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.
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.
Kelly Rowland - UK
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.
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!"
Shayne Ward - Vietnam
Though the name Shayne Ward may not sound familiar to Americans, the singer and actor was once quite the star in his native U.K. In recent years, however, the "X Factor U.K." winner has found a devoted new legion of fans in Vietnam! The singer has had multiple hits over the years that have melted the hearts of people everywhere - not to mention a successful run on the Christmas charts in the UK.
It seems that the Vietnamese can't get enough of the "That's My Goal" singer, especially after he played a gig in Hanoi in 2008. Since then, his devoted Vietnamese fans have created fan pages for him on social media, and his fans can't wait until his next concert!