5 Celebrities Who Double as Entrepreneurs
The world of business and entertainment are one in the same in many respects. The world of movies, television and music are all businesses in and of themselves, and the celebrities many people love and adore are merely players who work within a greater system. As studios and executives rake in millions and even billions, sometimes the earnings of even the brightest stars can pale in comparison.
But there are those who are not merely confined by the world of entertainment, and seek to make their own way. Using the power behind their own stardom (or not, in many cases), many celebrities venture out into the world of entrepreneurship on their own. Some make investments in startups, while others want to build their own companies from scratch. We’ve seen a multitude of production companies start up this way, but there are others who take things even further, and get into product-based services all on their own, or with trusted partners.
From small liquor companies to billion-dollar valuations, and even big-time corporate acquisitions, celebrities are leading double lives — as both stars and entrepreneurs. From rags to riches, and from relative obscurity to billionaire status, we’re taking a look at five big-name stars who also have big-time entrepreneurial projects going on along the sidelines. Read on to see five celebrities who lead double lives as entrepreneurs.
1. Dan Akroyd
He’s more than just a Ghostbuster and a Blues Brother — Dan Akroyd is also an entrepreneur. His business? Crystal Head Vodka, which is exactly what it sounds like, and can be seen in Akroyd’s hands in the photo above. Akroyd’s booze is made in Canada, and is additive-free, gluten-free and kosher certified. It’s also sold in (you guessed it) a crystal skull bottle. Made with peaches and cream corn in a Newfoundland distillery, Akroyd has really put Vodka at the forefront of his interests these days, and the result is a remarkably pure and premium drink that can be found in watering holes all over.
2. Jessica Alba
Jessica Alba is proving that she has way more to offer than just her radiant good looks and acting skills. The movie star is also the co-founder of the Honest Company, which is headed towards an initial public offering and is valued at roughly $1 billion, according to MarketWatch. The 33-year-old has grown her company from scratch, and now presides over a budding empire of safe, natural household products. “The most surprising part of starting my own company has been how much I have to listen to my intuition and trust my gut,” Alba told MarketWatch. “I didn’t realize how much entrepreneurs rely on that.”
Rapper and professional Beyonce’s husband, Jay-Z is a prime example of the rags-to-riches story so many dream about. In the midst of growing his hip hop career he founded Rocawear, a clothing line based in New York City, with partner Damon Dash. While his company now pulls in revenues in the hundreds of millions, the soon-to-be 45-year-old also dabbles in music production among other things. His estimated net worth? Around $520 million, according to Forbes. Add that to Beyonce’s net worth, and the couple presides over a billion-dollar household.
4. Justin Timberlake
Remember Myspace? Whatever happened to it, anyway? Well, it’s still around, and owned by none other than everyone’s favorite ‘N Sync member, Justin Timberlake. That’s right. The pop star and icon has reached outside of his music career to dabble in the world of business, and decided to buy his own social network. With a $35 million stake in the company, Timberlake entered into a joint purchase with Specific Media, and the two were able to get the site for a relative bargain, considering that News Corp bought it for more than $500 million not too long ago. If you think even further back, Myspace was, at one time, valued at a whopping $12 billion. When the deal was inked a few years back, Timblake said in a statement that “art is inspired by people and vice versa, so there’s a natural social component to entertainment,” The Guardian reports. “I’m excited to help revitalize Myspace by using its social media platform to bring artists and fans together in one community.”
5. Dr. Dre
Straight outta Compton and onto your ears. That’s a one-sentence biography for rapper-turned-headphone baron Dr. Dre, whose rise to prominence rivals even that of Jay-Z. Starting out in the rougher areas of Los Angeles with his rap group N.W.A. during the 1980s, Dr. Dre has gone from musical artist to entrepreneur, and is now reaping the benefits. Dre co-founded his company Beats Electronics with his partner, Jimmy Iovine, and cashed in when Apple acquired it for a price of $3 billion. That acquisition made Dr. Dre the first billionaire in hip hop, and also gave him a new full-time gig at the world’s most valuable company.