AP names its Breakthrough Entertainers of 2018

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A scene-stealer from “Crazy Rich Asians.” A teen actress who brought aching realism to a movie about adolescence. A boundary-breaking country star. And a comedian who used everything from laughter to rage to make a searing statement on women and society.

Awkwafina, Elsie Fisher, Kane Brown and Hannah Gadsby are among the eight performers whose distinguished work earned them a spot on The Associated Press’ annual Breakthrough Entertainers list. Other honorees for 2018 are Henry Golding, Ella Mai, Natasha Rothwell and John David Washington .

Their contributions were as varied as the entertainers themselves.

For Golding, it was his first film role in one of the year’s most talked about movies, the hit “Crazy Rich Asians.” But for Washington, who is part of an acting family and has been acting for a few years, it was his key starring role in “BlacKkKlansman” that made him a standout.

New Grammy nominee Mai breathed new life into R&B with hits like “Boo’d Up” and “Trip.” And Rothwell’s writing and acting on the third season of “Insecure” not only elicited guffaws, but poignant moments as well.

It’s hard to imagine what entertainment might have looked like without them in 2018. Thankfully, we don’t have to — and we have more of their work to look forward to in the years to come.

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