bestof2013

The 15 Most Memorable Profiles Of 2013

Our favorite features about the big names of the year — including pieces on Miley, Lindsay, Taylor, MJ, the veep, and many more.

1. Here Is What Happens If You Cast Lindsay Lohan in Your MovieNew York Times Magazine

Jeff Minton for The New York Times

Stephen Rodrick reports from the set of The Canyons, the low-budget train wreck featuring Taxi Driver writer Paul Schrader, American Psycho novelist Bret Easton Ellis, male porn star James Deen, and the big name who could ruin it all: Lindsay Lohan. Read it at The New York Times Magazine.

2. Miley Cyrus: Confessions of Pop’s Wildest ChildRolling Stone

Ethan Miller / Getty

Josh Eells hangs out with the pop princess in the wake of her unforgettable VMA performance. They discuss her love of exhibitionism and youth, she skydives, and she gets “Rolling $tone” tattooed on the bottom of her feet. Read it at Rolling Stone.

3. Have You Heard the One About President Joe Biden?GQ

Joe Raedle / Getty

A charming portrait of the vice president by Jeanne Marie Laskas. “That’s what’s funny. It’s a comfort level, and a mocking, and a kind of affection wrapped warmly into a knowing joke. Joe Biden. The tipsy uncle who actually doesn’t drink. He’s always dancing there on the edge of embarrassment. He’s that guy.” Read it at GQ.

4. Michael Jordan Has Not Left the Building — ESPN

Streeter Lecka / Getty / Via espn.go.com

Wright Thompson discusses the legend as he approaches 50: “Jordan might have stopped playing basketball, but the rage is still there. The fire remains.” Read it at ESPN.

5. Platinum Underdog: Why Taylor Swift Is the Biggest Pop Star in the WorldNew York

Carlo Allegri / Reuters

Jody Rosen analyzes the starlet’s unlikely dominance in this delightful, smart piece: “There’s no mistaking it: Beyoncé, Rihanna, Gaga, Katy, Miley, ­Justin, Justin, Usher, Jay Z, Kanye — they’re all vying for second place. How — and why — is Taylor Swift the world’s biggest pop star?” Read it at New York.

6. David Lee Roth Will Not Go Quietly — BuzzFeed

Kevin Winter / Getty

The once and future Van Halen frontman has parlayed the sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll of his youth into a wild middle age, and he wants to teach us all about it. Steve Kandell hangs out and swings swords on a Saturday night at home with the last true rock star. Read it at BuzzFeed.

7. Daniel Radcliffe’s Next Trick Is to Make Harry Potter DisappearThe New York Times Magazine

Luca Locatelli for The New York Times

Susan Dominus shadows Radcliffe as he navigates the transitions into adulthood and away from the role that made him arguably the most famous child actor in history. Read it at The New York Times Magazine.

8. My Year With MalalaThe Sunday Times

Christopher Furlong / Reuters

Malala Yousafzai, who survived a Taliban assassination attempt, has become a face for girls’ rights around the world. Christina Lamb spent a year with her and her family researching this story and the book they co-authored. Read it at The Sunday Times.

9. The Miner’s DaughterThe New Yorker

Paul Kane / Getty

Georgina Hope Rinehart is Australia’s richest woman and one of its most controversial. William Finnegan tells the story of the mining heiress, her wealth, and reputation. Read it at the New Yorker.

10. Long Night at TodayNew York

Slaven Vlasic / Getty

In the wake of the Ann Curry’s departure, Today, once the most profitable franchise in network television, is no longer No. 1. Joe Hagan profiles vilified host Matt Lauer and the cutthroat world of morning shows. Read it at New York.

11. The King of Oontz Oontz OontzGQ

Tom Briglia / Getty

Four years ago, he was a Swedish teenager named Tim messing around on his laptop. Today, Jessica Pressler writes, he’s Avicii, taking in $250,000 a night DJing for the champagne- and ecstasy-fueled masses. Read it at GQ.

12. If He Hollers, Let Him GoThe Believer

Scott Gries / Getty

Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah heads to rural Ohio in search of Dave Chappelle. “The hole he left in comedy is so great that even ten years later very few people can accept the reason he later gave for leaving fame and fortune behind: he wanted to find a simpler way of life.” Read it at The Believer.

13. ‘F—- Rap, Laying Back Eating Poutine’Grantland

Gary Miller / WireImage

Alex Pappademas spends a hilarious week with one of rap’s most unconventional characters, Action Bronson: an overweight Albanian gourmand, wordsmith, pothead, and pseudo sage. Read it at Grantland.

14. The Endless Summer of Bob UeckerSports Illustrated

Ben Smidt / Getty Images

A look at the life and legacy of the former Brewers player and legendary commentator. Is he as outrageous as Harry Doyle, the cartoonish announcer he played in Major League? Not quite, writes Luke Winn. Read it at Sports Illustrated.

15. Nora Ephron’s Final ActThe New York Times Magazine

Photographs by Elena Seibert / Via The New York Times

A lovingly written but difficult goodbye from Jacob Bernstein to his mother. The late screenwriter and essayist’s death this June came after an illness she hid from many of her fans and friends. Read it at The New York Times Magazines.

Correction: an earlier version of this list did not correctly identify rapper Action Bronson as Albanian.

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