Avril Lavigne is a nostalgic memory.
On the other side of the world, however, Avril is still a major star. In addition to being a popular star in Japan, she is also huge in China. In addition to selling out shows, the angsty pop star also filmed a commercial for a Chinese brand of iced tea, because why not?
Chuck Norris - Europe
Before he was the subject of some pretty ridiculous "Chuck Norris Facts," the action star and martial artist was considered by many to be the epitome of the "American hero." So much so that decades on, people know exactly who he is without having watched a single movie of his. For many growing up under communism, Chuck's appeal was so strong that people would smuggle his films into the country!
In recent years, Chuck has starred in advertisements for cell phone company T-Mobile in the Czech Republic. While the "Walker, Texas Ranger" star inspired a Chuck Norris-themed restaurant and statue in Zagreb, Croatia! Not bad for a 70s action star.
Bruce Lee - Bosnia and Herzegovina
Though Bruce Lee may be known for his career as a martial arts actor, his legacy has stretched much further than Hollywood. For many in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the late star became known to symbolize "loyalty, skill, friendship, and justice."
It's no surprise then that the city of Mostar erected a statue of the "Enter the Dragon" star in 2005. Though this part of the world has long been known for being in conflict, it's very special to see just how much they clearly value these good qualities, and how they pay tribute to them. Hopefully, residents will use this statue as a constant reminder and inspiration.
Marty Friedman - Japan
While many Western artists enjoy a surprising amount of fame abroad, few actually move to those foreign countries and become pop culture figures! Lead guitarist for metal band Megadeth, Marty Friedman, has become quite the sensation in Japan since moving to Tokyo in 2003. He already had a steady Japanese following before the move, but after Friedman achieved acclaim he could frankly never achieve elsewhere.
The American guitarist has appeared in a whopping 700 Japanese television programs, collaborated with Japanese artists, written for Japanese music magazines, and even starred in Japanese movies and shows! One could say that he is definitely "big in Japan!"