From Jay Z to the Kardashian sisters, many celebrities have proven they have big dreams away from the cameras that could transform into a multibillion-dollar business empire.
For most celebrities, success entails more than just fame and a bogus bank account. It involves satisfying their thirst for entrepreneurship.
What better way of living up to that dream than gearing off a startup and gradually growing it into a vast business empire, while utilizing the already achieved fame as a stepping stone?
Over the years, many celebrities have proved their ultimate goal went beyond attaining superstardom in their field of expertise.
While some run successful businesses alongside their showbiz career, others quit the industry altogether once they reach impressive heights in their entrepreneurial pursuits.
This isn’t to say all showbiz icons who venture into the business realm make it big. In fact, there are so many celebrity businesses that failed over the years, one could hardly keep track.
However, amid the unsuccessful ventures, some celebrity businesses have topped the charts, making business news headlines as world-class entrepreneurs.
Continue reading to discover nine of the most successful celebrity business owners, their net worth, and what makes up their vast empires.
1. Jessica Alba
Actress, Jessica Alba took the world by storm after venturing into the industry decades ago. At the height of her superstardom, this star seemed to suddenly vanish.
What many didn’t realize was that the “Dark Angel” star took a long hiatus from the industry to focus on her entrepreneurial pursuits and other aspects of her life.
Notably, she made the decision following the birth of her daughter Honor Marie, who inspired her to look into eco-friendly baby products and safe chemical-free cleaning products.
She reinvented her dreams into a top brand and co-founded The Honest Company which has since expanded to include a beauty brand. The company had a total net worth of $1.7 billion as of 2015, and reportedly hit a 57% reduction in 2017.
It is no secret that singer Rihanna stands tall as the founder of the Fenty Beauty makeup line which quickly gained traction.
In 2018, the multi-faceted entertainer struck again, launching her Savage x Fenty lingerie label. The collection especially stands out for its inclusiveness irrespective of size and weight, making it one of the first brands to represent sizes across products.
3. Jay Z
No list of celebrity business owners can be complete without mentioning hip-hop mogul, Jay-Z. The legend notably made history when Forbes listed him as hip hop’s first billionaire in 2019, with an estimated net worth of $1 billion at the time.
In addition to his music career, the father of three owns several companies that contributed to his fortune. He forayed into the world of entrepreneurship by establishing Racewear and Roc-A-Fella Records.
The world-renowned celebrity went on to establish more businesses, including the Roc Nation entertainment company.
4. Oprah Winfrey
With a net worth of about $3 billion, talk show host Oprah Winfrey easily stands out as the most successful celebrity entrepreneur.
For almost three decades the legend has hosted her own talk show, “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” where she has granted some of the most ground-breaking interviews.
Additionally, she established the Oprah Winfrey Network which has over time produced hit movies and TV shows.
5. Kylie Jenner
Born into a family of celebrities, Kylie Jenner certainly didn’t need to lift a finger to work her whole life to live comfortably. Yet, this beauty mogul, notably the youngest from the Kardashian-Jenner clan proved she had bigger dreams than depending on her stardom.
While in her teens, she launched Kylie Cosmetics which racked up to $420 million in retail sales within eighteen months. There was no stopping her after that.
She steadily grew her beauty brand into a multimillion-dollar empire. In 2019, Forbes named the “Life Of Kylie” star as the youngest-ever self-made billionaire.
However, the record backfired a year later after Forbes claimed she falsified her tax returns hence, lying about her revenue. Notwithstanding, she still rakes in over $700 million and counting.
6. Kim Kardashian
Another business mogul from the Kardashian-Jenner clan, Kim Kardashian joined Forbes’ multibillion-dollar gang in 2021, after years of wealth accumulation through reality shows, acting, and her numerous business ventures.
She first ventured into entrepreneurship in 2014, when she launched the mobile game, “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood.” The game garnered $1.6 million within days. Next, she explored the beauty world, with both KKW Beauty and KKW Fragrance. But that proved to be only her starting point.
In 2019, the “Keeping Up With The Kardashian” star came under fire following the announcement of her new shapewear line, Kimono. The bout of criticism forced the star to change the brand name to SKIMS days before its release.
The heightened tension surrounding the name drama proved to be the publicity she needed, as the Skims collection sold out within minutes of its release, amassing up to $2 million. The Kardashians are certainly cut out for entrepreneurship.
7. Dr. Dre
Beats by Dr. Dre is a term only a few haven’t heard of, and even fewer have not patronized at some point. The audio product line represents Dr. Dre’s breakthrough business venture which he co-founded under the name, Beats Electronics.
The venture, in addition to his music and influence in the entertainment world, earned him an estimated net worth of $800 million. He was named the second-richest figure in hip-hop as of 2018.
8. Magic Johnson
Retired NBA player Magic Johnson certainly spent his active years establishing an empire to fall back on following his life of fame.
Those ventures certainly paid off, and today, the basketball legend is worth over a billion dollars, which he earned outside the world of sports.
He founded his investment company, Magic Johnson Enterprises in 1987 in hopes of strengthening urban and underserved communities. Over the years, he’s had dealings with Pepsi-Cola, Burger King, Sony retail entertainment, and the likes.
He also became a stakeholder with the Los Angeles Lakers and founded 125 Starbucks stores which earned him $100 million in 2010. Additionally, he has been a co-founder of LA Dodgers since 2012.
9. Jessica Simpson
Off-the-records, the sales of red cowboy boots have experienced a dramatic hike since the release of Jessica Simpson’s hit song, “These Boots Are Made For Walking.”
Ultimately, the songstress decided to tap into the flow, launching the Jessica Simpson Collection in 2006. The collection features a wide range of fashion items, including luggage, clothing, makeup, accessories, and perfumes.
The Jessica Simpson collection has since expanded into a multibillion-dollar enterprise, making it one of the most successful celebrity businesses.
Given how fickle the world of showbiz could be, it isn’t a bad idea to have more celebrities sail the entrepreneurial boat.