Whether you’re clicking through the latest gossip columns on the internet over lunch, lounging on your couch flipping through channels in search of something to watch, or perusing the pages of a magazine in search of the best bikini workout or hottest new car – depending on your priorities – chances are you’ve stumbled across at least one ex-Disney female star who made millions by staying in the limelight even after she outgrew the Mickey Mouse ears and kiddie roles. These teen idols tend to grow up quickly – as somewhat unwelcomely demonstrated by Miley Cyrus and her racy performance at the VMAs followed by equally heart-thumping videos.
Regardless of whether you love them or hate them, two things are certain: these girly tween to teen to grown-up stars are here to stay. And of course, the more we tune in to these stars, and gossip about their latest videos or scandals, the more famous – and richer – they become. Even when they’re generating negative attention for themselves – we’re looking at you, Miley – they’re making money. Diehard fans take to Twitter, Facebook, and other forms of social media to chat about the latest tidbit from their favourite female star, and it seems that as soon as one of their names starts trending, the world watches. Why are we so intrigues by Disney’s one-time teen queens? They’re generally gorgeous, often musically talented along with their acting skills – and under any circumstances, the transition from ingenue starlet to mature star is undoubtedly a compelling one.
The stunning girls on our list have Disney to thank for making them stars, and making them millions. Unlike many child stars, the Disney crew’s 15 minutes of fame often turns into nothing short of a lifetime of success as they continue to push boundaries, perform more outrageous stunts to get our attention, and do everything possible to keep tanning under that celebrity spotlight. Some, however, are much better than others at keeping up with the Jones’s and keeping their name current. Read on to find out which 10 Disney Teen Queens made their fame – and fortune – an enduring commodity.
10. Brenda Song- $7.5 million net worth
Brenda Song played a snobby rich chick on the hit show “The Suite Life of Zach and Cody” and although she may not be snobby in real life, she certainly is rich! Brenda’s career begin when she was just a child in elementary school. She starred in several commercials before making the transition into films and television shows but Brenda gained a lot more recognition, fame – and of course money – when Disney picked her up to star as London Tipton in The Suite Life. Brenda continues to star in popular films, including “The Social Network”. She’s also been in an on-again-off-again steamy and very public relationship with Trace Cyrus, a musician and the brother of another Disney star you might have heard of…
9. Vanessa Hudgens – $5 million net worth
The all-singing, all-dancing Vanessa wooed us as the pretty heroine in the surprise Disney hit movie franchise, High School Musical. This made-for-TV musical movie made Vanessa a huge star, although the Californian-born beauty had been in the Hollywood scene for a while, with some lowkey TV roles and a supporting role in 2003’s controversial movie Thirteen. In 2005, Hudgens landed the HSM role and shot to fame, compounded by her high-profile relationship with on-screen romantic interest Zac Efron. Vanessa has since shaken off her good-girl image, helped along by a leaked nude photo scandal and roles in some more controversial movies including 2013’s ‘Spring Breakers’.
8. Ashley Tisdale- $6 million net worth
Ashley Tisdale got her first big break on the show “The Suite Life of Zach and Cody” where she starred alongside a previous entry on our list, Brenda Song. She started garnering more attention for herself when she starred as the female villain-type in “High School Musical”. Eventually, Ashley outgrew Disney and branched out on her own as both a singer and actress. She starred in a few films and even produced some successful albums. However, her money started really rolling in when she was cast in “Hellcats” – it’s rumored that she makes $30,000 an episode. A ‘suite’ life indeed!
7. Selena Gomez- $9.5 million net worth
Although Selena Gomez got her start on Disney’s “Wizards of Waverly Place”, the bulk of her net worth has come from her hugely successful music career as well as her roles in other films. Gomez’s fame was also, certainly, helped along by her relationship with Justin Bieber. The pair have had a well publicised on-off relationship for years, attracting rabid paparazzi seemingly everywhere they go. Regardless of whether the two are fighting and saying highly inappropriate things about each other, or cuddled up side by side nuzzling, their relationship- or lack thereof – keeps Selena’s name on everyone’s gossip list. Recently, the star also launched her own production company, July Moons Productions, which is expected to net the young star even more wealth.
6. Demi Lovato – $15 million net worth
Demi Lovato, like her BFF Selena, got her start on Disney but branched out into a highly successful music career. Well, if we’re honest she actually got her start as a child star on Barney and Friends (eek) but it was her lead role in the Disney musical movie Camp Rock – and her relationship with Joe Jonas – that really attracted public attention. When Camp Rock was released, Lovato signed a record deal and released her first album – but she stayed with the Disney Channel and took a lead role in the kids’ comedy ‘Sonny With A Chance’ while working on her second album. Demi attracted more fans and significant public attention, while shaking off her Disney kid image, when she announced that she suffered from depression and eating disorders, and had self-harmed. Lovato has been involved in several philanthropic projects and has been a spokesperson for young girls struggling with body image and mental illness.
5. Hilary Duff- $25 million net worth
This Houston born actress and recording artist brings home a Texan-sized paycheck of an estimated $12 million a year! She got her start as a child actress in local theater plays and television commercials. Hilary got her first big break, though, when she was cast as Lizzie on the hit Disney television show “Lizzie McGuire”. She also starred in a few films before leaving Disney behind to pursue her passion of music. We bet her adorable son is proud of his hard-working mum; and we also imagine the little guy is pretty pampered considering the amount of money mummy brings home annually.
4. Raven Symone- $53 million net worth
Rumors have been floating around that “That’s So Raven” star Raven is worth up to $400 million dollars but as much as the actress/singer probably wishes that was true, it simply is not the case. Lucky for her though, she is still worth a substantial amount and she can thank Disney for putting her on the fast track to fame and wealth. Raven got her first got her taste of the limelight at the tender age of two when she began modeling. Quickly she made the transition into acting and starred in a few commercials before landing a role on the Cosby show. Although she began to attract a lot of attention at this point in her life, it was not until the debut of “That’s So Raven” that she became popular among the current youthful generation. She caused some media buzz when she announced that she was a lesbian, but fans remained loyally by her side.
3. Christina Aguilera- $100 million net worth
Christina Aguilera started off as a mouseketeer on Disney’s “The New Mickey Mouse Club” before she finally traded in her mouse ears for some sexy clothing, provocative lyrics, and a microphone. Once she made her transition into the music scene, with a breakthrough single Genie in a Bottle, her albums began flying off of the shelves. Fans all over could not get enough of her striking voice or ripped, scantily clad body. Christina has since become a reality TV judge, as well as continuing her music career and becoming a mom. She reportedly makes an estimated $10 million a year. In 2005, Xtina married the successful music marketing agent Jordan Bratman and later gave birth to son Liron. We bet this child only chewed on designer toys and cruised around in Louis Vuitton diapers!
2. Miley Cyrus- $150 million net worth
Looking at her current track record and videos, it can be hard to believe that only a few short years ago Miley Cyrus was staring on the Disney Channel as a cute, family friendly singer. “Hannah Montana”, the wildly successful Disney show about a girl who is by turns a famous singer and an ‘every girl’, allowed Miley to pursue dual careers in both acting and singing and helped her build a huge fan base. As the years progressed and she turned her back on her humble beginnings, Miley started producing more and more risqué music, and isolating her tween fans, before finally leaving the crowds slack-jawed and drooling at that infamous twerking performance at 2013’s VMA’s. Ever since her performance, she has continued to produce catchy songs and “twerk” her bare- or barely covered- body to fame and fortune.
1. Britney Spears- $200 million net worth
Just like one-time rival Aguilera, Britney got her start as a mouseketeer on “The New Mickey Mouse Club”. Once she transitioned into music, Britney began her career as the “girl next door” and released song after song that heavily contrasted with Christina Aguilera’s edgy appearance and lyrics. Eventually, she tired of the act and started producing sexier songs like “Slave For You” and “Oops, I Did it Again” – her career skyrocketed before marital problems and a very public breakdown derailed the former Disney cutie and Princess of Pop. Although fans and the media assumed that this was the end of the popstar, she has since made a huge comeback and continues to produce music, appear on reality TV and win awards.
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