12 Celebrities with the Most Inspirational Rags-to-Riches Stories

12 Celebrities with the Most Inspirational Rags-to-Riches Stories

Not every celebrity had it easy, you would be surprised to know how many Hollywood A-listers had to fight through blood and tears just to reach the top. Just like many people in this world, these celebrities started out with a dream and it was because of their hard work and perseverance that they made that dream a reality.

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Leonardo DiCaprio

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Leonardo Dicaprio recently added Oscar winner to his résumé. But before he began starring in many notable roles, he lived with his single mother who had to juggle different jobs in order to support him. Contrary to his now glamorous life, Dicaprio was also exposed to an environment of crime, drugs, and prostitution. Instead of giving into vices, he decided to channel his frustrations into acting.

“I got beat up the day I arrived because I had the attitude of everyone living harmoniously with one another,” he said. “That was the motivational thing that happened to me in my life. I was 15, and I said to my mom, ‘I want to be an actor. Please take me to auditions.’ Because I had to get out of that public school system.”

Selena Gomez

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Selena Gomez has successfully cemented herself as one of the most followed actresses in Hollywood. But before she became who she is today, Gomez’s family underwent numerous financial issues during her childhood. Born to a teenage mother and a broken home, Gomez has opened up about her family’s struggles in trying to make ends meet.


Leighton Meester

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Leighton Meester‘s character in the hit television series Gossip Girl may have been born into New York royalty, but Meester’s real life is far from that of queen bee Blair Waldorf. Meester was born when her mother was in prison for drug dealing and was later brought up under the care of her grandmother.

Nicki Minaj

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Nicki Minaj is one of rap’s best-selling female artists. But before that, she grew up in Trinidad with an alcoholic father who burned the family’s house down.

“Growing up in Trinidad, I didn’t know that we were poor,” Nicki Minaj said. “Ten people living in a three-bedroom home and all the dogs and cats my grandmother had, none of that seemed really abnormal.” Minaj always wanted to break into the business, but before finally getting her big shot, she had to juggle between fifteen unstable jobs.

J.K. Rowling

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Those who have heard of the famous Harry Potter series definitely know the woman behind it. Born Joanne Jo Rowling but known worldwide as J.K. Rowling, this inspiring woman had an equally inspiring backstory.

Rowling grew up poor in Winterbourne, Britain, but did not let her financial limitations stop her from exploring her talent. Rowling penned the Harry Potter series during another difficult time in her life—when she was raising her child as a single mother.

Currently, Rowling continues to be one of the best-selling authors of all time and has a reported net worth of one billion dollars.

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