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30 Must-See Celebrity Yearbook Photos Before They Were Famous

Justin Beiber

The Beebs landed his fame in 2007, making him a star very early on. However, we snagged this adorable picture of him before he was a Hollywood heartbreaker. 

Justin finally graduated high school in 2012 in his hometown Stratford, Ontario. Justin didn’t get a chance to attend graduation, but Ellen threw him a graduation party on her show to make up for it. 

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Bruno Mars

Bruno Mars had all that swag, even back then! Bruno graduated high school in 2002 from President Theodore Roosevelt High School in Honolulu, Hawaii. 

Before he became “Bruno”, he was a handsome teenager named Peter Gene. 

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Liam Hemsworth

Liam Hemsworth looks like one of those guys who never got a date to prom. 

We bet those girls seriously regret turning him down now. Who knew he would turn into one of the world’s sexiest men?

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Katy Perry

Before Katy Perry was our teenage dream, she was a sweet and innocent Katheryn Hudson. Katy got her GED when she was 15 and started her music career early. 

She released her debut album in 2001, named Katy Hudson.

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Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence dropped out of high school when she was only 14 years old to pursue her career in acting. 

In an interview with 60 Minutes she said “I struggled through school. I never felt very smart,” but when holding a script she said, “I feel like I know exactly what it would look like if somebody felt that way, that was a whole part of my brain that I didn’t know existed. It’s something that I could be confident in, and I didn’t want to let it go."

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Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus lived a simple life in Thompson’s Station, Tennessee before she found her fame. 

She left Heritage Elementary School and moved with her family to Los Angeles, where she had a private tutor on the set of Disney’s Hannah Montana

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Blake Lively

Blake graduated in the class of 2005 from Burbank High School in Burbank, California. She was a cheerleader and also had a 4.0 GPA! 

Blake appeared in seven full pages in her high school yearbooks, and honestly all of these pictures show she hasn’t changed a bit. 

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Taylor Swift

Taylor is a small town Tennessee girl from Hendersonville, TN. Once she started her singing career, she hit fast forward and finished her last two years of high school in one. 

Taylor graduated with a 4.0 GPA, and her hometown high school named their auditorium after her! 

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Shia LaBeouf

Before childhood fame, Shia grew up in Echo Park, Los Angeles. When he was a kid, Shia and his family would dress up as clowns and sell hot dogs and snowcones to their neighbors according to an interview with GQ in 2008. 

He attended Alexander Hamilton High School, but received most of his remaining education by private tutors. 

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Iggy Azalea

Iggy was born to be a star, even though she came from humble beginnings. Before she was Iggy, she was Amethyst from Mullimbimby, New South Wales. She grew up loving hip hop and even had her own rap group at age 14, according to an interview with Rap-Up. 

At age 15, she dropped out of school and left her hometown to come to America, where she started rapping with a rap collective called Dungeon Family. 

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Drake

Rap-star Drake attended Forest Hill Collegiate Institute, where he dropped out one credit hour before graduating so he could help earn money for his family. However, in 2012 Drake put his head down and did the hard work to officially earn his diploma. 

In a tweet, he announced “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!”

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Meghan Trainor

Meghan Trainor has been making feel-good music since she was 12 years old. Her unique style and message puts a smile on everyone’s face, and that’s exactly why we love her. 

She attended Nauset Regional High School, class of 2012, where she paid a visit in 2016 to perform for students.

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Lil Wayne

At just 12 years old, Lil Wayne started his rap career and signed on as the youngest member of Cash Money Records. His grades started slipping, as you would imagine balancing school and being a 12 year-old rapper could be a little tough. 

His mother tried to ground him from being a rapper, but it didn’t stick. At age 14 Lil Wayne dropped out of school to focus on his music career. 

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Eminem

The infamous rapper grew up on the wrong side of the “8 Mile” in Detroit but found his way out through his music. 

It’s estimated by his mother, Debbie Mathers, that he attended around 30 schools before dropping out at age 17 after failing the ninth grade three times. 

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Fergie

The Duchess is rumored to be a spelling-bee champion. However she revealed in an interview with The Guardian that this rumour has gotten out of hand.

“That rumour’s gotten very out of proportion. I won a class spelling bee once.”

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Jennifer Lopez

Don’t be fooled by the rocks that she’s got, she’s still Jenny from the block! JLo grew up in Castle Hill, a neighborhood in the Bronx, New York. She took the six train to her auditions in Manhattan starting at the end of her high school years. 

Her high school sweetheart of 10 years, David Cruz, recently passed away in March of 2020. 

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Mariah Carey

Mariah didn’t need stardom to become a diva; she was a diva long before that. Apparently in high school, Mariah’s friends gave her the nickname “Mirage” because she never came to class. 

In Marc Shapiro’s unauthorized biography, her high school guidance counselor expressed concern over her lack of attendance. Mariah had this to say: "I don't blame them for trying to encourage me to do better scholastically because they never saw me sing."

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Amy Poehler

SNL star and Parks and Recreation Deputy Director, Leslie Knope...I mean Amy Poehler, graduated from Burlington High School in 1989. 

You can totally tell from that late-‘80s-early-‘90s hair!

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Russell Brand

At just age 16, Russell Brand left home and joined the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts, in 1991. Unfortunately, he was expelled from the academy due to his nefarious behavior and explicit drug use. Apparently he didn’t learn his lesson. 

In his book My Booky Wooky, he gave this commencement to bad kids everywhere: ”Rebel, children, I urge you, fight the turgid slick of conformity with which they seek to smother your glory.”

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Ryan Seacrest

Ryan Seacrest had no idea that his love for radio and TV would launch him into stardom. According to an interview with The Wall Street Journal, he was so bored with the morning announcements that he started hosting them himself! 

Connie, Ryan’s mother, recalls the principal of his school saying, “Everyone listens to the announcements now because it’s so fun!”

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Winona Ryder

Winona Ryder graduated high school in 1989 with a 4.0 GPA, from Petaluma High School. 

Apparently, she didn’t live out her full high school experience in person, because she returned in her star role as Veronica Sawyer in the cult classic Heathers

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Peter Dinklage

People went nuts when this picture of young Peter Dinklage, rocking the most epic mullet, surfaced on the internet. 

Circa 1987, Peter attended Delbarton School in Morris County, New Jersey. 

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George Clooney

The 1997 “Sexiest Man Alive” graduated from August High School in 1979. As a middle-schooler, Clooney was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy, a condition where half of his face was paralyzed. 

Clooney revealed in an interview with Lary King that “It’s probably a great thing that it happened to me because it forced me to engage in a series of making fun of myself. And I think that’s an important part of being famous. The practical jokes have to be aimed at you.”

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Paul Rudd

Graduating from the class of 1987, Paul Rudd won the title of Student Body President at Shawnee West Mission High School. 

According to IMDB, he spray painted his name on the high school’s stage wall. 

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Snoop Dogg

Snoop Dogg (aka Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr.) went to Long Beach Polytechnic High School, where he graduated in 1989. He wasn’t the only famous person attending that school at the time though. 

Cameron Diaz was a year younger than him and recalls buying a certain green “grass” from Snoop in an interview with US Magazine. 

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Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson graduated in 1999 from Dunbar Vocational High School in Chicago, IL. Growing up, Jennifer always sang in her church choir, and all that practice certainly paid off. 

She spent some time singing on a Disney cruise ship, and rose to fame after becoming a finalist on the hit show American Idol. 

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Jimmy Fallon

Always the funny guy, Jimmy Fallon grew up in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated from New York’s Saugerties High in 1992. In 2017, Fallon made a generous donation of $100,000 to go toward new equipment for the Television Broadcasting Department. 

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Jimmy Revealed ”In my eighth-grade yearbook they put ‘James Fallon Is Most Likely to Replace David Letterman.”’ Well, they weren’t quite right, but pretty dang close!

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Nicole Kidman

Although Nicole Kidman is an Australian beauty, she was actually born in Honolulu, Hawaii. Her parents were in the states on student visas when she was born. 

They later moved to Washington D.C. and then finally back to Sydney, Australia, where they stayed. Kidman eventually dropped out of school at age 16 to fully pursue her acting career. 

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Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman was born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1937, but moved with his grandmother to Mississippi, Indiana, and finally Chicago. He attended Broad Street High School, where at age 12 he won a state-wide acting competition. 

He graduated high school in 1955 and joined the Airforce, where he earned the rank of Airman 1st Class. 

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Jerry Seinfeld

If you don’t know Jerry Seinfeld, you’ve been living under a rock since 1989. Jerry Seinfeld is known for playing the main character on the hit sitcom, Seinfeld. 

Jerry grew up in Massapequa, a suburb of New York. He attended Massapequa High School, in Long Island where he graduated in 1976.

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