updated 01/24/2000 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/24/2000 AT 01:00 AM EST

25 Most Intriguing
In my opinion the most intriguing person on your list was Chris Speilman, because in today's world whoever can put family before money is truly inspiring.
Mitchell Eisenberger, via e-mail

The only reason Julia Roberts made your list is because of her $20 million smile. Everyone knows she can't act.
Lisa Alderrou, Los Angeles

Hey, just one question: If Judge Judy, Ricky Martin and even Pokémon made the cut, why didn't Lauryn Hill?
Suzanne Hagen, Clatskanie, Ore.

The only thing intriguing about Jennifer Lopez is that she's so popular despite having no talent. Are her 15 minutes almost up?
Allison Williams, Bethesda, Md.

How could you exclude Cher? Surely you are aware of the amazing comeback this legendary superstar made in 1999!
Craig Martin, Chicago

It was great to see Dr. Robert Atkins as one of the most intriguing people, because he truly is. I agree with Stevie Nicks that he is "a god among men." His program has done more for me than anything else I have tried, and I have tried many.
Marilyn Gresham, via e-mail

Where was Celine Dion?
Nicole Rose Forbus, Cincinnati

I am appalled that you failed to recognize Andrea Bocelli.
Mike Paul, Vancouver

Just what do you find intriguing about an exploited child who was murdered? I find it disgusting that JonBenét was on your list.
Bonnie Fitzpatrick, Ramsey, N.J.

What a great issue to finish the century! Finally a magazine that knows what it's talking about! Your list of the 25 Most Intriguing People summed up 1999 perfectly. Your issue rises above the other cheesy magazines that put anyone on the cover who won an Oscar or broke box office records. Everyone at PEOPLE knows what they are doing.
Trisha Chokshi, Des Plaines, Ill.

I was not impressed with your list of the 25 Most Intriguing People of '99. Can I have my money back?
Jeanne Challie, Kountze, Texas

9 Most Intriguing of 999
I was very disappointed to discover PEOPLE claiming Vladimir I was of Russian descent when in fact he was 100 percent Ukrainian. Shame on Per-Arne Bodin and shame on you! Get your facts straight before you lose any more credibility.
Damien Vena, West Orange, N.J.

Per-Arne Bodin replies, "Vladimir was a grand prince of Kiev Rus. Neither Russia nor Ukraine existed as states at that time. Both Russia and Ukraine see themselves as inheritors of Kiev Rus, and therefore we can with equal right call Vladimir I grand prince of Russia or Ukraine."—ED.

Picks & Pans
I am absolutely shocked that Millennium, the Backstreet Boys' sophomore album, was named one of the year's Worst of Song. Have you been living under a rock? The Backstreet Boys are the hottest act out today. Every song on the album displays their superior talent and amazing vocal harmonies, proving their status as singers and artists. Whoever picked this for Worst of Song needs to be featured in an article titled "Worst of Idiots"!
Nichole Sand, Westlake, Ohio

Wow! If I ever have an album out, I hope your magazine picks it as worst of the year. That would mean to me that 10 million people have purchased it.
Kelli Cwiklinski, Palm Springs, Fla.

By now I'm sure you've received many letters from angry Backstreet Boys fans. Well, add me to your list! Doesn't a record-breaking album mean anything to you? Why is it so hard for the media to give a "boy band" credit? Everyone from my 8-year-old cousin to my 50-year-old mother loves the Backstreet Boys.
Megan Lynch, via e-mail

The Backstreet Boys, who don't promote violence and use no obscenities, get slammed by a national magazine. Go figure! I am a 41-year-old mother of two and I applaud the BSB because their music is so awesome that I can enjoy listening to it with my children. As a family, we went to their concert and had a total blast! I have to smile when I think the BSB are singing all the way to the bank!
Susan Lear, St. Cloud, Fla.

Obviously you have no taste in music and are not up-to-date with what is hot and what is not. I will not be reading or purchasing your magazine for all eternity.
Andrea Carlin, Eldridge, Iowa

Rick Springfield's Karma is Worst of Song? As we enter the next millennium, I think a CD with the message that one's actions carry consequences would be a worthy addition to any music collection.
Michele Norris, Kent, Wash.

The songs on Karma are all intense and thought-provoking. Perhaps your reviewer couldn't understand them, so had to give them a slam? I have put up with PEOPLE'S back-and-forth thoughts on Rick Springfield too long. One week he gets a bad review for this album, the next you're doing a positive story on him. Cancel my subscription!
Suzette Sue Andrade, Vallejo, Calif.

It was a shame you left the late Owen Hart out of Tributes '99. Hart was a superstar in the World Wrestling Federation and a class act outside the ring. His death shook up the entire wrestling industry and was a sad moment for wrestling fans around the world. I feel PEOPLE should include a tribute to Owen in an upcoming issue because Owen deserves it, and so does his family.
Alex Bozich, Louisville, Ky.

Although I was happy you paid tribute to longtime game show regular Peggy Cass, I was shocked that you forgot Gene Rayburn. He was in the business for so long and was such a pleasure to watch. His wife once said Gene felt the industry sort of forgot about him, and I guess that is true, considering PEOPLE did too. I cried in November when he died and felt that same sense of loss on not finding his name in this issue.
Lori Carroll, North Branch, Minn.

Poll of the Century
How can you have the favorite male movie star of the century and not have the favorite female movie star? We realize this list is far from comprehensive, but come on! Women are more than just best-dressed and sexiest! Put us down for Jodie Foster and Katharine Hepburn.
George Brown, Southborough, Mass.
April Smith, Winchester, Mass.

President Bill Clinton
Mr. President, regarding your interview in PEOPLE, a "mistake" is turning left when you meant to turn right. Committing adultery is not a mistake; it is a decision. So is lying. And the fact that your friends stuck by you does not give you character. Character is determined by your actions, not theirs.
Kelly Cote Jasper, Edina, Minn.

All right, Bill, you're forgiven. Now, get out.
Kathi White, Englewood, Colo.

It Happened This Year
I couldn't care less about finding ice on Mars, and I'm sure I speak for a lot of Americans when I say so. What is wrong with us? We have hungry children on this planet. America should be ashamed that we let our government spend $165 million on the Mars Polar Landing. That money is, as we say in the South, "throwed up a hog's butt," and it sickens me when so much good could come from spending it where we really need it. I'd like to form a new NASA—No Asinine Space Adventures—please!
Coline Worthy, Ashland, Ala.

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