It's easy to view celebrities as if they were royalty, born into a lavish lifestyle and idolized by all from day one. That elegant image betrays the hard work that so many now famous individuals put in to gain their well-earned money and fame. If you look at rich celebrities celebrities then and now, you'll find that they may have even had it harder than most.
Seeing broke celebs before they were rich can be a shocking thing, as money and fame come with many perks, including professional styling. But these wealthy people are more than just pretty faces – many of them have inspiring stories to share, too. Check out what rich people looked like when they were broke and try to stave off your jealousy of the wonder of being a billionaire.
Onika Minaj was born in Trinidad and Tobago before moving to Queens. Her childhood was traumatic: her drug addicted father attempted to burn down the family's home and kill her mother. After a failed attempt to start an acting career, Minaj found herself bouncing from job to job. Now Nicki Minaj is hip hop star worth around $70 million.
Birthplace: Saint James, Trinidad and Tobago
Also Rankedsee more on Nicki Minaj
Bullied mercilessly in school, Stefani Germanotta eventually left her home and rented the cheapest apartment she could find in New York City. After being dropped by Def Jam records, she wound up doing cocaine and dancing in burlesque shows downtown. Now, thanks to a long string of pop hits, Lady Gaga is worth nearly $300 million.
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America
#59 on The Best Singers of All Timesee more on Lady Gaga
When Hilary Swank moved to Los Angeles with her mother, they were forced to live in a car. Later they moved into a friend's place, where they slept on air mattresses. Now she's an Oscar winner with $40 million in the bank.
Birthplace: Lincoln, Nebraska, United States of America
Also Rankedsee more on Hilary Swank
During his early life, Dwayne Johnson bounced from home to home, between New Zealand and the US. His family was evicted from their house, and Johnson began robbing tourists and local stores. Football offered him a way out, but he was cut shortly after going pro.
Ultimately, Johnson made his name through professional wrestling, and then through acting. Now, he is worth around $65 million.
Birthplace: Hayward, California, United States of America
#95 on The Coolest Actors Eversee more on Dwayne Johnson