At MinnesotaBets.com, we wanted to take a hyper-localized approach to see which celebrities who were raised in the state of Minnesota have been discussed the most in the past year – ultimately concluding they would be the most well-known celebrities.
Minnesota sports betting is not legal, but a recent bill awaiting a House vote makes a late 2023 launch possible.
In fact, the bill, SF1949, cleared a House committee by a voice vote last week and moves on to the House Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee.
In the meantime, MinnesotaBets.com will keep you up to date on sports betting developments, as well as stories of interest such as this.
MinnesotaBets.com utilized a weighted system between AhRefs.com, Keywords Explorer and Google Trends to look at the most-searched Minnesota celebrities over the past 12 months. Once finding both statistics, they were averaged to determine the Top 10.
Minnesota celebrity was defined as a person who resided in Minnesota in their formative childhood and teenage for more than 10 years. Celebrity was broken down to include only actors/actresses, singer/songwriters, TV personalities, comedians, dancers, athletes and social media influencers.
Most Well-Known Minnesota Celebrities in 2023
Breaking Down the Top 10
In the top spot is rock-funk-guitar legend Prince. Although he’s been gone for almost seven years, after overdosing on fentanyl in 2016, this music superstar remains the most talked about Minnesotan. With a catalog of hits including “Nothing Compares 2 U,” “Little Red Corvette,” “Kiss” and “Purple Rain,” over a 40-year career, the purple purveyor of Paisley Park sold more than 100 million records and was one of the most influential artists of his generation.
At No. 2 is Chris Pratt. Since becoming well-known in the TV hit “Parks and Recreation,” the 43-year-old actor has become a franchise-carrying movie star in “Jurassic Park” and “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
A movie star from a generation ago sits in the third spot: Winona Ryder – who hails from Winona County. Over a three-year period from 1988-1990, when Ryder’s career was taking off, she starred in “Beetlejuice,” “Heathers,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Mermaids” and “Edward Scissorhands.” Most recently, she reached younger audiences again as Joyce Byers on the Netflix series “Stranger Things.”
Rapper Yung Gravy is in the fourth spot. Ay 26 years old, this 6-foot-7 white rhymer from Rochester broke on to the scene in 2017 with “Mr. Clean.” His biggest single hit to date is “Betty (Get Money)” from 2022.
In at No. 5 is an artist who’s had a bit more impact on the world of music over a career approaching 65 years: Bob Dylan. From folk star to rock god to aging poet, Dylan has written and performed songs that have become part of the cultural landscape, such as “The Times They Are a Changin’,” “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “Mr. Tambourine Man,” “Like a Rolling Stone” and many more. Some of his best albums include “Highway 61 Revisited” (1965), “Blonde on Blonde” (1966), “Blood on the Tracks” (1975), “Time Out of Mind” (1997), “Modern Times” (2006), and “Rough and Rowdy Ways” (2020).
No. 6, Ric “Nature Boy” Flair, probably has had has more hits than Dylan, but of a more physical nature. The long-time professional wrestling legend began his career 50 years ago and is considered by many to be the greatest professional wrestler of all time. While Ric is still involved with the show, most of the wrestling is now done by his daughter Charlotte.
If this survey were taken 75 years ago, the runaway winner would have been No. 7, Judy Garland. But without Internet search engines we would have had to ask every Minnesotan individually. For a stretch in the 1930s and 1940s, the star of “The Wizard of Oz” (1939), “Meet Me in St. Louis” (1944)” and “Easter Parade” (1948) was one of the biggest movie musical personalities in the world. She also starred in “A Star Is Born” in 1954 and “Judgment at Nuremberg” in 1961 and had a successful concert career cut short by drug addiction. Garland died in 1969 at 47.
Next up, at No. 8, is Super Bowl-winning NFL coach John Madden, who found his real fame as a football broadcaster and namesake of the most popular football video game. With a big personality and a love of linemen (his position in college), Madden also made media history as the first sports announcer to work for all four networks.
Lindsey Vonn, at No. 9, had an amazing 19-year World Cup skiing career and was the most successful American skier of all time until Mikaela Shiffrin recently topped her record. Vonn won downhill gold at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games, and a then-record 82 gold medals on the World Cup circuit.
No. 10, Larry Fitzgerald, hails from Minneapolis, but became famous in Arizona, where he was a standout wide receiver for the Cardinals from 2004-2020. With a physical style and hands like glue traps, Fitzgerald was an 11-time Pro Bowler, a member of the NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time team, and a winner of the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 2016.