From The Rock to Prince Harry and LeBron James, here are some of the most notable rats in history

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Singers like Katy Perry, Facebook inventor Mark Zuckerberg and football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo are all celebrating their zodiac year

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People born in the Year of the Rat are sociable, calm, and good at business, according to Chinese horoscopes. And when faced with bad times, they can be very bold. Let’s take a look at some world-famous rats and see if they have these traits.

Politics

Joshua Wong Chi-fung (1996) became famous at 16 as the face of the Occupy Central movement in 2014. He was, and is, known for speaking about and acting on issues he feels strongly about. He has been imprisoned three times, detained overseas and deported, and denied entry to several countries. Other political disruptors born in the Year of the Rat include US civil rights activist Rosa Parks, North Korea’s first leader, Kim Il-sung, first US president George Washington, and the revolutionary/dictator Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s second president.

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Singers/ Musicians

Katy Perry burst into our consciousness with her infectious pop sound in 2008, writing and recording songs that became instant classics: Hot n Cold, Firework, Roar ... It’s no wonder that she is one of the best selling music artists of all time, or that her music video for Dark Horse was the first by a female artist to reach 1 billion views on Vevo. (The following month, her video for Roar also reached a billion views, making her the first artist to have multiple videos with a billion views.) She has used her fame and fortune for good, too, being named a Unicef Goodwill Ambassador in 2013, hosting benefit concerts for a range of charities, and advocating for LGBT rights.

Other musically-inclined Rats include rocker Avril Lavigne, rapper Eminem, former teen star Lorde, up-and-coming crooner Lewis Capaldi, jazz legend Sarah Vaughan, rock ’n’ roll pioneer Buddy Holly, Green Day lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong, and soundtrack composer Henry Mancini.

Basketball superstar James is also a Rat.
Photo: AFP

Sport 

Basketball king LeBron James (1984) is the heir apparent to Michael Jordan for the coveted title of GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) and has won three NBA titles. He was the Rookie of the Year during his debut season, has been named to the All-NBA First Team a record 12 times, and the MVP award four times. LeBron is also the only modern player to make the NBA Finals eight times in a row (2010-2018).

Other rats who are superb athletes include fellow basketballer Shaquille O’Neal, soon-to-be-12-year-old skateboarder Sky Brown, Formula 1 champ Lewis Hamilton, current women’s tennis world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty, Michael Chang, the youngest male in history to win a tennis Grand Slam, and football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

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Royalty

The British royals have a line of Rats: Prince Harry, who will no longer use his “Royal Highness” title, was born in 1984, his great-grandmother (Queen Elizabeth’s mother), Elizabeth, was born in 1900; and his dad, and next in line to the throne, Prince Charles, was born in 1948. Other Royal rats include Queen Letizia of Spain and Princess Iman bint Abdullah of Jordan.

Writers 

Haruki Murakami (1949) is known for his surrealist, and often dystopian tales, such as Kafka on the Shore and 1Q84. He is probably the Japanese author best known outside of Japan, and while his novels are often set in Japan, he has said he has been heavily influenced by Western culture, and authors including Franz Kafka, Charles Dickens, Kurt Vonnegut, and Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Other rat writers include fantasy master Terry Pratchett, activist and essayist James Baldwin, urban fantasy creator China Mieville, Vox co-founder Ezra Klein, and sci-fi writer Neil Gaiman.

Japanese writer Haruki Murakami is one of many writers born in the year of the rat.
Photo: Reuters

Actors

You may know Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as a movie star who has appeared in some of the funniest and most daring movies of recent years (the Jumanji reboot and the Hong Kong-set Skycraper spring to mind), but the actor began as a professional wrestler. He is also a mega Instagram star (currently with the third most followers in the world), and regularly tops “sexiest man” polls.

Clearly being born in the Year of the Rat bestows skills appropriate for life on the big screen, at least if this list of stars is anything to go by: Zendaya, Tom Holland, Lili Reinhart, Abigail Breslin, Noah Centineo, Sophie Turner, Hailee Steinfeld, Katherine Langford, Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson, and Samuel L. Jackson.

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Inventors/ Thinkers

Mark Zuckerberg may seem to mostly be criticised in the news these days, but the Facebook co-founder is undeniably one of the most influential inventors of recent years. His social networking platform is the largest in the world, and despite only taking an annual salary of US$1, he remains one of the 10 richest people in the world.

Other innovators born in the Year of the Rat include Apple CEO Tim Cook, magazine editor Tavi Gevinson, Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and maths genius Alan Turing.

Edited by Nicole Moraleda