"I Was Raised On A Farm":16 Celebs Who Acted Like They Were From Humble Beginnings And Immediately Got Called Out

"I Was Raised On A Farm":16 Celebs Who Acted Like They Were From Humble Beginnings And Immediately Got Called Out

1.In one of the most iconic examples, Victoria Beckham claimed that she grew up "working class" in the documentary Beckham. Her husband David quickly took issue with this, pushing Victoria to admit to the type of car her father, an electronics engineer, drove her to school in...a Rolls-Royce.

victoria beckham says she's working class and david beckham corrects her, asking what car her father drove her to school in - victoria says a rolls-royce

2.Despite how he was portrayed in Straight Outta Compton, Ice Cube wasn't actually from Compton. He was born in Baldwin Hills and raised in South Central Los Angeles, and his parents both had stable jobs working at UCLA. He attended George Washington Preparatory High School and later was bused to William Howard Taft Charter High School in suburban Woodland Hills. He then earned a degree in architectural drafting. Many colleagues have questioned his street cred. Rapper Kam said in a diss track, "It's a shame you got rich off our stress and strife, / you ain't never gang banged in your life," and both Kam and DJ Alonzo Williams referred to him as an "actor."

Ice Cube wearing a black shirt with "West Coast" and "Warlord" text, and a cap, standing on stage

Music manager Jerry Heller also called him "not exactly the toughest guy that I ever met," pointing out his upbringing and high school.

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3.Whitney Cummings has repeatedly said that she was poor as a kid, stating that she loved Roseanne because "I grew up poor, and that was the first show that looked like my house. It was the first show that didn't make me feel bad about myself." She's also listed the "poor people food" she ate, like cereal, peanut butter and jelly (or banana) sandwiches, and fish sticks. While she admitted her mom was a Neiman Marcus publicist and her dad was a "venture capitalist," she said it was more that he called himself that and would borrow and lend money until it was gone. She said the heat didn't work in her house, that she often had lice, and that she often ate at neighbors' houses since her parents didn't feed her.

Whitney Cummings at an event, wearing a light button-up shirt with a high collar and a sleek updo hairstyle
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However, the backstory feels shaky at best. Cummings grew up in Georgetown (a wealthy area), attended St. Andrew's Episcopal School (around $50,000 in yearly tuition), had her own horse, and then went to UPenn, an Ivy League school. While it could be that her circumstances drastically changed in the middle of her childhood (she did state she moved in with her sister before high school), it certainly doesn't seem like she grew up in poverty. This early Washington Post interview states Cummings grew up "in relative comfort padded by free lotions, perfumes and clothes from Bloomingdale's and Neiman Marcus."

Whitney Cummings with hair tied back, wearing a sleeveless, striped top during a public event
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4.In his song "Juicy," Biggie Smalls claimed that he was so poor growing up that he would eat sardines for dinner. He also said they'd skip Christmas and had no heat. But his mother, Voletta Wallace, later claimed this wasn't true, denying that he ever had to eat sardines for dinner. They likely didn't celebrate Christmas because his mother was a Jehovah's Witness.

The image shows The Notorious B.I.G. performing on stage, holding a microphone and wearing a colorful graphic shirt, sunglasses, a black hat, and gold jewelry
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Biggie also went to private school, and the "one room shack" he referenced in his music was actually an apartment in Brooklyn (it has been renovated, though it was clearly never a "shack"). He was described by the New Yorker as "middle class."

The Notorious B.I.G. poses with hands raised, wearing a fur coat, fedora, white turtleneck, gold chains, and rings at the Billboard Music Awards
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5.Bob Dylan has been caught in more than a few lies about his childhood. For example, he once claimed that he didn't know his parents — around the same time, he was putting them up in hotels and inviting them to his shows. He also once claimed he was raised in New Mexico and sang for a traveling carnival from the ages of 13 to 19 — and that he used to turn "tricks in Times Square to make ends meet." None of this is true.

Bob Dylan smoking a cigarette in a room with two curtained windows in the background. He is wearing a dark turtleneck sweater
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He also changed his name and the way he talked and dressed to better emulate Woody Guthrie and claimed he had a troubled childhood. The result was that Dylan had the persona of a working-class man from the American West and not that of a largely suburban, middle-class kid from upstate Minnesota, close to Canada.

Bob Dylan singing into a microphone while wearing sunglasses and a casual outfit
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6.Lana Del Rey's music often paints a picture of a "white trash" woman who came from a low-income family out west or in Florida and lived in a trailer park — which fans have contradicted after learning her father is now a millionaire. However, Del Rey maintains that her father made his money after she became an adult, saying that she grew up in one of "the most rural places in America" (Lake Placid) and that her family "had absolutely no money." While she did go to an elite boarding school, she said it was through her uncle working there and that she received financial aid.

Lana Del Rey at an event, wearing a stylish deep V-neck dress with a cross necklace, smiling at the camera
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Still — Del Rey didn't actually live in a trailer park until she was an adult when she used money from her first album deal to buy a trailer. For many fans, learning she lived in a "little mountain town" in New York State and attended boarding school shattered the illusion of Del Rey's upbringing.

Lana Del Rey in a fairy tale-inspired outfit adorned with twig-like details and a matching headpiece at a public event
Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images

7.Kid Rock similarly built an image around being poor and coming "straight out the trailer" — when in reality, he was born to millionaire parents and lived on an estate in Michigan with a complete guest house, apple orchard, horse stables, and private tennis courts. His father reportedly had a second home in Jupiter Island, Florida.

Kid Rock performs on stage, wearing a hat, sunglasses, a fur-lined jacket, and jeans, singing into a microphone while pointing with his other hand
Christopher Polk / Getty Images for VH1

8.Ed Sheeran has spoken multiple times about couch-surfing and not having anywhere to live when he was first trying to make it, both when he moved to London and when he moved to LA. In London, he even said he used to sleep in an arch with a heating duct outside Buckingham Palace. He even wrote the song "Homeless" there. He also would sleep on the train after gigs. "I spent a week catching up on sleep on Circle Line trains. I'd go out and play a gig, wait until 5 a.m. when the Underground opened, sleep on the Circle Line until 12, go to a session — and then repeat. It wasn't that bad. It's not like I was sleeping rough on the cold streets."

Ed Sheeran at an event, wearing a black jacket over a black shirt, against a backdrop with logos and text
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Sheeran, who was born to wealthy parents, also said, "I didn't have anywhere to live for much of 2008 and the whole of 2009 and 2010, but somehow I made it work. I knew where I could get a bed at a certain time of night, and I knew who I could call at any time to get a floor to sleep on. Being sociable helped. Drinking helped." Later, after people pointed out his privilege and parentage, he said headlines that he'd called himself "homeless" had taken his quotes out of context. "Everyone's saying 'Ed Sheeran was homeless' — I never said that in the book. I went without a bed for some nights, that's it."

Ed Sheeran and an unidentified man dressed in suits, standing outside a building. Ed Sheeran is wearing a navy suit with a white shirt and gray tie
Michael M. Santiago / Getty Images

9.In an old interview to promote their then-upcoming show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Khloé, Kim, Kourtney, and Kris spoke about their upbringing. In the clip, Kourtney attempted to shatter the idea that they were always rich by saying she was cut off in her early 20s.

Khloé Kardashian and Kourtney Kardashian speak about their dad's advice on finding a job after college

Kim followed up by saying it was actually more challenging for them to grow up privileged because it created an expectation for a certain lifestyle they had to maintain. She also claimed "most people are doing nothing" and seemed to think it was novel that she was working at 16.

Kim Kardashian discusses how having affluent parents motivated her and her siblings to work hard and not rely on their wealth

10.Years later, Kardashian eventually acknowledged her privilege growing up but then seemed to insinuate they actually had a difficult financial upbringing. "Yeah, we grew up privileged, but people don't know the story of [Caitlyn Jenner] and Mom having to sell their house in Hidden Hills because they couldn't afford it and they had to move to an apartment," she said on her reality show. This information is contradicted in Kris's memoir. Speaking of Jenner, she was a former Olympic athlete and celebrity, while the Kardashians' birth father, Robert Kardashian, was a lawyer best known for representing O.J. Simpson.

Kim Kardashian is seated, wearing a long-sleeve ribbed top, smiling, and touching her hair. A backdrop with indistinct text is behind her
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11.Gwyneth Paltrow similarly said she's "completely self-made" because her parents — Emmy and Tony award-winning actor Blythe Danner and film director Bruce Paltrow — didn't give her money as an adult. "People think, 'She's just a rich kid.' Until I was 18, I was. Then I was broke. I've never taken a dime off my parents." When she dropped out of college to be an actor, she says her dad refused to "help" her. "I was like, 'Yeah, right.' And he was like, 'No, I'm not.' So I got an apartment with a roommate; I worked as a hostess at a restaurant; I would scrounge quarters to buy Starbucks — and walk there to save gas. I remember once asking my dad for money, like, 'Please, I'm really stuck. Can you help?' And he said, 'You're more than welcome to come over for dinner.' That was it."

Gwyneth Paltrow wearing a high-neck, sheer long-sleeve top and high-waist trousers, standing in front of greenery

12.Vanilla Ice initially claimed he'd had a rough, poor upbringing in Florida, which made headlines after journalists discovered he'd actually lived in a middle-class suburb of Dallas and drove a white IROC Camaro Z28. While Ice eventually admitted to some statements about his past being false, he nevertheless doubled down on claims that he "grew up poor on the streets" and spent time in predominately Black neighborhoods in Miami and Dallas. As for his car, he said he bought a fancy car from doing motocross but couldn't afford gas.

Vanilla Ice in a white textured outfit, striking a hand gesture with two fingers extended and one bent

Though he also admitted he "actually tried to detour people," saying, "I was embarrassed to tell people I was from Farmers Branch [an inner-ring suburb of Dallas]. I didn't tell them I was from Miami. I didn't tell them I was from anywhere. I was just like, 'Listen, I'm from around the corner, man. I'm from around the fucking way.'" Overall, though, he said he misled people to protect his privacy — which didn't stop critics from parsing through his lies and questioning his street cred.

Vanilla Ice performs on an outdoor stage, holding a microphone and wearing a patriotic jacket and a baseball cap. He raises one arm, gesturing to the crowd
Matthew Eisman / Getty Images

13.When Daisy Ridley was asked about her privilege in an interview with the Guardian, she seemed confused and then compared her upbringing to that of Star Wars costar John Boyega. For reference, Boyega has said he was a "poor lad from London, with parents who moved from Nigeria to the UK and lived on council estates" and that his family was too poor to afford toys. He also went to theater school on a hardship fund.

Daisy Ridley at the 2023 Star Wars Celebration Europe event, wearing a sleek, sleeveless red dress with a large bow on the shoulder
Jeff Spicer / Jeff Spicer / Getty Images for Disney

Ridley, in contrast, had a banker mother and photographer father and was also related to famous playwright Arnold Ridley and BBC's former head of engineering John Harry Dunn Ridley. She grew up in the wealthy area of Maida Vale. Nevertheless, she said, "John grew up on a council estate in Peckham and I think me and him are similar enough..." She also said, when the interviewer suggested that she had privilege because she went to a private school, "I went to a boarding school for performing arts, which was different." She did attend the school with some kind of scholarship and called her home in Maida Vale "the ricketiest home on the street."

John Boyega and Daisy Ridley pose together on a red carpet. John wears a brown coat over a tan shirt, and Daisy wears a black blazer with starburst brooches
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14.Drake has also framed his story as very rags-to-riches, notably in his song "Started from the Bottom." Critics have taken issue with this portrayal, considering Drake (then Aubrey Graham) began living in Forest Hill (a rich neighborhood) in sixth grade and was cast in Degrassi at age 14. Drake later claimed, "Everybody thinks I went to some private school and my family was rich. Maybe it's my fault. Maybe I haven't talked enough about it, but I didn't grow up happy. I wasn't in a happy home. ... We were very poor, like broke."

Drake wearing a black turtleneck and blazer, with a beaded necklace, posing against a textured backdrop
Mike Marsland / Getty Images

"The only money I had coming in was off of Canadian TV, which isn't that much money when you break it down," Drake said. "A season of Canadian television is under a teacher's salary, I'll tell you that much. It's definitely not something to go fucking get." He said he lived with his mother on the bottom two floors of a house, saying the home was "not big, it was not luxurious. It was what we could afford." While it's true that Drake was only making a reported $50,000 a year from Degrassi, he was still a TV star appearing at red-carpet events, which isn't exactly the "bottom."

Drake at a red carpet event, wearing a light blue sweater over a white collared shirt, with sunglasses hanging from his sweater
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15.Lady Gaga has painted herself as middle class growing up multiple times, though she grew up on the notoriously wealthy Upper West Side just blocks from Lincoln Center and went to the private school Sacred Heart. At school, Gaga said some of her classmates had extreme wealth, unlike her family: "All our money went into education and the house." Gaga worked at a diner and bought a Gucci purse with her first paycheck, saying, "I was so excited because all the girls at Sacred Heart always had their fancy purses, and I always had whatever. My mom and dad were not buying me a $600 purse." Her parents did, however, take out a loan to buy her a baby grand piano, and she took piano and voice lessons while growing up.

Lady Gaga on the red carpet wearing an elegant, off-shoulder gown and a statement necklace at a Grammy Awards event
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin / FilmMagic via Getty Images

Her father paid part of her rent for her first apartment and offered to pay her rent at NYU if music didn't work out. He was very successful, having invented GuestWi-Fi, and her mother was a VP at Verizon. While it's clear Gaga was not as rich as her wildly wealthy classmates, not having parents who buy you a $600 purse doesn't mean your family doesn't have much money.

Lady Gaga poses with a large bow hairstyle, wearing sunglasses and a black strapless outfit at a Nokia event backdrop
Nick Harvey / WireImage via Getty Images

16.Finally, Taylor Swift has never explicitly claimed to have grown up poor, but many assumed she came from humble beginnings, especially due to her claims that she grew up on a farm. In "I Bet You Think About Me," she sings, "You grew up in a silver-spoon gated community, / glamorous, shiny, bright Beverly Hills. / I was raised on a farm, no, it wasn't a mansion / — just livin' room dancin' and kitchen table bills."

Taylor Swift poses on the red carpet in an elegant strapless dress, layered necklaces, and black gloves, with Grammy Award statues in the background
Neilson Barnard / Getty Images for The Recording Academy

While Swift did grow up on a farm, it was 15 acres and run by her father as a hobby. For his day job, he was a Merrill Lynch financial adviser — and comes from a long line of bank presidents. This was their home. They also had the money to move to Nashville so that Taylor could pursue a career in music.

Taylor Swift with long, curly hair, wearing a strapless, sequined dress, looking over her shoulder against a red backdrop
Evan Agostini / Getty Images

Did any of these surprise you? Let us know in the comments!