It’s not easy growing up in front of the camera---or on a stage. Imagine what your hair looked like when you were a teen. But some celebrities make it work while others fail miserably. And some celebrities can easily transition from child actor or singer to successful adult, while others are marred with jail sentences, and famous mug shots. Some celebs settle into a normal married life with kids and others start multi-million dollar companies. But the celebs who gained popularity in the early 2000’s managed to escape some scrutiny mainly social media, but that doesn’t mean they went unscathed. We were still privy to watching these celebrities become bonafide stars and fall from grace in the tabloids. Like Tyra Banks once said ‘We were rooting for you.’
Follow along as we explore 20 celebs we watched grow up in front of our eyes, from teen sensations to entrepreneurs. Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan were once mega ‘It’ girls at the beginning of the 2000’s even hanging out and clubbing together, but all three faced parallel challenges. Check out and see who found success and who’s still floundering!
20 JoJo: Once Told Us To Leave, Get Out
JoJo broke out on the scene with her hit, "Leave (Get Out)", and blew us all away. The singer was just 13 when she showed off her extensive vocal range. She reached number one on the US Billboard Pop songs chart when the song was released in 2004. And we thought amazing things would happen for the young singer, but the teen was soon riddled with label issues and filed a lawsuit to be released. She was finally released in 2014, and signed with Atlantic Records, but failed to score any major hits and left for Interscope. We are still waiting for that mega-hit we know she can produce. She was last seen on an episode of ‘Lethal Weapon’ in 2017.
19 Britney Spears Oops! She Did It Again
Britney Spears truly grew up before our eyes. The pop princess turned icon made a name for herself in the early 2000’s while in her teens, but she was actually a child star before that. She starred in the revamped Mickey Mouse Club in the 90’s with future ex-boyfriend, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera and Ryan Gosling.
After having extreme success with albums, Baby One More Time and Oops!... I Did It Again Britney had a few bumps in her career. She suffered a meltdown in 2007 after a failed marriage and child custody issues. But she has since recovered. Britney tried her hand at TV becoming a judge on the X Factor. In 2013 she signed on for a four-year residency in Las Vegas. She announced the show would end in 2018, but in a surprise move she signed on to continue in Vegas beginning 2019.
18 Mandy Moore's This Is Us Hit
Mandy Moore was the sweet girl of pop, she even had the aptly named song, Candy back when she was still 14-year-old bubbly blonde. But with no major musical successes, the singer transitioned to acting, with roles in The Princess Diaries and A Walk To Remember.
Mandy kept pushing along in the movies business and has appeared in over a dozen movies, and she garnered her first major hit was with Disney’s Tangled in 2010, based on the story of Rapunzel. And while Mandy has stayed close to her musical roots releasing six albums, it's her recent acting chops as the Pearson mom of three, Rebecca, in This Is Us, that she has been received the most acclaim for. Mandy also debuted the now-defunct clothing line, Mblem in 2009 for taller girls before shuttering the brand in 2009.
17 Hilary Duff Is Still Young-er
Hilary Duff is another Disney graduate. The bubbly teen began her career as the star of Lizze McGuire, a shy teen looking for popularity. She even landed herself in the tabloids while dating fellow teen star Aaron Carter who may have also been dating Lindsay Lohan. Oh the drama.
Hilary went on to have success with music, one of her biggest hits ‘Come Clean’ (it was the theme song for Laguna Beach) and starred in movies like A Cinderella Story, Cheaper By The Dozen and Agent Cody Banks. But did you know that Hilary is also an author? She wrote New York Times bestseller, ‘Elixir.’ Hilary transitioned to more mature roles and in 2014 she landed a role in TV Land’s Younger. She has managed to come out unscathed as a child actress. She married Mike Comrie in 2010 before separating in 2014. They share one son, Luca.
16 Paris Hilton's Simple Life Departure
Paris Hilton’s never had a simple life. The socialite grew up surrounded by luxury and rich parents. The heiress to the Hilton Hotel fortune, Paris’ went from sweet girl next door to a paparazzi starlet around her 18th birthday. Paris was a teen model, before becoming one of the ‘It’ girls of the early 2000’s. That’s when Paris jumped into the reality TV show, The Simple Life also starring socialite/best friend, Nicole Richie, catapulted her to the fame.
But it wasn't all roses for the bubbly blonde. Paris also hit a few bumps while transitioning to adulthood. She was arrested for a DUI, driving with a suspended license and speeding. Eventually, it caught up with her and she was forced to serve a short jail sentence. But Paris has grown from club princess to entrepreneur over the past decade. She has had enormous success with her fragrances line, which have made over a billion and she is one of the highest paid DJ’s. She’s newly engaged to actor Chris Zylka and most recently starred in a funny Yeezy campaign channeling her inner frenemy Kim Kardashian West.
15 Jessica Biel From TV To Movie Star
Jessica Biel’s sweet persona on 7th Heaven only lasted so long before the bombshell wanted out. She went from the teenage daughter of a Pastor on 7th to starring in blockbuster movies action movies like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Blade: Trinity, Stealth, The A-Team and Total Recall. Jessica has steered clear of legal troubles and is a happily married woman. The beauty is married to another child actor/singer. It's the guy who’s played the Super Bowl halftime show this year---Justin Timberlake. They have one son, Silas, born in 2015. Biel’s latest work was her most mature and intense. The Sinner landed Jessica a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film. She didn't win, but she’s on the path to a full comeback.
14 Jessica Alba's Dark Angel Past
Jessica Alba knew how to kick butt as a supersoldier on Dark Angel, but the brunette beauty has grown up a lot since then. She matured and nabbed more adult roles in Sin City, Fantastic Four and Into the Blue.But did you know that Jessica was actually a child actress who once starred alongside a dolphin in the TV show, Flipper. But the married mother of three has put her acting career on the back burner for her mega home goods business, The Honest Company, once valued at $1 billion dollars. The company started off selling home goods and baby products before venturing into hair and makeup. We don’t think Jessica worries about acting too much anymore when she pulls in millions a year from her brand--she reportedly owns 15 to 20% of the company.
13 Lindsay Lohan's Not a Mean Girl Anymore, But She Wants To Be!
Lindsay Lohan was a Disney starlet before she became a Mean Girl. But she did suffer the child star curse that some young actors encounter. Too much excess too young. At one point in her life was riddled with arrests and court cases. Lindsay began her career innocently enough playing twins in the Parent Trap and later Freaky Friday, but it was her portrayal of the sweet Cady in Mean Girls along Rachel McAdams that catapulted her to fame. Add to that a couple of successful albums, like Speak and she was a bonafide hit. But the hectic lifestyle wared thin on the young actress and before you know it she was in the news for her car accidents and breakups. Lindsay was arrested for several DUIs and entered rehab several times. Lindsay attempted a comeback on a reality show with Oprah, but there were issues. Lindsay now resides in Dubai and would love a Mean Girls sequel.
12 Miley Cyrus: From Hannah Montana to Malibu
Miley Cyrus’ is another Disney star who dropped Mickey Mouse (Disney) as soon as she could. We watched Miley grow as Hannah Montana, a singer who lived a double life as an average schoolgirl and a superstar singer and the show was enormous. The Hannah Montana machine had a TV series, movies, music, and tours. Miley couldn’t walk down the street without being hounded. But before you knew it Miley had outgrown her Disney person.The teen ventured into pop music showing off her singing skills with hits like, "Party in the U.S.A..” But Miley was tired of her good girl image and ditched Hannah Montana in 2011. She dipped her toes in acting and met Hunger Games actor, Liam Hemsworth. They had a high profile romance and the duo was even engaged before the couple split. Miley released more mature music like "Wrecking Ball" and "We Can't Stop". It was rumored that Miley’s wild ways (all that twerking) were to blame for the split. Miley has since rekindled her relationship with Liam and wrote 'Malibu' all about him and is a judge on The Voice.
11 Alexis Bledel's Gilmore Grow Up
Alexis Bledel popped on the screen as the smart-talking high schooler on Gilmore Girls alongside TV mom, Lauren Graham. We watched as she went all the way to college before the show was canceled. The show recently made a limited revival in 2016 after fans begged for a continuation. Alexis also has success with her The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movies, which also starred Amber Tamblyn, America Ferrera, and Blake Lively, in which four best friends all share one pair of jeans that they can all miraculously fit into. We haven’t seen a lot of Alexis now that she is now married with a child. But she’s on the rise again with her acclaimed portrayal in The Handmaids Tale on Hulu. She’s still friends with all her Sisterhood of the Traveling pants pals.
10 Mila Kunis Is Not A Bad Mom
Mila Kunis married her first on-screen kiss. Yes, Mila Kunis’ first kiss was with her That 70’s Show co-star, Ashton Kutcher, when she was just a young teen. Do you remember self-centered Jackie and ditzy Kelso on the show? Well, those two are married now with two kids. Mila moved to the US from the USSR as a child and didn’t know any English, She turned to acting to give her confidence and has found success on the big screen with movies like, Black Swan, Friends with Benefits, Ted, and Bad Moms, but she has another job that you might not realize, she has voiced Meg Griffin on the Family Guy since 1999. She took over for Lacey Chabert after a casting change. Mila dated Home Alone star Macaulay Culkin for almost a decade before splitting in 2011. She began dating Ashton in 2012.
9 Rihanna: Good Girl Gone Bad
Rihanna was once a Good Girl, but hey she still is. The fresh-faced singer landed her first hit with Pon De Replay, but it wasn’t until she chopped off her hair and dropped the song, Umbrella that people took notice of the Bajan beauty. And she’s been making hits ever since, can you say We Found Love and she’s even has dabbled in movies, but Rihanna is often praised for her fearless fashion and constantly changing look. And her fans are crazy for her. She’s dubbed them her Navy or RihannaNavy. Rihanna had a little boy trouble a few years ago, mainly Chris Brown, but she bounced back with romances with Travis Scott, Matt Kemp, and Drake. She’s now linked to businessman, Hassan Jameel and taking over the beauty game with Fenty Beauty. And her Puma collection is always on fire.
8 Alicia Keys: Fallin' to On Fire
Alicia Keys blew up on the scene from the moment she uttered the lyrics, “I Keep On Fallin’” and has been making hits since. In her first year on the scene, she nabbed 5 Grammys in 2002 for her album, Songs In A Minor. She is an accomplished pianist and usually incorporates the piano in most of her songs. The Girl on Fire married producer, Swizz Beatz in 2010. They have two sons together, Egypt and Genesis. Alicia can now be seen battling it out with Adam Levine and Blake Shelton on The Voice when she is not working on her philanthropic work like her Keep A Child Alive foundation which helps give medicine to families affected by HIV and AIDS. Alicia has been pushing the #NoMakeup movement to get people to feel good in their own skin after battling her own insecurities.
7 Justin Timberlake Blasted Past *NSYNC To The Super Bowl
Justin Timberlake once had huge curly hair. Do you remember that? Justin grew from boy to man right in front of our eyes. He also starred in The New Mickey Mouse Club with Britney Spears and he was later one-fifth of the boy band, *NSYNC. After breaking away from a bad recording contract, the singer left behind his boys for a huge solo career. One of Justin’s biggest hits, "Cry Me a River" was reportedly about his split from high profile singer, Britney Spears. He went on to have huge hits like, "My Love", and "What Goes Around... Comes Around” and like almost everyone else on this list Justin has a few acting credits under his belt, The Social Network, Bad Teacher, and Friends with Benefits. He’s now married to Jessica Biel and shares one son, Silas. But he’s been in the news lately. He released his new album, Man of the Woods in February 2018 and performed at the Superbowl this year. The reviews were mixed.
6 Dakota Fanning: Child Actress To Star
Dakota Fanning was tiny when she had her breakout role in I Am Sam at just age 7, opposite Sean Penn and she utilized her innocence again to snatch up another role this time with Denzel Washington in Man on Fire. She was on a roll when she landed another high profile gig with Tom Cruise for War of the Worlds, all by the time she was 10. Dakota has since gone on to mature right before our eyes with roles in The Twilight Saga and a slew of indie flicks. But she’ll be switching it up as she heads to the small screen with a new show, The Alienist, a late 1800’s detective mystery series. Dakota has a little sister who is also an actress, Elle who has garnered attention on her own. She is currently the spokeswoman for L’Oreal’s Lash Paradise mascara.
5 Cole Sprouse: The Suite Life of Riverdale
Cole Sprouse is one-half of the Sprouse twins. Due to labor laws in Hollywood, some roles have to be cast with twins-- and The Sprouse twins fit right in. Cole reportedly landed his first solo part as Ross Gellar’s adorable son, Ben on Friends. It wasn’t long before the boys were working together again this time for the Disney show, The Suite Life of Zac and Cody. The boys decided to leave acting behind temporarily for college, both attended NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, beginning in 2011. They graduated in 2015. Cole resurrected his acting career with his new show Riverdale, where he plays a broody Jughead Jones, a dark spinoff of the Archie comic books.
4 Shia LaBeouf Is No Even Stevens Anymore
To say Shia LaBeouf’s had a few bumps in life is an understatement. Shia started off steady as the rambunctious young teen on Even Stevens before going on to star in blockbuster hits. Everything was looking up for the young actor, he had a hit under his belt with the movie, Disturbia before moving on to the mega-franchise hit, Transformers in 2007. It hasn’t been easy for the actor who had a few public arrests, mainly for disorderly conduct and public drunkenness. He has received treatment, but you never know when Shia will strike again. Shia is also a music video star, he was featured in Sia's music video for "Elastic Heart" with dancer Maddie Ziegler. And Shia may have married his actress girlfriend Mia Goth, but we are unsure if the wedding was legal or just a commitment ceremony.
3 Kyla Pratt: One on One So Long
Kyla Pratt was the adorably cute little girl from the tv show One on One, but she won our hearts on as the precocious little Monica on in the movie, Love and Basketball and as the daughter in the Dr. Doolittle movies. Kyla starred as the sassy smart talking teen on One on One, about a single dad who has to raise his daughter when her mother lands a job overseas. Kyla made a ton of appearances on shows like Friends, Smart Guy, Sister, Sister, Family Matters, Lizzie McGuire, Moesha, and The Parkers. Kyla’s been laying low on the acting scene since becoming a mommy. She has two daughters, Lyric born in 2010 and Liyah Kirkpatrick, born in 2013. Kyla was most recently seen in TV shows, Let's Stay Together and Recovery Road.
2 Shad Moss is No Longer Lil
Shad Moss wasn’t always Shad. He used to go by Lil Bow Wow. The rapper got a recording contract in 2000 at just 13. He started rapping at the age of six and soon got the attention of rapper Snoop Dog during a concert, who went on to name him Lil Bow Wow. He later changed his moniker to Bow Wow. "I changed my name because I'm getting older now and it's too many Lil's. All these Lil' rappers, I'm just kind of getting real irritated by it. I said, 'You know what? Drop the Lil'. Forget it. I'm Bow Wow. Besides, I'm growing up, I'm not little anymore. I just decided that] two weeks ago. I really got irritable. It's all these Lil' cats, forget it. I'm Bow Wow now. Everything is just 'Bow Wow,' no 'Lil' Bow Wow,'" he told MTVNews at the time. He’s also an actor and was the lead in Like Mike when he was a teen and also starred in Lottery Ticket and Roll Bounce. He was also seen on CSI: Cyber until the show was canceled in 2016 and worked as a host on BET’s 106 & Park.
1 Harry Potter Cast Caught Up
The cast of Harry Potter were literally babies when they appeared in the first movie, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint grew up in front of our eyes and with eight Harry Potter movies under their belts we saw every move. The kids have seen success since their blockbuster franchise. Most notably Emma who was cast as Belle in the live action Disney film, Beauty and the Beast.The movie was a hit making it one of the highest-grossing film of 2017. She’s also modeled for Burberry and Lancome and graduated from Brown University in 2014.
Daniel worked on the TV shows, Robot Chicken and Miracle Workers and landed a few Broadway shows, Equus, and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, while Rupert stuck with TV and appeared on the shows, Snatch and Sick Note.
Sources: Forbes.com, MTVNews.com