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 sheâ€™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 releaseâ€“the largest first-week sales volume by a female R&B artist in Nielsen SoundScan history. Bligeâ€™s soulful sound also garnered nine Billboard Music Awards and two American Music Awards. Not one to rest on her laurels, sheâ€™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 heâ€™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 effortâ€”on which he co-wrote several tracks and worked with industry heavy hitters including will.i.am, Sean Garrett, and Bryan-Michael Coxâ€”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 heâ€™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. â€”Hyacinth B. Carbon
Nana Boateng, Designer / 30. Why heâ€™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 lineâ€”named after his motherâ€”Boateng has plans to develop a ready-to-wear menâ€™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 Awardsâ€”Whitaker and nominee Djimon Hounsou wore his designsâ€”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 heâ€™s hot: Cannonâ€™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