Number 1: Alicia Keys - Not only is she drop-dead, head-turningly gorgeous, this girl can sing. She just released her fourth studio album a few days ago, but for most of the year I've been rocking out to her song Doesn't Mean Anything while at work. I love the way she sings straight from the heart about matters of the heart. Her range is amazing. The contra-alto voice and her expertness at the piano combining influences of R&B, pop, rock, latin, and classical styles makes Alicia Keys one of a kind. Oh, did I mention, she's also gorgeous. I didn't really notice her when she took off back in 2001, but this year, Alicia, you're my number one.
Number 2: Stana Katic - Currently playing opposite Nathan Fillion in the ABC show Castle, is Canadian actress Stana Katic. And that name is Croatian, in case you're wondering (like I did). She plays a strong, witty, sassy, at times vulnerable, but always lovable NYPD homicide detective. If you ask me, there's not enough strong, bad-ass female characters on film and television these days, so thank goodness there's Stana. She's going to be a breakout star, not only because she is ball-numbingly beautiful, she is also a good actress. Besides, any tall beautiful brunette who straps on a Glock for work (even if it's fake) will rank high on my list.
Number 3: Teal Wicks - Anyone living in the bay area will be able to see Teal in person, performing the lead role in the musical Wicked. Ironically, Teal Wicks, plays the green wicked witch of the west, Elphaba. Even in florescent green makeup from head to toe, this girl is hot. That is, until she starts to sing. Then she moves from hot to oh-my-gawd-that-was-off-the-charts. And since she lives in San Francisco right now, there's always a chance I'll run into her on the streets. But Teal is definitely headed to Broadway in the future. Her last performance here is Feb 7, so catch her while you can.
Number 4: Shakira - This Hips Don't Lie superstar from Colombia is a surprise entry on my list. I was never a big fan of her music and she pretty much stayed off my radar. That is, until this year. Apparently she was taking time off back in 2007 and took history classes at UCLA incognito. Not only that, I learned that she has been very active in helping bringing education to the poor in her home country with her Barefoot Foundation. She even guest wrote a column for The Economist The World in 2010 special issue, specifically on how to use education to bring communities out of poverty. Beauty + Brains + Heart = Sexy!
So, there you go. That's my Hot List for 2009. Everyone on the list is a winner, but the top place winner wins something extra special. Alicia, if you're reading this, you've just won a free dinner, hosted by yours truly. Redeemable anytime in 2010 at any restaurant of your choice, anywhere in the world (no cash equivalent). So, just have your people call my people when you're ready.