2022''s most talked-about houstonians
These are the 5 most talked-about Houstonians for 2022
As we turn the page on 2022, we once again look back on the Houstonians who were most talked about during the year. To determine this list, we considered national headline mentions, our own site searches, reader response, and social media chatter.
Not surprisingly, some notable locals emerged, given our road to a World Series win and status as hometown for some national celebs in pop culture, sports, music, and food — in one case, both of the latter.
Some of these names boast brand-name notoriety across the country, some are local icons, and some are rising stars. What they all have in common — besides the fan chatter — is that can-do Houston spirit, serving as a reminder of Houston's big-time buzz. (A quick note: We counted a superstar couple and beloved group of ladies as one item each to compile the five figures on this list.)
Here, then, are Houston's buzziest names in 2022.
Kate Upton and Justin Verlander
Houston's superstar couple dominated our searches this year, both during the World Series and after, when they revealed that Verlander would be taking his talents to New York City. Readers especially responded to our reminder that Upton, who faced off a mouthy Philadelphia Phillies fan, would have no trouble handling smack talk in the Big Apple.
Another favorite: Verlander name checked Nancy's Hustle and its burger during a national, mid-game interview, adding some nationwide sizzle for the acclaimed East End eatery.
Houston Astros player wives Kara McCullers, Reagan Bregman, Kat Pressly, and Janelise Maldonado
These favorite player wives were responsible for our most-read story of the year. CultureMap caught up with the McCullers, Pressly, and Maldonado, who shared their favorite food, fashions, plus game day routines and superstitions. Bregman, meanwhile, gave us the scoop on her latest addition to her popular athleisure line. These doting wives and moms prove that not every Houston Astros MVP is on the field — something their proud husbands would no doubt echo.
Real talk: While many have jumped on the Houston hip-hop icon's bandwagon of late, CultureMap has always celebrated the Trill OG, evidenced by his continued presence as the esteemed host of our annual Tastemaker Awards. In 2022, Bun made history at RodeoHouston as the first Black male headliner from Houston in a show where he was a featured performer, while others enjoyed the spotlight.
With apologies to other purveyors, no other beefy sandwich dominated headlines in Houston this year like Bun's Trill Burgers. The Trill OG made national news by introducing his smash burgers to Justin Bieber, fans at Coachella, and later, as the winner of a food showdown on Good Morning America.
How do you top that? The OG has given the people — who wait hours in line for his burgers at select pop-ups — what they want in a new, brick-and-mortar Trill Burgers location, set to open in early 2023.
Call him Alex, call him, Breggy — we call Alex Bregman a Houston superstar. Always a fan favorite, the Astros infielder returned from injuries to smash home runs at the most crucial times and provide steady veteran leadership on the field. Bregman not only celebrated a World Series win, but he celebrated the birth of baby boy, Knox, with his entrepreneur/influence wife Reagan.
He and Reagan made a splash after the World Series win with a red-carpet moment at the CMA Awards; Bregman promptly came home to meet hundreds of fans at Academy Sports & Outdoors. Later, he was featured on NBC Nightly News for his work with his Bregman Cares charity. To quote Bregman himself, we see only "big things ahead" for the pivotal Astros star and his family.
Megan Thee Stallion
Let's call 2022 the Year of Megan — or, as she's been dubbed, "Mega-Megan." The H-Town native was honored with her own day in Houston by Mayor Sylvester Turner, hosted Saturday Night Live, blasted Houston-loving superstar Drake for his choice of lyrics, and landed on the cover of the annual Forbes 30 Under 30 Magazine.
Always one to rep her hometown, Megan shouted out the Bayou City during the glitzy Met Gala. "I just got here at three-o'-clock in the morning from Houston," she told a red carpet reporter, "because I just got my own day!"
All that leads to the obvious question: Could Houston's Hot Girl get any hotter?