From Rolling Stone:
There was some concern about compiling our latest Rolling Stone Hot List during an ice-cold era. But it seems that in these uncertain, gray days, we need what our Managing Editor Will Dana called “the sparkly and the sexy, the perfectly shaped diversions America leads the world in creating.”
As he notes, we haven't yet felt the cultural tectonic shift that one might expect from our current financial meltdown. Dark times inspire great art, and Will notes that the economic crunch of the '70s gave rise to punk, hip-hop and “downtown” culture. “So far, all we've gotten from this downturn is Twitter,” he writes in our Hot Issue. If cultural revolution has yet to arrive, hotness, it seems, still abounds, giving us the artists, movements and must-be places that comprise our 2009 Hot List.
Since we launched the Hot List in 1986, we've had our share of hits and misses (check our cover gallery to revisit all out past Hot Issues, from Angelina to Giselle to Britney). In 1988, we profiled “Hot Character Actor” Kevin Spacey, and we're particularly proud that in 1990, we introduced readers to a 23-year-old screenwriter named Jeffrey Abrams (you might know him now as Lost and Star Trek visionary J.J. Abrams). Of course, we've also missed the mark — in 1990, we thought Renny Harlin's hot streak would last, and the same issue that featured Abrams also declared Tevin Campbell “Hot Prodigy.”