Everybody has a past; along with it can come some quite candid and often very embarrassing #throwback photographs. Celebrities have a well-paid PR team on hand at all times to make sure that their own public images are not spoiled by any nasty leaks that could come back to haunt them.
At awards ceremonies, movie premieres, publicity appearances or live performances, you can guarantee that any celebrity will have a “glam squad” on hand to make sure that before a single flashbulb goes off in their direction they are looking perfect. When you’re a world famous style icon or sex symbol, the last thing you want is anyone reminding you that deep down you’re only human; a celebrity’s job is to constantly assure us that they are far superior to anybody else.
However, thanks to the internet there is no stopping the general public from feeding their own curiosities and viewing just what big stars were like before they stepped into the limelight. There is nothing more comforting than discovering that deep down, these stars are just like us – at least, they used to be.
14. Snoop Dogg
Snoop Dogg was born Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr in Long Beach, California 1971; his parents nicknamed him ‘Snoopy’ when he was a child and the name stuck with the hip-hop legend throughout his entire career. Most recently he changed his artist name to “Snoop Lion”.
Despite this throwback photo showing a well dressed, smart Snoop Dogg in his younger years, he was actually quite the trouble-maker as a teenager. He often found himself in trouble with the law and, shortly after his graduation, he was sent to prison for possession of cocaine.
He always had a passion for rapping, and recorded many mixtapes as a boy which eventually fell into the hands of music producer Dr Dre. He was invited to audition in 1992 and landed his first recording session. Since he first entered the public eye Snoop Dogg has become well known for his cannabis habit, and in 2013 he claimed in an interview that he smokes 80 blunts a day.
13. George Clooney
George Clooney is recognised as one of the most famous actors in the world; he has won two Academy Awards and three Golden Globe awards. However, he probably isn’t recognisable as this long haired, bushy-eyebrowed and glazed-looking hunk that first emerged onto the acting scene in the late 1970s. Clooney didn’t become a household name until he took on the role as Dr. Doug Ross in ER between 1994 and 2009.
Before he displayed an interest in acting, the Kentucky-born heartthrob made ends meet by selling anything from women’s shoes to insurance door-to-door. In the late 1970s he started to get involved in show business by working on set as an extra for several productions that were shooting in his hometown of Augusta.
Who would have believed this scruffy looking young man would become the Hollywood player he’s known as today? After dating a string of beauties including Lisa Snowdon, WWE Diva Stacy Keibler and Renée Zellweger, he finally went down on one knee for British-Lebanese human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin. They tied the knot during an intimate ceremony at Venice in September 2014.
12. Kim Kardashian
Kim Kardashian needs no introduction; she is one of the most famous women in the world. To date, Kim has 31.8 million Twitter followers and 33.2 million Instagram followers; it’s apparent that the world just can’t get enough of Kim and people want to witness her every move.
At 19 years old the Los Angeles-born reality TV star was often snapped in paparazzi pictures with famous socialite Paris Hilton. Kim would often appear in Hilton’s TV show The Simple Life, carrying out orders given by the heiress such as “clean my closet Kim”. Pictures from this time have lead to much speculation that the most famous Kardashian has had extensive work done to her features, including a nose job and an enhanced jawline.
It wasn’t until 2007 when Kim’s sex tape, which she had made with singer Ray-J in 2003, was leaked to the public that she became an A-list star. She took adult entertainment giant Vivid Entertainment to court but settled for $5 million.
In October 2007, Kim and her family landed their own reality television series, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, and the rest has been pop culture history. She married rapper Kanye West in 2014 and has a net worth of over $60 million. Her fortune has been amassed from releasing her own app – Kim Kardashian: Hollywood – as well as her own clothing brand, Kardashian Kollection, a baby clothing range for Babies R’ Us, a tanning bronzer “Kardashian Glow”, and her own photo book called “Selfish” which sold thousands of copies within its first week.
11. Steve Carell
Steve Carell was born and raised in Massachusetts. He had a deep passion and interest for history – the above picture was taken at the time of his graduation from Denison University in Granville, Ohio 1984. His academic years were clearly hard on him, as he appears even older then than he does now at 52-years-old.
After he graduated from university, Carell was involved with local comedy-sketch groups for many years until his big break came when he was cast as weatherman Brick Tamland in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004) starring opposite Will Ferrell. The movie’s producer Judd Apatow was so impressed by Carell’s performance that he asked him if he wanted to make another movie together. That movie would be about a middle-aged man who was still a virgin – in 2005, The 40-Year-Old Virgin was created. From then on Carell became a recognised and respected comedy star in Hollywood.
In 2014, Carell’s career took a dramatic turn when he signed up to play the part of wrestling coach John Eleuthère du Pont, who was convicted of murder. His dark and creepy portrayal of du Pont earned him great accolades, including a nomination for Best Actor at the 2015 Academy Awards.
10. Sarah Jessica Parker
Viewing this throwback picture of Sarah Jessica Parker, nobody would have guessed that such a young star would become everyone’s favourite fashionista; Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City. The frizzy hair and dungarees look is one that Parker would prefer we all forget.
Parker was born in Nelsonville, Ohio. She honed her performing skills at the School of American Ballet in New York City and the School for Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati. She first took to the stage in her youth, in theatrical musicals such as The Sound of Music and Annie. Parker managed to get her big Hollywood break when, in 1984, she starred as Rusty in the musical drama Footloose alongside Kevin Bacon.
In 1998, Parker was approached by HBO bosses with the script for Sex and the City. Although she was cautious at first, aware that shooting a TV series meant an incredibly gruelling schedule, she finally agreed to take on the career-defining role. In 2004, she took home an Emmy award for the part. She has been married to actor Matthew Broderick since 1997 and they have three children together; James, Marion and Tabitha.
9. Taylor Swift
Altogether now: “awwwwwwwww”. Swifties everywhere are probably familiar with this picture of the Shake It Off singer, Taylor Swift, before she was one of the biggest names in the music industry. At just 25-years-old she has achieved seven Grammy awards, sixteen American Music Awards, eleven Country Music Association awards and a staggering thirty-four Billboard Music Awards.
Swift was born in Reading, Pennsylvania. At nine years old she began travelling regularly to Broadway for vocal lessons alongside performing at local country fairs, karaoke nights and talent competitions. In 2004 when she was aged just 14 years old she was snapped up by Sony and became the youngest songwriter they had ever hired.
The New York Times labelled Swift; “one of pop’s finest songwriters, country’s foremost pragmatist and more in touch with her inner life than most adults”. Her huge fan base is helped along by her own openness with her followers; she regularly invites fans to appear in her music videos, sends them holiday gifts, indulges in meet and greets after every show and has even been known to invite fans to her own home. All helping along her reputation as one of the nicest names in pop.
8. Dwayne Johnson
What are the chances of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson ever wearing this outfit again? The 6ft 5″ legend descends from a long line of professional wrestlers; he is the son of Rocky Johnson and grandson of Peter “High Chief” Maivia. His grandmother, Lia Maivia, was also one of the first female wrestling promoters in her day. In 1995 he graduated from the University of Miami with a degree in criminology and physiology; he began training as a wrestler under his father’s guidance who vowed that he would “not go easy on him”.
The Rock made his first ring debut in 1996, and maintained a very successful career for 17 years, winning seventeen championships – including two WWF Intercontinental Championships, five WWF Tag Team Championships and ten world heavyweight championships. He also won the Royal Rumble in 2000.
His first movie appearance was in The Scorpion King (2002). He was paid $5.5 million for the role, which set a new record for an actor’s first movie paycheck. Since then he has starred in Get Smart (2008), The Other Guys (2010) and is widely recognised for his role as Luke Hobbs in the Fast & Furious (2001 – ) franchise.
7. The Clintons
Bill and Hillary Clinton have never been short on scandal. The couple have been married since 1975 after meeting at the Yale Law School Library in 1971. This fresh-faced couple became inseparable, but had no idea of the future that lay ahead and just how testing their relationship was going to become.
On January 20th 1993, Bill Clinton became the 42nd President of the United States. In 1994, a sexual harassment lawsuit was brought against him by Paula Jones, claiming he made unwanted advances three years prior. The case was dismissed in court as it “lacked legal merit”. The case was reopened by Jones in 1998 and she agreed to an out-of-court settlement of $850,000.
During the sexual harassment case, the court heard of Clinton’s sexual relations with his then secretary Monica Lewinsky. Lewinsky gave evidence that between November 1995 and March 1997, she had nine sexual encounters with President Bill Clinton including performing oral sex at the Oval Office. In 1998, Clinton stated in a televised White House news conference; “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky”.
After all that, the couple are still going strong both personally and professionally. The bespectacled young student in the above image, Hillary, is in the running for the next U.S. presidency.
6. Brad Pitt
Born William Bradley Pitt in Shawnee, Oklahoma, Brad decided to leave his childhood home at a young age. His hometown, he claims, was just “a lot of hills, a lot of lakes”. He said goodbye to his roots and took his dashing blonde mop to Los Angeles so he could pursue a career in the movies.
In 1987, after struggling to find credited work, Pitt’s big break finally came when he was cast as Billy Canton in NBC’s TV-movie Too Young to Die? (1990). He played a drug addict who takes advantage of a young runaway (Juliette Lewis – who he would later become engaged too). A reviewer for Entertainment Weekly stated: “Pitt is a magnificent slimeball as her hoody boyfriend; looking and sounding like a malevolent John Cougar Mellencamp, he’s really scary.” A star was born.
Pitt has secured his status in Hollywood as one of the greatest actors in the world; he has also won an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, ten Critic Awards, an Emmy Award, two Golden Globe Awards and six MTV Movie Awards. He married Angelina Jolie in 2014 after being in a relationship together for nine years; they have six children.
5. Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj was born in Trinidad and Tobago in 1982. Images of a young Onika Tanya Maraj that were released online show an almost unrecognisable girl. The images have prompted a lot of rumours that she’s had substantial cosmetic surgery including breast and bum enlargement; the animated rapper has denied she has ever been under the knife.
Minaj had a rocky childhood as her father struggled with alcohol and drug addiction; he was known for his violent temper and even attempted to kill her mother after setting fire to their house one night. Minaj was sent to live with her grandmother in Queens, New York but she has said that she lacked self-discipline. She was fired from over a dozen jobs for “discourtesy to customers”.
Throughout 2006, Minaj was recording under the artist name Nicki Maraj. She began uploading her music onto MySpace then sending her mixes to big names in the industry, until she was finally noticed and landed a record contract. In November 2010, she released her first album, Pink Friday, which went on to reach Platinum status. Minaj is the only woman to be featured on the Forbes Hip Hop Cash Kings list and is now worth an estimated $54 million.
4. Katy Perry
Katy Perry makes it very clear in interviews that she was most certainly not an overnight success. Due to her family’s deeply religious roots, she wasn’t exposed to a lot of pop music as a young performer so she developed a love for singing by performing gospel in her hometown of Santa Barbara, California. Her family struggled financially and they would often have to eat food which was given to them by the church.
The first album Perry recorded was titled Katy Hudson; she sang gospel on all the tracks, and it sold little more than 200 copies. In 2004, she was re-signed to a new label called Java, which was headed by music producer Glen Ballard, but the label soon folded. She was given another shot at a music career by Columbia Records, but again suffered heartbreak when she was dropped by the label in 2006.
Her last chance at the big time was when she was signed as a new “breakthrough star” to Capitol Records in 2007. She released I Kissed A Girl in 2008, and the rest is record-breaking music history. Her album Teenage Dreams entered the Guinness World Records as the first album by a female artist to produce five number-one Billboard singles; the only other album which has achieved this was Michael Jackson‘s Bad which was released in 1987.
Beyoncé Knowles had always dreamed of becoming a star; she is pictured above as a very different girl to the sexually provocative image that she displays today. In 2015, Bey is known worldwide for as a female empowerment icon.
She was born in Houston, Texas and was first discovered as an upcoming star when she won a school talent show at just seven-years-old after she performed John Lennon‘s Imagine.
At eight years old, Beyonce and childhood friend Kelly Rowland went to auctions for an all-new girl group called Girl’s Tyme; they joined forces with four other girls and entered a national TV talent show but they sadly didn’t win. Soon after, her own father resigned from his job so he could manage Girl’s Tyme and eventually they were signed to Columbia Records.
The band changed their name to Destiny’s Child and throughout their years together there were many changes to the line up. Original member LeToya Luckett became unhappy with the band’s management and was replaced by Michelle Williams. Several newspapers reported that Beyoncé was the reason behind the band’s eventual split. Her longtime boyfriend had broken up with her, which led to a depression that lasted two years. She has said that at this time she would lock herself away in a room and eat very little; eventually it was her mother who helped her become better, and little did she know that she was soon going to become one of the most successful performing artists in the world.
This photo is most likely the one Drake‘s mother would get out of the book to show to his potential girlfriends as a teenager, and one can imagine it makes the rapper-singer want to run out of the room in embarrassment. This bespectacled nerd was born Aubrey Drake Graham in Toronto, Ontario; as a child he would attend a Jewish day school and had his own Bar Mitzvah.
He then began his showbiz career as an actor in 2001. At 15-years-old, he starred in 158 episodes of Degrassi: The Next Generation. He said times were very tough in his personal life during his early actings days, explaining; “My mother was very sick. We were very poor, like broke. The only money I had coming in was off of Canadian TV, which isn’t that much money when you break it down. A season of Canadian television is under a teacher’s salary, I’ll tell you that much. It’s definitely not something to go f**king get”.
In 2006, Drake began to create mix tapes with fellow artists Trey Songz and Lupe Fiasco. He described the music as “pretty straightforward, radio friendly, not much content to it”. When his third mixtape was released, titled So Far Gone, it received over 2,000 free downloads within two hours of its release and MTV named it “The Hottest Mixtape of 2009 (So Far)”. Since then he has headlined three tours worldwide and Drake has collaborated with Rihanna, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Timbaland and Jamie Foxx.
1. Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe was born Norma Jeane Mortenson, in 1926. Before she became an actress and an internationally renowned sex symbol throughout the 50s and 60s. She spent most of her childhood in and out of foster homes, as her own mother was not mentally stable enough to look after her. Monroe remembers in her own autobiography, My Story, that her mother was “screaming and laughing” as she was removed with force from their home and sent to a mental institution.
In 1945, she married a man named James Doherty who served as a Merchant Marine. In the above photograph she can be seen spraying airplane parts – this image was used in a magazine called Yank for an article about young women who were helping the war effort. It was after her appearance in this magazine that she was encouraged to become a model, and she was advised that there would be more work if she bleached her hair blonde.
She instantly hit it off as a model and graced the covers of numerous high-end magazines; her career throughout the years was a glittering success, even if it was at the expense of her own personal life. She divorced Doherty in 1946 and re-married baseball player Joe DiMaggio in 1954. This marriage lasted less than a year, and she was married a third time to playwright Arthur Miller. They divorced in 1961 after five years together.
Monroe was found dead at her apartment August 5th, 1962 after her body was discovered by her psychiatrist. The coroner ruled the death as an overdose and a probable suicide. She is still noted as one of the greatest on-screen legends ever to have lived.