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A-list is a term that alludes to major movie stars, or the most bankable in the Hollywood film industry.

The A-list is part of a larger guide called The Hot List that has become an industry-standard guide in Hollywood. James Ulmer has also developed a Hot List of directors.[1]

Popular usage[edit]

In popular usage outside the film industry, an "A-list celebrity" simply refers to any person with an admired or desirable social status.[2] In recent times, the term has given rise to any person, regardless of profession, in the limelight. Even socialites with popular press coverage have been termed as "A-list" celebrities. Similarly, less popular persons and current teen idols are referred to as "B-list" – and the ones with lesser fame "C-list".[3] Entertainment Weekly interpreted C-list celebrity as "that guy (or sometimes that girl), the easy-to-remember but hard-to-name character actor".[4]

"D-list" is the lowest rating on the Ulmer Scale,[5] and it is often used to describe persons whose celebrity is so obscure that they are generally only known for appearances as so-called celebrities on panel game shows and reality television. Kathy Griffin, a comedian who became widely known for her frequent appearances on such programs, uses the term in a tongue-in-cheek manner for her TV series Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List. Alternatively successive letters of the alphabet beyond D, such as "E-list" or "Z-list" are used for exaggeration or comic effect, but effectively have the same meaning as D-list.

Some celebrities who begin their careers in this way eventually rise in fame to upper levels of the B-list or, depending on the definition, even the A-list; examples include the members of the Kardashian family and Paris Hilton.

See also[edit]