Some stars have risen from the most unexpected places to fame and fortune. And these celebrities captured hearts with their remarkable and inspiring tales of growth. So, let's look at some of the most shocking examples fans keep gushing about.
1. Quinta Brunson
Quinta Brunson is a refreshing surprise in a world where many actors and writers spend years honing their craft. This American comedian, actress, and writer burst onto the scene with the creation of the ABC sitcom Abbott Elementary in 2022. What's astonishing is that she had zero prior acting or writing experience! But hey, she's got talent! She wrote the pilot episode in just two weeks, and the show has become a massive hit, earning critical acclaim and a second season.
2. Ice Spice
Meet Ice Spice, the British rapper who gave TikTok a chill it didn't know it needed! In 2021, her single “No Debate” went viral, catapulting her to stardom. The kicker is that she had no formal musical training and started rapping as a form of self-expression. Talk about breaking the ice with your talent.
3. Rami Malek
Rami Malek, the American actor with Egyptian roots, didn't just win an Academy Award; he defied the odds. Known for his roles in Bohemian Rhapsody and No Time to Die, Malek clinched the Oscar for Best Actor as Freddie Mercury. It's remarkable how he rocked Hollywood without a royal acting lineage.
4. Olivia Rodrigo
Olivia Rodrigo's journey to stardom began with a driver's license and a killer song. Her debut single, “Drivers License,” became a global sensation in 2021. What's impressive is how her honest and relatable lyrics quickly drew comparisons to the legendary Taylor Swift, one of her idols.
5. Doja Cat
The American singer-songwriter and rapper had a unique entry into the music scene. In 2018, she went viral on TikTok with “Mooo!” Since then, she's been on fire, releasing albums and winning a Grammy for “Say So.” Who knew cows could be so musically inspiring?
6. Austin Butler
Austin Butler's rise to stardom was nothing short of transformative. Cast as Elvis Presley in the 2022 biopic, his performance garnered praise and a Golden Globe nomination. It's not every day you see an actor take on the King of Rock' n' Roll and do it justice.
7. The Kid Laroi
The Kid Laroi, an Australian rapper, burst onto the scene in 2019 with “GOOBA.” Collaborating with Juice Wrld, he made waves and won a Grammy for Best New Artist. Not bad for someone relatively unknown just a few years ago.
Zendaya's stardom took flight with Disney's Shake It Up in 2010. Since then, she's swung into Spider-Man, conquered Dune, and wowed us in Malcolm & Marie. Winning a Primetime Emmy for Euphoria proved she's not just another Disney star; she's a versatile actress on the rise.
9. Cardi B
Cardi B's rise to fame is like a rap fairytale. From her viral freestyles on social media in 2015 to dropping her debut album, “Invasion of Privacy,” in 2018, she's conquered the music world. Cardi B's story proves you can go from the Bronx to Billboard stardom.
The Atlanta-based rapper burst onto the scene in 2019 with “No Hook.” Her debut album, Queen of the South, in 2020, showcased her unique blend of hip-hop, pop, and R&B. She's got that “Big Energy” and a knack for making hits that stick like a catchy scam.
12. Camila Cabello
Camila Cabello's journey from Fifth Harmony to solo sensation is pop history. Her 2017 debut album Camila unleashed hits like “Havana” and “Never Be the Same.” With a voice that could melt glaciers and a Latin flair that spices up the charts, Cabello's star shines brighter than ever.
Lizzo's positive vibes and “Truth Hurts” attitude are infectious. She dropped “Cuz I Love You” in 2019, and the world couldn't get enough of her self-love anthems. She's not just a singer; she's an empowerment movement wrapped in catchy tunes. Well, until recent allegations.
14. Aubrey Plaza
Aubrey Plaza's deadpan humor has us in stitches. From Parks and Recreation to indie films like Ingrid Goes West, she's the queen of quirky. Plaza's willingness to break the mold keeps us entertained and wondering what offbeat role she'll tackle next.
15. Jenna Ortega
Jenna Ortega's acting versatility is a true marvel. Her Disney days led to thrilling roles in Insidious: Chapter 2 and Yes Day. Ortega effortlessly switches between comedy and drama, leaving us eagerly awaiting her next big role.
16. Morgan Wallen
Morgan Wallen's traditional country sound hit the right chord. “Up Down” in 2017 paved the way for his debut album, If I Know Me. With a voice as smooth as Tennessee whiskey, Wallen's country charm won hearts and charts.
17. Sabrina Carpenter
Sabrina Carpenter's journey from Disney's “Girl Meets World” to pop-rock sensation is music to our ears. With four albums and roles in films like The Hate U Give, she's making her mark. Carpenter's relatable lyrics and infectious sound keep us hooked.
18. Timothée Chalamet
Timothée Chalamet, the actor with charisma to spare, stole hearts in Call Me by Your Name and never looked back. From Lady Bird to Dune, his ability to dive into complex characters leaves us starstruck. Chalamet's rise is a coming-of-age story we can't get enough of.
19. Billie Eilish
At just 19, Billie Eilish stormed into the music world in 2015 with “Ocean Eyes.” Remarkably, she did it all without a major record label. Now, she's a Grammy queen with seven awards, two chart-topping albums, and worldwide fame. Her rise is like a pop fairytale with a twist — no fairy godmother needed.
20. Megan Thee Stallion
Megan Thee Stallion heated things in 2019 with “Hot Girl Summer.” This 27-year-old rapper's EPs and albums have rocked the charts and critics alike. Megan's bold lyrics and confidence make her the ultimate role model for women, proving that you can be fierce and fabulous.
21. Nora Lum, aka Awkwafina
Comedian, rapper, and actress — Nora Lum, better known as Awkwafina, did it all from her YouTube beginnings in 2012. From Crazy Rich Asians to Ocean's 8, she's breaking stereotypes with her unique humor. Who knew YouTube could be a launchpad for superstardom?
22. Dua Lipa
In 2017, Dua Lipa gave us “New Rules” and soon became a Grammy winner at 26. Her dance-pop anthems are infectious, and her fashion sense is a whole mood. A fan shares, “I did not think Dua Lipa was going to become a literal mega pop star. Especially after everyone was clowning on her for her dancing back in like 2018 and I thought she would have fallen off.” Who says you can't have killer tunes and killer style?
23. Lil Durk
In the early 2010s, Chicago's drill scene introduced Lil Durk. Though the genre faced criticism for violent undertones, Durk differentiated with melodious twists, pouring raw emotions from experiences like losing his ally, King Von. His authenticity won hearts, culminating in his 2018 breakout album, Lil Durk 2X. Since then, collaborating with stalwarts like Drake and Lil Baby, his artistry has only ascended. His cinematic endeavors further echo his versatility.
Rema, the 22-year-old Nigerian wunderkind, stormed into the scene in 2019 with “Dumebi.” His blend of Afrobeats, hip-hop, and pop is electrifying. With EPs and albums garnering critical acclaim, he's Africa's exciting new music sensation.
Boloere Divine Seibidor, fondly called B.S., is a Nigerian-based writer and poet. Her favorite topics include music, especially Hip-Hop, film, lifestyle, and fashion. She's been published by Feral Journal, Fantasy Magazine, The Temz Review, and most notably, Wealth of Geeks. She enjoys romantic dinners, movie nights, and touring new sights. When she's not writing, she's delving back in time to the underground world of Hip-Hop, watching TikTok, or visiting the cinema.