Sibling rivalry is something that everyone who’s ever had a brother or sister knows about. There’s no escaping it. In the celebrity world, it is almost always the more famous celebrity who overshadows their siblings, whether they intend to or not. But sometimes, the less-famous celebrity makes a conscious decision to try and outshine their famed sib.
It might be jealousy, or the fact that everyone wants to carve out their own life, but many of these siblings have no chance. The Kardashian sisters, for example, will always be “Kim’s little sister,” or “Kim’s older sibling”, unless they do something spectacular and headline-worthy. So what can these beleaguered siblings do to make a name for themselves in their own right? They could, perhaps, use the platform of a famous sibling to try and catapult themselves into the tabloid headlines and the spotlight.
This is a tried-and-true method of becoming famous, and the results are often surprising and sometimes unexpected. For many of these stars, we never even knew they even HAD siblings. But sure enough, here are 10 celebrities who were upstaged by their lesser known siblings.
10 Kendall Jenner Upstages Kim Kardashian With Modeling Career
Kendall Jenner is the little sister of Kim Kardashian, and they’re both part of the attention-seeking conglomerate family that has ruled tabloids for years. Most recently, the headlines have been focused on Caitlyn Jenner - formerly Bruce - the transgender father of Kendall, who has stolen the spotlight from the rest of the family.
In 2014, Kendall did what Kim never was able to do because of her short stature - have a breakout season on runways, modeling for high fashion. The 5'10” 19-year-old towers over her older sister, and has a much different figure: where Kim has the voluptuous body, focused on her curves, Kendall has the thin, tall frame that was more popular years back.
Still, Kendall has a new relationship with Vogue’s editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, and she has a fashion sense that has overshadowed Kim’s (even though Kendall got much of her fashion sense from her sister). Even if Kendall has been outshining her sister in recent years, Kim wishes her nothing but the best, and has even been quoted as saying how proud she is of her younger sister’s modeling career.
9 Alfie Allen Upstages Lily Allen With Hollywood Career
Lily Allen is an English pop sensation known for her sharp-tongue and aggressive personality. Her first mainstream single, “Smile,” reached number one on the UK Singles Chart in 2006, and she was nominated for a Grammy for her debut record. She’s also known for her Twitter feuds with Iggy Azalea, Kylie Minogue, and others.
Lily took a musical hiatus in 2009, and we haven’t heard much from her since. In 2013, she finally revealed that she’d begun working on her third studio album. She’s always had a tumultuous relationship with her younger brother, Alfie, even singing a scathing song (entitled “Alfie”) in 2006. In the song, she stated: “My little brother’s in his bedroom smoking weed, I tell him he should get up 'cause it’s nearly half past three... I just can’t sit back and watch you waste your life away. You need to get a job because the bills need to get paid. Get off your lazy arse, Alfie, please use your brain.”
Well, Alfie Allen took heed, and has since gained global recognition in the HBO phenomenon Game of Thrones. In the show, he plays Theon Greyjoy, who begins as an ambitious son of a lord, and then a tortured, castrated, pitied slave-character. With his success in GoT, he can now be rest assured that he’s out-shined his sister, at least until she makes some sort of comeback.
8 Justin Bieber Upstaged By His Two Baby Siblings
Never one to shy away from attention, Justin Bieber is great at making everything about him. There was no hope for Bieber, though, when he posed in a few family portraits in 2011. In the pictures, published via Instagram, he tries to show his familial side during a Christmas photo. He’s joined by his father Jeremy, 36, his younger sister Jazmyn, 3, and brother Jaxon, 2. (Now they’re all 4 years older.)
Needless to say, the two adorable babies gained all the spotlight once the photos were published, and Instagram lit up with comments, with Bieber little more than an afterthought. Don’t feel too bad for the guy - he’s bounced back since. But there was a short time when there was no way he could steal that upstaging from his young siblings.
7 Elle Fanning Upstages Dakota With More Roles, More Fame
Dakota Fanning may have been the trailblazer in the family, starring as a child in films such as The Cat in the Hat, to Uptown Girls, to Charlotte’s Web. She was the youngest nominee in history to be nominated for a Screen Actor’s Guild Award at the age of eight, for her role in 2002’s I Am Sam. But then she started taking more adult roles, in movies such as The Runaways, and the Twilight Saga.
And then people started to take note of her little sister, Elle Fanning. Now, Elle has worked with such acclaimed directors as David Fincher, Sofia Coppola, and Cameron Crowe. In 2011, she starred in her breakout role in J.J. Abram’s sci-fi blockbuster, Super 8, where she stole scenes every time she was on camera. Most recently, she starred alongside Angelina Jolie in Maleficent, as Sleeping Beauty herself, Aurora.
So, even though Elle has always been in the shadow of her older sister, it’s safe to say that she’s paved a way on her own, and that both Fanning’s are capable of doing their own thing. Nowadays, it could even be argued that Elle is more in-demand.
6 Ali Lohan Upstages Lindsay Lohan During Older Sister’s Struggles
While Lindsay Lohan has only been famous for the better half of the last decade for her troubled life, her younger sister Ali is making strides and bringing credibility back to the Lohan family name. In 2011, the then-17-year-old sister of Lindsay signed a multi-year modeling contract with NEXT Model Management.
Ali’s modeling contract came just about the same time that Lindsay was going through her multiple rehab and legal struggles, so the younger sister’s success was highly pushed down in favor of the more dire tabloid headlines. Nonetheless, Ali has since gained the recognition she deserves, while older sister Lindsay still wallows in her struggles.
As the Director of Next LA, Alexis Borges, told RadarOnline.com, “She [Ali] represents the future face of fashion and will be a photographer’s dream with her chameleon-like beauty.” She has appeared in Teen Vogue, on the cover of FAULT Magazine, and as a model for Wilhelmina agency, to name a few of her successes.
5 Mónica Cruz Upstages Penelope Almost All The Time
Mónica Cruz, Penelope Cruz’s less-famous, younger sister by two years, is almost impossible to tell apart from her older sister. So much so, that when Penelope’s pregnancy showed during her filming of the 2011 Pirates of the Caribbean movie, Mónica stepped in as a body-double. It’s no secret that the Spanish sisters have a rigged gene pool, but it seems that whenever they step out in public together - whether at gala events or red carpets or just in public - the younger sister always seems to shine just a little bit more.
You could blame Penelope’s pregnancy, or the fact that Mónica seems to exude a more confident look seamlessly, without trying. Even during some of Penelope’s premiere events, where she shows up in bedazzled gowns and dresses, Mónica opts for a more casual look, and she still manages to steal the spotlight. Mónica is also an esteemed dancer, so that probably adds to her fit look. She has a daughter, as well, who was conceived via artificial insemination.
4 Jamie Lynn Spears Upstages Britney With Teen Pregnancy
Okay, so this isn’t necessarily a ‘good’ upstaging, but a noteworthy one nonetheless. When juxtaposed with sister Britney, Jamie Lynn Spears was supposed to be the good-girl Spears. She starred in the hit Nickelodeon show Zoey 101, and was a role model for young girls worldwide. That was until the then-16-year-old came out as being 12 weeks pregnant. This came at almost the exact same time as Britney’s personal struggles came to light, which, like the Lohan sisters, pushed Jamie Lynn’s tabloid headlines underneath her more popular sister’s antics.
All of a sudden, Jamie Lynn’s childhood sweetheart, 19-year-old Casey Aldridge, could have been charged with statutory rape. Jamie Lynn was met with understandable negative backlash from many, though Nickelodeon respected her decision to have the baby. Also, the teen was given $1 million from OK! Magazine once the baby was born, for an exclusive photo spread of the two.
Needless to say, the shocking pregnancy was a marketing disaster for the Spears family. When you remember that this was 2007, this quote from a Massachusetts woman to People.com, in hindsight, is deliciously hilarious: “My 11-year-old daughter looks up to girls like Jamie Lynn and Miley Cyrus,” she writes. “Thank goodness she still has Miley.” Well, it’s safe to say that that ship has sailed, too.
3 Prince Harry Upstages Brother William, And The Whole Royal Family
Following the renowned wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011, Prince Harry, the hard-partying younger brother of the more stately Prince, went on a worldwide rampage that gained horrendous attention and embarrassment for the Royal family. In 2012, he was photographed naked in a Wynn Las Vegas hotel room, along with an unknown woman.
The popular Prince would go on to photobomb football stars at the 2014 World Cup, and would do other outlandish things that tainted the Royal family name, but added to his popularity. In fact, he was even asked by the Royal family to “tone it down” when the 2012 Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth was approaching, so he wouldn’t steal her spotlight.
And though Harry managed to play it cool during the Jubilee, there is no doubting that his popularity and tabloid-potential is at an ultimate high - thanks to his many antics and questionable decisions - perhaps more so than any other member of the Royal family.
2 Peter Nyong’o Upstages Lupita Nyong’o At 2014 Academy Awards
Lupita Nyong’o shot to fame for starring in Steve McQueen’s 2013 historical drama, 12 Years a Slave. She won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress that year, becoming the first Mexican and first Kenyan actress to win an Academy Award. In 2014, she was named the “Most Beautiful Woman” by People, and “Woman of the Year” by Glamour.
But there was one occasion where she was out-done by her younger brother, Peter, and that came at the height of her popularity - at the Academy Awards themselves. She brought Peter along as her date to the award show, and boy did he seize the opportunity.
Peter managed to get centerfield in Ellen DeGeneres’ famous A-list selfie - which would become the most popular and famous selfie in the world. As Lupita put it, “I think that’s his win for sure. He got into the most famous selfie in the world. I’m glad I could have facilitated that.” Peter proved he was a selfie and Instagram master that night, also snatching pictures with the likes of Kevin Spacey, Benedict Cumberbatch, Brad Pitt and Angelina, John Travolta, and more.
While that might have been Peter’s 15 minutes of fame, he’s usually more low-key - he’s a student at Stetson University in Florida, he’s a dancer, and he has some famous friends, such as Lena Dunham and Ms. Jolie. No matter what he does with the rest of his life, that night will surely be one that he won’t forget.
1 Pippa Middleton Upstages Kate Middleton At Her Wedding
It was Kate Middleton’s big day. The princess-bride was marrying into true royalty, Prince William, after seven years of dating. It was a momentous occasion, and the entire world was watching in. The surprise came when, it wasn’t Kate who was showered in media attention, but rather her younger sister, Pippa.
Pippa was the maid of honor, and wearing a white dress of her own. But while Kate’s was lavish and flowing, Pippa’s was a body-hugging cut that accentuated her bum and figure. Pippa’s face was featured on every magazine cover (People read: “The Knockout Sibling Who Stole the Show”), and even Facebook fan-pages were created in honor of her derriere.
While there’s always a degree of sibling rivalry between sisters, this one had to hurt Kate, especially on her big day. In 2011, Pippa Middleton became the most searched-for celebrity on Google, while Kate lingered seven spots back. Even though there’s a running trend of celebrities over-shadowing their friends who are getting married, this was one of the most unexpected, televised, and talked-about upstagings in recent memory.