He who has boldly gone where no man has gone before and survived to tell the tale very shrewdly became a celebrity investor of sorts when he asked for stock options rather than wages when he agreed to take on the role of Priceline Negotiator for Priceline.com way back in 1997. He then, again shrewdly, sold his shares before the bubble burst, netting himself a reported $500 million. Nice.
Curtis Jackson, the rapper, producer, actor, fashion clothing line owner, entrepreneur and all-round mega-star who survived being shot nine times (in one attempt) came through the world of music and, well, everything else, like a hurricane a little over a decade ago to become hip hop’s hottest star; he wasn’t satisfied with that and so he looked for other business or investment opportunities and branched out in a million different ways, seemingly determined to reach the top in as many different industries as is humanly possible. He also made one of the shrewdest deals in history when he, reportedly on purpose with this kind of deal in mind, took a big swig of Glaceau’s Vitaminwater while shooting a Reebok commercial; he then hooked up a deal where he got 10% of the company, which netted him an astonishing $60-100 million a few years later when Coca Cola bought out Gaceau. Not bad. A business and investment portfolio to be admired and feared.
Another hip hop luminary and heavyweight legend, Dr Dre, hip hop’s most famous and most prolific producer, decided, in 2008 together with Jimmy Iovine and Monster Products, to invest in a new product (which he also helped design), the now infamous and very high profile Beats, high-performance headphones which took the head-nodding world by storm. This subsequently branched out into streaming music which led Apple to buying the company out for a reported $3 billion, and which netted Dr Dre a nice little earner. More of a very good businessman than a celebrity investor really.
The Queen of Pop and ex music icon industry-rebel and general trend-setter (who still looks good at the ripe old age of 57 years old) liked the taste of natural coconut water so much that, in 2010, she added ‘celebrity investor’ to her resume when she invested $1.5 million into the leading, at the time, producer of it, Vita Coco (a name which somehow fits her personal ‘brand’). Coca Cola and Pepsi soon joined in with the fun, buying into Zico and O.N.E. respectively, but Madonna had chosen well; the company recently sold a 25% stake for $665 million! So she got a lot richer.