Regardless of a person’s interests, there are a few global celebrities that almost anyone recognizes. These include sports superstars, from Michael Jordan to David Beckham, along with accomplished artists like Rihanna or BTS.
But someone’s favorite celebrity may also come from a niche interest or hobby. For example, a general sports fan might know who the NBA’s LeBron James is, but only a dedicated fan would know the name Devin Booker or Kawhi Leonard. This rings true for just about any interest—all the way down to the truly strange, like extreme ironing or soap carving.
But some of these ‘niche celebrities’ are actually a big deal. In certain cases, they bring home millions each year from their unique skillsets. In others, they might also have expansive and interactive fanbases. Think you have your finger on the pulse? Keep reading for four of the world’s biggest celebrities that you’ve probably never heard of.
Phil Ivey, Poker Pro
Back in the 1970s, the World Series of Poker helped introduce the world to professional card games. The televised events quickly popularized poker games like Omaha and Texas Hold’em, which culminated in a poker boom of the early 2000s. During this time, Phil Ivey became of the industry’s biggest names and is still discussed often in PokerNews and other publications.
In 2017, Ivey was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame with a total of ten WSOP bracelets, one WPT world champion title, and nine finals appearances. Nicknamed the ‘Tiger Woods of Poker’, Ivey is known for his methodical approach and ability to read opponents and the table.
Charles Saatchi, Fine Arts Collector
One of the world’s oldest hobbies is collecting. While the emphasis today seems to be on digital collections of NFTs, acquiring fine art from some of the world’s most legendary artists remains a popular and high-profile hobby. At the top of the list is Charles Saatchi, who acts as both a collector and a dealer.
After founding one of the world’s largest advertising agencies in the 1980s, Saatchi switched his focus to fine arts collecting. Today, he’s known for housing some of the greatest contemporary art in his European gallery, the Saatchi Gallery in London, England.
N0tail, eSports Elite
In the last seven years, eSports has seen a meteoric takeoff. What began with live streaming gaming sessions on Twitch.tv in the early 2010s soon snowballed into an international eSports industry. Multiple leagues span continents, while the virtual nature of eSports means that new competitors are constantly emerging.
But before gamers began scrambling to make their name in eSports, Johan ‘n0tail’ Sundstein, was nabbing millions in competitions for Dota 2 and Heroes of Newerth. Sundstein gained followers thanks to his level-headed approach to gaming and his positive outlook, which are showcased on his Twitch channel.
Akira Toriyama, Manga Legend
While many in the West are familiar with anime, there’s lesser exposure to manga and the stories that inspired famous anime. Manga, or Mangaka in Japanese, is long-form, which features text and graphics similar to comics and graphic novels. For decades, debates have raged about which Japanese artists are the world’s greatest.
One of the top mentions is Akira Toriyama, the artist who was responsible for penning the first Dragon Ballmanga. Toriyama’s work didn’t just catapult him to celebrity status in Japan, but around the world. Today, the Dragon Ball franchise remains one of the most recognizable manga-to-anima projects in the world.