The 10 Most Successful Celebrity Entrepreneurs
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UPDATED: Feb 5, 2013
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Just in case you thought celebrities were successful enough, think again!
Many celebrities try their hands at starting businesses. While not all of them are successful, we’ve managed to track down 10 celebrities who seem to have Midas’ touch.
Here is a list of the top 10 most successful celebrity entrepreneurs. In fact, one of them launched their business by borrowing a loan! Let’s start the countdown to number one!
10. Gwen Stefani
When she’s not singing with No Doubt, Gwen Stefani keeps busy by running her clothing line L.A.M.B., which line produces perfumes, purses, shoes, and jewelry. It is a favorite among celebrities and can only be found at high-end retailers.
Stefani has also launched a kids clothing line for boys and girls called Harajuku Mini.
Her business success has landed her a net worth of $80 million.
9. Tyra Banks
Model and TV personality Tyra Banks first started modeling at the young age of 17. From that time, she has climbed to become one of the most successful supermodels and celebrity entrepreneurs in the world.
While not everyone may think that America’s Next Top Model is intelligent television viewing, savvy businesswoman Tyra Banks has worked to make it one of the highest rated shows in the world.
From humble beginnings in Inglewood, California, Banks now has a net worth of $90 million.
8. Robert De Niro
Actor, director, Hollywood icon… Businessman?
Yes, that’s right! One of the best actors in cinema history, Robert DeNiro, also happens to be quite the successful businessman. While his Hallmark commercials might draw groans, his business profits draw applause.
De Niro has expanded from simply acting and directing films to running a string of restaurants in New York and Los Angeles.
His business acumen has earned him $185 million. Still not straying far from his film roots, De Niro owns part of the film studio TriBeCa Productions.
7. Beyonce Knowles
We all just watched the current Queen of Pop dance and sing at the Super Bowl half-time show. The talented singer and actress has a net worth of $350 million.
While her Destiny’s Child days may be behind her, Beyonce is banging on all cylinders in the business world alongside her celebrity entrepreneur husband, Jay-Z.
She has endorsed such business giants as Samsung, Ford, Pepsi, and American Express. Beyonce has also released a number of perfume fragrances and launched the fashion line Dereon.
6. Kathy Ireland
From supermodel to billion-dollar business owner, Kathy Ireland is one shining tale of determination and success. She built up a business empire that mainly focuses on home furnishings and furniture.
Since then, it has expanded into clothing, workout videos, and self-help media. Her beauty company, Boyfriend LLC, was allegedly launched simply to recreate the musk of an old boyfriend of hers.
Ireland has a net worth of $350 million thanks to Kathy Ireland Worldwide, her corporate flagship, which was started by borrowing a $50,000 loan.
5. Clint Eastwood
Western Icon and Hollywood Legend Clint Eastwood has wrangled up a net worth of $375 million.
Having been a piano player, lifeguard, and soldier in the United States Army, acting was not Eastwood’s first choice. But a chance meeting with several Hollywood insiders led to his rise to stardom in such iconic Western films as “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” and “Hang em High.”
Not to be pigeonholed into the role of a cowboy, Eastwood expanded into other dramatic roles such as “Dirty Harry.” In recent years, Eastwood has turned to directing and producing such groundbreaking films as “Flags of Our Fathers,” “Letters from Iwo Jima,” and “Million Dollar Baby.”
Eastwood has also diversified outside of the entertainment industry altogether. This business-saavy American hero owns two golf courses, a dairy farm, and a hotel.
Despite weighing in at $460 million, Jay-Z built himself up from the slums of New York City into a major music producer. His former business holdings include Rocawear, which was sold in 2007 for $204 million, Damon Dash, Iconix Brand, and the 40/40 Club.
However, it’s apparent that music remains a passion for Jay-Z (born Shawn Corey Carter). He has sold 50 million albums and has received thirteen Grammys.
3. Magic Johnson
The former basketball superstar owns the appropriately named Magic Johnson Enterprises. The massive conglomerate brought well-known brands and franchises to ethnic and inner-city neighborhoods. His company has partnerships with Starbucks, 24 Hour Fitness, and AMC Theatres.
A victim of HIV himself, Johnson has given over $1 million to increase HIV/AIDS awareness. This is only a fraction of this celebrity entrepreneur’s $500 million net worth.
2. Sean Combs
Rapper, Producer, Actor, Fashion Designer, and businessman — Sean Combs does it all under his ever-changing alias which currently stands as “Diddy.”
With such common brand names as Bad Boy Records and Sean John clothing, there is little that can stand in Diddy’s way.
He has an estimated net worth of $550 million, which places him ahead of long-time rival Jay-Z.
1. Oprah Winfrey
This should be no surprise to anyone. Oprah Winfrey has a net worth of $2.7 billion. That makes her not only the richest African-American in the world but also the only African-American billionaire.
She is a hostess, actress, producer, and philanthropist. While her TV show days are behind her, she now manages a network called the Oprah Winfrey Network. In 2001, Oprah purchased a palatial estate in Georgia called “The Promised Land,” which features a 23,000 square-foot home. That enormous house features 14 bathrooms and 10 fireplaces.
While this list of celebrity entrepreneurs features people who had fame before money, it doesn’t always work that way.
More often than not, common people like you and me are the ones spearheading the small business scene. Maybe you will be like Kathy Ireland and borrow some money in order to launch your business. Maybe your idea will be so great that you’ll solicit money from others. Regardless of your future, just remember: if the people in this list did it, then so can you.