For some celebs, a sharp pivot from one career to another can deliver some big financial dividends. From Kim Kardashian’s transformation from reality TV star into mogul to Dwayne Johnson’s career shift from pro wrestler to Hollywood heavyweight, here are 10 stars who mastered the pivot — and reaped the rewards.
Estimated Net Worth: $820 millionDr. Dre (real name: Andre Romelle Young) began his career as a rapper, known for his trailblazing work with N.W.A. and his groundbreaking 1992 debut album The Chronic. He soon branched out into other areas, finding further fame as a producer, music mogul (heading up Death Row Records) and audio engineer. It’s that latter sideline that brought him to the biggest deal of his life, when he utilized the skills he honed in the studio to create his own line of headphones, Beats. When Apple bought Beats in 2014 for a reported $3 billion, Dre’s cut (reportedly in excess of $600 million) gave him what Forbes described as “the biggest single-year payday of any musician in history.”
Estimated Net Worth: $500 millionFew actors epitomize the phrase “movie star” better than George Clooney, who’s also branched out into directing and producing. And while he wasn’t exactly cash-strapped as one of Hollywood’s hottest stars, entering into the tequila business with pal Rande Gerber (husband of supermodel Cindy Crawford) is what really brought in the big bucks. In 2017, Clooney and Gerber sold their Casamigos tequila brand for an estimated $1 billion — with a “b” — netting each a cool half-bil. We’ll drink to that.
Estimated Net Worth: $490 millionEllen DeGeneres’ success as a standup comic led her to television, where she starred in the hit sitcom Ellen until its cancellation in 1998, a year after she came out as openly gay. She returned to TV in 2001 with another sitcom, The Ellen Show, which bit the dust after just 13 episodes. In 2003, she took a left turn and entered the notoriously competitive daytime talk show genre, where dozens of bigger stars than her saw their shows crash and burn. For DeGeneres, however, daytime proved to be a natural fit — and viewers took notice. Not only did the show quickly became the hottest show on daytime, it’s maintained that status for more than a decade, catapulting her net worth into the stratosphere.
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