Being a celebrity isn’t just about going to film premieres, getting invites to the best parties and looking fabulous. There’s a certain responsibility you have to take on when hundreds of thousands of people see you as a role model.

Not everyone has the power to motivate, excite and affect the world, but this year there have been a number of celebrities we feel have been exceptionally inspirational.

Aml Ameen

aml ameen the butler premiere

Aml begun his Hollywood career this year with a role in The Butler alongside Oprah Winfrey, Forest Whittaker and fellow Brit actor David Oyelowo.

In a biopic that has gotten rave reviews since its release, Aml plays the lead character in his younger years – which is a massive step up from the kind of roles we’re used to seeing him in, such as the gangster, the thug, the hood guy and so on. Do you know how many young American men would have killed for that role? And they chose Aml?

The 28-year-old is giving young, British actors hope that one day, they too could be rubbing shoulders with the likes of Oprah. And for that we must salute him.

Arnold Oceng aka Snakeyman

snakeyman arnold oceng

MC/actor Arnold Oceng also landed a Hollywood role this year with a role in The Good Lie, alongside Reese Witherspoon. Spending time in South Africa to film the movie, Arnold plays one of the lead characters – a Sudanese refugee who wins a lottery giving him the chance to live in America.

This is Arnold’s first Hollywood movie, a massive jump from his most recent film role in It’s A Lot. The talented actor was chosen for the sought after role, despite facing stiff competition from actors all around the world.

Arnold had always hoped to make it to Hollywood, but not so soon and not as a lead character. We’ll you’ve made it baby!

With the film set for a release next year, we can expect to see Arnold make more of a name for himself in the movie that is set on real-life events.

Fuse ODG

fuse odg mobo awards 2013 performance

Many of us thought that Fuse would disappear into obscurity once the Azonto died down, but the London-based Afrobeats singer has proved us wrong with awards, record-breaking sales and a string of subsequent hits like Antenna and Million Pound Girl.

After a year full of major performances and award wins, it was his MOBO Best African Act speech that got us. The 25-year-old promised to be the new face of Africa and gave an inspiring speech in an uncheesy way that didn’t make him look like a wannabe Nelson Mandela.

Good on him.

Jamal Edwards

jamal edwards worth multimillionaire

SB.TV has gone from strength to strength and the creator of the brand, Jamal Edwards, has done so too.

Not only has he released a series of books that went straight to number one in the iTunes book charts, he’s also estimated to be worth more than £8million. All that at only 23-years-old!

Sarah Jane Crawford


Sarah Jane Crawford is not just a pretty face you know. This year, the 1xtra DJ hosted the 18th MOBO awards, starred in a movie and gained the title of having the most listened to show on BBC 1xtra. If that doesn’t inspire you I don’t know what will.

Jessie J

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In March, Jessie J put her vanity aside all in the name of charity. The singer shaved her hair off, live on TV for Comic Relief to raise money for the charity. Speaking about her charitable act she said:

I’m excited to do something good for the world. I need to use being someone that people know to do something good for the world. I wanted to do something that wasn’t just for today and wasn’t just for five minutes, it’s going to last a few months. It will remind me and hopefully others that everyday you should do something good if you can.

What a woman!

Lily Allen

lily allen broke lucyindisguise liquidisation

After a whole year of watching Miley and Rihanna release soft porn music videos for their fans, we started to wonder if there was any hope left for our younger sisters and nieces.

Then along came Lily Allen, who had a gang of twerking women in her comeback video Hard Out Here. However, instead of praising the sexual dance and acting like it was the best thing since sliced bread, the mother-of-two mocked the idea that you had to be over-sexualised to be an attractive and successful woman.

Even though many of us already knew it, there was a generation of girls growing up with Miley and Rihanna showing them that twerking half naked was the way forward in life, but Lily said: “Actually no it isn’t. I’m smart, I don’t need to shake my arse to be liked.”

The video currently has 14 million views on Youtube, let’s hope its viewers were taking notes.

Malaika Firth


You may not know too much about this 19-year-old beauty, but after she became the first black Prada model in 20 years, Malaika was grabbing headlines all over the place. She was the first black model to be used for the fashion house since Naomi Campbell, in 1994 and doing something only Naomi Campbell has done, is definitely worth noting.

Brian Belo

brian belo black hero inspiring

After exposing the producers of TOWIE as thieves for stealing his show idea and even using some of the same cast, Brian finally got what he deserved in the form of a £1million payout.

It might be pennies compared to what the show and its stars have generated in its 10 series run, but at least he showed those sneaky idea-stealers that he wouldn’t be beaten.

Looks like he’s not the daft Essex boy we all thought he was after all.

Have we missed anybody out? Who do you think is the most inspirational celeb of 2013?