Celebrities Who Exploited Others To Become Famous

If you're struggling to catch the limelight, what's a sure-fire way to up your profile? Find someone who's already famous and latch onto them! That's much easier than utilizing talent and craftsmanship to attract an audience of your own. Here's the dirt on celebrities who exploited others to get famous.

Solange Knowles

For years, Solange Knowles was best known as Beyoncé's lacking little sister: lacking media training (as evidenced by her attitude problem during an interview) and lacking a fanbase (as evidenced by her mediocre record sales). That all changed in May 2014 when footage leaked of Solange physically assaulting Beyoncé's husband, Jay Z, in an elevator the night of the Met Gala. To this day, no one knows for sure what really happened, but it's the most relevant Solange has ever been. After news of the brawl broke, Solange's digital record sales jumped 233 percent, according to In Touch.

Kris Jenner

Kris Jenner is an incredible capitalist and a questionable mother. The New York Daily News reports that the Keeping Up with the Kardashians matriarch may have made a name for herself by helping to negotiate the leak and sale of daughter Kim Kardashian's sex tape in 2007. Jenner was reportedly also involved in Kardashian's first Playboy photo shoot in 2007, supposedly coaching her daughter through the nude experience. "This sounds so bad, but I feel like my mom talked me into doing my first Playboy shoot," Kardashian told the Vogue Festival in association with Harrod's (via MSN Entertainment), so there you have it. Jenner rode Kardashian's coattails (or lack thereof) to reality stardom and has expertly supported the marketing of the rest of her children too.

Blac Chyna

Kris Jenner isn't the only person skilled at exploiting Kardashians. When rapper Tyga left his baby mama and fiancée, Blac Chyna, for best friend Kim Kardashian's little sister, Kylie Jenner, Chyna got even and hooked up with the girls' brother, Rob Kardashian, who was already somewhat estranged from the rest of his family. At the time of this writing, Rob and Chyna have a baby and a reality show on the way, which seems to be benefiting Chyna more than Rob.

In August 2016, People reported on tensions between Rob and rising star Chyna regarding their increasing level of publicity. "Rob just got super emotional and felt too overwhelmed," a source told the magazine. "He lashed out from being frustrated...Getting back in front of the cameras has been hard on Rob as he hasn't been doing anything for a really long time now. Being in the limelight all of a sudden again is a big deal for him."

Taylor Swift

Songstress Taylor Swift has made a career out of coyly writing about other celebrities in her hit music. Swift allegedly wrote the scathing song "Better Than Revenge" about Camilla Belle, the actress Joe Jonas dated after he and Swift broke up. In that infamous track, Swift sings, "She's not a saint and she's not what you think / She's an actress / She's better known for the things that she does on the mattress." Subtle, Tay.

Other notorious targets of Swift's songwriting include musician John Mayer, who believes he was dissed in the country tune "Dear John," and pop star Katy Perry, who reportedly inspired Swift's award-winning "Bad Blood." And the list goes on and on.

Courtney Love

The authenticity of Hole frontwoman Courtney Love's devotion to Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain has been the subject of heated speculation for years. In a 1992 profile for Vanity Fair, the magazine reported that Love was "viewed by many as a charismatic opportunist" who capitalized on Cobain's tremendous fame, dishing out juicy interviews about their relationship to attract more attention. "There have been rampant reports about the couple's drug problems," Vanity Fair reported, "and many believe she introduced Cobain to heroin."

Love feuded very publicly with her husband's bandmates before and after his death by supposed suicide. According to the New York Daily News, a private investigator hired by Love to investigate her husband's shooting death, believes she had something to do with it. Investigator Tom Grant called Love a "psychopath" and a "sociopath" who was "involved in a conspiracy" surrounding Cobain's death. "Love has always adamantly denied any involvement with Cobain's death," the Daily News noted, but Grant believes "the controversial case should be reopened."

Kevin Federline

Britney Spears met backup dancer Kevin Federline in the spring of 2004 when his then-girlfriend, Shar Jackson, was pregnant with their second child. No matter: Spears married him five months later and had two sons with him before filing for divorce in November 2006. During that time, Spears didn't release any new music, though Federline dropped a flop called "Popozao" that he predicted would be "the one to get it all started."

Meanwhile, Spears further damaged her reputation with the reality series, Britney and Kevin: Chaotic, which Variety described as "a self-indulgent, mindless piece of drivel." After their split, Spears suffered a breakdown that peaked with shaving her head and being put on a psychiatric hold in 2008. At the time of this writing, she still remains under a conservatorship with her father, Jamie Spears, and a lawyer controlling all her financial and career matters.

Federline is now married to pro volleyball player-turned teacher Victoria Prince and they have two kids together. Federline told Us Weekly in 2015 that he thoroughly enjoyed the period during which he's been blamed for ruining Spears' personal and professional life. "That time of my life, it was great. It was fun, it was crazy, it was chaos...The limelight, the entertainment business, the lifestyle—period."