There are many celebrities in the news for questionable reasons, including Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber, but there are many who went through rough patches and committed themselves to Christ. Many actors and singers who have found fame and fortune had a religious influence in their upbringing. Going to church as a child doesn’t guarantee someone will stay on the straight and narrow path. Here are five famous celebrities that turned their lives around after experiencing success.
5. Niki Taylor
Niki Taylor started modeling as a young teen and quickly became successful, including winning the Fresh Faces contest held in New York City at only 13 years of age. She fell in love with Matt Martinez, Miami Hooters linebacker shortly after graduating from high school and they quickly married and were expecting twins a few months later. The marriage was rocky and ended in divorce less than two years later. In 2001, Niki was riding as a passenger while her boyfriend at the time was driving and he hit a utility pole due to paying attention to his phone. She nearly lost her life and endured 56 operations and 10 weeks in the hospital. This experience opened her eyes and drew her close to God. She believes that God is not done with her yet! She has overcome the challenges of her accident and is still a model.
4. Mr. T
Mr. T is well known as a bouncer, bodyguard and actor with other professional appearances. He worked hard to get away from the poor and crime riddled Chicago projects he grew up in. His childhood included regularly witnessed horrible crimes, such as rape and murder, but he did not follow the same path as those surrounding him. He attributes his positive decisions to his mother’s love, although his family was not overly religious. Professionally, he has been given opportunities to make money that he turned down and has been unsuccessfully sued many times. Mr. T is open about his Christian faith and is known for being giving and compassionate.
3. Alice Cooper
Alice Cooper has been a face of heavy metal music for over 60 years. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan, but has traveled around the world. His pinstriped suits, heavy makeup, long hair and unique props on stage combined with his powerhouse voice and talent were a force to be reckoned with! Alice Cooper fell into the throws of drug and alcohol abuse and his girlfriend, Miss Christine, died of an overdose in 1972. Through the years he has cleaned up his life, including beating alcohol addiction and becoming more vocal about his Christian beliefs. He is passionate about helping other rock musicians overcome addiction problems and is readily available to them.
2. Johnny Cash
If you have heard the song “Ring of Fire”, you have heard of Johnny Cash. He died in 2003 at age 71, but left a legacy of music that continues to live on. He was married with kids when he began focusing on his music career and walking down a slippery slope that lead to abusing drugs and alcohol and having affairs. He and his first wife Vivian Liberto divorced after 12 years of marriage. Through the 1970’s and 1980’s he experienced periods, even years of being completely clean, but always fell back into using drugs. A turning point for him was when he was heavily under the influence of drugs and in deep despair. He went into a cave with the intent of committing suicide and felt God’s presence strongly in his heart. After this experience he changed a lot about his lifestyle, but continued to battle drug addiction.
1. George Foreman
Whether you know George Foreman from his boxing days or the face of the Foreman Grill, he has become a celebrity on many fronts. He came from a rough childhood and turned to boxing. After a boxing match in 1977, he felt extremely exhausted and dehydrated, which he explains as a near death experience. He called out to God asking for help and felt a strong push to change his life. This lead to becoming an ordained Christian minister and he set aside boxing for many years to focus on his family and serving his congregation in Texas. He has gone back to boxing through the years, but is outward about his love for his 12 children and Christian beliefs.
There are many other celebrities who are outward about being born again Christians and their beliefs. Other celebrities that turned their lives around include MC Hammer, Stephen Baldwin, Al Green, Bubba Watson, Bob Dylan and Bob Marley. God places people in places of power and fame for a reason. When someone successful gives their life to Christ they have the ability to influence countless individuals.
Article by Elise Cleary
I am a Christian writer and editor that lives in northern Michigan and thoroughly enjoy music, movies, TV shows, books and other entertainment with a Christian focus. My favorite song is "Oceans" by Hillsong United because it reminds me that has big plans for me and everyone else who puts their trust in Him. There are many movies that have impacted my life, but a few include God's Not Dead, The Shunning and Letters to God. I also write for www.faithandentertainment.com and love connecting with readers, so please don't hesitate to contact me! When I'm not writing I enjoy watching movies and laughing with my busy toddler and husband.