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Life Before Fame: Celebrities Who Had Interesting Jobs Before Fame  was originally published on

1. Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey

As a teenager, Oprah Winfrey worked as a Nashville grocery store clerk. Photo: PR

2. Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg

Before Hollywood stardom, Whoopi Goldberg was a hair and makeup stylist at a funeral home. Photo: PR

3. Kanye West

Kanye West

As mentioned in the song “Spaceship” from Kanye West’s 2004 College Dropout album, the rap star worked at the Gap before breaking into the music industry. Photo: PR

4. Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman

In 1955, Morgan Freeman enlisted in the United States Air Force. He left the military to pursue acting and has not looked back since. Photo: PR

5. Jesse Williams

Jesse Williams

Grey’s Anatomy star, Jesse Williams, attended Temple University and earned his degrees in African-American Studies and Media Arts. He went on to be become a public high school educator. Photo: PR

6. Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey worked as a waitress and attended cosmetology school before signing with Columbia Records. Photo: PR

7. Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson’s first job was at a Chicago Burger King. In 2007, the fast-food chain gifted the Oscar winner free Burger King for life. Photo: PR

8. Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj worked at least five different Red Lobsters in The Bronx, Long Island, and Queens. Photo: PR

9. Loni Love

Loni Love

Loni Love attended Prairie View A&M University and studied electrical engineering. After graduating she worked as an engineering project manager. Photo: PR

10. Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade

The NBA powerhouse worked at KFC in high school but was soon let go after being caught eating food on the clock. During the 2011 NBA lockout, the franchise jokingly offered Dwyane Wade his job back. Photo: PR