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Riches To Rags: 6 Celebrities Who Declared Bankruptcy

Apparently The Notorious B.I.G. had it right when he said "Mo' Money Mo' Problems"

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So if you're like most Americans, you'll probably earn a little over a million dollars in your life, if you add up all of the paychecks you ever earn. Some celebs bring in that much every year, or even every month, and still wind up penniless in bankruptcy. While we still don't know how they managed to spend all of that money, we're impressed. Here are some of the most impressive cases of celebrity bankruptcy that you might not have know about.

Willie Nelson

After decades of good times, the IRS finally caught up with the ganga loving country legend, and demanded over $16 million in back taxes. With little left to his name, Nelson released an album titled "The IRS Tapes: Who Will Buy My Memories?" Apparently, quite a few people did, because Nelson paid of the Tea Party haters, and lives now in a private community in Maui. I guess it pays to be creative.

MC Hammer

Apparently Bankruptcy Court can touch this. Although Mr. Hammer made over $33 Million in 1991, it still wasn't enough to pay for his crazy expensive lifestyle, and he declared bankruptcy in 1996. Apparently, when you own a 17 car garage, and a house with a bowling alley and a baseball diamond, you don't have tons on money left to pay your debts. Not to Worry, Mr. Hammer is trying to prove to the world that the Polygamist pants can make a comeback, as he partners with Gangnam Style's PSY and others.


It turns out that the only people who wanted this former Disney child star for a while were second rate film producers and her creditors... and the IRS. Owing over $900,000 in back taxes, the former carrot top was forced to declare bankruptcy. Lindsay Lohan hasn't exactly made many good financial decisions or lifestyle decisions lately, but with the likes of Oprah Winfrey in her corner, we hope that she can turn a corner, and keep herself out of rehab.

Michael Vick

The infamous Atlanta Falcons quarterback had to declare bankruptcy from prison in 2008 after he was incarcerated for running a dog fighting ring among among other things. Although Mr. Vick was the fourth highest paid athlete in 2005, earning roughly $37 million, he was penniless 3 years later, after blowing his cash on everything from a massive mansion for his mother to a slew of bad businesses. Mr Vick seems to be staging a small comeback with the Eagles, but time will tell if these birds will ever pay him as much as the other ones did.

Billy Joel

For a while the Piano Man was playing a very sad song, after his ex-brother in law and former manager helped him lose over $90 Million... yep. Like 9 with seven 0's behind it. While Billy claims that he always found a way to come up with the money, and never actually declared bankruptcy, he might as well have. While all of us think what we would have done with that much cash, we'll wish Billy the best with his new efforts to get current and sell some more records. It might take more than bankruptcy attorneys like Paddon & Yorke Inc to Help Billy Joel sing a happier song.

Allen Iverson

Guess who was NBA All-Star 11 Times, and had no money in 2012? That's right, Allen Iverson. While he earned over $154 Million during his career, Mr. Iverson wound up spending a lot of money on bling and a massive entourage. Keeping your boys on your payroll must be pretty expensive, and launching your own rap album must be pretty expensive, because Mr. Iverson had to settle for a gig in the NBA's D-League to pay his debts off and bring in some income. Iverson still hopes to make an NBA comeback, but time will tell if the broke and aging star will ever shine again.

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