What jobs did the Kardashians do before they were famous?

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - Wednesday August 17, 2011. The Kardashians at the Kardashian Kollection Launch Party held at the Colony,
Ask today's children about their career ambitions, and a shockingly high proportion - nearly half, in some surveys - will say that they just want to appear in a reality TV show.

Programmes like Keeping Up With The Kardashians depict a wealthy and glamorous lifestyle. And while its stars tend to dabble in the fashion and beauty industries, they're mostly famous for doing - well, in some cases not much work at all.

There isn't, obviously, a clear career path towards becoming a reality TV star - and we don't recommend that you take Kim Kardashian's route and gain notoriety through the release of a sex tape.

But it's interesting to take a look at the jobs that the family members had before they shot to fame - at least, those old enough for life before the show...

Kim Kardashian
It was with the launch of reality television series Keeping Up With The Kardashians in 2007 that Kim Kardashian really shot to fame.

She now has a wide range of business interests, including a mobile game for iPhone and Android called Kim Kardashian: Hollywood and an emoji pack for IOS devices called Kimoji.

She has lines in clothing and cosmetics - including the Kardashian Kollection, Kardashian Beauty and a chain of boutiques called D-A-S-H. Last year, she released a 325-page book of selfies called Selfish - and even her sponsored Instagram and Twitter posts bring in up to $25,000 each.

But life wasn't always that exciting for Kim, who started work at a young age, spending four years in a clothing store as a teenager. She later made money buying and selling clothes, shoes and accessories on eBay, a business which later led to her becoming a closet organiser for stars including Cindy Crawford, Serena Williams and the Hilton sisters.

It was through contacts like these that she met singer Ray J - with whom the fateful sex tape that prompted the show was made.

Kourtney Kardashian
Kourtney now works with her sisters on D-A-S-H, as well as representing the skincare line PerfectSkin and acting as a spokeswoman for the diet supplement Quick Trim.

But Keeping Up With The Kardashians wasn't Kourtney's first TV job - or even her first reality television. Back in 2004, she appeared on a show called Filthy Rich: Cattle Drive, which put a group of privileged kids to work on a Colorado ranch to give them a glimpse of 'real' life. She gave her earnings to charity.

Khloe Kardashian
Khloe Kardashian has admitted she tried hard to achieve fame before Keeping Up With The Kardashians hit the airwaves. But, she says, she was rejected by agent after agent for not being able to sing - or, indeed, do much of anything else.

Rob Kardashian
Like his sister Khloe, Rob Kardashian was a little to young to have forged a career by the time Keeping Up With The Kardashians first aired in 2007. He graduated from the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business in 2009 and now has several business ventures with PerfectSkin, Rival Spot, the BG5 - and a planned range of socks.

Caitlyn Jenner
Caitlyn - formerly Bruce - Jenner was of course a gold-medal Olympian before Keeping Up With The Kardashians. She sold insurance at night while training during the day.

After winning the decathlon at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, she became a spokesperson for Wheaties breakfast cereal and had a number of TV and movie roles - although in one of them, the Village People comedy Can't Stop the Music, she was nominated for the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor.

Jenner also became a successful racing car driver in the 1980s.

In 1994, Jenner and wife Kris launched a line of sports fitness equipment and chain of fitness studios. She also runs Bruce Jenner Aviation, which sells aircraft supplies to executives and corporations.

Kris Jenner
Kris Jenner started out a long way from her current glamorous lifestyle, selling donuts as a teenager before becoming a flight attendant for American Airlines. She was just 22 when she married lawyer Robert Kardashian - who later became famous for defending O J Simpson against murder charges - and children Kourtney, Kim, Khloe Rob followed soon after.

After her divorce in 1990, Kris had a short stint as a correspondent for the ABC daytime talk show Mike & Maty, started managing new husband Bruce's career, and launched a line of fitness equipment. She also opened a children's store called Smooch in 2003.

The 10 richest reality stars
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The 10 richest reality stars

Klass is worth £11 million. She was an early winner in the pop competition phenomenon. The classical musician took part in Popstars in 2001, where she took the title as a member of Hear’Say. The win brought her £1 million immediately, but the band only lasted two years. She was snapped up after the band split, but had limited success as a solo pop artist.

Her second big break, however, came when she appeared in I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here in 2006 and took an array of small bikinis with her. She subsequently balanced modelling with a return to classical music. And since then had delved into an incredible array of enterprises, ranging from designing a range of baby clothes for Mothercare to presenting Loose Women and hosting a show on Classic FM.

Lewis is worth £13 million. She became the third winner of the X-Factor in 2006, and is currently the second richest act to emerge from the show. She has now produced four studio albums, and sold 20 million copies. Some of her money-making potential may lie in the fact that she was mentored for seven years by Simon Cowell.

She hasn’t made a vast amount of money in projects beyond her music, although she has a line of accessories, a very successful perfume, and is a face of The Body Shop. She also made her film debut this year in Walking on Sunshine.

The band is worth £14 Million (each). It’s no surprise to see this global phenomenon on the list, and it’s worth remembering that one of the reasons they are not higher up it is that they only shot to fame on X Factor in 2010. The boys famously auditioned as solo acts, but made the cut after being brought together by Simon Cowell as a supergroup.

Their money-making comes partly through the music, including selling 45 million records, £270 million of tour ticket sales, and a box office smash hit movie. They have also taken merchandise to the next level. Their range includes bedding, lipstick, perfume, hats, bags, dresses, jewellery, shoes, a onesie, glasses, dolls, shot glasses, nail varnish, cushions, headphones and mobile phone covers - and every item is an enormous hit because they have generated one of the most loyal fan bases in pop’s living memory.

Hudson is worth £15 million, This is an amazing result for someone who came seventh on a reality show talent competition. However, Hudson raised her profile enough to catch the eye of the moguls casting the hit movie Dreamgirls - earning herself an Oscar for Best Supporting Acress - and kickstarting a lucrative film career.

She has since released three albums, and landed a WeightWatchers job, all of which have helped add to the coffers and bring her into seventh place.

The first ever winner of American Idol in 2002 is worth £16 million. She has now released six best-selling albums and completed three world tours. The majority of her wealth is said to come from record sales - of which she has sold 20 million. She’s expecting to release another album at the beginning of next year, so she’s unlikely to run short of cash any time soon.

The artist now known as Cheryl Fernandez-Versini is worth £16 million. She was part of the reality girl group Girls Aloud, which won ITV’s Pop Stars: The Rivals in 2002. Within the group she amassed £6 million after selling four million albums over seven years, but the rest of her fortune has been built up through an array of projects since.

Her solo career has included three hit albums, modelling contacts with the likes of L’Oreal and Coca-Cola Zero, judging on The X Factor (and a very brief stint on the US version of the show), and a signature perfume. She is said to have so much faith in the strength of her recent marriage that she refused to sign a pre-nuptial agreement to protect her cash

Boyle is worth £22 million, and is perhaps the ultimate reality TV success story. From the moment the 53-year-old blew the audience away during her Britain’s Got Talent audition in 2009, her unique talents were set to transform her life. In the end she only came second on the show, but was snapped up by Simon Cowell’s record label and was immediately put to work.

Despite having relatively fragile health - which has meant a less full-on promotional whirl than the One Direction boys, she has released four albums, and sold more than 19 million copies. She has also embarked on a tour, and has performed at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games and for Pope Benedict XVI. It is no surprise that her story was turned into a musical, and the rights bought to turn it into a film.

Roots (whose real name is actually Keith Valentine Graham Bilal Musa) is worth £30 million. He took his jerk sauce to a trade show in 2006, where he was spotted by a BBC producer who suggested he appeared on Dragon’s Den.

In 2007 he blew the dragons away (despite getting his maths very wrong when calculating how much sauce was on order), and won over Peter Jones and Richard Fairleigh. Now it’s not just his jerk sauce that is stocked in supermarkets - but a vast range of pizzas, sauces, ready meals and even cakes. He has also produced best-selling cook books and a BBC series, and tours the speaking circuit.

Hilton is worth £36 million, and is the first on this list to be famous for nothing in particular - generally known as being a Hilton hotels heir and a socialite. However, since she appeared on her own reality TV show, The Simple Life, with Nicole Ritchie, she has made a fortune through a huge number of ventures. Reality TV has been good to her, with her BFF reality show franchise and The World According to Paris. Telling her story has also made her rich - with two autobiographies and a documentary on the subject. She has appeared in several films and TV dramas, and released an album.

However, she has also shown an incredible ability to sell products. She has her own fashion lines - including one for dogs, more than ten fragrances, jewellery designs, hair extensions, shampoos, hair vitamins, shoes, an app, sunglasses, and a chain of accessory shops.

The top position on the list goes to Kardashian West, who is worth £39 million. She’s another ‘socialite’ who came to the attention of TV producers in 2007 through a leaked sex tape. This lead to Keeping Up With The Kardashians - which has since spawned nine series and four spin offs. This only explains a fraction of her wealth, however, because Kim Kardashian’s ability to cash in on fame is unprecedented.

Her enormous number of endorsements include perfume, trainers, diet products, nail polish, jewellery, watches, a cupcake mix, lollipops, Carls Jr fast food, a gaming app, candles, laser hair-removal, fake tan, lipgloss, and swimwear. The family owns a chain of boutiques, and a clothing line called the Kardashian Kollection. Even her wedding in 2011 was said to have made her £6 million.

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