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5 successful people who were strippers before they were poppin’

Strippers don’t get enough credit.

First of all, for anyone who says otherwise, stripping is a goddamn art form. Have you paid attention to the way strippers move? I can’t think of a sexier way to show off your body and your artistry than through pole dancing.

Secondly, it’s an extremely fruitful business. Play your cards right and you might be taking home a couple of racks per night.

It’s no surprise, then, that so many of our beloved celebrities, male and female, have worked or moonlighted as strippers in the past.

Cardi B

Cardi B has become the poster girl for ex-strippers. I don’t mean to say she isn’t known for her other accomplishments, aka topping the Billboard 100 chart, but the fact that she was a stripper for a few years in order to place herself where she needed to be is nothing short of inspirational.

Cardi hid the fact that she was a stripper from her family for two years, but towards the end of her dancing career, she started opening up more, talking about the industry and her experiences within it.

She’s known for talking about whatever subjects she takes interest in and her lack of a filter. In an interview with This Is 50, Cardi opens up about a bunch of controversial subjects regarding the industry, including the disrespect strippers face when working with bartenders and how to surmount it.

Now, Cardi is one of the hottest names in the hip-hop industry. As the world watched “Bodak Yellow” shoot to the top of the charts, so did Cardi’s fame.

Lady Gaga

The only time you hear Gaga’s name now is through her music and the news, but not many people know she used to work as a stripper.

When she was 19, Gaga worked as a burlesque dancer. The art certainly carried over to her music career, as Gaga has never been shy to flaunt what she’s got. Always known for being sexually open, she shares some advice she took from an Atlanta stripper with Jimmy Fallon.

“This woman was about 65, 70 years old, and she was fabulous… She leans over and she goes, ‘You know that Lady Gaga? I mean she can really sing, I mean if she just took all those clothes off and just sang she’d be great… Maybe in some ways, I took her advice.'”

And she certainly did!

Amber Rose

Amber Rose has always been open about being a stripper. Not once has Amber hidden the fact that she used to strip as a past career, even calling it “the best time of her life.

Since her stripping days, Amber has maintained her relevance and fame, even starting The Amber Rose SlutWalk, which aims to “deliver a flawlessly executed event geared toward raising awareness about sexual injustice and gender inequality. ”

And she isn’t limited in her abilities, she’s taken on other creative outlets as well. Rose is known for being a model, an actress, a designer, socialite, as well as a best-selling author.

I always found Amber Rose to be ridiculously attractive with all that confidence she exudes. I guess it comes with the territory of being an exotic dancer!

Keep doing you, girl. Love ya, Amber!

The Game

This one shocked me.

The Game, hip-hop legend, one of the hardest motherfuckers in the industry, was a male stripper for a minute.

Though the rapper hasn’t been too open about his short stint as an exotic dancer, 50 Cent released a picture of him in a G-String a couple years ago.

The former G-Unit member’s step father talked about the strip club that he and his mother had opened up during The Game’s youth.

“[Jayceon] danced there maybe twice and 50 Cent will not let him forget it. Somehow somebody got pictures of him dancing in that club with his g-string on and boy boy boy…. Whether he likes it or not, I tell him the truth.”

I can understand why he hasn’t talked about this too much, but fuck it; if you got it, flaunt it!

Channing Tatum

Stripping Channing Tatum GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

I admit I’ve never watched Magic Mike, but all my girls were star (and dick) struck when it came to Channing Tatum’s performance in the film.

Loosely based on his real life experiences as an exotic dancer, Channing has been open about his past, and his feelings about being a stripper

In a People interview, he shares that, unlike Amber Rose, stripping was not the best time of his life.

“I don’t miss anything about stripping. I stripped in Tampa for like 25 girls, at best. It wasn’t glamorous whatsoever, so there’s nothing that I miss about stripping.”

Well, at least Channing didn’t let his exotic talents go to waste! Magic Mike and Magic Mike XXL were both hits, and Tatum’s dancing landed him a the lead role in Step Up and Step Up Two. 

The moral of the story? Stripping is another form of creative art.

Though these celebrities originally showed off their talents as dancers, they’ve put their expertise into other uses, developing the careers they’re known for now.