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Celebrities & NFTs: A Love Story

Amidst the craze for NFTs, many celebrities are cashing. But they’re not just content to own these digital items—they want to create them, too. But why exactly have NFTs become the newest celebrity accessories? 

By Gayatri Bhaumik
April 27, 2022

First, there were sunglasses and velour Juicy tracksuits. Then there were Hermès Birkins and UGG boots. Now, few celebrities would be caught dead without an NFT—or at least, having a stance on crypto and the metaverse. You’d have to be living under a rock to have missed the global buzz about NFTs—but what exactly are they and why are celebrities jumping on the bandwagon? 

NFTs—or non-fungible tokens—are digital items built on blockchain technology and have unique identifying information coded into smart contracts. In reality, this means that every single NFT is completely unique and offers indisputable ownership. It’s like provenance in the traditional art world—with NFTs, you can always figure out where it’s been and who’s owned it. They also come with surprising monetary value. Importantly, NFTs can be anything. Commonly, they’re digital art, but they can be other collectables like music, videos, books, and fashion items. 



No doubt, their unsurpassed popularity and their inherent fiscal value are just two reasons why celebrities have co-opted NFTs as their latest must-have accessory. Everyone from Jimmy Fallon and Eminem to Travis Barker and Gwyneth Paltrow is a die-hard fan of Bored Ape Yacht Club, one of the metaverse’s most successful NFT projects, while Reese Witherspoon and Eva Longoria are letting their feminist flags fly by buying World of Women NFTs, a project dedicated to creating diversity and equal opportunity in Web3.  

But far be it for them to just own NFTs. It’s no secret that celebrities are great at creating alternative income sources—any big name worth their salt is a multi-hyphenate that works with some combination of movies, music, sports, restaurants, booze, fashion, and yes, brand endorsements. Now, it looks like they’re figuring out that if people are willing to invest in the metaverse, they can capitalise by offering fans a chance to own celebrity NFTs.  

Of course, not everyone in Hollywood is buying into the craze. In an interview with The Verge, actor Keanu Reeves laughed at the idea of NFTs, noting how ridiculous it is that we accept the phenomenon because a handful of people have decided that the smart contracts they’re based on have value. Others are voicing concern about how NFTs could be affecting the environment—it takes a lot of energy to mint each token. 

Still, many others are certainly buying into the trend. Here are five celebrities who have launched their own NFT collections.  



Photo: Blake Kathryn

She could’ve minted NFTs—and money—by cashing in on her trademark “That’s hot” phrase from her “Simple Life” days. Instead, this surprisingly savvy pop culture queen began investing in crypto in 2016 and minted her first NFT in 2019. In 2021, she created her first NFT collection, and the lead piece, titled “Iconic Crypto Queen”, sold for USD1.1 million. 



Photo: Under Armour

Not just content to lead his Golden State Warriors to championship glory, basketball phenom Steph Curry released a collection of 2.974 NFTs. Each one is a digital replica of his Genesis Curry Flows sneakers which he wears on the court—and which NFT owners can wear in the metaverse.  




There are few things Snoop Dogg hasn’t done, so it’s no surprise that he’s testing the metaverse waters, too. He launched “A Journey with the Dogg”, a collection of digital art based on his experiences and memories that also includes an exclusive new track called “NFT” and his very own “Snoop Dogge Coins” cryptocurrency. 



Photo: Emily Ratajkowski

You’ll probably remember this American supermodel for her turn in Robin Thick’s controversial music video for “Blurred Lines.” In recent years, she’s been very vocal about taking back her public image—and that extends into the metaverse. When artist Richard Prince used a provocative photo of her to create a piece of art, she bought it and used it to create an NFT called “Buying Myself Back: A Model for Redistribution”—which was sold at an auction by Christie’s, no less—and essentially regained control over her own image.  



Photo: Notable

Basketball’s retired big man has pursued numerous business opportunities over the years, so of course, he’s trying his hand with NFTs. There’s a rather heart-warming catch, though—the “Shaq Gives Back” series, which features Shaq’s image in different guises, channels 100% of its proceeds into The Shaquille O’Neal Foundation which works with underprivileged youth.