1. Viola Davis
Davis said she grew up in Central Falls, Rhode Island, in poverty and the family struggled to find enough food to eat.
2. Tasha Smith
Smith grew up in a poor area, dropped out of high school, turned to drugs but coped by having a sense of humor and a dream.
3. Tyler Perry
Perry grew up in poverty in NOLA & struck it rich with his straight-talking, advice-pushing, but funny character Madea.
4. Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey grew up in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Long Island and in near poverty but sang herself to riches.
5. Celine Dion
She was the youngest of 14 children. She was raised a Roman Catholic in a poverty-stricken, but, by her own account, happy home in Charlemagne. She is now worth around 400 million.
6. Snoop Dogg
Snoop grew up in squalor in the LBC, sold drugs, spent a few short stints in jail before he turned his life around.
Jay- Z, grew up deliriously poor in the Marcy Projects and dabbled in drugs & guns, discovered rap and the rest is history.
8. Oprah Winfrey
Before Oprah found stability with her dad, she lived with her poverty-stricken grandma on a rural farm in Mississippi.
9. Sarah Jessica Parker
SJP wasn’t always fabulous! She was one of 8 kids growing up poor in Ohio. She sang and danced to help support her family.
10. Chris Gardner
The Pursuit of Happyness author Chris Gardner at one time lived in a bathroom in the train station in Oakland, CA.
11. Mary J. Blige
Mary J. grew up poor in the projects and dropped out of high school but found solace singing in her church choir.
12. Curtis Jackson aka 50 Cent
50 Cent was orphaned at age 8 and went to live with his grands. His early life was drugs and guns. Now he’s a cash king.
13. Colin Powell
Colin Powell grew up poor in South Bronx. He joined the ROTC and then the Army and became the U.S. Secretary of State.
14. Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey was a high school dropout, lived in a van & worked various jobs. Thanks to In Living Color, life is good.
T.I. grew up poor in the South and began selling crack to supplement his income. Now he is also a cash king.
16. Bill Cosby
Cosby grew up poor in Philly. The son of a maid and an absentee father. Talent & humor paved and paid his way out of poverty.
17. J.K. Rowlings
Author J.K. Rowling was on welfare when she wrote the first Harry Potter book in longhand. She is now worth millions.
18. Hillary Swank
Hilary Swank grew up in a trailer park and dropped out of high school. She came to Hollywood and now has two Oscars.