Look at the Forbes list of the top 100 celebs with the highest earnings and you may well be reduced to a little puddle of envy. While you could well win big playing at a jackpot casino, your paycheck pales in comparison to even the celebs that come in near the bottom of the list. It is true that the amounts are gobsmacking, but many of these now mega-wealthy celebrities started off just like everyone else. Which is to say, they weren’t handed their wealth on a silver platter.
Now one of the biggest names in music, Ed Sheeran spent many nights sleeping in subway stations. He dropped out of school at age 16 and moved to London, determined to enrol in dedicated music studies. But money was so short that he often couldn’t afford to make rent. This dire situation resulted in him spending an evening conversing with a drug-addicted prostitute; both of them set to sleep on the streets. It was her story that eventually became the inspiration for his breakout song, the A Team. Sheeran is now worth $110 million.
Celine Dion, now worth a staggering $800 million, was the youngest of 14 children in Canada. After realising her musical potential, she began to perform at small local events. It wasn’t long before her ambitions took her far and wide, evolving into the mega-star that exists today.
In an interview with People, Halle Berry explained that she spent time sleeping in a homeless shelter. Her early charge for success started somewhere, and that somewhere just happened to be a struggling actress with no opportunities. The stunning Oscar winning actress, widely seen as one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood, was unashamed to admit that her days in a homeless shelter made her stronger, and taught her that she is capable of living through any hardships. Today she is currently worth around $80 million.
Leonardo Di Caprio
Hollywood mega-star Leonardo Di Caprio grew up in a poverty-stricken neighbourhood on the outskirts of Los Angeles. He claims to have encountered deeply poverty stricken families in his early years, and encountered violence on an almost daily basis. He explains that it is his early years that gave him inspiration for his darker movie roles. He is now worth around $245 million.
The Queen of Talk Shows is wealthy beyond compare, having amassed a fortune of over $2 billion. But this icon grew up in a poor Mississippi family, facing sexual abuse at the hands of family members. The trauma saw her run away from home, but determination and unparalleled drive saw her land a scholarship, followed by a role as a TV correspondent at 19.
Little can be said about Rowling that isn’t already widely known. The single mother, struggling to make rent and battling with depression, is now the wealthiest women in the United Kingdom. Her fortune is an outrageous $1 billion, and she is now seen as the most beloved British writer in modern history.
The now-celebrated Steve Jobs lacked a formal education, but managed to land a job at video game console manufacturer Atari. He left the job and developed the Apple computer with friend Steve Wozniak, which landed him his first $1 million by age 23. At the time of his death he was worth somewhere in the region of $10 billion.
Famed steel industry tycoon Mittal was a poor child in India, often wondering if his parents would be able to feed him. But a business savvy mind saw Mittal operating what would be considered a discount warehouse in the steel industry. Gradually he bought up floundering competitors who were on the brink of bankruptcy, and transformed them into successful subsidiaries. It wasn’t long before his wealth doubled, tripled, and quadrupled. Today, Mittal sits at the list of wealthiest men in the United Kingdom, with a fortune of $11.8 billion. Not bad for a young man who grew up poverty stricken in India.
Sarah Jessica Parker
Sarah Jessica Parker, more commonly known as the iconic Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City, is worth an estimated $100 million. But in her early years living in Nelsonville, Ohio, her family often skipped birthdays and other celebrations simply because they couldn’t afford them. Electricity and phone bills were also often missed. But this didn’t stop Parker from landing a role in a Broadway musical at 11, and pushing on to star in the 1981 TV show Square Pegs.
Unknown to many, now globally renowned politician and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger grew up in Austria post-World War 2. He experienced hunger riots on a regular basis, and did not even have the luxury of plumbing for many of his younger years. He now has a fortune of an incredible $400 million and is one of the world’s best-known actors.