in a multimillion-dollar litigation suit involving the design of integrated circuit computer chips used in cell phones, PDAs, and digital cameras.
Mary J. Blige, Singer / 36. Why she’s hot: With her album The Breakthrough, recording artist Mary J. Blige kicked 2007 off with a bang, winning three of eight Grammy Awards: Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, Best R&B Song, and Best R&B Album. Considered by many to be a comeback album for Blige, the CD sold 727,000 copies in the first week of its release–the largest first-week sales volume by a female R&B artist in Nielsen SoundScan history. Blige’s soulful sound also garnered nine Billboard Music Awards and two American Music Awards. Not one to rest on her laurels, she’s following up on that success with her soon-to-be released album Growing Pains. Her popularity has also gained her some lucrative endorsement opportunities, most notably serving as the pitch person for Chevy Tahoe.
Chris Brown, Singer, Actor / 18. Why he’s hot: The young R&B phenomenon continues to show that he can break sales records. He blazed onto the scene in 2005 with his self-titled album, which took the top spot on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart, was recently certified double-platinum, and has sold more than 3 million worldwide. Because of his musical prowess, he is now working with some of the biggest producers in the industry. Exclusive, his recently released sophomore effort—on which he co-wrote several tracks and worked with industry heavy hitters including will.i.am, Sean Garrett, and Bryan-Michael Cox—is expected to be a chartbuster as well. This fall the single Kiss Kiss climbed to No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Music Choice, the leading multiplatform music network, named him artist of the month in September. Now he’s branching into a career in film and television. His freshman turn in the movie Stomp The Yard contributed to its worldwide gross box-office receipts of $75 million. In November, he appeared in This Christmas, a drama with an all-star cast. —Hyacinth B. Carbon
Nana Boateng, Designer / 30. Why he’s hot: Having outfitted such celebrities as Forest Whitaker, Terry Crews, and Derek Luke, the Ghanaian-born Boateng is looking to expand his influence globally by entering the Asian market in 2008. In addition to his Akua Adoma line—named after his mother—Boateng has plans to develop a ready-to-wear men’s line in the coming year. Forging a strong relationship with Sony Pictures Entertainment, his designs have been featured in films and at such high-profile events as the Academy Awards—Whitaker and nominee Djimon Hounsou wore his designs—and the 2006 World Cup, where he dressed the Ghanaian team. He has a reputation for meticulous tailoring, bold styles, and vivid colors. Boateng projects that the brand will earn $1 million in global revenues in 2007 and $2.5 million in 2008.
Nick Cannon. Actor, TV Producer / 27. Why he’s hot: Cannon’s production company, Mr. Renaissance, has a deal with MTV to produce and create a slate of TV programs and films. His projects include the sketch comedy Nick Cannon Presents Short Circutz, a