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20 Celebs You Didn’t Know Dropped Out of School

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20 Celebs You Didn’t Know Dropped Out of School

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Who needs an education? These celebs are too cool for school and have made the world their teacher. They learn lessons through hands-on experience and they are examples of people who have ditched school to go after their dreams and have it all work out. Now, of course many people who drop out of school do not have such good luck, so we are in no way saying that young individuals should just drop everything and go after their wildest dreams. One: young people’s wildest dreams really are wild. Two: they change all the time. What they like now will be different in just a couple of months.

Yet this is our list of 20 Celebrities You Didn’t Know Dropped Out of School. They left the classroom behind so that they could pursue film or television or music or modeling. And hey, it all worked out! Mostly. Some of them went a little (or a lot) crazy, while others still said that they wished they had gotten their high school diploma. So do not get any ideas! Hard work and studying usually does pay off. These people are just some exceptions to the rule. Very successful exceptions! Enjoy reading all about it!

20. Avril Lavigne

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Via Bigstock Images

At age 15, Canadian punk rock-pop singer Avril Lavigne visited New York City and ran into a huge big-name record producer. Her parents told Avril to belt out something for him, so she sang and he loved it. So he said right then and there that he would give her a record deal, and the rest is history. She spoke out in interviews about how the whole thing went down and she actually ended up achieving mad success! Who has not heard of her songs “Complicated”, “What the Hell”, and “Girlfriend”? So essentially, Avril is a high school dropout. While her friends were studying for final exams, she was hitting the music scene, suckers!

19. Britney Spears

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Brit started out on the Mickey Mouse Club and then the rest is history. Where do we even start with Britney Spears? She may have played a school girl in her first hit single, “Baby…One More Time”, but she actually never finished high school herself. She pursued her music full-time from then on out and then she hit a road block. She got so famous and successful that she went kind of crazy. She met a guy, had some kids, and shaved her head. You know, the usual stuff for a pop star. She did however, slip under the radar for a bit and pull herself back together.

18. Cameron Diaz

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Maybe this is why Cameron Diaz played such a convincing bad teacher in the movie of the same name. She dropped out of high school herself! Actually, it is said that Cameron was not exactly a great student, but hey, she turned out successful anyway. Awesome incentive for other kids to stay in school, right? Cameron started her professional career in modeling and starring in C-list movies. Then B-list, and then she finally made it to the Hollywood elite. She has appeared in The Mask, Bad Teacher, and countless other films. Oh, and she has great legs. Hard to believe she skipped gym class!

17. Chris Rock

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Chris Rock has used his high school dropout story in his stand-up routines. He actually has used his fame and success to plug the importance of schooling and education. Way to go, Chris! He said that back in 1989, he was working as a dish washer and earning minimum wage. Barely. That is because he dropped out when he was in the 10th grade, and as Rock says, when you drop out in 10th grade, you may as well have dropped out in the 2nd grade. Because it will get you the exact same job. “Dropping out of school is the dumbest thing you could ever do.” Good words, Chris!

16. Johnny Depp

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Via Bigstock Images

Johnny Depp, one of the most prolific actors in Hollywood, dropped out of high school. Yes, the harsh and sad truth has finally come out. He left school so that he could pursue his thriving music career and … wait. What music career? Oh well, acting it is! But seriously, Johnny Depp is a super-successful actor and he just keeps pumping out movie roles like it is nobody’s business. Into the Woods, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Edward Scissorhands were some of the many films he starred in. And we have heard him sing a few times in film…he is not that bad!

15. Daniel Radcliffe

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Please, Daniel Radcliffe did not need to finish high school. He was too busy being a boy wizard after all! He could not possibly go to Hogwarts and actual school. Wait, Hogwarts is not a real school? Oops. Oh well, Daniel Radcliffe has seemed to turn out all right anyway. He hit fame when he was just a boy, and he went on to star in all of the Harry Potter movies. His net worth is sky-high anyway, so no need to really pursue that education after all these years. He has gone on to star in theater productions and taking his shirt off on stage. That is certainly a far cry from Harry Potter’s days!

14. Drake

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Via Bigstock Images

Oh, who needs school anyway? Just ask Canadian R&B singer Drake. He did not finish school and he turned out all right, eh? Drake left high school so that he could pursue his rapping full-time and that decision fortunately ended up working out for him. He started his schooling by attending a Jewish day school and he also celebrated his Bar Mitzvah. We guess he felt like a real man after that, and school was just holding him back from bigger and better things. Now Drake has a number of albums, one of them being aptly named Thank Me Later.

13. Drew Barrymore

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Drew Barrymore is a very public celebrity and her private life is not so private. She was a child star who went off the deep end, getting into drugs and alcohol at an absurdly young age. But since then, Drew has sobered up, gotten into shape, and she has been doing quite well for herself. She has starred in tons of movies and she even produces and writes scripts now! Who knew someone who dropped out of school could achieve so much? She is definitely someone who dropped out of school but did not drop out of life. Good job, Drew!

12. Jay Z


Jay Z is the husband of Beyonce, he is a rap mogul, and he has loads of money. We would say that he is doing pretty well for himself. We say himself because his wife Queen B is an independent woman and does not need a man to provide for her. Am I right?! Even so, the combined Knowles-Carter family has a net worth of more than $600 million. Yeah. Who needs school? Not only does Jay Z have success and riches, but he also partly owned the Brooklyn Nets. He got rid of that gig and started his own sports agency, Roc Nation Sports.

11. Kelly Osbourne

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Via Bigstock Images

It is said that Kelly Osbourne had to drop out of school so that she could get some hardcore treatment and rehabilitation for her drug-use problem. It may have been a better idea for her to at least be homeschooled, but hey, we are not going to argue with Ozzy Osbourne. Now Kelly is cleaned up and she has also slimmed down. In fact, she looks great. She is currently sporting lilac-purple hair and she is a regular on the daytime talk show The View, where she discusses hot topics and debates with her co-hosts. The media has been very kind to Kelly lately!

10. Lil Wayne

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If you think that Lil Wayne is crass and does not know how to uphold himself to higher values then you can’t really blame him. I mean, the guy did not finish high school, so how is he supposed to know how to behave? Well, the reason that rapper Lil Wayne dropped out of high school was because he got his then-girlfriend pregnant. Whoops. Hopefully he did not just walk out on her as well. Although with all of those tattoos, he probably spends the majority of his time getting new ink rather than taking care of kids. And judging by his rap lyrics, it does not sound like he is Father of the Year material.

9. Lindsay Lohan

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Wait, Lindsay Lohan never finished high school? You don’t say! Well, the truth is, she did stop going to school, and at the time, it was probably in her best interest. After all, she was becoming a rising star and she was getting big-time roles. She started out in The Parent Trap, the crowd loved her, and she kept on going. Freaky Friday and Mean Girls came out, and she was on top of the world. And then that lack of education came back to bite her in the butt! She had a huge downward spiral and well, we guess she is still sliding down that slippery slope.

8. Mark Wahlberg

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Mark Wahlberg was probably too busy hitting the gym and getting buff to pursue his studies. Come on, the guy has arms that are bigger than most people! He came out not too long ago about his status as a high school dropout, but hey, it seems that he is doing pretty well regardless of a high school diploma or G.E.D. I mean, he did star in Ted, didn’t he? Okay, so that is not exactly the best example of his success. Yet Mark Wahlberg did star in a lot of blockbuster films and he even said that he would like to go back to school to finally nab that diploma. Way to go, Mark!

7. Paris Hilton

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Well, this one is not exactly surprising now, is it? Paris Hilton never finished high school? No….well yes, actually. What can we expect? Paris is rich and she does what she wants and has her family pay for it all. It has got to be nice having a whole hotel empire in your family name. So much for aspiring to achieving your own success. Oh wait, she did try, right? Can we even count The Simple Life or her sex tape as being attempts to make a living? Please. As much as we want Paris Hilton to go away, she keeps on making appearances. She just will not go away!

6. Rihanna


If it annoys you that Rihanna just can’t keep her clothes on, then try to go easy on her. After all, the girl never graduated from high school. Yup, Ri Ri never got her diploma. Sad, but true. And we can see some of that wild-child attitude and lifestyle in her everyday habits. For instance, before she goes on the stage, she will down some liquor so that she can calm down. She wears a big hoodie to disguise herself beforehand because if someone recognizes her and approaches, she will just flip her lid. She also has a backwards tattoo on her bod: “Never a failure, always a lesson.”

5. Ryan Gosling

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You mean that hunky soft-spoken Ryan Gosling never finished high school? What? We are shattered, heartbroken, and so disappointed. But one look at his shirtless photo, and we are pretty sure that all can be forgiven. When you have a body and talent like Ryan Gosling’s then we can just about warrant dropping out of high school as being A-okay. This actor usually looks quite well-to-do in the movies, so perhaps him dropping out of high school was not the worst thing that could have happened. After all, he seems to have turned out quite all right! We will let you be the judge.

4. Seth Rogen

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Via Bigstock Images

Wait, Seth Rogen? Seth Rogen dropped out of high school? Yes, but hear us out. He dropped out but in order to pursue his dreams of writing for the big screen. And what do you know? It actually happened! Seth says that he was one of the lucky people who dropped out of school, because he knew what it was that he wanted to pursue instead of getting that high school diploma. On the other hand, dropping out is nice because you do not have anyone telling you what to do! Hah! In today’s society, a lot of young people seem to think that you can just do something and it’s a hit. Blame Seth Rogen.

3. Simon Cowell

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Via Bigstock Images

He is probably not itching to tell you, but Simon Cowell dropped out of school. Yeah, Simon was just not that great at school, but he is good at being snarky! So he did not let a lack of a degree or diploma get himself down. His parents shipped him off anyway. He ended up going to 16 different schools (some of those were boarding schools) and he still did not get a diploma out of it! Sheesh! Yet Simon worked his way up the corporate ladder and he ended up scoring big. He blasted onto the scene by being a judge on American Idol, and the rest is history.

2. Tom Cruise

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Good old Tom Cruise. He jumps on Oprah’s couch and it is quite all right because hey, the guy never finished high school, so cut him a break! He ditched high school and instead set his sights on pursuing an acting career in the Big Apple. Yep, New York City. Actually, before all of that, he was going to be a priest, but meh. He changed his mind. Acting is not that far a cry from priesthood, is it? Anyway, throughout his youth, Tom was taking acting classes and performing in school plays, but that was so beneath him. So he left and just look at what he turned out to be!

1. Tracy Morgan

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Via Bigstock Images

Yeah, Tracy Morgan dropped out of high school, but guess what? Yeah, that is right suckers, he is glad that he left school behind! After all, he is a super-successful celebrity now, so what is there to miss? Who cares about a diploma? He is so relieved that college was never part of his schtick. He said that if he had gone to college, he probably would be hating his job right about now. Wow, strong words there, Tracy Morgan. College would have been a crutch for him and he would not have pushed himself to be his absolute best.

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