At a certain point in an average person’s life, they might begin to consider how there is seemingly no way to catch up to the accomplishments of celebrities. What might strike this chord even further is when considering how successful and achieved even the youngest of celebrities already are.
When you look at this list of people who have achieved great success so young, it’s hard not to feel particularly unaccomplished. Raking in millions? Giving back to their community? Engaging in high-profile friendships and relationships plastered all over magazine stands? Winning award after award?
While many of us might be happy to simply have enough to pay our bills each month, this group of young people seems to have it all, each before the ripe age of only 30. Here are 15 young celebrities who make us feel unaccomplished.
15 Jennifer Lawrence - Age 25
Far from reaching her 30th birthday, Jennifer Lawrence already has an estimated net worth of $75 million, a sum that would make even the oldest and wisest of successful real-world entrepreneurs feel insignificant. The Hunger Games alone helped her garner seemingly billions of fans worldwide in what’s been known as the most successful young adult franchise since Twilight. Coupled with starring roles in X-Men and an Oscar win for her leading performance in Silver Linings Playbook, J-Law has become a worldwide powerhouse. What’s more, her career shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon, with the final installment of The Hunger Games set to be released this November, and another X-Men film in the works. She is also reportedly writing a screenplay with one of this summer’s biggest Hollywood comedy newcomers, Amy Schumer.
14 Ariana Grande - Age 22
For such a young woman, Ariana Grande has truly taken the world by storm. She began her career in the Broadway musical 13 before landing a starring role in the Nickelodeon TV series Victorious. It’s these early roles that happened to highlight her vocal skills, and before we knew it, she was releasing her debut studio album, Yours Truly, at number one on the US Billboard 200. It wasn’t long before critics began comparing her wide vocal range to that of superstar Mariah Carey, and soon enough, she was releasing back-to-back fan favorite hits. But, she hasn’t made her success all about her. She’s using her power for good, and has supported countless charities over the years, including PETA, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Stand Up to Cancer and the Ryan Seacrest Foundation, just to name a few.
13 Zac Efron - Age 27
Zac Efron is no stranger to success, either. The actor has been on the scene for a while, getting his first big break with Disney Channel’s High School Musical movies opposite Vanessa Hudgens. From the start, Zac was a ladies-man of sorts, ultimately setting himself up to score roles in additional romcoms like That Awkward Moment and The Lucky One. His physical appearance has made him a fan favorite. He even won Best Shirtless Performance at the 2015 MTV Movie Awards for his role in Neighbors. Beyond his appearance, Zac has won over audiences with his singing voice that was further highlighted in the Hairspray remake.
12 Emma Watson - Age 25
What began as a reoccurring role in the Harry Potter movie franchise has skyrocketed Emma Watson into a household name. To date, Emma has starred in 17 feature films, positioning her as an undeniable A-lister. She’s also set to take on the role of Belle in the live-action remake of Disney’s Beauty and The Beast – a highly-coveted gig. Beyond her many on-screen appearances, she’s also taken on a role as a UN Goodwill Ambassador for Women, and has made the women’s rights movement one of her personal projects. When she isn’t doing good for the world, it’s possible she might be checking in on her bank account, which totals an estimated $60 million. No small chunk of change for such a young woman. Did we mention she’s also a Brown University graduate? And, yes, she’s squeezed this all in within a mere quarter century.
11 Miles Teller - Age 28
Starring in an Oscar-nominated film would be any young actor’s dream, but 2014’s Whiplash was just one of many successful projects under Miles Teller’s belt, including a reoccurring role in franchise films Divergent and Fantastic Four. That said, the actor is certainly bringing in some hefty paychecks. Beyond his pay, he’s being rightfully awarded. In 2013, he won big at the Sundance Film Festival, brining home the Dramatic Special Jury Award for Acting for his role in The Spectacular Now. And his love life isn’t hurting, either. Miles has been in a relationship with model Keleigh Sperry since 2013.
10 Taylor Swift - Age 25
What hasn’t Taylor Swift exceeded in lately? Her latest album, 1989, sold more than 3.6 million copies, proving she could very successfully and seamlessly move from country starlet to pop superstar. Outside of her music, Taylor is also known for her endorsements with brands like Diet Coke, Keds and CoverGirl which have made her face a familiar one across all age groups and has helped her rake in even more money than any 25-year-old would know what to do with. In fact, her total net worth comes in at an estimated $260 million.
But, monetary success is just the tip of the iceberg. Taylor has also helped out her fellow musicians by becoming an outspoken critic of Spotify’s streaming service, and has been the ring-leader in demanding Apple pay artists during their service’s free trial month. Not to mention, Taylor has made all of us envious with her squad of insanely famous and beautiful celebrity friends, and has dated some of the most desirable young men in entertainment, including Harry Styles, Jake Gyllenhaal, and John Mayer.
9 Justin Bieber - Age 21
Justin Bieber has had quite his fair share of ups and downs since he first hit stardom nearly a decade ago, but seems to have landed back on his feet in 2015, making amends with the public and releasing two highly-successful singles, Where Are U Now? and What Do You Mean? Beyond his many accomplishments that made him a well-known child star years ago, he’s gone on to monopolize social media in a way many others in the industry – and even giant worldwide corporations – have not been able to achieve.
As of this year, he has won a total of 195 awards, from American Music Awards to Billboard Music Awards. He even won an MTV Movie Award for his 3-D concert film, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never. And, despite his short absence from music, his net worth still totals a very desirable $200 million.
8 Bruno Mars - Age 29
Singer/songwriter Bruno Mars has two Grammy awards under his belt, but something tells us this is just the beginning for the young star. He’s already managed to accomplish something even the most successful of musicians will only be able to dream of, starring as part of a Super Bowl Half-time Show. In fact, his performance managed to make him the youngest half-time headliner of all time.
Following the performance, his album, Unorthodox Jukebox, soared to double platinum. In addition to his Grammy wins, Bruno has raked in numerous other awards, including two Brit Awards and three MTV Europe Music Awards. And when it comes to his singles – the man has consistently been on his game. According to the International Federation of Phonographic Industry, his songs Just the Way You Are and Grenade are two of the most sold, digitally, singles of all time.
7 Rihanna - Age 27
Since being signed by Jay-Z in 2004, Rihanna’s career has continued to warp full-speed ahead. Her very first single, Pon de Replay, reached no. 2 on Billboards Hot 100, making way for countless subsequent top singles. Between radio hits such as We Found Love and Diamonds, Rihanna’s music has become a staple on radio stations and in bars, clubs, parties and the like. Not to mention, she’s collaborated with some of the biggest names in the business, including Eminem and Kanye West.
And just like Justin Bieber, Rihanna has been able to connect with her fans via social media in a way unlike many others. Beyond her musical achievements, Rihanna has worked with huge brands like Armani and Dior. And, like others on this list, she’s made it a point to give back where needed, supporting various charities and foundations including the Believe Foundation, UNICEF and the Red Cross.
6 Kendall Jenner - Age 19
How is Kendall Jenner only 19 years old? Her face is seen almost everywhere, from TV to magazines and billboards, spanning all seven continents. The model and TV personality’s career dates back to the early 2000s when she began appearing on hit reality show Keeping Up With the Kardashians. It was only in recent years that she began her modeling career.
She has since blossomed into a full-fledged supermodel, walking runways for top brands including Chanel, Givenchy, Balmain, Dolce and Gabbana, Fendi, and many more. Jenner is also the face of campaigns for Estee Lauder and Calvin Klein all the while remaining a main fixture in the Kardashian’s on-going show and spin-offs, reminding us all how fresh-faced and humble she is (particularly in comparison to the rest of her family!).
5 Lena Dunham - Age 29
Lena Dunham has worn countless hats leading to her young success, including television direction, producer, screenwriter, actor, film director and author. She is the mastermind behind HBO’s hit show, Girls, which resonates deeply with many in her age group. That show alone has garnered Lena with eight Emmy nominations and won her two Golden Globes. Thanks to the show's success, Lena became the first female recipient of a Director's Guild Award for Outstanding Director in a Comedy Series. Last year, her first memoir, Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s ‘Learned,’ was widely praised for its anecdotes on everything from childhood friendships to adult romantic relationships. She also recently co-launched a weekly newsletter – Lenny - aimed at young women, which highlights topics related to feminism, style, health, politics, friendship and more.
4 Liam Hemsworth - Age 25
Liam Hemsworth is the kind of man that makes every woman swoon, and every man wonder why he can’t have quite such a perfect physique. Not only is he easy on the eyes, he’s also very accomplished for his age, having played a major role in The Hunger Games franchise alongside Jennifer Lawrence. He first crossed our radar when he starred opposite Miley Cyrus in The Last Song in 2010 and made ladies around the world fall in love. But there’s much more to Liam besides looks and fame. He is also the ambassador of the Australia Childhood Foundation, which helps children who have suffered from child abuse, neglect and family violence. Next up for Liam – a role in the highly-anticipated sequel to Independence Day set to be released in 2016.
3 Ed Sheeran - Age 24
Ed Sheeran’s musical sounds are so positively-favorable that he was able to hit no. 1 on the iTunes charts before he was even signed to a record label. His career took off quickly, and to date he’s won a total of 46 awards. Despite his non-traditional version of handsomeness, he’s become a heartthrob among the ladies, mostly due to his sweet and romantic lyrics and voice. Regardless of how famous he’s become, he continues to give off an aura of being quite down-to-earth - yet another reason fans feel they can relate to him, and part of the reason he’s shot to fame in just a handful of years. It’s estimated he’s worth a whopping $35 million, and makes it a point to use his fame and fortune to benefit others. For exampled, this year he made headlines when he donated his Grammy wardrobe to the St. Elizabeth Hospice charity shop – raising thousands to help provide hospice care for those local to Framlingham, England.
2 Selena Gomez - Age 23
Selena Gomez began her acting career starring on Barney and Friends as a young child, but really became well known when she took on the main role in Disney Channel’s Wizards of Waverly Place. Overtime, the actress expanded to singing, and recorded many top hits such as Love You Like a Love Song and her most recent single, Good For You. Beyond her career, Selena received added fame when she began dating Justin Bieber at the peak of his teenage years. She’s another celebrity who has triumphantly turned her career successes into a direct benefit for those in need. Selena has been a long-time supporter of UNICEF, and became an official ambassador for the organization in 2009.
1 Miley Cyrus - Age 22
Having a famous father most certainly didn’t hurt Miley Cyrus, who was brought into the Hollywood spotlight early on in life, securing her own television show Hanna Montana on the Disney Channel. The show managed to showcase her singing ability as well, and, in turn, brought her success in the music world. Though she spurred her fair share of controversy, Miley has proven to maintain her stardom. Today the singer/actress is worth an estimated $160 million and can be found on covers of magazines regularly. She also was brought on as this year’s host of the MTV Video Music Awards.
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