Hartnett, Prince, Keillor: 10 local celebs we loved this decade

It's been a good decade for celebrities in the ol' TC, and let it never be said we spend all our time bashing the local big-names. Here's ten folks we'd rather bump into at the Wedge than see defect to Hollywood or New York.

Joe Mauer
There are so many ways to break down Joe Mauer's baseball bonafides: from a numbers standpoint, he's an unprecedented combination of hitting prowess and backstop defensive wizardry; no other catcher, especially a Gold Glove winner, has ever had a season leading the league in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage like he did in '09. From a visual standpoint, his swing is as poetic and visceral as a Pete Townshend windmill or a Bruce Lee punch. From a fan perspective, he's combined the franchise-defining presence of Kirby Puckett with the hometown connection of Kent Hrbek. And from a local celebrity standpoint? It remains to be seen how his contract extension talks with the Twins are going to go, but it's hard to imagine this humble, family-minded St. Paul native wanting to sever ties with the city that's made him their most beloved sports hero since Herb Brooks.
Bebe Benet
When RuPaul's Drag Race aired this year on Logo, who knew a gorgeous lady from Minneapolis would walk away with the top prize? To be fair, as a Miss Gay US of A finalist in 2005, Benet had experience in drag-queen competition. But as per the catchphrase of the show, it was because of Benet's "charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent" that she walked away with the top prize. We're glad our Minnesota beauty hasn't gone totally diva - she can still be seen on occasion at the '90s.

The ubiquitous king of the Rhymesayers empire has given many Minnesotans something to be proud of over the last ten years, from fostering a crop of artists that have become permanent fixtures on the local hip-hop scene to giving heads a place to congregate and buy music with ever-evolving Uptown music shop 5th Element. Slug's in his late 30s now and who knows how long he can keep up the touring lifestyle, but it's safe to say he'll always enjoy legendary status around these parts. 

Earlier this decade, Paisely went dark and Prince left for Los Angeles to do Prince-ish things like paint a borrowed Lakers player's house purple for the hell of it. Our claim to pop music fame left a sizable hole in our inner fabulousness, but now he's back and partying with us on the weekends at Envy, popping up all over town like he's proud to be a Minnesotan again. And you know what, Purple Wonder? We're pretty damn proud of you, too.

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