Instagram | @jlo

9+ Celebs Who Started From The Bottom And Made It Big

Just because a celeb is mega-rich now, that doesn't mean that things were always like that. For most, they weren't born with a silver spoon in their mouths.

Instead, they struggled their way to the top. Drake said it best: "Started from the bottom, now we here."

1. Jim Carrey


Before he was making the world laugh with his movies, life for Jim Carrey wasn't so funny.

"My father lost his job when he was 51 and that was the real 'wow,' the kick in the guts," he once said.

"We lived in a van for a while, and we worked all together as security guards and janitors," he added.

Thankfully, his big break came in the '90s with movies such as "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective" and "The Truman Show."

Flickr | mikegiuffrida

As we all know, he's been a household name ever since!

2. Nicki Minaj

Instagram | @nickiminaj

With the singer growing up in a household where her father sold their possessions for drug money, her main goal was to earn enough money to help her mother.

She has certainly surpassed that as she's currently one of the world's most successful female rappers.

She's now worth over $85 million!

3. Demi Moore

Instagram | @demimoore

For the actress and author, acting became an escape from the hard life she endured as a child and teen.

This was sadly a life filled with living in a trailer park, being sexually abused, and being raised by alcoholic parents.

Instagram | @demimoore

She told The Guardian in 2007:

"I entered this career having no background or connection to acting. I had so little I had nothing to lose and everything to gain by taking the risk."

4. Hilary Swank

Instagram | @hilaryswank

Similar to Moore, Swank also lived in a trailer park while she was growing up. But it got worse.

After her mom lost her job, they were forced to live out of their car.

Instagram | @hilaryswank

Not ideal conditions for a kid.

Thankfully, the actress got her big break when she starred in the movie, Boys Don't Cry. Today, she's worth $40 million!

5. Jennifer Lopez

Instagram | @jlo

The singer/dancer/actor doesn't go by the name Jenny from the Block for nothing!

Before she became the mega-star that she is today, she was homeless at the young age of 18.

Flash-forward to today and she's now worth over $400 million!

6. Oprah Winfrey

Instagram | @oprah

The media mogul went from wearing potato sacks as clothing to becoming one of the world's richest people!

But getting there wasn't easy.

Wikimedia Commons

Oprah struggled as a young kid and teen, dealing with traumatic things such as sexual abuse, before she worked her way up the media mogul ladder.

She even told "Makers" that she knows "what it means to be poor."

"I know what it feels like to be abandoned. I know what it feels like to not be wanted."

She continued:

"I know what it feels like to not be loved ... and yet have inside yourself a yearning, a passion, a desire, a hope for something better," she said.

7. Leonardo DiCaprio

He may be one of the highest-paid actors in the world now, but back when he was growing up, Leo and his single mother struggled to make ends meet.

After his parents divorced, his mother even had to work several jobs just to help them survive.

Surely, his $245 million net worth makes things much easier today...

For him, acting was a way out of his family's financial mess.

"Money was always on my mind when I was growing up," he told the Telegraph in 2016.

"So I was always wondering how we were going to afford this and that. Acting seemed to be a shortcut out of the mess."

We're so glad he did as he's one of the best actors out there and he does so much good for the environment!

8. J.K. Rowling

Wikimedia Commons

Before she became one of the world's most beloved authors, J.K. Rowling was just a single mother living off of welfare.

Her chance at a new life came when she won money from the Scottish Arts Council and bought a typewriter.

Wikimedia Commons

It was on this typewriter that she would write the book that would single-handily change her life: Harry Potter.

9. Leighton Meester

Instagram | @itsmeleighton

Unlike her infamous character, Blair Waldorf, the actress's life growing up was anything but glamorous.

Meester was even born in a prison!

Instagram | @itsmeleighton

"I couldn't relate to kid stuff. 'Jimmy doesn't like me!' Who cares? I was worried we didn't have gas money or food. Those were my concerns," she told Marie Claire in 2012.

10. Mark Wahlberg

Instagram | @markwahlberg

Before he was "Marky Mark" and raking in millions from movies like Ted and The Departed, the actor grew up in a broken home.

This led to a troubled path where he sold and did drugs and landed himself in more fights than he could count.

Instagram | @markwahlberg

Thankfully, he realized he wanted more out of life and changed his ways.

11. Justin Bieber

Instagram | @pattiemallette

While Bieber may be one of the biggest stars out there, he comes from truly humble beginnings since he was raised by a young, single mother.

"I remember being poor and being teased by other kids," he said during an interview with Clique TV.

Instagram | @justinbieber

"I remember sitting in restaurants with my mother and she'd make me order water instead of soda. I remember so badly wanting to order a soda. And I also remember that when I got my first big pay check I was so glad to be able to use that money to take care of my mother," he said.

12. Mariah Carey

Flickr | downanotheryear

While she's certainly known for her riches today, the "All I Want For Christmas Is You" singer grew up in poverty.

She spoke about those difficult days before making it big on her former show, "Mariah's World."

Instagram | @mariahcarey

"I moved to Manhattan alone as a teenage girl. It was an exciting time for me, even though I had nothing," she said.

"I lived, like, on a mattress on the floor. I was writing my songs and being a horrible waitress. My demo tape ended up at Sony and they signed it away."

13. Céline Dion

Instagram | @celinedion

Growing up as the youngest child of 14 siblings wasn't easy, but it was even more difficult since Céline's father made basically pennies per week.

Thankfully, Céline got the big break they needed when a manager heard her recording.

Flickr | plaincut

René Angélil, her manager and eventual husband of 21 years, believed in her so much that he even mortgaged his house to pay for her first two albums.

As we know, it all paid off in the end!