Last year’s CES show lacked real stars. And, even the celebrities they did trot out behaved badly such as film director Michael Bay abruptly leaving the stage during Samsung’s keynote.
But 2015 was a sharp contrast to 2014 as the CES show was highlighted by legendary rock star Neil Young. Young’s appearance alone dramatically improved on a poor celebrity showing from 2014.
An unscheduled appearance by actor Ashton Kutcher at the Lenovo booth also brought about a major surprise for the more than 150,000 attendees at this year’s event. Now Kutcher is a design advisor to Lenovo so I’m sure this appearance did have some planning attached to it, but the way it was executed by Lenovo was brilliant.
There were some repeat celebrities from last year such as retired basketball star Shaquille O’Neal, but at the very least failed football player Tim Tebow was not one of them.
Please view: Poor choice of celebrities at CES this year
So click on the next slide to view the top rated celebrities from CES this year.
Canadian rock icon Neil Young and PonoMusic held a special press conference at CES.
The Seattle-based PonoMusic was founded by Neil Young and is launching an audio player called PonoPlayer that does high quality recordings for approximately $400.
Please Read: CES 2015 most exciting in recent years thanks to stronger economy: D&H Canada
Four-time NBA champion Shaquille O’Neal returned to CES in 2015 to help Monster Cable Products showcase its line of speakers at a press conference at the Mandalay Bay.
Please Read: Four major takeaways from Intel’s CES 2015 keynote
Three times’ a charm for Rap star 50 Cent, also known as Curtis Jackson. 50 Cent made another appearance at the SMS Audio booth to sign autographs and talk about technology, function, fashion and comfortable style.
Please Read: CES 2015: Early product announcements from HP, Lenovo, LG and more
Doctors don’t usually make house calls, but that’s not the case for day-time talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw who was at CES 2015 as part of CES’s Digital Health Summit. Dr. Phil is a co-founder of Doctor on Demand, which was started to address the lack of access to healthcare professionals and to decrease wait times.
This is the sixth time CES has hosted the Digital Health Summit, which focuses on the latest enhancements that impact the healthcare system.
Please Read: BlackBerry launches IoT/wearables solutions at CES
Ryan Seacrest’s appearance at CES 2015 is not his only IT cameo. He did once interview former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at an event. Seacrest was put to work at this year’s CES as he hosted the C Space presentation at the ARIA hotel. C Space is for marketing, advertising, content and creative professionals at CES.
Please Read: Dell releases super-thin 3D-enabled tablet among product updates at CES
Neil Young wasn’t the only Canadian star at CES this year. Actress Tricia Helfer was part of the Elektrobit booth.
Helfer is the star of the SyFy channel show Ascension and was one of the lead actors in the reboot of Battlestar Galactica.
Elektrobit technology is in-car computing that features entertainment, navigation and connected services.
Please Read: MakerBot looks to expand its 3D printer ecosystem at CES 2015
A common theme for CES celebrity appearances in 2015 came from board sports. For example, professional street skateboarder Josh Kalis was promoting smart cameras, while another top skateboarder named Maders Apse did live demos of something called AirDogs.
X-Games skateboarder Tony Magnusson was also at CES performing half pipe tricks.
Another board sport on display was surfboading. Tatiana Weston-Webb and Garrett McNamara were on hand to promote Body Glove’s new mobile products. Weston-Webb is a 12-time surfing champion and worked as the stunt double for AnnaSophia Robb in the 2011 movie Soul Surfer.