15 Underdog Celebs Who Were Rich Long Before Fame

All of these celebrities are pretty much winning at whatever they do — whether it’s acting, singing, modeling, or quite literally just being famous for being famous (like the Kardashians). But you have to keep in mind that, while celebrities often find their rise to fame by associating themselves with other famous people, these 15 celebs were already loaded with money before they found fame.

The wealth, which usually comes from their hard working parents, eventually helped them launch careers in the field of music, movies, sports, and modeling, while the rest of these stars used their parents’ wealth to associate themselves with other rich people, eventually growing a following of their own and making them become some sort of celebrity themselves. Here are 15 huge stars who were actually rich before they found fame.


15 Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey’s father, Robert Grant, was really pulling in the cash in the family’s household after having made it big time as a domain developer. According to what outlets have said, Robert was pulling in hundreds of thousands of dollars every year, assuring Lana and her mother, Patricia, that running low on cash was simply out of the question. Similar to Taylor Swift, the hefty paychecks her dad brought in probably helped Lana’s music career in the way that she would end up meeting the right people who would eventually lead her to a record label that was interested in working with her. And the rest is history.

14 Paris Hilton


Paris Hilton didn’t really get famous until she started hanging around with A-list Hollywood celebrities, including Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan. Mind you, I’m referring to Lindsay when she was at her peak, not the state that she’s in currently. With that said, partying at the most beloved nightclubs eventually saw this socialite make a name for herself, infamously being called the original woman to embrace the title of “famous for being famous,” which would eventually see her make millions through the simple fact that she was famous for partying with other big stars. Paris went on and turned her fame into success, launching clothing lines, reality shows, perfumes, a short-lived music career, and so much more.

13 Nicole Richie

Nicole Richie wasn’t any different than Paris Hilton. In fact, many would already know that Nicole and Paris were the best of friends growing up, and everything Paris did, Nicole soon followed. Richie, who was adopted by legendary singer Lionel Richie, started walking in runway shows, where she made endless connections with the biggest fashion designers. Soon, she would follow the likes of Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan as the go-to girls to have fun at the club, causing absolute chaos as paparazzi would flood the scene to snap photos of Richie and her pals. Nicole has also gone on to launch her own clothing store, which is reportedly doing really well in America — she’s turned her 15 minutes of fame into an empire.

12 Kim Kardashian


It’s so funny because Kim Kardashian also spent a considerable amount of time with Paris Hilton. It’s almost like Paris put all of these girls on the map. With that said, before Kim blew up and became this huge Internet sensation, with her entire family’s net worth passing over $500 million, Kim was actually Hilton’s stylist. She was still well off in terms of her finances since her deceased father, Robert Kardashian, left behind an incredible amount of money that was shared out between all of his children. Still, Kim wasn’t being noticed by the public until she started working for Paris, which eventually led to her making some connections of her own. Before you know it, she was doing editorial photo shoots and began dating all the hottest celebs, including Nick Cannon, The Game and Ray J, who she would go on to make a s*x tape with. Soon after that, she was approached with a reality show deal that the family just couldn’t say no to. And the rest was history.

11 Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande has always been surrounded by money — and lots of it. You see, her parents, Joan and Edward, actually managed to find themselves a path that would lead them to their careers — Joan worked as a chief executive at House-McCann Communications while Edward owned a graphics design firm that was said to have been one of the largest companies in its field at the time. And while Ariana’s family were very wealthy, they didn’t earn that without determination, motivation and hard work, which seems to have been embedded into Grande, hence her ongoing worldwide success. Her previous album, My Everything, has sold over 1.1 million copies worldwide, making it her most successful record to date.

10 Gigi Hadid


Nobody had ever heard of Gigi Hadid until she started hanging around with the likes of Kendall and Kylie Jenner. Before you knew it, she was in every fashion magazine there is. Soon after that, she began modeling for Givenchy, Calvin Klein, Karl Lagerfeld, and more. But Gigi was always well off, as documented by her mother, Yolanda Hadid, who formerly starred on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Before Gigi’s career took off, she would make appearances on the program, and her mom, who was married to David Foster at the time, stressed how she would be purchasing a penthouse for her daughter while she studied at a University in New York. And if you’ve ever been to New York, you’d know that even just to buy yourself a studio apartment is not only very small in size but also very expensive. Her mother was a model and her dad, Mohamed, runs a real estate company that is doing incredibly well.

9 Miley Cyrus

Before Miley Cyrus started making headlines for sticking out her tongue whilst selling millions of records, and well before Miley became a pop sensation on Disney Channel’s Hannah Montana, the 23-year-old was simply known as the daughter to then superstar Billy Ray Cyrus. Well, let’s not over-exaggerate by saying Billy was a superstar, but he had a couple of hits during his time in the industry, such as ‘Achy Breaky Heart.’ His reputation in the field of music is said to have been what helped Miley land the role as Hannah Montana on the Disney Channel, earning the then teenager millions in earnings, before quitting the show and launching a successful pop career of her own. Cyrus is now said to be worth $165 million, so to say that she’s done well for herself all in a matter of 10 years is an understatement. But yeah, Miley had money before fame, that’s for sure.


8 Ashlee Simpson


Ashlee Simpson may have had a short-lived career in music, but it wasn’t as if she needed the money anyway. Ashlee, who is the younger sister of pop star Jessica Simpson, was already helping her older sibling with all of her business duties, all while also having contributed to some of Jessica’s first couple of albums. So not only was Ashlee cashing in by helping out with songwriting tips, she was also taking care of her business, giving the mother-of-two more than enough money that she would have needed at the time. These days though, Ashlee is more involved with fashion related stuff, having — again — helped her own sister expand her huge, billion dollar clothing line, which is now being sold in stores worldwide.

7 Kendall and Kylie Jenner

Kendall and Kylie Jenner’s fame really skyrocketed after the twosome began making appearance on the family’s popular reality show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians. In episodes, Kendall would often talk about wanting to become a model, and before you knew it, she was covering all sorts of magazines, ranging from Marie Claire to Vogue. But before the reality show and all of the stuff that came after that, Kendall and Kylie’s father, Caitlyn Jenner, was a retired Olympic athlete. His endorsement deals at the time of participation in the Olympics made him well over $50 million — Kris Jenner managed her husband’s career in their multi-million dollar home out in Calabasas. This family as a whole were always well off, let’s just put it like that.

6 Janet Jackson


Isn’t it funny that out of all the Jackson family members who’ve attempted to launch their own solo careers, the only ones that we really know the music of is Janet and Michael Jackson? Well, way before Janet was getting any sort of attention from the media or from record labels, Michael was putting out hit after hit, having made millions for the endless records he was able to sell at the time. And note that with Jackson being African-American, the fact that he was able to have such an influence on music at that time was pretty incredible. But nobody cared about the Jackson 5 anymore once Michael went solo — nobody cared about any of Michael’s siblings, at least until Janet would go on to drop her sophomore record, Control. The album was flying off shelves like crazy — at this point, it was clear that this Jackson was ready to join her brother in that same category of superstardom and unbelievable talent. With all of that being said, Janet was the closest to Michael all her life; it wasn’t as if the Jacksons needed money since they had already made a ton of it from The Jackson 5’s record sales. In fact, before Janet’s career even took off, the family was already worth millions of dollars, but that was merely down to Michael’s success.

5 Jake Gyllenhaal

Jake Gyllenhaal didn’t grow up poor before fame, and neither did he ever have any sort of financial crisis. Yes, he’s a talented actor with an incredible net worth which he has made all by himself, but that doesn’t mean that his parents didn’t help him get to that level of success. The actor’s father, Stephen, is a very popular filmmaker and director, who is often said to have been the one who placed Jake in a position where he could build a reputation for himself to show off his acting skills in Hollywood. Because as you all know, you’re nobody in Hollywood unless you know someone that can help you climb the ladder, so to know that his father was already in a powerful position was definitely an advantage for Jake. Oh, and I shouldn’t forget his mother, Naomi, who is an incredible screenwriter. In other words, both parents worked in the film industry and were loaded with money. Jake soon followed, and now he’s probably making more money than both of his parents combined.

4 Lourdes Leon


Lourdes Leon has been making much more headlines as of late, merely because of her affiliation with her mother’s fashion line, 'Material Girl.' Oh, how rude of me not to mention who her mother is — it’s Madonna! Yup, and from what reports have said, Lourdes will one day inherit the entire fashion empire that the singer has built herself. Heck, Lourdes will actually go on to inherit half of her mother’s fortune when she passes away. But enough of that, all of that is said to simply address the fact that Leon was rich before she slowly but surely started to make a name for herself in Hollywood. The reason why you don’t hear her name that often is probably because Lourdes is still studying at University. That’s right, she chose to attend University and further her education, assuring herself that fame is more or less a come-and-go situation whereas knowledge and education will alway stay with you. So not only is she wealthy, popular and famous, she’s also smart, educated, and very elegant.

3 Brooklyn Beckham

The last name says it all. Brooklyn Beckham’s Instagram page has gained millions of followers over the last year or so, and while we all know that it’s merely down to the fact that his father is David Beckham, Brooklyn is starting to branch out of his shell, letting the world know what he’s all about. The teenager has been hanging around with all sorts of famous people in recent months, having also confirmed that he is dating actress Chloe Moretz. So with this in mind, it’s clear that Brooklyn is gearing up to become a socialite himself. I mean, I can’t see him following in his father’s footsteps as a professional soccer player, but what I, and a lot of other people, see in Brooklyn’s future is potentially modeling. Or maybe he’ll be the male version of Paris Hilton and will just be known as the kid with rich parents who became famous for being related to famous people.

2 Taylor Swift


Long before she was making hundreds of millions from her songwriting skills, her touring ticket sales and merchandise, Taylor Swift was just another girl living a rather privileged life thanks to her father, Scott, who was a very successful stock broker. The family was living in Nashville at the time, and it’s fair to say that money was never an issue in the Swift household. When Taylor hit her teenage years, her father was extremely supportive of her decision in wanting to become a singer, and it could be said that when one has rich parents, they can easily help pay for any singing lessons, along with everything else that would help Taylor land a spot with a record label, which she eventually did. The rest is pretty much history. She literally makes over $100 million for every album she puts out. Her last two albums combined have sold close to 20 million copies — and that’s without mentioning the success from all of her tours. Taylor isn’t rolling in the deep, she’s rolling in the cash.

1 Lily-Rose Depp

Lily-Rose Depp was rich well before she started her modeling career, let’s just make that clear. Her last name is Depp, already hinting at who her father could possibly be — Johnny Depp, of course. The actor, who is worth hundreds of millions, is very close with his daughter, and if Johnny is anything like what fans would imagine him to be, he’s probably the one who would spoil Lily with all kinds of gifts. Not that anything is wrong with that, but it will clarify the fact that Lily-Rose grew up in a household where money would never have been an issue for her parents since they were both well off with cash. Her mother, Vanessa Paradis, doesn’t exactly have as much as Johnny, but she’s definitely in the millions range, that’s for sure. And with that said, Lily just recently signed a deal with Chanel to endorse their latest line of products — so expect to hear her name more often in the near future.

Sources: Dailymail, PopMatters, Billboard, Buzzfeed

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