Celebrities fill the magazines, tabloids, newspapers and TV. Every aspect of their life is broadcasted and analyzed for the public to watch. Their scandals and fashion choices make front-page news and sometimes it seems like there isn’t anything we don’t know.
But even with all this exposure from the media and paparazzi, the behind the scenes business remains a well-kept secret. There’s plenty of speculation about things like just how much they get paid to tweet, and how much they actually work for those huge paychecks.
A-list lives seem to be filled with glamour, fashion and exorbitant amounts of money, but they put in hard work to remain on the covers of magazines. Long, grueling days endlessly follow one another, while tabloids spread false rumors. Family and friends are affected by fame and often celebrities are too busy to maintain relationships. It’s the cost of fame, and many would argue it’s a small price to pay for the benefits celebrities reap.
You love them and you hate them, but either way – you’ll talk about them all the time. But the following nine facts are rarely talked about in the same breath as ‘celebrity’ – these are the aspects of celebrity life, good and bad, that you probably never knew about.
9. Some reality stars only earn as much as the average working American.
Although reality TV stars are some of the most over-exposed faces in the media, some of them aren’t making nearly as much money as you think they are. Often, their level of recognition heavily outweighs their salaries.
The girls of MTV’s second most popular reality series Teen Mom, for example, are only making about $60,000 per season. That’s before taxes and before all the managers and agents get their cuts. The ladies of The Real Housewives of New Jersey are earning even less: With each episode only earning them $3,333 it’s no wonder some of them are having money problems.
A high level of exposure comes with an expectation that these stars will live an extravagant lifestyle, and often these lifestyles just don’t match the salaries.
While these salaries are low, Tim Gunn from Project Runway is getting the worst deal of all since he worked the first two seasons for free, and now only gets $2,500 per episode. Of course, reality television can be a lucrative business if you’re as precious a commodity as the Kardashians, who earn $10 million per season.
8. Celebrities get paid a ton of money to tweet.
Companies jump at the chance to give celebrities products because they hope the star will endorse their product, well the same goes for verbal recognition. Every time a celebrity drops a brand name you can bet they’re getting paid to do so.
Their payment is based on the size of their following, so the bigger they are, the bigger their check is. Kim Kardashian earns $10,000 for every brand-filled tweet, Snoop Dogg gets $8,000 and Paula Abdul gets $5,000. When Charlie Sheen first logged on to Twitter he received $50,000 per tweet… The best part is that celebrities don’t even compose these tweets themselves, usually ghostwriters do and give the celebs all the credit.
7. Celebrities get about $100,000 worth of free merchandise per year.
Granted, the more popular you are the more things you’ll get, but it seems like the free swag is a great bonus to their already hefty paychecks. Apple TVs, iPads, all inclusive vacations, designer jackets and shoes are just a few of the bones these stars get thrown. It has been reported that the top giveaway is clothes, who wouldn’t love that, from Burberry, Calvin Klein and John Varvatos. Families of celebrities also receive the freebie bonuses. If a starlet has a baby, diaper and stroller companies come knocking at the door to donate products to the new mommy. While these companies are swooning over celebrities Louis Vuitton refuses to give anything for free or even at a discounted rate, clearly Mr. Vuitton isn’t impressed.
6. They pay up to $55,000/year to stay young
In an industry where appearances are everything, a star can’t afford not to look flawless…even when the price tag is this high. Celebrities spend their hard earned money on pricey beauty procedures such as: microdermabrasion, lip fillers, frown line fillers, face lifts and laser resurfacing.
The older they are, the more money it costs; for those who are 25, only about $25,000 is spent per year and on significantly less extensive procedures. However, a 45-year-old star will spend about $55,000 a year on these procedures to keep looking their best. Done over four decades, this beauty regime can rack up a bill of $856,500. No wonder they always look so good.
5. Their managers have the power to cheat them out of millions.
Everyone remembers those one hit wonders. The question of why they didn’t do more with their fame often plagues fans. The truth it, sometimes it’s because the star signed a really bad contract.
Soulja Boy, for example, promised his manager 5% of his earnings – forever – and signed away 50% copyright ownership to his record label. Salt-n-Pepa didn’t push it hard enough with their negotiations since they only got half of the going rate for their albums. By their third platinum record, they only made $100,000 each, while their record company made off with millions.
Lil Kim claims her record company took 50% of her profits without her approval. Even worse, the stars of American Idol sign 100% of the control over of their tours, licensing and branding to the show.
4. Celebrities get paid to party.
Everyone loves to go to parties, so wouldn’t it be nice if people paid you for your presence?
Mega stars like Fergie, Kim Kardashian and Beyonce get $100,000 just for showing up to a night of fun in major locations like Las Vegas. “It” girls, like Blake Lively, get $25,000 per major event. Those Real Housewife stars who weren’t making much money on the show can make up for it here, since they get $10,000 to make an appearance at an event or night club.
Most of their appearances are at parties, and sometimes even corporate events. However, appearance payouts can be really low for people just starting out or those who have been forgotten. Sometimes former stars are offered only $500 to appear at unglamourous places, like the mall.
3. They have an entourage member to take care of -literally – everything.
Oprah is a busy lady and needs to spend all her time focusing on more important issues, so she hired a professional bra handler, someone to give her constant fittings and make sure her bras are up to snuff.
Nelly has a jewelry caregiver, Justin Bieber employs a pizza and drink holder, and P. Diddy has an umbrella holder, P!nk even has a nipple squeezer, Cee Lo Green has a sweat wiper and Mariah Carey has everything from a toilet paper carrier to someone who lifts her drink to her mouth. Needless to say, if you’re ever famous, you can hire someone for absolutely anything you want.
2. Famous actors work 16 hours PER DAY.
People often say actors have it easy, but when it comes to filming a blockbuster, celebrities invest most of their lives to the movie.
During production, which is the main part of the work, filming is scheduled for 12 hours each day, but days often run long and end somewhere between 16 and 20 hours. Before this comes pre-production where the actor dedicates him/herself to the role, which frequently involves getting into top physical shape to play the required role, which can easily result in 10 – 12 hours of intense working out.
After production, actors have to be perpetually available for voice overs and re-shoots, and after that they promote the movie which entails full day press conferences for several weeks. Needless to say, weekends don’t exist for these A-listers when a movie’s at stake.
1. Divorce rates in Hollywood are two times higher than the national average.
With all their time spent working, and in such high stress environments under the glare of the public eye, it isn’t surprising that Hollywood careers take a toll on personal relationships.
An astonishing one in ten celebrity relationships end in divorce within one year, probably because it’s nearly impossible to get schedules that align. On the other, much rarer, end of the spectrum, Kirk Douglas has been married to Anne Buydens for 58 years.
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