50. Taylor Swift
America has watched her grow from “small-town country singer” to “bombshell pop sensation” in the course of a decade, and we just can’t get enough of her. Not only has T-Swift spread the message of inner beauty and self-love to girls (and boys) around the world, but she also just took down Apple, which is pretty impressive. And she has slowly transformed into an American icon. The only thing we can’t figure out is why every guy she dates dumps her.
49. Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson
Despite never winning the title of “Grand Supreme” (or any title, for that matter) on America’s favorite reality TV show Toddlers and Tiaras, Honey Boo Boo nuzzled her way into our hearts on the hit series Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. Every other country in the world would be revolted, but not us! Who knows, maybe America was fascinated by the concept of Christmas in July, or in disbelief as to how much gas one little girl could have. For better or for worse, reality TV dominates American culture, and there’s no better representative than Honey Boo Boo.
48. Michael Jackson
Once Elvis was gone, nobody represented American music around the globe like the King of Pop. Was he a little weird? Sure. But YOU grow up as a child star, never being able to go out in public without 20,000 screaming girls chasing after you, and see how “normal” you turn out. MJ made the most recognizable American music of the 1980s, defined the genre of pop music, and died of that most American of afflictions -- prescription-drug addiction.
47. Jerry Springer
This isn’t a list of “great” Americans, mind you. It’s a list of AMERICAN Americans. And while many on this list are also great, well, at least every day Jerry makes us all feel a little better about our own lives. Is his show scripted? Maybe, but so might have been the moon landing, but that’s not keeping Neil Armstrong off the list. Showing America the worst our country has to offer, and celebrating the depths that our freedom will let us go, is just as valuable as showing us how high we can climb. Taking the bad with the good, so to speak.
46. Steven Spielberg
Before this guy came along to make movies that gross more than the national product of some countries, films were nice little stories that let you enjoy air conditioning for a couple of hours. Now? Since movies like Jaws, Jurassic Park, Star Wars, and his other titles have defined the term "blockbuster," American movies are known for special effects, theater-packing visuals, and fantastic storylines. And with Schindler's List, Spielberg showed the world that while America does big and flashy better than anyone else, it also knows the importance of cinema.