I’m So, I’m So, I’m So, I’m So, I’m So Proud Of You: Celebrity Women Who Have Come A Long Way

January 31, 2014  |  
13 of 15

When we’re on the grind sometimes it feels like we’ll never reach our goals, but here’s a little inspiration by way of celebrity women who have transformed themselves into major players in the entertainment industry after being slept on in the beginning. Shouts out to you, you’ve come a long way baby!


Eve started out a little rough around the edges as our favorite Ruff Ryder. Today her music game has evolved, she’s a movie star and working on her second sitcom: a new comedy on ABC that’s all about interracial relationships.

NeNe Leakes

Once upon a time, NeNe Leakes was a stripper named “Silk.” Today she’s an actress, reality star and one of the classiest ladies on Real Housewives of Atlanta.


Today, Oprah is one of the richest people in the world. But her early years were more like Celie’s than Shug Avery’s. She ran away from sexual abuse at home at age 14 and lost a baby. But she stayed on the honor roll, won a scholarship and is now worth $2.9 billion.

Charlize Theron

Charlize started out with more than a few hard knocks. When she was 15, she saw her mother kill her father in self-defense. Instead of letting the trauma take her down, she used it as fuel to become one of Hollywood’s best actresses and the first South African actress to win an Academy Award.

Mariah Carey

It’s hard to think of Mimi as anything other than the world’s biggest diva. But Mimi started out as the daughter of a single mom who held down several jobs to keep them going. On her way to the top, before her big break, she juggled several part time jobs while going to beauty school.

Nicki Minaj

Sometimes a hard knock life is just what you need to help you get motivated to make it to the top. After her family moved from Barbados to struggle in Queens, Nicki made it her goal to help out her family which gave her the fuel to do the hard work to be one of the best-selling artists of all time.

Mary J. Blige

What’s the 411? Once upon a time it was Mary’s direct line. The Bronx native grew up in the PJs, dropped out of high school and worked as an operator for directory assistance. Then one day she decided to follow her dreams and record a cover of Anita Baker’s “Caught Up In the Rapture” — the rest was history: nine Grammy Awards and eight multi-platinum albums of history.

Tina Turner

We all saw “What’s Love Got to Do With It” and Tina’s struggle inspired millions of women to leave their Ike Turners in the back seat of the limo and move on to better things.

Sarah Jessica Parker

SJP wasn’t always a fashion icon. When she was a little girl, her mother had to buy her irregular dresses from a factory called Polly Slenders. Sarah says the experience inspired her to work hard for a life where she could afford the fashion she loved.

Jennifer Lopez

It’s easy to forget, but Jenny really was from the block. She grew up in the Bronx, ran away from home when she was young and lived in the dance studio she taught lessons out of while she was struggling to follow her dreams. Today, she’s not only a major recording artist but also the highest paid Latina actress of her day.

Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer worked hard to get where she is, but it’s her 80-lb weight loss that inspired millions of women to hit the gym and tackle their weight loss goals.

Michelle Obama

Thanks to the hard work and dedication she tries to inspire in others, Michelle Obama was always on her way to the top and it’s hard to get any higher than the First Lady of the United States. But if she tries to run for office next, she has our vote.

Queen Latifah

You’ll be hard pressed to find a 90s rapper, much less a woman, who has as much staying power as Queen Latifah. She’s been a rapper, a TV actress, moved on to movies and now she has her own talk show. and we support her every step of the way.

Keyshia Cole

“Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is” was the most-watched program in BET’s history and we’ve all seen the struggle that gave Keyshia the soulful voice that made her the multi-platinum artist that she is today.


Sometimes progress is about personal growth. With all of the cheating and sex in exchange for record deals we see on reality TV, it made Mimi’s decision to move on from Stevie J one of our favorite reality show moments to date.

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