There are many individuals out there who have a talent for starting businesses. They are able to take calculated risks and really throw themselves into a challenging situation and still end up on top. These enterprising types usually have great leadership and organization skills, making it no surprise that there are many business-minded individuals who have climbed to the top in the world of start ups due to their tenacity, persistence, good ideas, and an ability to execute and take action. Steve Jobs, Warren Buffett, Richard Branson, and Bill Gates, are just a few examples of individuals who have risen to the top in the world of business.
Just like in businesses, those who are in the world of entertainment must have a certain set of skills. Universal skills such as communication skills, the ability to perform in front of others, the ability to deal with extremely demanding schedules, and the ability to thrive in the public eye, are all things that celebrities in all different disciplines must be able to deal with. These celebrities develop more and more of these skills as their careers progress.
A pretty amazing thing can happen when these two sets of skills are combined. When those who are extremely talented in business leverage their skills and good name in the entertainment industry, the results can be massive. The mixture of business startups and celebrity status can make for a rising star when it comes to a new business venture that a celebrity is looking to start. A great example of this is when rapper 50 Cent lent his name to help beverage company Glaceau start Vitamin Water. When a celebrity lends their name to a product or company, they instantly give that company a leg up in the business world.
Some of the entries on this list are relatively new, while others have been around for decades. Here is a list of some of our favourite celebrity businesses.
OWN Network & O Magazine – Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey has for many years been at the top of the game in both the entertainment and business world. Almost everyone in America can hear the name Oprah and know exactly who is being talked about. Oprah has been charming Americans in their living rooms for decades with her hit syndicated series, The Oprah Show. Now Oprah has really taken it to the next level with her O.W.N. Network. Though it did quite poorly in the ratings when it first launched, the Oprah Winfrey Network has begun to look like a network with a true purpose.
Shows like “Breakthroughs with Tony Robbins” make a statement that Oprah truly wants. Targeting women, and doing especially well with black women, the channel is proving that uplifting material on television can not only make money, but serve a purpose.
Oprah isn’t just making money just off of her successful network. She also brings in a large part of her earnings, which happened to be 77$ million dollars from 2012 to 2013, from stars that she helped discover. Dr. Phil and Rachael Ray are two of her biggest stars, both making much of their income off of television and radio appearances. Oprah also brings in a huge part of her income with her successful O Magazine.
Dreamworks Studios – Steven Spielberg
No doubt about it: Steven Spielberg is one of the best directors of all time. His contribution to the film industry has been massive, and he has directed some of the biggest Blockbuster films of all time. His latest feature, Lincoln, was a substantial success. It was nominated for 12 Academy Awards, with actor Daniel Day-Lewis notably bringing home the best actor trophy for his incredible turn as one of America’s most famous presidents. Not only was it an artistic success, but the film made $275 million worldwide.
Spielberg is an amazing businessman as well as a film visionary. In his business life, he currently serves as one of the executive partners for Dreamworks Studios. This is one of the most successful film companies in the world right now, and Spielberg has been a big part of the generation of the studio’s income. One of Dreamworks’ and Steven Spielberg’s biggest successes of recent years was the third Transformers movie. Spielberg was an executive producer on this movie, and the film ended up making $1 Billion Dollars in worldwide revenue. Not too shabby.
Parkwood Entertainment – Beyonce Knowles
Anyone who has turned on a radio in the last 10 years has almost definitely heard a Beyonce song. Starting off with the hit girl band Destiny’s Child and then moving into a solo pop diva career, this singer has been at the top of the music industry for over two decades. With hit singles like ‘Halo,’ ‘Single Ladies,’ and many more, Beyonce is able to command large amounts of revenue for record labels and concert promoters. She is truly one of the most well known recordings artists of our time.
Not content to merely put out hit songs, Beyonce has truly taken her career into her own hands of late. In 2008, she founded the management company Parkwood Entertainment, which has produced two films, several specials, and many music videos.
Beyonce has been widely quoted as saying “When I decided to manage myself it was important that I didn’t go to some big management company. I felt like I wanted to follow the footsteps of Madonna and be a powerhouse and have my own empire and show other women when you get to this point in your career you don’t have to go sign with someone else and share your money and your success—you do it yourself.”
Material Girl Clothing Line & Truth Or Dare Perfume – Madonna
Madonna began her reign in the 80s with pop anthems like ‘Material Girl’ and ‘Like A Prayer.’ Her controversial live performances and music videos only further propelled her to the star status that has stuck with her since the synth pop days of her earlier career. Love her or hate her, Madonna has managed to stay relevant for decades, and is still putting out popular work today.
Madonna is not only a brilliant musician and performer, but she is a wonderfully talented business person as well. Madonna’s biggest pursuits in 2013 were the Material Girl Clothing Line, and her Truth or Dare Perfume. Simply by using her name, Madonna is able to endorse her own products and help land them in the hands of fans of her music.
In 2013, Madonna made history by becoming the first female pop star to reach a $1 billion net worth. This is a huge feat for anyone, but it’s especially impressive that a modern recording artist was able to pull it off. In an industry where sales are falling, it is important for artists to find other sources of revenue to add to their income streams, and Madonna’s smart business moves are a great example of how best to pull it off.
Soul Kitchen – Jon Bon Jovi
Bon Jovi is a band that nearly everyone knows. In the 80s, Bon Jovi rose to massive success with stadium anthems like ‘Dead Or Alive,’ ‘Bad Medicine,’ and ‘I’ll Be There For You.’ In the early 2000s, the band was able to reach a whole new audience with the mainstream hit ‘It’s my life.’ It continued to be one of the top grossing bands around, making nearly $3 million a night on its massive stadium tours. To say the least, Bon Jovi has a very loyal fan base.
Lead singer Jon Bon Jovi has made it onto this list of best celebrity businesses due to his restaurant with a purpose. Jon Bon Jovi started up Soul Kitchen, a restaurant that gives those without much the ability to dine in style. A three course meal can be purchased for 10 dollars or less. If an individual doesn’t have the money to pay for this food, they can simply volunteer as a waiter, bus boy, or chef, and will be given a certificate for a free meal. This is an opportunity for individuals to be able to eat a delicious meal and not have to spend a fortune. It’s a good business, and it’s in the business of doing good.