Novelist Gertrude Stein once said, “Whoever said money can’t buy happiness didn’t know where to shop.” Certainly, the highly-paid celebrities on this list seem to have managed to find their own kind of happiness by buying ridiculously expensive things.
And some of our favorite celebrities from the worlds of movies, sports, and music have plenty of cash burning a hole in their pockets. Basketball star Michael Jordan may have retired in 2003, but he is still worth $1.4 billion, while TV Queen Oprah Winfrey can boast a fortune worth $2.8 billion. Directors Steven Spielberg and George Lucas top the celebrity rich list, with bank balances of $3.6 billion and $5.5 billion, respectively.
With such sizable bank balances, it is hardly surprising that some celebrities splurge on extravagant purchases. After all, what’s a $70-million pink diamond ring, a $52-million Ferrari 250 GTO, or a $750-million villa on the French Riviera when you have billions of dollars sitting in the bank and waiting to be spent?
Some celebrity acquisitions, however, are a little more unusual than the usual jewelry, fast cars, and big houses. Which of the purchases on the list below do you think is the most extravagant and ridiculously expensive?
15 Jay-Z Bought A $55-Million Racehorse
Rapper, music producer, and husband to Beyoncé, Jay-Z (whose real name is Shawn Carter) has plenty of money in the bank to indulge in expensive hobbies, and they don’t come more expensive than horse racing. There’s a reason they call it the “sport of kings” after all! In 2014,
Jay-Z splashed out an astonishing $55 million to buy champion racehorse, California Chrome.
The horse had won the Kentucky Derby, one of the most famous races in the world, and is likely to be a great investment for the music star despite the high costs involved in buying and maintaining a champion racehorse.
14 Beyoncé Bought Gold Leggings Worth $100,000
It seems that Jay-Z is not the only person in the Carter household who enjoys spending on extravagant and expensive items. In 2007, Beyoncé was going to be performing live at the BET (Black Entertainment Television) Awards and decided that she simply had to have a new outfit for the anticipated show. So, did she hit the mall to find a new ensemble? Not quite. Beyoncé bought herself a pair of Balenciaga leggings made of real gold for an eye-watering $100,000. Not as much as her husband’s $55 million purchase, that's for sure, but still a hell of a lot of cash for a pair of trousers!
13 Michael Vick Bought A $85,000 Fish Pond Filled With Koi Carp
We all love a good water feature to brighten up our backyards. It can be relaxing to listen to the trickling fountains or to watch the fish swimming around. How relaxed would you feel if you’d just spent $85,000 on the pond in your garden, though? Quarterback Michael Vick, who played with the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles, was facing a prison sentence in 2007 for his part in a dog-fighting ring, and rather than have his cash seized by the authorities, he decided to go on a rather unusual spending spree, including a fish pond filled with koi carp worth $85,000.
12 Miley Cyrus Invested In $24,000 Hair Extensions
We all know that celebrities are under enormous pressure to look good all the time. Whether they are stepping on a stage or just going to the store to buy a carton of milk. You only have to look at the paparazzi shots in gossip magazines to know that any famous face caught looking less than glamorous is named and shamed. Actress-now-turned- Pop Star Miley Cyrus (once known as Hannah Montana)
invested in new hair extensions back in 2010 which cost an astonishing $24,000.
The human hair had been dyed in a top salon to match her natural shade exactly, and it has to be said that the result was impressively convincing if a little on the expensive side.
11 Tinie Tempah Bought A Pair Of Nike Mag Sneakers At $37,000
In 2011, British rapper Tinie Tempah paid a massive $37,000 for a pair of sneakers at a charity auction in Los Angeles (we'll give him a pass since it was for a good cause). These weren’t any ordinary sneakers though, as you might have guessed.
They were a pair of very limited edition Nike Mag sneakers,
inspired by the space-age footwear worn by Michael J. Fox’s character, Marty McFly, when he travels to the future (2015!) in the second Back to the Future movie. The charity auction was held by the Michael J Fox Foundation to raise money for Parkinson’s disease, so at least Tinie’s extravagance was all for a good cause.
10 Donald Trump’s $1-Billion Private Jet
Before Donald Trump became President, he was simply an ordinary businessman. Well, as ordinary as you can be when your houses, cars, and private jets are all decked out with gold fixtures and fittings. Trump’s jet, which was seen regularly while he was on the campaign trail, is a $1billion Boeing 757,
an aircraft which is more often used for commercial travel.
What makes this a particularly extravagant purchase is not just the unnecessary size but also the excessive décor, including a bathroom with 24-carat gold fittings and a top-of-the-range home entertainment system in the silk-lined master bedroom.
9 Tom Cruise Bought A $200,000 Sonogram Machine
Actor Tom Cruise’s decision to buy an in-house sonogram machine when his then-wife, Katie Holmes, was pregnant isn’t just an extravagant purchase but also a rather sinister one, given what we now know about the controlling aspects of Scientology! Cruise spent $200,000 on the machine in 2005 when Katie was pregnant with their daughter, Suri,
so that the couple could perform as many sonograms whenever they wanted.
Some thought it was cute while others found it a bit creepy, especially as Cruise wasn’t even trained to use the equipment. Once Suri was born, however, Cruise donated the machine to a local hospital, so at least some good came of his extravagance.
8 Bono Bought A $1500 Plane Ticket For His... Hat
First class plane tickets may be out of the reach for us mere mortals, but for celebrities who want to travel the World in style, the sky is the limit. For U2 lead singer Bono, first class was the only option when he realized that he had left a favorite (we're thinking maybe even a lucky) hat back in London while staying in Italy in 2003. Instead of making do without,
he arranged for his Trilby to be taxied to Gatwick,
where it was then given a privileged seat in the cockpit before being placed in another taxi at the other end to be delivered to his door in Modena—all for a bargain cost of $1500. We never thought we'd say this, but we wish we were that hat.
7 Lady Gaga’s $30,000 Ghost Detector
Singer Lady Gaga has obviously taken her recent role in American Horror Story to heart, given her purchase in 2010 of $30,000 worth of electromagnetic field detectors, which are supposed to be able to detect the presence of supernatural beings. Lady Gaga hasn’t just spent a fortune in gadgets.
She has also hired paranormal experts to scan venues and hotels before she performs or stays there,
just to make sure nothing is going to go bump in the night. There are no reports of whether her army of Ghostbusters have ever found anything untoward, but Lady Gaga insists on continuing to search for spooks wherever she goes.
6 Kim Basinger Spent $20 Million On A Town (Braselton)
Back in 1989, Kim Basinger was one of the biggest movie stars in the world. She had just finished filming Batman and decided to spend some of her paycheck on a rather unusual purchase—an entire town. Basinger paid $20 million to buy land and property in the small Georgia town of Braselton. The actress initially proposed to develop the town into a film studio and tourist attraction, although these grand plans apparently never came to fruition, and in 1993, she was forced to sell her investment for just 1 Million dollars when she was being sued for backing out of a movie contract.
5 Paris Hilton’s Ridiculous $350,000 Doghouse
Given that socialite Paris Hilton spent most of the Noughties being photographed with her treasured dogs sitting in her handbag, it is hardly surprising that she wanted to make sure they had a comfortable place to stay when they were at home. In 2017, Hilton gave her Instagram fans a sneak peek at the ridiculous $
350,000 doghouse which she had specially built for her beloved pups,
complete with balconies, a staircase, air conditioning, and all decorated by one of the best interior designers in Los Angeles. Not such a Simple Life then for Paris’ pack of pampered pooches.
4 Celine Dion’s $2-Million Spend On A Humidifier
When your voice is your fortune, you have to be prepared to spend a lot of money to make sure your instrument is kept as healthy and safe as possible. Celine Dion has performed concerts at Caesar’s Palace Hotel in Las Vegas since 2011, and the dry desert air is apparently very bad news for her precious vocal cords.
In order to keep her voice in top condition, Celine spent an astounding $2 million on a humidifier
(yes, we said humidifier), just to protect her incredible pipes from the dry desert air. It seems to have been a worthwhile investment though, given the enormous success of her Las Vegas residency thus far.
3 Nicolas Cage’s Crazy $2-Million Splurge On Comic Books
Comic books fans are notorious for their love of first editions and autographed books, and actor Nicolas Cage is no exception. Over many years, he spent a small fortune gathering together one of the best comic book collections in the world. No one is sure how much he spent putting the collection together, but when he was forced to sell part of his beloved comic book collection in 2002,
they fetched an impressive $1.6 million at auction.
Later, in 2011, the Moonstruck star’s pristine copy of Action Comics No.1–including Superman’s first appearance–sold for an eye-watering $2.1 million.
2 Mike Tyson’s Gold Bath Cost Him $2.2 Million And Two White Bengal Tigers At $140,000 Each
At the height of his fame and success in the boxing ring, Mike Tyson could command fees of up to $30 million every single time he fought. Hardly surprising then that the sports star felt comfortable making ridiculously expensive purchases, including a solid gold bathtub which cost a reported $2.2 million. When it came to buying a loving family pet, Tyson also didn't hold back and splashed the cash. No boring kitty cats for this fighter. He instead spent $140,000 on buying two white Bengal tigers. The unusual pets also had expensive tastes, with their care costing another $4000 per month. Oh, to be rich and famous...
1 Akon Bought A Diamond Mine
Why buy one diamond when you can buy a whole mine? That was certainly the attitude of singer and entrepreneur Akon, who invested in a South African diamond mine. He was heavily criticized for the purchase though, given the prevalence of blood diamonds in Africa—diamonds whose sale is then used to fund wars. However,
Akon has used his wealth to set up a charity for underprivileged children in Africa called Konfidence Foundation.
So, while he seems to be taking away from Africa with one hand, at least he is giving some of his fortune back to help the locals. We have to respect that.