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8 Milestone Celebrity Birthdays in January

Cheers to Chita Rivera, Pat Benatar and other stars celebrating big ones this month

Chita Rivera and Pat Benatar
(Left to right) Chita Rivera and Pat Benatar
Andy Kropa/Invision/AP; Christopher Polk/Variety via Getty Images

Jan. 10: Pat Benatar, 70

Inductee Pat Benatar performs onstage during the 37th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at Microsoft Theater on November 05, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.
Amy Sussman/WireImage

After being eligible for more than two decades, Benatar and her musical partner and husband, Neil Giraldo, were finally inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame last year. The “Love Is a Battlefield” duo are getting into the jukebox musical game with their new show, Invincible, which uses their catalog as the soundtrack for a 21st-century retelling of Romeo & Juliet. The show premiered in November at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, and Benatar has said she hopes it will transfer to Broadway.

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Jan. 16: Ronnie Milsap, 80

Ronnie Milsap poses for a photo on the stage of The Ryman Auditorium on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019 in Nashville, Tenn.
Donn Jones/Invision/AP

A legendary country singer who has been almost completely blind from birth, Milsap has racked up an impressive 35 number 1 country hits during his decades-long career, placing him fourth behind only George Strait, Conway Twitty and Merle Haggard. The six-time Grammy winner is still going strong, having released a new album called A Better Word for Love in 2021, and last spring he debuted a new podcast called Music and Milsap, in which he shares hilarious road stories, chats with other musicians and answers questions from fans.

Jan. 19: Desi Arnaz Jr., 70

Desi Arnaz Jr. attends The Paley Center for Media presents "Tropicana Nights: A Salute To The Music Of I Love Lucy"  at The Paley Center for Media on December 9, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California.
Beck Starr/FilmMagic

The son of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz has been famous since before he was born: Ball’s pregnancy was written into a groundbreaking storyline on I Love Lucy, and the newborn Jr. appeared on the first-ever cover of TV Guide in 1953. He’s spent much of his career honoring the legacy of his father, playing Desi in 1992’s The Mambo Kings, co-headlining a live tribute show with his sister, Lucie, and being one of the executive producers on Aaron Sorkin’s 2021 biopic Being the Ricardos.

Jan. 22: Jim Jarmusch, 70

Jim Jarmusch attends the 19th Marrakech International Film Festival - Day Four on November 14, 2022 in Marrakech, Morocco.
Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

A major voice in American indie cinema since the 1980s, Jarmusch has turned his omnivorous appetites toward everything from vampires (Only Lovers Left Alive) and samurais (Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai) to zombies (The Dead Don’t Die). After helming the 2021 short film French Water for Saint Laurent and the Cat Power music video for “A Pair of Brown Eyes,” Jarmusch made a rare on-screen appearance as himself in the vampire TV comedy What We Do in The Shadows.

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Jan. 23: Chita Rivera, 90

Chita Rivera attends the Nederlander Organization's unveiling of Broadway's new Lena Horne Theatre on November 1, 2022 in New York City.
Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Best known for her roles in the original versions of West Side Story (Anita) and Chicago (Velma Kelly), Rivera is tied with Julie Harris as the most-nominated performer in Tony Awards history, with 10 nods each; Rivera took home the trophy three times, plus an additional lifetime achievement award in 2018. The first Latina recipient of the Kennedy Center Honor, she made a heartwarming cameo in the 2021 Lin-Manuel Miranda–directed musical Tick, Tick… Boom! Her memoir is due out this spring.

Jan. 26: Lucinda Williams, 70

Lucinda Williams onstage for the 21st Annual Americana Honors & Awards at Ryman Auditorium on September 14, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Jason Davis/Getty Images for Americana Music Association

Since releasing her debut album in 1979, the three-time Grammy winner has mastered a unique blend of country, folk, blues and rock that’s made her a critical darling and a fan favorite; to wit, rock critic Robert Christgau once called her records “gorgeous, flawless, brilliant.” Beginning in 2021, Williams began recording a series of live themed performances called Lu’s Jukebox, which saw her covering everything from Bob Dylan and Tom Petty tracks to ’60s country classics. And last fall, she received the coveted BMI Troubadour Award, celebrating her songwriting career.

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Jan. 29: Charlie Wilson, 70

Singer/songwriter and producer Charlie Wilson attends the 25th annual Keep Memory Alive "Power of Love Gala" benefit for the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health honoring Smokey Robinson and Kenny â  Babyfaceâ   Edmonds at Resorts World Las Vegas on October 16, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images

As the lead vocalist of the Gap Band, the Tulsa, Oklahoma-born funk singer recorded such classic tracks as “You Dropped a Bomb on Me” and “Early in the Morning.” In recent years, Uncle Charlie — a nickname he received from Snoop Dogg — has become a go-to collaborator for younger artists like Bruno Mars and Fantasia. He recorded the single “No Stoppin’ Us” with Babyface, K-Ci Hailey and Johnny Gill; the song’s popularity made Wilson the male artist with the most number 1 hits in the history of the Billboard Adult R&B Airplay chart.

Jan. 31: Portia de Rossi, 50

Portia de Rossi attends the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 5, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California.
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Known for her roles on Ally McBeal, Arrested Development and Scandal, the Aussie actress announced in 2018 that she was retiring from acting. That year, as a gift to her wife, Ellen DeGeneres, on her 60th birthday, de Rossi founded the Ellen Fund, which is dedicated to protecting endangered species. This year, the couple officially opened the Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund in Rwanda to the public, and de Rossi told People, “I just want people to care. I guess that is all we want, for people to care and realize what it means for humanity to have these magnificent creatures alive and well.”

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