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12 Celebrities You Didn't Know Dropped Out Of School

It definitely worked out for them, though.
PHOTO: (1) Getty Images/Mireya Acierto/Filmmagic, (2) Getty Images/Dan Macmedan/WireImage, (3) Getty Images/David Livingston

Though your education is super important, everyone's road to success is different. These stars may have dropped out of school, but they're doing just fine! 

  1. Katy Perry

    Though Katy dropped out in her first year of high school to pursue her music career, she earned her General Educational Development (American secondary school diploma) that same year at just 15 years old. The singer told Yahoo in 2014, "I'm kind of bummed at this stage that I didn't have a great education because I could really use that these days."
  2. Harry Styles

    After auditioning for The X Factor at 16 and joining One Direction shortly after, Harry quit school to follow his dreams, meaning he never did his A-Levels or university. He also left behind his high school band, White Eskimo. No hard feelings, though!

  3. Rihanna

    At 16, RiRi left her high school in Barbados to sign with Def Jam Recordings—but not before she won her high school's beauty pageant and talent show. The star's mom told Rolling Stone that Rihanna had always been a straight-A student prior to leaving school.
  4. Ellen DeGeneres

    Ellen dropped out of the University of New Orleans after only one semester to work at her cousin's law firm. She worked multiple odd jobs—from waitressing and bartending to shucking oysters—while trying to make it as a comedian. Worth it.
  5. Drake

    When he was 15, the rapper left high school to star as Jimmy Brooks in Degrassi: The Next Generation. But at 25, Drizzy proudly earned his GED. Back in October of 2012, he tweeted, "97% on my final exam. 88% in the course. One of the greatest feelings in my entire life. As of tonight, I have graduated high school!"
  6. Jennifer Lawrence

    J Law was discovered by a modeling scout during a visit to NYC and decided to drop out of middle school. Though she was only 14 years old at the time, she has zero regrets. She told 60 Minutes' Bill Whitaker, "I wanted to forge my own path. I found what I wanted to do and I didn't want anything to get in the way of it."

  7. Daniel Radcliffe

    Because Daniel played Harry Potter since he was only 10 years old, he worked with tutors on set. However, he told The Telegraph he never finished high school because he "figured university is something you do to find out what you want to do, and [he] knew what [he] wanted to do, and [he] was already doing it."
  8. Jude Law

    Jude Law dropped out of school at 17 after he landed a role in daytime soap Families. A few years later, he landed a main role in Gattaca, before making a name for himself in The Talented Mr. Ripley in 1999.
  9. Jay-Z

    Long before he rose to fame and fell in love with Queen Bey, the rapper was in and out of various high schools in downtown Brooklyn and New Jersey, before he eventually dropped out. Though Jay-Z had a difficult childhood growing up in the drug-ridden Marcy Projects, he's now one of the world's best-selling musicians.
  10. Kanye West

    The College Dropout rapper attended both the American Academy of Art and Chicago State University before dropping out to concentrate solely on his music career. According to MTV News, he told high school students at a 2005 concert, "It is true you can be successful without [college], but this is a hard world, a real world, and you want every advantage you can have."

  11. Drew Barrymore

    As a child star, Drew had a pretty atypical childhood and was emancipated at just 14 years old. In her memoir Wildflower, she wrote, "I decided to create my own school, to self-educate. I decided right then and there I would not be defeated. I would create my own curriculum. And so I did just that: I read, I cleaned, I worked."
  12. Iggy Azalea

    Though Iggy did end up getting her GED, she dropped out of school at 16 against her parents' wishes. After leaving Australia to move to Miami, she worked as a maid before she released her hit single, "Fancy." She said on Chelsea Lately in 2014, "I felt like Florida was for me. I had heard about the craziness and I felt like that was the state I should go to."


This article originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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