It’s not enough to become famous. You have to stay famous. Many celebrities have experienced highs and lows with their career, proving that stardom isn’t constant. Celebs have to stay on the media’s radar and remain connected with fans to fully benefit from their famous status. Sometimes, however, the pressures of stardom are too much. There are many famous folks who have peaked only for things to go downhill afterwards.
The stars that made this list have all hit rock bottom in their career. But another thing they have in common, however, is that they managed to climb back up. By re-inventing their brands, focusing on career opportunities, and doing serious damage control, it’s never too late to make a comeback in Hollywood. Hey, if Britney Spears could survive 2008, we can survive anything.
20 Kesha Is No Longer Staying Silent
Kesha was a major hit when she broke out on the scene with singles like “Tik Tok,” but her life took a turn when the singer entered treatment for an eating disorder in 2013. Then, the following year, Kesha launched a lawsuit against music producer Dr. Luke for assault. The case was eventually dropped in 2016. Since then, however, Kesha has been focusing on making more music. She released her latest album, Rainbow, in 2017— much to the delight of fans.
19 Ashlee Is No Longer In Jessica’s Shadow
Ashlee Simpson long seemed to be in the shadow of her older, more famous sister, Jessica Simpson. But in 2003, the star seemed to be making a name for herself. She had a couple chart-toping hits and a recurring role on 7th Heaven. But a 2004 SNL performance ruined everything after technical difficulties revealed Ashlee had been lip-syncing. Her musical career was never the same afterwards. Nowadays, though, Ashlee has recovered. She’s married to Evan Ross, has two children, and her family will star in their own reality show soon, exploring Evan and Ashlee’s journey to make it in the music industry.
18 Bruno Wasn’t Just Locked Out Of Heaven
Everyone loves Bruno Mars’ polished voice and smooth persona, but his reputation took a serious hit in 2010 after a bust. The singer was picked up in Las Vegas after he was found with illicit substances on him. However, Bruno used his charm to his advantage and wasn’t afraid to give interviews following the scandal. In the end, he had to pay a $2,000 fine and apologized several times to the public. Bruno is continuing to make chart-topping music and even performed at the Superbowl in 2015.
17 Drew Was No Longer A Little Girl Lost
Drew Barrymore started off as a child actress, but it wasn’t long before the dark side of Hollywood caught up to her. She began abusing substances in her early teens. She went to rehab for the first time at age 13 and again two years later after she tried to take her life. In 1991, however, Drew released her moving autobiography, Little Girl Lost, which improved the public’s perception of her. It wasn’t long before she was booking acting gigs once again. She recently starred in Netflix’s Santa Clarita Diet and has two daughters.
16 Amber Is No Teen Mom Anymore
Amber Portwood started off as one of the most disliked girls on Teen Mom. In 2009, she was infamously arrested for assaulting her daughter’s father, which landed her behind bars. While in prison, the young mom got clean, earned her GED, and was diagnosed bipolar disorder.
Her subsequent journey to better herself was documented on the MTV reality show. She eventually welcomed a second child with her boyfriend Andrew Glennon in 2018. However, it looks like Amber is going downhill again. This summer, she was arrested for assaulting Andrew. She’s currently facing charges and has only visitation rights to her kids.
15 Natasha Has Worn Orange In Real Life
Nowadays, Natasha Lyonne is recognizable thanks to her role in Orange Is the New Black, but not every fan realizes she was actually a huge star in the ‘90s, too. However, the celebrity’s career came to an abrupt half in 2001 when she experienced a mental breakdown. The star was dealing with addiction at the time and was picked up for a DUI. In 2005, Natasha went to an emergency room suffering from hepatitis C, a collapsed lung, and a heart infection. In the following years, Natasha worked on getting sober and made small TV appearances. She eventually was cast in OITNB in 2012.
14 Mel B Almost Lost Her Spice
Mel B is best known as one fifth of the Spice Girls. While she was successful in a girl group, the same can’t be said when she tried to go solo. Her first two solo albums failed miserably, leading to a sharp decline in her popularity. Her personal life was also messy, as she made headlines when Eddie Murphy denied he was the father of her child (even though he was). Things got better when the Spice Girls went on a sold-out reunion tour in 2007. Since then, Mel has starred as a judge on several reality shows, most notably X Factor.
13 Joaquin Wanted To Pursue Hip Hop
Joaquin Phoenix was introduced to Hollywood as a child actor, but later found critical acclaim in movies like The Village and Walk the Line. But there was a time when his movie career seemed done for. In 2005, Joaquin was in a car crash and was hit with a DUI, leading him to check into rehab. His behavior only became more bizarre, however. In 2008, for example, he announced he was leaving acting to pursue hip hop. The actor eventually took a break from the business in 2010, but later earned a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his part in The Master.
12 Winona Had Sticky Fingers
Winona Ryder was a total ‘it’ girl in the ‘80s and ‘90s thanks to movies like Beetlejuice, Heathers, and of course, Edward Scissorhands. However, the star soon found herself outcast from Hollywood when she was arrested in 2001 for shoplifting. She was also found in possession of illegal prescription medication. Though her acting days seemed done for a time, Winona has found success again thanks to her role in Netflix’s Stranger Things.
11 Britney’s Life Was A Circus
There was a time when many fans thought Britney Spears would never recover from her very famous meltdown from 2006 to 2008. During that time, the star was in the middle of a nasty custody battle with her ex-husband Kevin Federline over their two boys. She was also struggling with addiction and mental health. Britney infamously shaved her head and attacked a paparazzi’s car before her father became her trustee. She went on to release her critically acclaimed album, Circus, in late 2008, which got her career back on track.
10 Ariana Learned Her Donut-Licking Lesson
Ariana Grande had to do some serious damage control after her shenanigans got her in trouble with the media and fans. In 2015, a bizarre video was leaked showing the singer licking a donut that was for sale. She could also be seen mouthing the words “I hate America.” Health officials eventually launched an investigation, prompting the singer to publicly apologize. Ariana has since launched albums in 2016, 2018, and 2019, all of which have been huge hits. Her high-profile engagement to Pete Davidson also helped fans forget about her Donut-scape.
9 Demi Had To Live In A Sober House
Demi Lovato started off as a fresh-faced Disney Star in Camp Rock and Sonny Without a Chance. While she had an easy time transitioning to mainstream music, it wasn’t long before her personal issues caught up for her. In 2010, Demi checked herself into rehab after punching a back-up dancer. She was subsequently diagnosed with bulimia, bipolar disorder, and came clean publicly about her addictions. In 2012, she made a documentary with MTV about her recovery. She went on to release more music and star on The X Factor. Demi did worsen in 2018, however, and has been keeping a low profile since.
8 Justin Re-Discovered His Purpose
For a time, it didn’t seem like Justin would ever recover from his downward spiral that took place between 2013 to 2014. During those two years, the pop star made headlines for peeing in a mop bucket, defacing the president’s photo, and a DUI. Justin’s management team publicly declared that they were determined to set the singer straight, and he released his album Purpose in 2015. Justin has since married Hailey Baldwin and released even more successful music.
7 Miley Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop
Miley Cyrus has gone through many phases throughout the years. She started off as a Disney Star, but as she tried to reinvent her image as she got older, things just got cringier. In 2010, she was criticized for the sultry persona she portrayed in her song “Can’t Be Tamed.” The same year, a video showing Miley abusing substance came out. However, she used the scandal as a chance to rebrand herself. She cut her hair, came out with an edgier look, and released albums in 2013, 2017, and 2019, all more successful than the ones before.
6 Nicole Eventually Grew Up
We weren’t sure if Nicole Richie would ever grow up. In the early 2000s, the star became a household name while starring on The Simple Life. But her personal life was far from perfect or simple. Nicole was arrested in 2003 for possession and once again in 2006 for a DUI, leading to several stints in rehab. She was also battling a major eating disorder at the time. Nicole’s life seemed to improve when she met Joel Madden. The two married in 2010 and have two kids. Nicole has also launched a successful clothing line and has appeared on various shows, including Project Runway and Fashion Star. She currently has her own show, Candidly Nicole.
5 Katherine Is Best Known As A Diva
Katherine Heigl was one of the most in-demand actresses in 2005. However, it wasn’t long before the star gained a reputation for being a Diva. She got flack for criticizing the writing in her hit movie, Knocked Up. Then, in 2008, she said she didn’t deserve to be nominated for an Emmy for her work on Grey’s Anatomy, which led to her being written off. Katherine had trouble booking roles afterwards. After a bit of damage control in the media, she went on to release Unforgettable in 2017. In 2018, it was announced she’d be joining Suits.
4 Katy Knows All Of Russell’s Demons
America fell in love with UK-born Russell Brand’s unapologetic humor and rugged accent after he appeared in the 2008 film Forgetting Sarah Marshall. He gained even more fame thanks to his high-profile marriage (and divorce) to Katy Perry. But the comedian’s career wasn’t always so hot. When he first got into entertainment, Russell was struggling with multiple addictions. He was fired from MTV in 2001 as a result. Russell entered rehab in 2002 and has been doing better with his sobriety since.
3 Selena Is In & Out Of The Spotlight
Selena Gomez has been huge ever since she became a household name during her time on Disney’s Wizards of Waverly Place, but the star’s career took a nosedive in 2014 when her personal issues began affecting her work. Selena entered rehab for two weeks that year, which she revealed was for mental health. In 2016, she cancelled her Australian tour, went silent on social media, and entered treatment again. Selena’s honesty with her fans seems to have won them over and she has released various successful hits since her personal challenges. She has also moved on to movie and TV production.
2 Not Everyone Loves Alec’s Temper
Alec Baldwin has a solid career thanks to hits like Beetlejuice and The Hunt for Red October, but the actor’s temper eventually got the best of him. In the early 2000s, several photos showing the celeb losing his cool at journalists as well as a flight attendant painted him in a bad light. He hit an all-time low in 2007 when a voicemail was leaked in which Alec called his 11-year old daughter a “rude, thoughtless little pig.” Eventually, however, the star won back his fans thanks to his work on 30 Rock and SNL. Alec has also since welcomed four other children.
1 Robert Transformed Into Superhero
What Robert Downey Jr. has overcome in real life sort of makes him a superhero. The actor has a solid career going in the ‘90s, but his various run-ins with the law and stints in rehab eventually took a damper on it. Robert has been sober since 2003 and is living his best life. He’s known for portraying Iron Man on the big screen since 2008, he got an Oscar nomination for his work in Tropic Thunder, and he even played Sherlock Holmes (twice!)
Sources: Ok Magazine, People, Radar Online