Photos: Wireimage/Getty

Earlier I wrote about the existence of two A-lists in Hollywood – a mythical urban A-list and the one that truly counts. I told you that Sean Combs is no longer on the one that counts. Gossip purveyor Myra Panache backs me up on that.

She lists the true black A-listers in Hollywood on her site. But she left off Whitney Houston, and I disagree that Mariah Carey is A-list.

In my opinion, a true A-lister is not one who shows up at the top of everyone’s party list. Party planners tend to invite A, B, and C-listers to their events. A true A-lister is a celebrity whose photos sell for much more than the norm.

For example, if I were to snap a photo of Denzel Washington and Gabrielle Union leaving the Intercontinental hotel at 3 in the morning, I could probably command a few thou or more for that shot. But if I snapped a similar pic of Gabrielle Union and Ludacris, I would be lucky to get a few hundred for that shot. That’s because Ludacris is not an A-lister but Denzel is.

I hope I’ve cleared that up for you. Check out what Myra Panache had to say on the subject after the break.

    Blogger Sandra Rose recently did an article on black A-list stars (urban & mainstream), we would like to elaborate on this. There are only six A-list “mainstream” black celebrities, pictured above: Halle Berry, Denzel Washington, Beyonce and her husband, Jay-Z, Mariah Carey and Will Smith.

    Tabloids pay big bucks for any information on these six, only! P.Diddy is not considered A-list anymore, that’s why white publications didn’t offer big money for photos of his newborn twins, compared to the bundle Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony received for their twin photos.

    Years ago, when actor Robert DeNiro was at the top of his game, living with black model-Tookie Smith, she gave birth to twins, white media ignored the event and no money offers were made.

    Rapper 50 Cent, Janet Jackson and P. Diddy may be superstars in the black community but they are now on the B-list in mainstream Hollywood. Evidence that 50’s stock dwindled was when a tape of him allegedly snorting cocaine surfaced on the internet. This is considered the ultimate “money shot” among paparazzi and journalists but there was no interest generated and no photo agency was called in to license the tape. If this would have been a white superstar, the person who took that video would have been financially set for life, receiving residual income of $10,000-$20,000 monthly, over time, it would have dwindled down to $5,000-$7,000 a month for life.

    Janet Jackson has never recovered from the Super Bowl scandal, her last three albums were flops. Her current album has yet to reach platinum.

    The media and fans are sick of P. Diddy hosting parties all over the world (at almost 40 years old) or getting into scuffles at events and being banned (when he isn’t making babies with different women). Diddy had a good A-list run, considering he can’t rap or act and rumors of Diddy using ghostwriters-still persist. (Source)

  • Smokie

    What list is Oprah on?

  • Kymystry

    Thank You Sandra .. I’ve had my Hollyweird Civics Lesson of the day .. :-)

  • brwnsugga4you

    i agree that mariah is a A lister in her own

  • extraordinary

    I think Janet, Mariah, and Whitney should be added. These women still make headlines regardless if its a plus or a minus.

  • tunanny

    im sorry 50 cent is a a lister anything he does gets attention hes the biggest rap star in the world

  • free

    interesting!! this makes a lot of sense. whitney is no longer A list but she CAN return w/her next album. mariah probably floats on and off. why is halle still on?

  • pinkvirgo

    tunanny Says:
    hes the biggest rap star in the world

    50 is? wow………

  • pinkvirgo

    What list is Oprah on?

    Good ? Probably the white A List lol

  • bloggergirlz

    myra couldn’t have summed it up any better for diddy…he gone mess around and have a heart attack w/ that inflated a$$ ego he has…

  • Bird

    Sorry but Panache has not changed my list. Hell J-Lo got paid all that money for pics, but I don’t consider her an A-Lister. She’s on the same list Janet is on. Nicole Ritchie damn sure ain’t even a B-Lister and she got money for her baby pics. On the other hand when Sandra got that exclusive with Diddy’s jump off ALL the mainstream sites picked it up and I know the National Enquirer would pay big bucks to get their hands on pics of the jump off’s baby. I could have been wrong about 50 though. If French media were the only ones at his eviction hearing with his baby mama then maybe he is not an A-Lister. Maybe he’s a B.

  • Bird

    I see you changed your list too Sandra because you said B was an A-Lister, but Jay wasn’t.

  • milly

    Yeah I can see this being true…because when you look at the tabloid magazines you can clearly see the same people on them over and over again.

  • ldorisca

    ohhh, nice catch Bird.

  • Mz_Magnificent1

    I agree with Sandra…B is most definitely an A-Lister. The only reason Jay is on the A-List is because of their relationship…

    The A-List is not just about who has the most money…its who is the bigger star. Jay has the most $$$ outta the two but Beyonce is the bigger celeb…its hella confusing but nothing but the truth.

    Like Diddy was on the A-List WHEN he was with J.Lo…when she was a big star. I mean Jennifer is still a star but I don’t know if she is still on the A-List…she isn’t in demand like she used to be.

    Like if 50 got married right now…it would get reported BUT they wouldn’t have helicopters flying over buildings or anything like that. Diddy wouldn’t either…

  • lexdiamonz

    mariah is definitely an A-lister sorry but she has had more #1’s than Elvis can’t get more A-list than that Janet definitely C-list since Ciara came along the difference in the two Mariah can at least carry a note janet whispering and groaning on every damn song diddy has not NEVER been a-lister, you cannot be a-list in the hood and then try to be a-list in the wood

  • Krysi – yes the same one

    Wow, Panche tell us how you really feel about Diddy. Anyway I agree. Think about it, the stuff black hollywood gets into a fuss about does not phase white america at all. I mean really do you think they care that 50 is dating Ciara. Do you think that they care about Mariah Carey possibly being involved with the Brat, no. Now if Halle Berry was pregnant from Puff Daddy they would care, or if, Jlo and denzel had an affair, people would kill for photos, they even care more about Britney Spears and Paris Hilton more than they care about Whitney and Janet. Thats just obvious, some stuff they just aren’t interested in and since their paying the bucks for the shots their opinion counts in that field of work. Thats just that.

  • jamil2008

    I agree with the first girl. Where the hell is Oprah? I know Rhianna is A-list if you go by Sandra’s theory of prices paid for candid photos as a SMH at all these superficial people of the world. Can anyone tell me, what makes a star a star? And why aren’t you one?

  • iyonah

    I am w/ you Smokie … where does Oprah fall?

    @jamil2008, I personally don’t think Rhianna is a A-list just yet, she ahs potential to get there. Sandra — your thoughts?

  • 2thick4u

    Love me some Myra!!!

  • Negrito

    Could someone please define A-list? Isn’t that very subjective? Anyway whether Diddy Janet 50 are A lister or not, they’re are all big stars and very successful. Whether you’re a fan or not the average person knows who they are.

  • Caron02

    Smokie Says:

    What list is Oprah on?

    thanks funny!

  • Sandra Rose

    Mz_Magnificent1 Says:

    Like if 50 got married right now…it would get reported BUT they wouldn’t have helicopters flying over buildings or anything like that. Diddy wouldn’t either…


    I see people are still getting the A-list thing confused. It’s not about how popular the celeb is – it’s about how much money their pictures are worth. Helicopters fly over the homes of certain celebs because a magazine or photo agency is willing to dish out thousands of dollars for that helicopter and pilot to fly their photographers. Mz_Magnificent1 is right, no photo agency is going to pay that kind of loot for 50, Mariah, Janet or Sean Combs. Oprah is on the mythical A-list because her pics are worthless unless she’s caught kissing Gayle. :)

  • MzDetermined

    Where’s Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, Michael jackson and Bubbles, Janet Jackson and Jermaine Dupri, J-Lo and Marc Anthony.


    Sandra, you are funny as heyell!!!

  • musicisourhigh

    I agree Rihanna, is popular but she is not A-list. Having pictures everywhere doesn’t necessarily make A-list. She has buzz, but how many albums did she sell?

  • musicisourhigh

    Also, you notice that most A-listers aren’t hungry for publicity because when they want it they just have to make an appearance and they are there. You don’t usually have photographs of them any and everywhere. They aren’t trying to make all the parties and shows.

  • Naima

    How is Sandra a papparazi sitting in Atlanta? Everyone knows the money shot are in NY, LA, MIA and other international cities. Don’t nobody wanna buy a pic of Ciara at a dance studio

  • w@d11

    What does SMH mean, I just learned LMAO, last year, LOL!

  • Sharonda

    Well somehow Ludacris dodges the papo but to have seen him TMZ he’s getting up there, I guess, but I don’t really care who is an A-Lister.Gabrielle isn’t one either.

  • Sharonda

    SMH = Shaking My Head :)

  • kwallace577


    janet=child star, family member of black music’s royal family. always on the A list.

    mariah=all time record holder of records that rival the beatles and elvis. (she just broke another record last week) always on the A list.

    whitney=don’t own none of her own rights to none of the music she ever recorded. reported to be broke. married to a has been known crack head. crack head in her own right. no hit in YEARS. luckey she ain’t on the C list by now…..

  • kwallace577

    oops meant **lucky. but NE WAY folks STILL talking about shyt janet did in the 80’s. do she have a secret child? is she bi-sexual? is she secretly married again? i am so mad somebody demoted miss jackson.

  • Isla78

    I agree somewhat with Sandra. Here’s my take on the who’s really on the A-List.

    Jennifer Hudson
    Whitney Houston.

    Jay-Z is not really on the A list. When he is with Beyonce he is, though. Janet is not A-list because she’s with Jermaine. If she was still dating Matthew Mchonahay (or however you spell it) she would be. Oh yea, and Nicole Ritchie is definately on the list. You don’t have to have talent to be on the list. You just have to have the media a attention.