Top 10 Celebrities That Went From Being Rich To Being Broke

Top 10 Celebrities That Went From Being Rich To Being Broke

Celebrities have a habit of spending lavishly once the money starts coming in. But, who wouldn’t? Especially after possibly escaping poverty. But, spending extravagantly to the point where you go back to the same place you once struggled to leave – that would seem like a careless attitude and a proud one for that matter.

Although we have to consider, to an extent, unforeseen circumstances, which are beyond our control. Nonetheless, some of these celebrities on the list are just careless!! And at a point in time, they all paid the price.

Here is an intriguing list of the top 10 celebrities that went from being rich to being broke.

10. Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson is one of the greatest musicians to walk the earth. While in his prime, he earned the title of making the best-selling album of all time named ‘Thriller’ and you’ll be surprised to see fans singing songs from the same album, word for word even though it’s more than 30 years since its release.

Michael Jackson sold more than 65 million copies of ‘Thriller’ and generated revenue estimated to surpass millions of $!!

But how did one of the greatest pop stars go broke? Michael Jackson is believed to have lived an extravagant lifestyle, and while many would think that is the reason behind him going broke, you’ll be shocked to see that it wasn’t.

Michael Jackson went broke because he stretched his wealth way thinner than he should have. After acquiring a 2,600-acre private estate, he had to spend $5 million yearly, just for the maintenance.

He has donated more than $500 million to charity alone.

To make ends meet, Michael had to take up loans from banks, like the Bank of America, which was estimated to be $200 million. Before he could realize it, he was already in a depth of $285 million.

9. Drake Bell

Drake Bell is an American musician and actor. His first name creates a bit of confusion between him and Drake the ‘Laugh Now, Cry Later’ singer.

Drake Bell has dropped more than 6 studio Albums, 18 singles and many more. He has millions of fans on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, to list the least. He has made millions of $ from his songs.

But just like running back to your ex, after seeing hell in their hands, we wonder what made this promising celebrity go broke despite escaping poverty initially.

Drake Bell’s problems began back in 2012 when his annual income dropped to $14k from $400k. It is unclear as to what led to the tragic fall of his income, but the events that followed afterwards are truly disheartening and negatively impacted his career stats.

In 2014, Drake Bell filed for bankruptcy with the claims of being in a $600k depth. Bell was later convicted for drunk driving and then sexual charges which landed him a 2-year sentence of probation in 2021.

Although his career did not come to a complete halt, he is still not who he used to be. He is broke!!

8. Wayne Newton

Wayne Newton is a popular American singer that was born way back in 1942. In his prime, which is way back into the mid-20th century, he was well known for being one of the best entertainers in Las Vegas.

Despite being an iconic musician that had an estimated net worth of $150 million, Wayne Newton is now considered broke and there is a video on YouTube titled, “How Wayne Newton looks like after being broke at 80!!”

So, how did one of America’s greatest entertainers end up being broke at such an old age, when he needed wealth the most?

Newton was so popular that he let the fame get to him to the extent that he was pressed with sexual charges right in the prime of his career. The process which was outrageous led Wayne Newton no other choice but to declare bankruptcy twice in his lifetime. Once in 1992, and again in 2013.

7. Grizzly bear

The story of Grizzly Bear makes one wonder if America has a habit of using and dumping its celebrities. Talk about a band that was performing gigs for the ‘Super Bowl’ and even got good treatment from Jay-Z, one of the greatest and richest rappers to ever walk the earth.

One would wonder how they went broke considering that it pays big to be affiliated with the ‘Super Bowl’ to begin with. But, the case of Grizzly Bear is a bit different to an extent since the reason behind their broke status is due to the recent decline of Indie music when it comes to popularity.

When people don’t like your shit anymore, that’s what happens. YOU GO BROKE!!

6. Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye is another artist to have walked the earth, dropping wonderful music as he goes. Remember ‘Sexual Healing?’ Yeah, that Marvin Gaye. Sexual healing became certified platinum after selling more than 2 million units worldwide, after its release.

But, how did Marvin Gaye end up broke?

Marvin was believed to have spent his wealth on drugs, properties and expensive cars. He became so broke that he couldn’t even pay for child support after his wife left him due to a scandal.

5. T-Pain

Now, how do you comfortably follow a path that takes you from owning way more than $40 million, to borrowing money just to take your kids on a fast-food date? Crazy right? Like, WTF!!

One thing about being broke is that it gets to you when you least expect it. It creeps in on you in many forms and you only realize it when it has a firm grip on you already, just like the case of T-Pain.

T-Pain was believed to have been an emotional spender. This is a medical case, as explained by a doctor, to be when you only spend your money on things that make you happy, and ignore things that do matter the most and have the capabilities of making a significant effect on your life.

T-Pain spent his wealth on luxury. He purchases expensive cars and houses, among other things. He made his worst mistake by allowing other people to manage his money. He lost track of how much he made, or how much he spent since according to him, he thought the royalties from his hit songs would keep coming in. THAT WAS A MISTAKE; THEY NEVER DID KEEP COMING IN!!

He eventually became so broke that he had to borrow money just to pay for the fast food he bought for his kids.

4. Lil' Kim

Whatever you do in this life, as an artist, don’t make it so bad that your record label decides to sue you!! What could be worse than that?

Lil’ Kim’s record label, ‘Brookline Media’ sued her for $2.5 million and it sure marked the beginning of her problems.

Kim can also attribute part of her problems to her living an extravagant lifestyle even though her bank account is opposed to that.

Celebrities are fond of living a life of partying, purchasing expensive cars and getting dressed in expensive clothing. This is something almost all the celebrities in the world have in common.

But mentally, you should know when to stop and live a low-key life. For Kim, there was no going back and so, she kept going – until she landed herself in the news for owing taxes which summed up to above $100k. Nonetheless, Lil’ Kim is still out there and struggling to remain afloat.

3. Toni Braxton

Toni Braxton on the other hand makes us wonder, but only to an extent!! If truly, celebrities declare bankruptcy because they are broke or because they want to avoid paying some bills which they owe.

Toni Braxton is believed to have sold more than 68 million records of her own and has won up to 7 Grammy awards and we know that all these come with their perks which are more money and all.

But guess what, Toni Braxton ended up declaring bankruptcy twice in her lifetime as well, just like Wayne Newton. First in 1998 due to overwhelming monthly expenses and credit card bills, then again in 2010 due to some health challenges according to the news.

2. Kanye West

Kanye West was once considered one of the richest artists, which is expectant considering that he was involved with some big companies, brands and organizations that were paying him well enough for him to have landed a spot in the list of top 10 billionaires artists, as of 2021.

Kanye West was living the life, no doubt. But take a look at how things took a drastic turn without any warnings.

In just a week, Kanye West lost his partnership deals with Balenciaga, Adidas and The Gap. As if that was not enough, Apple Music removed his playlist from their records, while TJ Maxx also pulled his products from their shelves.

You might wonder what led to all this hatred for one man. Well, back in 2022, Kanye West made an ‘Anti-Semitic remark.’ Since then, everyone he had something to do with was hitting the road. Kanye West reportedly lost $2 Billion in one day, and Billboard reports that he has certainly lost his billionaire title, to a millionaire.

1. 50 Cent

Saving the best and most intriguing story for the last, 50 Cent made the list and this is why. 50 Cent became a global sensation after dropping hit songs like, ‘In da Club’ and ‘Candy Shop,’ amongst many others. Thanks to hit songs like that back in the day, going to the club was always a fun-filled adventure.

But, why would such an international artist, who has proven times without number, to be on top of his game, end up on this list? Here is why.

50 Cent declared bankruptcy in 2015 following a £32.5 million dept. At that time, 50 Cent had a net worth of $150 million!!

It all came crashing due to some bad investments that didn’t return anything at that time. 50 Cent also lost millions of $ in lawsuits and also had a failed deal with Sleek Audio, which cost him $17 million.

At most worthy of being noted, 50 Cent, just like Kanye West, didn’t have any known cases of scandal or any related to sex, which accounts for his reason for being broke. And from the look of things, 50 Cent is up and running again, just fine.


There are thousands of reasons why celebrities who were once rich, end up broke. But the commonest of reasons as seen in this article is living an extravagant lifestyle, even when their income doesn’t support it. If celebrities can manage their spending habits more carefully then it would be a different story entirely. But on the other hand, celebrities don’t take advice from peeps like me!! LOL!!

It is also important to note that not all celebrities on this list are still broke-broke. Some have tried to get it back together even though it is not a friendly road, as it is.

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