Not every celebrity is a nepo baby. Some have had to work hard to get to where they're at.
If you ask some people, they'll tell you a lot of Hollywood's biggest talent haven't earned their esteemed places in the industry.
Some people certainly work harder than others, though not everyone is open with that experience.
These celebrities have opened up about the experience of growing up poor and becoming a star.
1. Sean "Diddy" Combs has always been boastful about his success, but that's because it came after years of hard work.
Diddy shared a life-changing moment with CNN in 2016. "One day, I asked my mother for a pair of sneakers, and she almost started to cry," he said. "My hustle was born. I never wanted to see her face like that again."
2. Oprah Winfrey was shuffled between family members in rural Mississippi, where they sometimes wore potato sacks because they couldn't afford clothes.
"I don't think of myself as a poor deprived ghetto girl who made good," Oprah once said of her early life. "I think of myself as somebody who from an early age knew I was responsible for myself, and I had to make good."
3. Jim Carrey revealed that his family lived in poverty when he was growing up after his dad lost his job. At times, his whole family worked together as janitors or security guards while living in a van. He used visualization to help get him through it.
"I would visualize things coming to me that I wanted. And I had nothing at that time, but it just made me feel better. At that time, all it really was, was kind of just, making me feel better. I would drive home and think, ‘Well, I do have these things, and they’re out there. I just don’t have a hold of them yet, but they’re out there.'"
4. Camila Alves grew up in a family of farmers in Brazil. When she moved to LA at 15, she had to learn English and save up to move to New York.
"I didn’t have the luxury to call my parents to pay my bills, so I cleaned houses and worked in restaurants as I learned English and saved to go to New York to look for an agency to represent me," she told ATX Woman.
5. Arnold Schwarzenegger tweeted about growing up without running water, which is a far cry from where he is today.
6. Hilary Swank grew up in a trailer park in Washington State before her mom drove to Los Angeles so she could pursue acting. She saw the ugly side of life as a child, and it stayed with her.
"I grew up feeling like an outsider because we had no money, so I understood 'classism' at a young age," she once shared. "A lot of parents didn't want their kids playing with me, even though the kids didn't care."
7. Leonardo DiCaprio grew up in a once-rough area of Hollywood where he said "there used to be a major prostitution ring on my street corner, crime and violence everywhere," according to the Los Angeles Times.
"It goes back to that neighborhood. It came from the fact that I grew up very poor, and I got to see the other side of the spectrum."
8. Nicki Minaj has talked about how her family struggled when they first immigrated from Trinidad to the United States.
"When I first came to America, I would go in my room and kneel down at the foot of my bed and pray that God would make me rich so that I could take care of my mother."
9. Justin Bieber struggled growing up being raised by a single mom with not a lot of resources.
"I remember being poor and being teased by other kids," he told Clique TV. "I remember sitting in restaurants with my mother, and she'd make me order water instead of soda. I remember so badly wanting to order a soda. And I also remember that when I got my first big paycheck I was so glad to be able to use that money to take care of my mother."
10. Mark Wahlberg grew up sharing a room with his five brothers in a working-class family in Boston and ended up in a gang and in serious trouble before straightening out.
"Three of my brothers had done time. My sister went to prison so many times I lost count. Finally, I was there, locked up with the kind of guys I'd always wanted to be like. Now I'd earned my stripes, and I was just like them, and I realized it wasn't what I wanted at all," he told The Daily Mail. "I'd ended up in the worst place I could possibly imagine, and I never wanted to go back."
11. Mariah Carey grew up in a financially difficult situation to a broken family and dealt with drug use and abuse up close until she worked her way out of it.
"When I was 12 years old, my sister drugged me with Valium, offered me a pinky nail full of cocaine, inflicted me with third-degree burns, and tried to sell me out to a pimp," Mariah recalled in her book.
12. Selena Gomez's family struggled throughout her childhood, but always did what they could to help others.
"I remember always being reminded that people had less than we did, and we didn’t have much," she told Vogue. "But I felt like we did because my mom was always doing a hundred million things just to make me happy, and we volunteered at soup kitchens on Thanksgiving; we went through my closet for Goodwill."
13. Cardi B grew up in a struggling family and fell in with a bad crowd, splitting her time between the South Bronx and Washington Heights.
"I have real good parents, they poor. They have regular, poor jobs and whatnot," she said in a Global Grind interview in 2016. "They real good people and whatnot; I was just raised in a bad society."
14. Sarah Jessica Parker was the youngest of four until her mom remarried and had three more kids. The family of 10 struggled heavily, with her recalling her childhood as "Dickensian."
"We were on welfare ... I remember being poor," she told The New York Times. "There was no great way to hide it. We didn't have electricity sometimes. We didn't have Christmases sometimes, or we didn't have birthdays sometimes, or the bill collectors came, or the phone company would call and say, 'We're shutting your phones off.'"
15. Chris Pratt grew up in a family that sometimes struggled and would rely on food stamps. Early in his career, he lived out of a van on a beach in Hawaii.
"I grew up in a small town, we had 7,000 people in our town, and we had some economic hard times, and we had a food bank nearby, and I’m not ashamed to say that there were moments when my family would need to eat from a food bank," Chris shared during an Instagram Live interview. "There’s no shame in it — especially right now with what we are going through. There is help out there, and you can find that help and get that help, and there’s nothing wrong with needing that help."
16. Shania Twain and her siblings grew up missing meals. From those times, she recalls how impossible asking for help felt.
17. "It's very hard to concentrate when you're stomach's rumbling," she told ABC News. "I would certainly never have humiliated myself enough to reach out and ask for help and say, 'You know, I'm hungry. Can I have that apple that you're not going to eat?' I didn't have the courage to do that."
18. Leighton Meester was born while both her parents were serving time in prison. They split up after getting out, and both sides of her family struggled financially as she was growing up. Leighton didn't even consider going to prom because of her financial status.
"I couldn't relate to kid stuff. 'Jimmy doesn't like me!' Who cares? I was worried we didn't have gas money or food. Those were my concerns," she told Marie Claire. "It was a lot of money for a ticket. And I just didn't care that much."
19. Kelly Clarkson has worked through a lot of her feelings about growing up poor and in a difficult family through her music.
"We lived pre-pay check to pre-pay check. So I definitely had this whole mentality, I was like, whatever I'm gonna do, I just don't wanna have to worry about that," she told The Dallas Morning News. "I always used to hate when people would be like, 'Money doesn't buy everything,' when you are little and poor. Rich people say that. Not poor people, I don't know one poor person that's going, money doesn't buy happiness. It pays you to get out of eviction notices."
20. Mila Kunis emigrated to the United States from Ukraine as a child, where they faced poverty and antisemitism. Ashton Kutcher also grew up poor, getting caught breaking into his school to steal money. As a result, the two want to make sure their kids don't grow up entitled.
"It’s so important because we both came from pretty solid poverty backgrounds and grew up very poor and are very much self-made and are very aware of what a dollar is worth,” she adds. “Nothing’s been handed to us."
21. Dolly Parton grew up in a one-room shack in rural Tennessee with up to 14 people at different points in her life.
"We bathed once a week whether we needed it or not, as the saying goes. When I was in high school, it was a big deal. I had to take a bath every night because I wanted to be clean," Dolly recalled of her childhood. "The kids peed on me every night. We slept three and four in the bed. I would wash every night. And as soon as I go to bed, the kids would wet on me, and I'd have to get up in the morning and do the same thing."
22. Celine Dion was the youngest of 13 siblings, so money was often tight. Still, she never felt like she was lacking in her childhood.
"We were safe and warm and taken care of. Three or four of us in the same bed was normal to us. We weren’t poor, but we never had money. I don’t know if that makes sense," she shared. "We were given love and affection and support. What else did we need?"
What celebrities do you admire for working their way to success from a difficult place? Share in the comments.
Who are celebrities that came from poor family? ›
- Sean "Diddy" Combs has always been boastful about his success, but that's because it came after years of hard work. ...
- Oprah Winfrey was shuffled between family members in rural Mississippi, where they sometimes wore potato sacks because they couldn't afford clothes.
- #10 Leighton Meester – $5 million. ...
- #9 Hilary Swank – $40 million. ...
- #8 Sarah Jessica Parker – $90 million. ...
- #7 Jim Carrey – $150 million. ...
- #6 Demi Moore – $150 million. ...
- #5 Leonardo Dicaprio – $200 million. ...
- #4 Shania Twain – $350 million. ...
- #3 Tom Cruise – $500 million.
Gaga has said her family wasn't wealthy, but they certainly did well for themselves. Her father owned an Internet company and her mother was, at one point, a Verizon V.P., New York Magazine has reported, enabling the family to send her and her sister to elite private schools in New York City.What are famous people known for? ›
Famous people are people who are well known throughout the world for what they have done. They come from all areas of life, including politics, sport, music, art, science and technology.Who grew up poor but is now rich? ›
Oprah Winfrey was born into a poor Mississippi family in 1954, but she's now worth $2.5 billion.Who grew up poor and became rich? ›
- Grew up in poverty: Rosario Dawson. ...
- Born into wealth: Ellie Kemper. ...
- Grew up in poverty: Misha Collins. ...
- Born into wealth: Bryce Dallas Howard. ...
- Grew up in poverty: Daniel Kaluuya. ...
- Born into wealth: Kaia Gerber. ...
- Grew up in poverty: Jim Carrey.
Despite such achievement, Oprah grew up in severe poverty in rural Mississippi. Raised without indoor plumbing, she suffered physical and sexual violence until she began working for a local radio station after high school, a job that launched her passion for media.
Alan Gerry. While he has a net worth of $1.5 billion today, Alan Gerry grew up in Liberty, New York, during the Depression. A frozen food distributor, Gerry's father often struggled to feed the family on his salary. Gerry later dropped out of high school to serve in the Marines during World War II.What actors became homeless? ›
- Carmen Electra. Steve Granitz / FilmMagic / Getty Images. ...
- Jim Carrey. Chris Delmas / AFP via Getty Images. ...
- Tiffany Haddish. ...
- Sylvester Stallone. ...
- Jennifer Lopez. ...
- Chris Pratt. ...
- Eartha Kitt. ...
- Drew Carey.
The likes of the Vanderbilts, Gettys and Rothschilds are synonymous with extreme wealth, but are these legendary old-money families still as rich and powerful in 2021? Click or scroll through as we take a look at how the descendants of five of the world's most illustrious dynasties live and work today.
Is Ariana Grande a billionaire? ›
Is Ariana Grande a billionaire? Ariana Grande is not a billionaire, although she is fabulously wealthy.What is considered wealthy at 35? ›
Alternatively, your net worth at age 35 should be at least 2X your annual income. Given the median household income is roughly $68,000 in 2021, the above average household should have a net worth of around $136,000 or more. A household is defined as either a dual income earning family or single income earning family.What famous person said never give up? ›
And how about the very very short commencement speech that Winston Churchill gave, in which he said, “Never give up, never give up, never give up,” and then sat down?Who is the #1 most famous person ever? ›
Jesus Christ tops list of world's top ten most significant people EVER (according to Wikipedia)Who is the #1 most popular celebrity? ›
|1||Oprah Winfrey||Television personality|
|2||Tiger Woods||Sportsperson (Golf)|
Ans:- The poorest of the poor are the infant children, the older persons, women, and female children. If the family is poor, then the person who suffers harder than others are the infants, elders, and the women.How many billionaires are born poor? ›
According to data: 27% of the ultra wealthy are self made: It defines them as people with a "middle-class or poor upbringing and no inheritance." 46% have a head start: Almost half the super rich people surveyed either had some inherited wealth or an affluent upbringing.What country singer grew up poor? ›
Shania Twain: Regarded as one of the best country singers of all time, Shania Twain had an extremely rough childhood. Twain was born in Ontario, Canada and grew up in the small town of Timmins. Her mother and stepfather worked to make ends meet.Who was poor and rich in the Bible? ›
In Jesus' parable, the poor man Lazarus who died was carried by angels to Abraham's side in heaven, and the rich man was sent to hell, where he was in torment. The rich man had lived for his own pleasure and had ignored the message of Moses and the Prophets.Who said the poor will eat the rich? ›
The widespread starvation and executions popularized a saying attributed to philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau: "When the people shall have nothing more to eat, they will eat the rich."
Who took from the rich to give to the poor? ›
Robin Hood and his Merry Men, Sherwood Forest, Maid Marion and the evil Sheriff of Nottingham are the stars of a whole load of tales about stealing from the rich to give to the poor.Which rapper grew up poor? ›
Jay Z - Before he was a businessman with an empire at his feet, Jay Z was another poor kid from Marcy Housing Projects in Brooklyn raised by a single mother and involved in crime.Who suffers from poverty the most? ›
Children under five
Compared to working-age adults or senior citizens, children are significantly more likely to live in poverty — 18.4 percent of Americans under age 18 live in poverty, compared to 12.6 percent of 18 to 64 year olds and 9.3 percent of senior citizens. And the most vulnerable children are the youngest.
The deserving poor were those understood to be hard working people, who through no fault of their own found themselves in hardship. The key word here is that they were hardworking, and so deserved state help.Which billionaire is homeless? ›
In the early 2000s, Berggruen was dubbed "the homeless billionaire" when he sold off his residential properties and belongings. At 40 years old, he did not own a house, a car, or a watch. Instead, he traveled, staying in different hotels with only a small bag of clothes and his BlackBerry.Did Elon Musk grow up poor? ›
Musk basically implied that his education loan was the motivation why he built his first company and turned it profitable. But he, by all means, was never poor.Was Oprah Winfrey poor? ›
Born in rural poverty, and raised by a mother dependent on government welfare payments in a poor urban neighborhood, Winfrey became a millionaire at the age of 32 when her talk show received national syndication.
An ex- millionaire who became homeless after his business and family life fell apart has described how he turned himself around. Andrew Blythe, 55, appeared to have it all after setting up a successful electrical and plumbing business twenty years ago that was turning over £1million annually.Which celebrity helped the less fortunate? ›
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation work contributed to global health, emergency relief, education, fighting poverty and inequality around the world. For their commendable contribution to philanthropic works, Bill and Melinda were known as 2nd most generous philanthropists in America in 2007.What celebrities were at Sleep No More? ›
Some celebs' “Sleep No More” fandom is so intense, they ask to appear in the show for unadvertised, one-night-only acting stints. That's been the case for Alan Cumming, Neil Patrick Harris, Aaron Paul, Sara Bareilles and others.
Who is the richest family to ever exist? ›
The title currently goes to the Walton family with a net worth of $224.5 billion. Keep reading to find out what other families made the list of the top 10 richest families in the world.Are there any old money families left? ›
In the U.S., families like the Vanderbilts and Rockefellers represented early examples of old money. Today, old money families include the Waltons (Walmart), the Disneys (The Walt Disney Company), and the Kochs (Koch Industries).Do old money families still exist? ›
Although many "old money" individuals do not rank as high on the list of Forbes 400 richest Americans as they once did, their wealth continues to grow. Many families increased their holdings by investment strategies such as the pooling of resources.Is Taylor Swift a billionaire? ›
Forbes currently estimates her worth at $570 million, and the revenue is expected to send her over the $1 billion mark. Fans also sell out Swift's merchandise stands at nearly every show bringing in an expected $90 million.How is Rihanna so rich? ›
She became America's youngest self-made female billionaire in 2022. Much of Rihanna's wealth has been attributed to her successful makeup company, Fenty Beauty, which she co-owns with French luxury retailer LVMH.How rich is Taylor Swift? ›
Taylor Swift has an estimated net worth of $570 million as of 2022, according to Forbes. In addition to her successful music career, the 12-time Grammy winner also has a real estate portfolio worth about $150 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.How long will $500 000 last in retirement? ›
If you retire with $500k in assets, the 4% rule says that you should be able to withdraw $20,000 per year for a 30-year (or longer) retirement. So, if you retire at 60, the money should ideally last through age 90. If 4% sounds too low to you, remember that you'll take an income that increases with inflation.At what age are you most wealthy? ›
The average age of a first time millionaires is 37, it has been found. In data released by Betway Insider, the average age of a first time billionaire is also revealed: and is a little higher at 51. So, if you're not quite there yet, what can you do to make your first million?Is $10 million enough to retire at 30? ›
And given that the average American spends $66,921 per year (as of 2021), $10 million is more than enough to retire at 30 in most cases. However, that may not be true if you have an expensive lifestyle when you retire. Factors like inflation, healthcare costs and a volatile stock market can derail your retirement.What will you never give up on? ›
- Don't give up taking walks in the woods. ...
- Don't give up doing things that scare you. ...
- Don't give up being kind. ...
- Don't give up sleeping under the stars. ...
- Don't give up speaking the truth. ...
- Don't give up forgiving. ...
- Don't give up asking for help.
Who never gives up meaning? ›
Tenacious is a mostly positive term. If someone calls you tenacious you're probably the kind of person who never gives up and never stops trying – someone who does whatever is required to accomplish a goal. You may also be very stubborn.Who is most loved person in the world? ›
Dwayne Johnson is known as “The Rock” and is currently the most well-known person in the world. Dwayne, who was previously a WWE champion wrestler, is now an actor as well as a producer.Who has the most recognized face in the world? ›
Queen Elizabeth II, the most famous face in the world: See her many portraits, depictions.Who is the first celebrities in the world? ›
Who were the early celebrities? In what is now Europe, some of the earliest known celebrities were politicians, performers, and athletes. Several key figures in Plato's Symposium were Athenian celebrities: the politician Alcibiades, the playwright Aristophanes, and the philosopher Socrates.Who suffer most in a poor family? ›
In poor families women suffer more than others as they do not get equal opportunities as compared with their male counterparts.Which singer grew up poor? ›
Dolly Parton. Arguably one of the biggest and richest names in country music, Dolly Parton has a net worth of $650 million — but it wasn't always that way. Parton grew up in poverty.What famous people are not rich? ›
- Lindsay Lohan Net Worth: $500,000. ...
- Evander Holyfield Net Worth: $500,000. ...
- Gary Busey Net Worth: -$500,000. ...
- Aaron Carter Net Worth: -$2 Million. ...
- Burt Reynolds Net Worth: $5 Million. ...
- MC Hammer Net Worth: $1.5 Million. ...
- Dennis Rodman Net Worth: $500,000. ...
- Heidi Montag Net Worth: $20,000.