5 Celebrities Who Went From Rags To Riches

Before it was written in the stars that some celebrities would be wealthy, they endured hardships beyond your wildest imagination. Yes! Not every celebrity you see on TV rocking their diamond-encrusted necklaces and watches had it easy. 

There was no elevator to the top for the selected few on our list today. Some had to take the stairs, and trust me, it was a long, bitter, and unforgiving journey. They might now be living in some of the most expensive mansions on the planet, but a few years back, some of these celebrities were on the verge of calling it a night under a bridge or resigning their fate to the ominous life of a homeless shelter. 

Yet, despite all the odds stacked against them, they preserved on to amass wealth beyond our wildest dreams. These top five amazing rags to riches stories will prove to you once and for all that you don't have to have a mighty family name to make it on the Forbes Richest. All you need is a heck of work ethic, determination, and perseverance.


• Net worth – $200 million

If not for the likes of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls cementing their names as the lyrical maestro's of hip hop in the mid-90s, Eminem would have easily stolen the show. Before Marshall Bruce Mathers III embraced the ingenious mind of his alter ego – Slim Shady, he was born in an eight-mile trailer park in East Detroit. 

Barely three months after his birth, his father left his 17-year-old mother to find a new love and raise a different family in California. His mother – Deborah, struggled bitterly to get a half-decent job, forcing the two to relocate on numerous occasions to different cities. This, as Eminem later confessed, had a profound effect on him at a young age, and he found it impossible to strike any decent relationships with friends and even focus on his studies. 

To make matters worse, Eminem's mother was addicted to drugs and alcohol, ruining any chances of a fruitful mother-son relationship. During an interview, Eminem even accused his mother of being the root cause of his drug and alcohol addiction. We've all heard how passionately he talks about his abusive mother in his music, but did you also know he was a victim of racial abuse as well? Indeed, growing up was challenging for the young scrawny Marshall Mathers, but every cloud has a silver lining. 

Through his bleak existence of abuse, with himself getting injured, M&M turned to rap as a form of mental escape. At the age of 17, Mathers made a crucial decision that would shape the course of his life history. As you already should have sensed, he dropped out of high school to pursue his one true love – Hip hop. 
He started by participating in numerous underground rap battles. At the same time, the young, energetic Mathers fell head-over-heels for a fellow high schooler – Tim Scott, and the two had a beautiful baby girl in 1995. We, of course, know her as Hailie – Eminem's precious daughter. Between 1995 to 1999, Eminem focused solely on his rap career, releasing his first-ever studio album – Infinite, in 1997. It may not have gained him the commercial success he was hoping for at that time, but the album caught the attention of one of the biggest rap producers back then – Dr Dre. 

Despite backlash from Dre's close friends on signing a Caucasian rapper, Dre decided to take the talented Mathers under his wing, and well…the rest is history. Eminem's second album release – The Slim Shady LP, proved all the critics wrong. It sold 280,000 copies and stormed in at a second spot on the US Hot 100 Billboard charts. To date, that particular album has sold over 18 million copies worldwide. 

Eminem went ahead to releasing chart-topping albums, including the Marshall Mathers LP and has won a series of accolades throughout his career. Currently, he lives lavishly with his beautiful daughter Hailie and boasts an impressive net worth of $200 million.

★ Do Won Chang

• Net worth – $6 billion

Everyone prays to reach the billionaire status, but it might seem impossible to amass a billion-dollar wealth through a poor background to many. But for Do Won Chang, it was destined to be his reality. 
Oh, pardon me. If his name doesn't ring a bell, this is the reclusive business mogul behind the "Forever 21" clothing stores. He built the entire company with his bare hands, well, his and those of his wife too. While most of us might shudder at the thought of working three jobs as a coffee shop assistant, gas station attendant, and janitor, Do Won Chang took this challenge head-on. 

As a religious saver, Chang managed to wake up a sizable amount of money from his savings to open the first-ever "Forever 21" clothing store in 1984. Being a pioneer of the latest fashion trends, the newly opened store received a warm reception from customers, and the store recorded $700,000 in sales within the first six months. Chang didn't waste any time; he opened a second one. 

"Behind every successful man is a supportive woman". Indeed, one of the main reasons behind "Forever 21" success in the fashion industry is Mrs Chang. She was the mastermind behind the new merchandise designs, while Chang executed the marketing and retailing affairs. 

With age slowly rearing its ugly head, Do Won Chang has opted to pass the business to his two well-educated daughters – the brand's new faces. Currently, "Forever 21" has over 200 stores worldwide, and it rakes in a whopping $4.4 billion every year. So it's no surprise that Chang's net worth, together with that of his wife and business partner, clocks in at an impressive $10 billion. 

Whoever believes that dreams don't come true has underestimated the power of the Chang's.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

• Net worth – $400 million

When you go to America with less than $20 in your pocket, life might seem dark and desolate, but not for the muscle behemoth that was – Arnold Schwarzenegger. He had his mind set on one thing – making a name for himself in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Yes, Arnold might be dining on the finest caviar as you read this article, but there was a time when electricity, running water, and even an essential phone were a luxury for Arnold as a teenager living in war-torn Austria. 

The only thing that kept him going was his undying love for physical fitness. Arnold was so obsessed with the gym that his father tried so hard to limit his visits there. However, young Schwarzenegger responded by building a gym in his backyard. While serving a mandatory year in the Austrian army, Arnold clung to his one true love – physical fitness. 

He pushed himself twice as hard by occasionally sneaking away from his military post and competing in local bodybuilding competitions. Eventually, his persistence paid off, and Arnold clinched the Mr Europe bodybuilding competition. 
He subsequently gained worldwide attention and went on to win five Mr Universe titles and held the Mr Olympia title seven times. But Arnold was more than just a hapless gym junkie. While sculpting his adonis-like physique, he also brought in his perspective by attending the university of Wisconsin-superior, completing a degree in economics and business. 

Using the business acumen he learned in school, he invested his prize money into buying gym equipment, exercise supplements, and investing in real estate. It's no surprise that Arnold became a millionaire by the age of 22. Ambitious by nature, Arnold set his sights further. He made a name for himself in the realms of Hollywood by playing the lead role in high-octane blockbusters, such as – The Terminator and Conan. 

Over the years, the controversial albeit charismatic Schwarzenegger has achieved tremendous treats in his life, going as far as becoming the Governor of California in the United States as well. From humble beginnings in the war-torn streets of Austria to a whopping net worth of $400 million. 

Arnold is a great inspiration to many, believing that ambition will get you exactly where you want to be in life, regardless of where or how you were born.

 Oprah Winfrey

• Net worth – $3 billion
Can you imagine that at one time, the flamboyant chic and elegant Oprah had to make do with potato sacks as her only means of clothing, showing how poor her family was? Oprah didn't constantly tour the world in her private jet or purchase the luxurious amenities her ridiculous wealth now offers her. 

As one of the few women in Forbes 400 wealthiest people in America, fortunes have changed for her. For one, she had one of the most scarring and tumultuous childhood stories you can imagine. Under the discipline of her father, she excelled tremendously in both academic and social setups. She was voted the most popular girl in school, and this was where she nurtured her passion for media. 

By the time she was a senior in high school, Oprah had secured herself a full-ride scholarship for college. However, she chose to forgo college and pursue her career in media when she was just 19 years old. Fortunately for her, her crazy gamble paid off. By age 20, she became a pioneering first black female news anchor in Nashville, she got a second job in Baltimore, but things didn't quite work out. 

Oprah was harassed and humiliated before getting axed by the news station 7½ months later. Winfrey did not stay jobless for long, as she managed to land herself a gig, hosting – The Morning Talk Show AM Chicago; this is where her life would change forever. In only a few months, Oprah transformed one of the lowest talk shows to literally 'the talk of the town'. 

For the third year of being the host, the show name was changed to the renowned – Oprah Winfrey Show. During its peak, the Oprah Winfrey show was raking in an impressive $300 million a year. So it's no surprise that Oprah can now afford extravagances such as owning her own custom-made $42 million private jets.

Roman Abramovich

• Net worth – $12.4 billion

Roman Abramovich is the proud owner of one of the biggest English soccer clubs – Chelsea FC. Born in 1966, he was orphaned before his fourth birthday and had to live under the care of relatives and uncles. Despite having a harsh life, Abramovich did not turn to education as his means of escaping poverty; he performed poorly in college and dropped out twice. 

One thing Roman did have an eye for was business. He opened his first business venture by selling plastic ducks from the window of his cramped apartment in Moscow. Little did he know that he would be the name and face behind several oil and conglomerates in a few years and own a myriad of pig farms all over Russia. 
He dabbled in politics and gained favour with the former Russian president – Yeltsin, putting one foot through the corridors of power. Abramovich managed to gain a lucrative investment from his stake in Sibneft (one of Russia's largest oil companies) on the business side, amassing him a staggering $1.8 billion. When Putin rose to power and became the prime minister of Russia in 1999, Roman went full gear into politics and ran for governor of far eastern Chukotka in Russia, garnering 92% of the vote. 

After recursing a vast amount of wealth and oil conglomerate, Abramovich expanded his wealth into the sports sector, raising his net worth to an impressive $12.4 billion. He's also an investor in real estate with his portfolios in different parts of the world, including New York, France, and London. Oh! and how does this Russian oligarch tour the skies, you might ask. Well, in his privately customed Boeing 767. Not bad for a young lad who started as an orphan in Soviet Russia.

So in your darkest financial power, remember that these rags to riches stories are meant to inspire you to push on in life. No matter your situation, the right ambition and drive can transform your life into one of wealth, luxury, and splendour.
Alade Habeeb

I am a writer with a sense of creativity to write on multiple topics. I create engaging, thrilling and entertaining contents and I always take the time to edit my work well before publishing. I follow all the latest trends and read about recent happenings in the entertainment industry to always update my readers.

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