Michelle Obama – Most Jumping Jacks in a 24-hour Period
In her continued fight against the country’s obesity epidemic, First Lady Michelle Obama staged a worldwide jumping jacks initiative in October for her Let’s Move! campaign. Events were held around the globe—including jumping jacks on the White House lawn—in a bid to break the world record for the Most People Doing Jumping Jacks in a 24-hour Period. In December, Mrs. Obama announced that the record had been officially broken, with a recorded 300,265 people participating around the world.
Julio Cesar Chavez – Most Boxing World Title Fights
Julio Cesar Chavez has long been considered the greatest boxer to come out of Mexico, as well as one of the best boxers of all time. In 2011, he was inducted into the prestigious International Boxing Hall of Fame for, among other accomplishments, winning six world championships in three different weight divisions over the course of his 25-year career. In December, Chavez received another important distinction: Most Boxing World Title Fights, with a record 37.
Justin Bieber – Most YouTube Views
R&B star Justin Bieber broke a handful of records this year, including one for The Most Popular Video of Any Kind Online, thanks to the 400 million views of his music video “Baby.” His most notable record to date came in October, however, when he became the first person in history to reach 2 billion views on YouTube. For those of you doing the math, that means an average 166 million starry-eyed pre-teens (and maybe a few older folks as well) pine over Bieber’s music videos each month.
J.K. Rowling – First Billionaire Author
J.K. Rowling is showing the world that you don’t have to starve to be an artist. The creator of the Harry Potter franchise celebrated a new milestone this year, when she became the world’s first billionaire author. Rowling’s Harry Potter book series has sold more than 400 million copies worldwide. But, thanks largely to her business acumen, a majority of her fortune comes from the rights for her eight Harry Potter movies (currently the highest grossing film series of all time), as well as sponsorship deals with brand giants Coca-Cola, Mattel, Hasbro and Lego. All told, the Harry Potter brand is currently worth an estimated $15 billion.
Lady Gaga – Most Followers on Twitter
Pop star Lady Gaga lives less like a performer and more like a queen, with a fiefdom of artists, musicians, dancers, business experts and technology professionals at her beck and call. But what kingdom would be complete without a few loyal followers—maybe, say, 17 million? That’s how many of Gaga’s “Little Monsters,” want to receive up-to-the-minute updates from the music mogul, giving her the record for Most Followers on Twitter. Justin Bieber comes a close second, with nearly 16 million as of December 2011.