1) Taylor Swift
Taylor Alison Swift was born and raised in Pennsylvania before her country music career took off.
Swift went to the Alvernia Montessori School and was taught by Franciscan nuns before she transferred to the Wyndcroft School.
By the time she was nine years old she was already interested in musical theater and was taking vocal and acting lessons in New York City after she moved to Wyomissing, Pennsylvania.
Kesha Rose Sebert was signed to Dr. Luke’s label, Kemosabe Records, by the time she was 18.
She attended Franklin High School and Brentwood High School and never fit in with the other students. She played the trumpet and saxophone in marching band.
She got a near-perfect score on her SATs and was even offered a full scholarship to Barnard College but dropped out to pursue her music career.
3) Adam Lambert
Adam Mitchel Lambert dropped everything he was doing to become one of the most successful American Idol stars.
He went to Mesa Verde Middle School and Mount Carmel High School where he was involved in theater and choir, performed with the school’s jazz band, and competed in the local Air Bands competitions.
After graduating high school, he attended California State University, Fullerton but left to pursue a singing career. He auditioned for American Idol in 2009 and made his way up from there.
4) Lil Jon
Jonathan Smith was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia and DJed at nightclubs before he got a record deal with So So Def Recordings.
Lil Jon graduated from Frederick Douglass High School in Atlanta.
In high school, he was more likely to be considered the nerdy kid than the one with long dreads and stellar fashion sense he has now.
5) Rashida Jones
She was a “straight-up nerd, ” and even “had a computer with floppy disks and a dial-up modem before it was cool.”
The actress, comic book author, producer, singer, and screenwriter eventually went on to Harvard and was in the Hasty Pudding Theatricals, Havard Radcliffe Dramatic Club, The Black Students Association, and the Signet Society.
The star got some vocal gigs after graduating singing backup for Maroon 5 and on Tupac Shakur’s tracks.
6) Matthew Lewis
After spending most of his childhood playing Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter films, he finally grew out of his awkward looks.
What’s interesting about Matthew Lewis is that he was cast in a role to play the ugly kid!
Since his role in the Harry Potter films, he has appeared on The Syndicate, Wasteland, Death in Paradies, Bluestone 42, and Me Before You.
7) Charlize Theron
A South-African actress born in Benoni, Transvaal Province, she lived on a working farm.
When she was 16, she entered the Johannesburg modeling contest and won, then traveled to New York hoping to get a career in dancing.
She injured her leg and decided to pursue acting instead, moving to Los Angeles. She was spotted by a Hollywood manager while she was arguing with a bank teller.
8) Ryan Seacrest
When Ryan John Seacrest was younger, he “wore braces and glasses and was fat and got teased about it.”
He attended Dunwoody High School and got an internship at WSTR (FM). He was put on the air when the regular DJ called in sick and was given the weekend overnight shift because of it.
He studied journalism at the University of Georgia and, when he was 19, moved to Hollywood to pursue his broadcasting career.
9) Avril Lavigne
The Canadian rock, punk singer, started out singing in church.
She was kicked out of class a lot for misbehaving, so her father bought her a keyboard, guitar, and drum kit, which ignited her interest in music.
At the age of 15, she was already appearing on stage with Shania Twain. In 2002, she released her debut album Let Go which landed her the title of Pop Punk Princess.
The rapper, record producer, and actor dropped out of high school and made it all the way to the top.
He was treated as an outcast and had difficulty making friends. He was even “beat up in the bathroom, beat up in the hallways, shoved into lockers.”
After making a name for himself in local rap battles, he was tracked down by Dr. Dre and together they started his music career.
11) Julia Roberts
Julia Roberts was a band geek who wasn’t smart enough to be a veterinarian, so she became a model and actress.
She initially wanted to be a veterinarian but after graduating from high school in 1985 she moved to New York City with her brother and sister to pursue an acting career.
While in New York, she was signed to Click Modeling Agency, took a few acting classes, and made her first big screen appearance in the film Satisfaction.
12) Zac Efron
He used to “flip out” if he got a B in school and was known as a class clown.
His father and his piano teacher encouraged him to pursue acting and singing when he was 11-years-old, and he started doing theater productions while attending Arroyo Grande High School.
He made his first television appearance in Firefly and landed a few small roles on ER and The Big Wide World of Carl Laemke, but it wasn’t until he starred in High School Musical that his career took off.