The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2006

The Jolie-Pitts are not exactly the folks next door as they travel the world with their brood. They are sexy but domestic, rich beyond measure but equally generous. They are unique, and can only be called "Brangelina."

Joel Osteen: The Smiling Preacher

He is rich, famous, handsome, and adored by millions of fans on television each week, but he's not an actor. He's an evangelical pastor from Houston named Joel Osteen.

They call him "the smiling preacher," and Osteen has a lot to smile about. He's the head of the largest church in America, the author of a best-selling book, and the religious leader for a following of faithful, often frenzied fans.

He's achieved all that with an approach critics call "Christianity lite" -- no sin, no suffering, no sacrifice, replacing fire and brimstone with a motivational message.

Barbara Walters asked Osteen why that message strikes such a chord with people.

"My message is that God is a good God," said Osteen. "And if we all … have the right attitude, he'll take us places that we've never dreamed of."

Certainly Osteen is in a place he never dreamed of: Houston's Lakewood Church collects more than $75 million a year. The congregation is so large that Osteen had to move his church into a former pro basketball arena.

"We're just amazed to be here," Osteen said. "I grew up coming to watch basketball games here. … This is where the Rockets used to play. Every time I come in here, I just feel humbled, and it's been an amazing journey."

That journey started modestly, when Osteen's father began the church in the back of a Houston feed store. For the six Osteen siblings, it was a family affair. Never interested in preaching, Osteen worked on the television and marketing side. But when his father passed away, stepped up to the pulpit and began to spread a unifying message that avoids a number of polarizing issues.

Walters asked Osteen why he stayed away from controversial subjects like gay marriage, abortion or politics.

"Sometimes, I think if you get away from what you're called to do, it's more of a distraction," he said.

Osteen has been criticized for focusing too much on the almighty dollar. Walters asked him about preaching what is called "the prosperity gospel."

"I think the word rich is all relative," Osteen said. "I think down and deep in our hearts, we believe that God does want us to live the abundant life that we can. To me, prosperity is health, good relationships … and money, of course, is part of it."

Jay-Z: The King of Rap

Speaking of prosperity, rapper Jay-Z knows all about material success. His new album, "Kingdom Come," is at the top of the charts. It's the latest addition to a vast empire that includes Def Jam records, a clothing line, a stake in an NBA team.

Jay-Z was born Shawn Carter, and grew up in the Brooklyn projects. His father left the family when Jay-Z was 12, and he told Walters that it had a "tremendous" impact on his life.

"I would never let anyone get close to me because of that feeling that I had when my pops left," he said. "I never wanted anyone to get that close to me again."

Jay-Z was a drug dealer as a teenager in the 1980s but gave it up when he discovered what he calls a God-given talent for writing songs.

"I would sit at the kitchen table," he said, "And I would bang on the table these generic beats, and I would write, write, write … write every single day."

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