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Famous icons at 17: Stars who chose the path of being stalwart from late teen days

Seventeen is not too early to make a mark on this world, prove these icons who did extraordinary things at the age of 17

Rohini Chakraborty | Published 02.02.24, 11:35 AM

Pictures: Getty Images and Pinterest

Seventeen! The age where you think you’re an adult but not really. Being 17 is a dynamic phase, where the sweet zest of teens blends with the pull of adulthood. It’s a time when responsibilities start knocking at your door, yet the sense of freedom prevails. This is the age where social bonds deepen and surprising adventures become cherished memories. Whether it’s the school milestones, proms and graduation, all mark significant transitions in life. Exploring personal passions and stepping into the journey to make dreams come true, all make a unique and enjoyable chapter in life. t2 lists 10 famous icons who inspire us to fulfil our dreams at the age of 17.



Scoring a hat-trick in the semi-finals and two goals in the final against Sweden, Edson Arantes do Nascimento aka Brazilian football legend Pele became the youngest-ever World Cup goal-scorer in football history who led his own country to victory in the 1958 World Cup. Due to Pele’s exceptional performance, Brazil claimed its first-ever World Cup title, contributing to the foundation of the country’s football legacy and becoming an icon to look up to.


Facing Taliban assassination attempt and opposition with a heart full of courage, Malala Yousafzai became the youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 when she was just 17, for her activism advocating education for girls in Pakistan.


It was during the 1970s when the star-dusted rockstars were getting old. Then in the year 1976 came the self-titled band from Los Angeles called The Runaways. A band of five girls aged 16 and 17 wrote their own songs with lyrics like Hello World, I’m Your Wild Girl and offered peppy hits like Cherry Bomb, Queens of Noise, You Drive Me Wild and many more which were played in the rooms of teenagers all over the world.


Coco Chanel, born in 1883, had a rather chaotic period in her life. At the age of 17, Coco was sent to an orphanage in Aubazine, France, after her mother passed away. It was during this time that she held the needle and the thread for the first time and developed skills that we all know contributed to her iconic career in fashion.


Teenage heartthrob Gavi was only 17 years old when he made his debut in La Liga for FC Barcelona in August 2021. Being the fourth youngest player to play for Barca, Gavi surely makes any Culer proud with his combination of elegance and dynamism and his navigating through tight spaces.


Does he need an introduction? The 5ft 7inch 17-year-old boy from Rosario, Argentina debuted in FC Barcelona in 2003-2004 and instantly became a rising star as stepped onto the field and the rest is history. Leo became the youngest player to score for the club at that time. Messi’s exceptional skills and performances during this period marked the beginning of his illustrious football career.


At the age of 17, Britney Spears achieved global fame with her debut single Baby One More Time. Released in 1998, the song topped the charts worldwide, making her a pop sensation. The accompanying perfect teen music video, featuring her iconic schoolgirl outfit, became a cultural phenomenon, marking Britney’s status as a pop princess.


Boris Becker made his place in tennis history at 17 by becoming the youngest Wimbledon Men’s Singles champion in 1985. The unseeded German’s powerful play and fearless attitude captivated the world. Becker’s victory marked a breakthrough moment in his career, setting the stage for a successful tennis journey and earning him a place in sports history.


At 17, Serena Williams won her first Grand Slam singles title at the 1999 US Open, defeating Martina Hingis. This victory marked the beginning of her memorable tennis career, making her the first African-American woman to win a Grand Slam singles title since Althea Gibson in 1958.

Last updated on 02.02.24, 11:36 AM

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