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Updated by Rajashri Venkatesh on Sep 09, 2017
Headline for Best Of Rags To Riches Story Of Celebrities
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Best Of Rags To Riches Story Of Celebrities

These amazing celebrities are a living proof that dreams do come true and almost nothing is impossible. Here is a list of most inspiring Hollywood stories that will make sure you do not give up hope.

Oprah Winfrey

Born to an unwed teenage mother, Oprah Winfrey spent her first years on her grandmother's farm in Kosciusko, Mississippi, while her mother looked for work in the North. Life on the farm was primitive, but her grandmother taught her to read at an early age, and at age three Oprah was reciting poems and Bible verses in local churches. Despite the hardships of her physical environment, she enjoyed the loving support of her grandmother and the church community, who cherished her as a gifted child.

Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lynn Lopez was born to Puerto Rican parents Guadalupe (a kindergarten teacher) and David, a computer specialist. Lopez and her two sisters, Leslie and Lynda, grew up in a small apartment where their mother encouraged them to entertain each other with theatrical performances in the front room. With a taste for the limelight, Lopez began singing and dancing lessons from the age of five and ignored academic studies at school, instead preferring to pursue sports and the arts. At age of 16, Lopez won her first film role in ‘My Little Girl’ (1987) and while it failed to kick start her career immediately, it gave her a taste of the fame game.

Leonardo DiCaprio

DiCaprio attended the John Marshall High School and the Centre for Enriched Studies but was, by his own admission, never destined for a career in academia (he is, however, fluent in German -DiCaprio spent a part of his childhood there with his maternal grandparents). When he was 14 he signed to an agency and popped-up in a Matchbox cars commercial before landing acting roles in a few short-lived TV shows, most notably ‘Parenthood’ where he met Tobey Maguire and nominated for the ‘Young Artist Award for Best Young Actor.’

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Eminem

American rapper, record producer and actor Eminem was born Marshall Bruce Mathers III on October 17, 1972, in St. Joseph, Missouri. He never knew his father, Marshall Mathers Jr., who abandoned the family when Eminem was still an infant and rebuffed all of his son's many attempts to contact him during his childhood. As a result, Eminem was raised by his mother, Deborah Mathers. She never managed to hold down a job for more than several months at a time, so they moved frequently between Missouri and Detroit, Michigan, spending large chunks of time in public housing projects. "I would change schools two, three times a year," Eminem later recalled. "That was probably the roughest part about it all."

Justin Bieber

Born on March 1, 1994, in Stratford, Ontario, Canada, Justin Bieber was raised by a single mom in the small town of Stratford. Bieber, whose debut album, My World, hit stores in November 2009, is a true overnight success, having gone from an unknown, untrained singer whose mother posted YouTube clips of her boy performing, to a budding superstar with a big-time record deal, all in just two years. Bieber always had an interest in music. His mother gave him a drum kit for his second birthday and, as he tells it, he was "basically banging on everything I could get my hands on."

Pamela Anderson

Pamela Anderson was born on July 1, 1967 to a working class family in Ladysmith, British Columbia, Canada. After high school, she worked as a fitness instructor until she was "discovered" at a Canadian football game. Anderson, wearing a form-fitting Labatt's tee shirt, was broadcast over the stadium's giant screen. She was then hired by Labatt's to appear in their advertisements. An offer from Playboy soon followed. She would go on to appear in five more issues of the magazine.

Actor and former rapper Mark Wahlberg was born on June 5, 1971, in Dorchester, Massachusetts. Wahlberg grew up the youngest of nine children in a working class Irish Catholic family in the Boston district of Dorchester. Wahlberg's parents divorced when he was 11; his mother has since blamed her own emotional neglect for her youngest son's descent into juvenile delinquency during the next several years. At 14, Wahlberg dropped out of school and began making his living on the streets—hustling, stealing, and selling drugs. Two years later, he hit rock bottom when he was jailed for his role in the savage beating of a Vietnamese man. Although the crime was believed by many to be racially motivated, Wahlberg has continually denied that race played a part in the attack. His 45-day stint in prison was a self-proclaimed turning point in the 16-year-old Wahlberg's life. Vowing to give himself some direction in his life, he also began body building seriously, chiseling his body into impressive form.

Halle Berry

Halle Maria Berry was born on August 14, 1966, in Cleveland, Ohio, the youngest daughter born to Jerome and Judith Berry, an interracial couple. Halle and her older sister, Heidi, spent the first few years of their childhood living in an inner-city neighborhood. In the early 1970s, Jerome Berry abandoned his wife and children, after which Judith moved her family to the predominantly white Cleveland suburb of Bedford. Berry attended a nearly all-white public school, and as a result was subjected to discrimination at an early age. Her early bouts with racism greatly influenced her desire to excel. Throughout high school, the determined teen participated in a dizzying array of extracurricular activities, holding positions of newspaper editor, class president, and head cheerleader.

Celine Dion

Celine Marie Claudette Dion was born on March 30, 1968, in Charlemagne, Quebec, Canada. The youngest of 14 children of Adhemar and Therese Dion, she grew up in a close-knit musical family. Her parents formed a singing group, Dion's Family, and they toured Canada when Celine was still an infant. They later opened a piano bar, where the 5-year-old Celine would perform to the delight of customers. At the age of 12, Celine Dion recorded a demo tape of a song she had written with her mother. They sent the tape to the manager and producer Rene Angelil, who handled the career of popular French singer Ginette Reno. After hearing the tape and inviting Dion to perform for him in person, Angelil signed her immediately under the condition that he would have complete control over her career. He mortgaged his own home to finance her debut album, La Voix du bon Dieu (The Voice of God).

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Jay-Z

Jay-Z

Rapper Jay-Z was born Shawn Corey Carter on December 4, 1969, in Brooklyn, New York. "He was the last of my four children," Jay-Z's mother, Gloria Carter, later recalled, "the only one who didn't give me any pain when I gave birth to him, and that's how I knew he was a special child." Jay-Z's father, Adnes Reeves, left the family when Jay Z was only 11 years old. The young rapper was raised by his mother in Brooklyn's drug-infested Marcy Projects. During a rough adolescence, detailed in many of his autobiographical songs, Shawn Carter dealt drugs and flirted with gun violence. He attended Eli Whitney High School in Brooklyn, where he was a classmate of the soon-to-be-martyred rap legend Notorious B.I.G. As Jay-Z later remembered his childhood in one of his songs ("December 4th"): "I went to school, got good grades, could behave when I wanted/ But I had demons deep inside that would raise when confronted."