The best 'stars are nothing like us' stories from 2021

Lil Uzi Vert truly committed to showing off bling in a new way when he announced that he’d implanted a $24 million natural pink diamond in his forehead. Yes, instead of having the massive diamond incorporated into a ring or necklace, he opted to have it put in his forehead on Feb. 2. When asked if it cost more than his car, he said, “Yes my Bugatti can’t even pay for it… all my cars together, plus home.” He later took to social media to share the proof and has since posted plenty of photos and videos showing off the massive pink diamond that now rests between his eyebrows.

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The whole world watched Oprah Winfrey’s jaw-dropping interview with Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry on March 7. A surprising breakout star soon emerged from the tell-all — the patio chairs. Yep, the chairs that Oprah and the royals sat on during the CBS interview quickly sold out. Even crazier, the outdoor furniture has another celebrity link: They were designed by former “Brady Bunch” star Christopher Knight! The Christopher Knight Home Burchett outdoor chairs, which cost $554 for a pair, were snatched up from online retailers including Amazon, Target and Overstock, according to Page Six.

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How do you say thank you to your dedicated crew after your long-running reality show wraps for good? By gifting them with one of the most luxurious watches on the market — a Rolex! As reported by TMZ on Jan. 13, when their E! show wrapped in early January, the Kardashian-Jenner clan presented 30 members of their “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” production crew with Rolex watches to show their appreciation for their work over the last 20 seasons. The cost? About $300,000, which equates to roughly $10,000 per timepiece! Not exactly a terrible parting gift if you ask us.

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Given that her Savage x Fenty lingerie brand is now valued at $1 billion, it’s no surprise that Rihanna — who also happens to be the richest female recording artist on the globe — has an incredibly impressive real estate portfolio to match. According to The Hollywood Reporter, in April, the music star and beauty mogul purchased the $10 million house next door to the $13.8 million Beverly Hills estate she bought just three months prior. The 3,500-square-foot Tudor-style house has four bedrooms and four and a half bathrooms. Combined with the neighboring 7,600-square-foot mansion she purchased first, Rihanna’s $23.8 million Beverly Hills compound covers more than an acre of land. Talk about living large.

Who doesn’t love to keep mementos from good times? Ludacris sure does — though his souvenirs are a little fancier than the rest of ours! The rapper revealed to talk show host Conan O’Brien in March that he’s taken home something from the set of every installment of the “Fast & Furious” franchise that he’s been in… and his souvenirs are cars! He explained, “On every single ‘Fast & Furious,’ I bought one of the cars that was in the movie” with one exception — the one that took place in London since the steering wheel was on the other side of the vehicle. 

When it comes to cars, just your standard Mercedes or BMW doesn’t cut it for superstars. Nope, Justin Bieber invested in a custom-made Rolls-Royce that took not one, not two, but three years to make. The fancy car — which was first spotted in June 2021 (see it here) — is a custom 2018 Wraith model, which reportedly set him back $330,000 to begin with, but there’s no telling how much the final cost was because Justin went to West Coast Customs to have it customized even further after he got it.  

While most of us rocked a lot of sweatpants (and maybe invested in some tie-dye) during quarantine, one famous face did quite the opposite and decided that even spending time at home required designer clothes every day. Keira Knightley told Harper’s Bazaar U.K. in June that she “put on red lipstick every day and every bit of Chanel that I have in my cupboard” while spending time with her daughters in quarantine. “I thought, ‘What is the point of these lovely things sitting in the wardrobe, when it feels quite apocalyptic and scary outside?’ It felt so important to be really happy for the kids,” she told the outlet. To each their own!

We appreciate her generosity! During an April interview with Nancy O’Dell’s channel on talkshoplive, Oprah Winfrey revealed that she’d been mailing $15,000 checks to people in need amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. “I literally have been, people don’t know this, going through the newspaper finding stories of people who weren’t doing well in their life, sending them money, trying to help because I know I have been blessed,” she explained. “I sent the maximum amount that the government allows you to give a person, which is $15,000 per person, and saying I know it’s going to be awhile before you’re working let me help you out,” the billionaire said, also noting that she’d created a list of people she knew would be out of work due to the ongoing pandemic. “I called it my personal pandemic relief package for friends,” she further shared. “I think it has made me more thoughtful — the more blessed I become the more I think about people who are not and what can I do to help them.”

We all know that Paris Hilton’s life is drastically different than the rest of ours, but this certainly solidifies it! Days before Carter Reum proposed with a huge diamond ring on a private island a few days ahead of her 40th birthday in February, she gave him a very, very big birthday gift of his own to commemorate their love. No, it wasn’t a framed print of a selfie. She commissioned an enormous life-sized painting that showed the venture capitalist kissing her on the forehead. Just what every boyfriend wants?

On May 23, Drake rented out SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles — which has a capacity of 70,000 and is located on 298 acres — to privately celebrate his artist of the decade award win at the Billboard Music Awards earlier that evening. The Canadian music star hosted dinner on the 50-yard line for guests including his toddler son, Adonis — who also appeared on stage with him that night — and fellow artists like SZA, The Weeknd, Doja Cat and DJ Khaled. (See a few pics here.) “There are huge champagne towers and several bars set up throughout the stadium,” a source told E! of the celebratory dinner party. “Drake also has cute album books featuring his favorite moments through his career set up around the stadium.” Well, that’s one way to celebrate!

Gwyneth Paltrow’s star power allowed her to skip the line while running one of the most dreaded errands ever — enduring a long wait at the DMV. On May 3, reported, the actress and Goop founder was seen arriving at a California Department of Motor Vehicles office in Los Angeles with her bodyguard, where she was brought through a back-door entrance, bypassing a line of approximately 50 Angelenos! It was a huge perk considering that standing in line to be seen can take several hours, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Gwyneth, however? Well, the A-lister was in and out in just 30 minutes. Seriously, we can’t even imagine.

Ever sell an old painting at a garage sale? When you’re a superstar, your paintings fetch just a bit more than the average Joe’s. Case in point? Angelina Jolie, who on March 1 sold a painting by Winston Churchill that was originally purchased back in 2011 — reportedly as a gift from then-love Brad Pitt — for an astounding $12 million. The former U.K. prime minister’s artwork, the “Tower of the Koutoubia Mosque,” fetched more than triple its high estimate of $3.5 million via a Christie’s of London auction, setting a new sale price record. 

How much did your last Airbnb rent for? If you’re a super-famous genetically blessed couple, that answer might be astronomical. Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly have reportedly been shacking up in an Airbnb rental in the Sherman Oaks area of Los Angeles that costs $30,000 a month! Yep, according to the New York Post, the couple have been staying in a five-bedroom, five-bathroom newly built home — which also features a pool, a spa and basketball court — since May.

Fans of the HBO series “Sex and the City,” which ran from 1998 to 2004, were delighted to hear that it’s been revived as a limited series for HBO Max called “And Just Like That.” Sarah Jessica Parker and co-stars Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis have a major payday in store for their participation in the comeback, it was revealed in January: The trio will reportedly earn upwards of $1 million per episode for a grand total of at least $10 million each. Kim Cattrall — who played Samantha Jones during the show’s original run — is not returning.

While many of us have been working from home over the last year, a certain famous couple actually moved themselves to a set. “The Walking Dead” star Jeffrey Dean Morgan, actress wife Hilarie Burton and their kids relocated to the set of his popular show while he filmed season 10 — setting up their family in a former co-star’s TV house while shooting during the coronavirus pandemic. Hilarie opened up about their unique living arrangements with Interview magazine at the end of February, explaining, “… to keep us safe for the filming, they had us quarantined living in the neighborhood that ‘The Walking Dead’ shoots in.” The move might sound fancy, but it wasn’t exactly a cozy setting, as she shared, “Alexandria is a little subdivision of houses with a big, huge wall, and it’s apocalyptic. There’s trash everywhere, and the water tower and all the sets that you see on television. We lived in Rick Grimes’ house. There were bullet holes in my child’s closet door.” 

For most new moms, getting out of pajamas is a big accomplishment. But if you’re model-designer Emily Ratajkowski, a bra worth more than $3,000 is a totally normal postpartum outfit! The beauty headed off on vacation to celebrate her 30th birthday in June and shared photos from her beachside getaway in which she wore a Versace bustier that retails for $3,195 (you can see it here). It wasn’t the only Versace piece she wore during the trip either — she also posted Instagram pics of herself in a pricey dress by the same designer.

Want another reason to love Post Malone? He gave back to those fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. On Jan. 13, TMZ reported that the “Sunflower” hitmaker gifted 10,000 frontline workers his custom Crocs — the Post Malone x Crocs Duet Max Clog II — which immediately sold out after debuting in December 2020. Post teamed up with Crocs and the nonprofit organization Musicians On Call to donate the footwear.

The Weeknd had the honor of performing at this year’s Super Bowl halftime show on Feb. 7, and the musician took it so seriously that he invested $7 million of his own money! He told Billboard that he wanted to make the performance a “cinematic experience.” His manager revealed that the Canadian pop star put up the extra funds from his own pocket in addition to doing six months of “Zoom calls and email chains” to plan the epic performance. 

Ever tried to impersonate a celebrity? Surprisingly, Dakota Johnson has! The actress revealed on “The Drew Barrymore Show” in January that she used to use George Clooney’s name to get dinner reservations… without even knowing him! But here’s where this story differs: Eventually, she ended up meeting George. He knew about her reservation antics and told her he was “OK” with it!  

What did you do for your first Valentine’s Day with your significant other? We bet Michael B. Jordan has you beat: He rented out an entire aquarium for new love Lori Harvey! Lori shared scenes from the extravagant date on Instagram, explaining how they went on a private tour and then ate dinner brought in from Nobu at an elaborate set-up underneath the swimming fish. Their day ended in an equally over-the-top hotel room filled to the brim with flowers.

Themed SoulCycle classes often involve big pop stars’ music, but what happens when one of the singers stops by to sit in the instructor’s seat? That’s what happened in June when Joe Jonas crashed a “One Direction vs. the Jonas Brothers” spin class in Georgia. He chronicled the funny stunt on Instagram, captioning a video of the prank, “When you’ve got an off day in Atlanta… why wouldn’t you drop-in for a @JonasBrothers vs. @OneDirection class at @soulcycle?? Let’s get it! #notanad #justlovesurprises.”

All kids love to pull off prank calls. But if your dad is super-famous, you might have access to a more impressive rolodex of numbers. U2 frontman Bono’s daughter, “Behind Her Eyes” actress Eve Hewson, opened up about a certain boy band star she used to prank call — Justin Timberlake. Yep, in March, she confessed on “This Morning” that she once stole her dad’s address book. “I tried to prank call a few people, but Justin picked up, so we asked him trivial questions from the back of a cereal box,” she said. 

On April 16, Dirt reported that Dwayne Johnson had just purchased a 3.67-acre Los Angeles property for $27.8 million! The stunning home, which was built in 1993, was previously owned by “Mad About You” star Paul Reiser. Despite having been on the market for $30 million, it seems The Rock was able to shave a couple million off the asking price. The extravagant estate located in L.A.’s Beverly Park area includes six bedrooms, a full-size tennis court, a baseball diamond and a state-of-the art gym. There’s also a 2,500-square-foot guest house which, added to the main home, means there’s nearly 18,000 square feet of living space in total.

Kylie Jenner donated $500,000 to create a hospital lounge especially for teenage cancer patients that opened on March 31. The makeup mogul made the decision to financially contribute to the creation of the “Hey, I’m Here For You Teen Lounge” at Nashville’s Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt in honor of her friend, singer-songwriter Harry Hudson, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2017 (the lounge was also named after his 2020 album and cancer charity). “I am so grateful for Kylie’s friendship and the impact she’s had on my life and my cancer journey… She has always been there for me, and together, we wanted to figure out a way to be there for other young people who are battling this disease,” Harry said in a statement.

In January 2021, it was reported that Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving had purchased a home for the family of George Floyd, a Black man who was killed in May 2020 when a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck. “He wanted to help George’s family and I let him know that a house was what they needed at that time and he made it happen in a heartbeat,” said former NBA player Stephen Jackson, who was a friend to George. Kyrie has since spoken out about what he did. “I just want to keep continuing to fulfill our purpose in serving a lot of the underserved communities,” he said. “Those don’t necessarily get the same attention from just others around… So just trying to do my part with service, that’s all.”

It turns out that running for president without a successful fundraising arm costs a pretty penny. In February, it was revealed exactly how much Kanye West shelled out for his 2020 campaign: $13.2 million, which included $12 million of his own money. The rapper ran as a member of the Birthday Party after announced his ill-advised run in July 2020.

If you starred in one of the biggest blockbusters of all time, would you decorate your house in the film’s memorabilia? Leonardo DiCaprio allegedly did! Interior designer Megan Weaver recently revealed that while working with the movie star back in the ’90s, she briefly stayed at his beach home, where she made a shocking discovery. “…Everything was ‘Titanic,'” Megan explained on the “Behind the Velvet Rope” podcast. “‘Titanic’ towels, ‘Titanic’ posters, ‘Titanic’ everywhere.” 

Kim Kardashian took to Instagram on Feb. 8 to show fans a painting created by her then-7-year-old daughter, North West — a typical mom thing to do. The only difference? This painting of a lake is insanely impressive… and many fans thought it looked too good to have been painted by a little girl. After receiving a lot of commentary, Kim took to her Instagram Story to write: “My daughter and her best friend have been taking a serious oil painting class where their talents and creativity are being encouraged and nurtured. North worked incredibly hard on her painting, which took several weeks to complete. As a proud mom, I wanted to share her work with everyone. I’m seeing op-ed pieces in the media and social media from grown adults breaking down whether or not my child actually painted this. How dare you see children doing awesome things and then try to accuse them of NOT being awesome!?!?!”

You know you’ve made it when… you inspire a question on a national high school exam! In May 2021, Taylor Swift was featured in a question that was on the 2021 AP U.S. Government and Politics exam for high school students. The question apparently focused on the “folklore” singer-songwriter’s political Instagram post from 2018 in which she urged Swifties to vote for Tennessee Democrat Phil Bredesen (over Republican Marsha Blackburn) in their race to be elected to the U.S. Senate. “I opened the free response questions, and the first question was about Taylor Swift, and I was just laughing,” high school student Alyssa Brown told CNN, as reported by People magazine. “I thought it was pretty cool.”

After two years on the market, Bette Midler finally sold her Fifth Avenue Manhattan triplex for $50 million, it was revealed in April. While it might seem like just another high-profile celebrity real estate deal, it’s more than that — Bette made an absolutely enormous profit. According to the New York Post, she initially purchased the Upper East Side apartment for $3.5 million in 1996 — which means she made $46.5 million! The luxurious New York City apartment, which spans 7,000 square feet, includes seven bathrooms, a private elevator and a stunning rooftop garden and terrace.

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