The NFT market has gone through a dramatic transformation; just a few months ago, no one ever heard about all this digital art. But in one moment, selling crypto art became a very popular thing to do, and now a lot of people are trying to hop on board the NFT hype train. NFT sales skyrocketed not only because of some nerdy analysts who predict that the NFT wave will be ongoing and all these digital arts built on the blockchain technology would only gain in popularity.
Probably even more hype to the NFT craze was added by celebrities like Elon Musk or Paris Hilton who bought the first NFT and started this NFT hype train. However, obviously, not only the celebrities who have bought some NFTs launched this market but also people who already made some money on it. And the best example of the latter would be Poul Logan, who sold some digital images of Pokemon cards with the image of himself for an astonishing five million USD.
This deal also helped to launch Boundly, a peer-to-peer platform that helps creators to sell NFTs and investors to buy them.
Also, you have probably heard about the first NFT collection sold by Chriss Torres, who a decade ago was a creator of Nyan Cat. He sold the NFTs collection based on this internet meme for almost 600.000% (in ethereum) and effectively started the NFT craze.
Another big step for NFTs was when the auction house Christie's started to sell them, especially elevating creator Mike Winklemann.
The persons mentioned above were only the first pioneers in the digital artwork world, now there are many more of them, and we will talk about these people later in this article.
So, before we jump into the list of celebrities who are trading NFTs, it would be good for us to understand at least a bit about what NFTs are exactly and how they work. Firstly, NFT stands for the non-fungible token, which is a digital asset built on blockchain technology similar to Bitcoin and Ethereum, and most NFTs are created on the Ethereum platform. This token can be created from an internet meme, song, in-game item, or even a tweet.
But what gives these tokens the most value is the fact that, on the contrary to the usual cryptocurrencies, they are non-fungible. For example, one bitcoin has the same value as another bitcoin because, in fact, they are identical and interchangeable. NFTs are not the same because they are built on the basis of digital art, and we cannot find objects of art that look exactly the same. Therefore they have a different value.
Moreover, despite the fact that all of these objects of digital art can be easily copied, downloaded, or screenshotted, non-fungible tokens can have only one owner. This situation can happen because of blockchain technology, which can record all the owners of a token and all transactions with it. It even enables creators to receive a royalty from each selling of an NFT, a feature that usually even conventional artists do not have.
So, the fact that an NFT can have only one owner is what made NFTs skyrocket. People, including celebrities, want to have something exclusive, and moreover, they want to make money. Also, from the other side, there are artists who want to capitalize on their creativity. In addition, it is interesting to know that many digital artists now adopted the so-called granular price tiering, a practice under which the most unique and exclusive piece of art is sold for an astonishing price, with a lot of attention, and others less unique objects are sold for a less expensive price.
Also, sometimes celebrities are turning into NFTs; a good example of it is William Shatner, who created a pack of digital cards which feature him and his life and career (even a picture of his teeth). Firstly, cards were sold for 25 dollars per pack, and now one such pack costs about 6.000 dollars.
As a result of this NFT craze, the NFT market now is worth 342 million dollars in trading volume. Now, people are really spending millions on some pictures from the internet, and when celebrities are doing the same, that is when it starts to be interesting for ordinary citizens.
So now let's look at the most famous stars and see how much money they spend and on which objects.
So, let's start from the already iconic crypto queen Paris Hilton, who is always trying to be at the start of every popular trend starting from the 2000s when Paris Hilton, one of the first celebrities, endorsed selfies and Y2K style. And the NFT trend is not an exception, and people do not give titles like an iconic crypto queen for nothing. So, Paris Hilton started her history with NFTs in cooperation with a popular designer Blake Kathryn, with whom Hilton created her first NFT collection, which Hilton sold for the total price of more than one million dollars (here we have to mention that Hilton sold some NFT before that but it wasn't as public).
Moreover, Paris Hilton is not only creating and selling crypto art or investing in NFTs she is also bringing NFTs to real life, and as a result, her two new pets are called Ether Reum and Crypto Hilton, considering this fact and the fact that Hilton created some more NFTs, we can say that she is indeed a bit obsessed with NFTs.
Recently one journalist asked Paris Hilton about the reasons why she is so obsessed with NFTs and everything around them. And she replied that the reason is that she likes everything new and likes new spaces for human creativity. Also, she especially endorses the democratization of art and the fact that now, everyone can not only create art but make money on it. And the last statement is hard to disagree with because, indeed, usually people could not go to Sotheby's and sell their paintings for millions, but on the NFT marketplaces, everyone can.
In addition, one should not forget about the fact that "Crypto" Hilton donated 40 ETH that she earned from selling one of her NFTs to the charity organization, a move that deserves nothing but respect. As a result, Hilton's NFTs obsession has definitely added some energy to the NFT gold rush.
The next celebrity on our list is Lindsay Lohan, who is also a pop star of the 2000s and a profound advocate of the NFTs in the Tweeter. Shi is praising NFTs and blockchain for their ability to ensure better copyright protection for the creators. Moreover, because of NFTs, Lindsay Lohan has released her first single in years. This song is called Lullaby, and it is not just an ordinary pop song. It is an electronic song created in collaboration with DJ Manual Riva, and that was made alongside a visual material that features Lindsay Lohan herself and some butterflies. The most important is that this visual material is an NFT, and it was sold for 85 thousand dollars on one of the NFT marketplaces.
Furthermore, after she has sold one more NFT collectible for 15 thousand USD, she stated that she believes that in the near future, all the art, in one way or another, will be connected with NFTs and blockchain. Also, she is all the time advocating for Bitcoin despite all the controversy around it.
From the pop stars of the 2000s, we know moving to more controversial artists of recent years, and we hardly can find a more controversial person in the whole NFT wave than Snoop Dogg. He joined NFT hype in march of this year when he announced the release of his first NFT collection titled in a very political way "a journey with the Dogg". This piece of digital artwork consists of early memories of the famous rapper and dedicated to the NFT, and he even made a track called "NFT". Also, the portion of money which Snoop Dogg earned from this NFT inspired artwork he allocated to the young digital artists.
Also, following the realization of the entire collection Snoop Dogg made several comments regarding the NFT train. In these comments, he stated that through his long life and musical career, he observed a great leap in the development of new technologies and that he was and is eager to embrace all the upcoming trends because he wants to be closer with his audience.
Moreover, Snoop Dogg said that he is very interested in this technology and believes in the future of NFT. Furthermore, he said that NFT would really give new ways to the art industry. In addition, it is worth saying that "a journey with the Dogg" added 100.000 Dollars to his bank account.
Grimes, being at that time girlfriend of Elon Musk and one of the most futuristic-looking artists, had little chance to avoid the NFT craze. Moreover, she not only joined the world of NFT artworks, but she also became one of the most successful players on the market. Her single NFT drop made her six million USD, and this drop was a collection of ten pieces of art that were made in collaboration with her brother Mac Boucher who had already assisted Grimes in previous works. The art itself is very futuristic and dystopian, like most of Grimes' works.
This collection finally merges art and the possibility to make money on it because it is interesting in a way that some items in it have a lot of copies while others are one of a kind, and in the future, they can acquire truly priceless nature. Even now, the unique item in the collection was sold for more than 600.000 dollars.
The next celebrity on our list who has joined the NFT movement is not a singer or rapper but a popular talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. And she decided to join the market of NFT sales in a rather interesting way. She thought that it would be a good and nice idea to sell on an auction her own explanation of NFT, which she made during her show. This explanation was sold with an image of a cat who also appeared on the screen. As a result, this unusual NFT set was sold for almost 35.000 USD, all the money Ellen donated to the charity called World Central Kitchen, which confronted food shortages.
Another example of NFT somehow making the world a better place.
The first sportsman on our list who has joined the NFT hype train is famous skateboarder Tony Hawk. He is one of those persons whom everyone has heard about, but no one knows what they are exactly doing. So, his contribution to the NFT market is not yet done but is highly anticipated. He is planning to make a video on which he will do one of his famous tricks for the last time, combined with the video record of how he did exactly the same trick 30 years ago. We can not say how much this NFT will cost, but considering the status of Tony Hawk, we can definitely say that the price would not be moderate.
Now, let's go back to the music industry and to the first DJ who has joined the NFT wave. For Steve Aoki entering the world of crypto, art seems to be a logical move because his music is a genre break-through, so why not make another breakthrough in the field of crypto art.
Steve Aoki has already dropped more than one NFT set. For the first appearance on the NFT marketplace, Steve Aoki partnered with the creative director and an artist Antonio Tudisco with whom he created a work of art that also has physical copies and which was sold for more than four million USD.
Furthermore, more recently, Aoki partnered with a very famous motivational speaker Tom Bileus with whom he promoted a new piece of art called "Neon Future". The "Neon Future" is a sci-fi comic that was created by digital artist Maciej Kyciara and was sold on the Nifty Gateway platform.
It is interesting that Steve Aoki has a rather long story of relations with Nifty Gateway, which is a Gemini-owned blockchain marketplace, and this history goes well beyond the selling of one sci-fi comic. And while Steve Aoki was talking about the work with Nifty Gateway, he also said a few words about NFT in general.
He mentioned that he always was a passionate collector and that the possibility of buying art as an NFT collectible is a new way for him to merge art, music, and collectibles.
Shawn Mendes is another singer on our list who found himself in the midst of the non-fungible tokens craze. His relationships with the crypto space and collectible culture started with a collaboration with marketplace Opensea. Where he, in another collaboration with Genies, a company that already has collaborated with Rihanna and Justin Bieber, created and sold his first NFT collection, which resembles the most well-known accessories of Shawn Mendes, such as his guitar, vest, and gold ring.
Like almost all other celebrities on this list, Shawn Mendes has allocated all the money that he earned through the Opensea marketplace, more than 600.000 USD, to his charity foundation that helps young activists with interesting ideas about our world.
It is also worth noting that even his manager Andrew Gertler followed him to the world of collectible culture and created his own digital marketplace.
Another rapper on our list, and not just a rapper but one of the most influential artists of two last decades. In April of this year, Eminem created his first NFT collection titled Shady Con, and this collection became a new way of selling non-fungible tokens because it is not a song or set of pictures but a limited edition festival during which Eminems' fans could buy NFT artworks of Nifty Gateway.
However, the most unique and original instrumental beats created by the rapper were sold before the digital festival on Nifty Gateway had started.
After the festival, Eminem was asked what brought him into the world of non-fungible tokens, and he replied that collecting art was one of his passions since childhood, and he is very glad that now technologies give as a market for recreation of some of the collectibles.
So, Jack Dorsey is probably not a usual celebrity because he is not a singer, rapper, or sportsman. However, his contribution to the world makes him a celebrity anyway. Jack Dorsey is well-known because he, in fact, was one of the creators of Twitter and what is more interesting is that he even wrote the first-ever tweet, with a simple text "just setting up my twttr". And, Jack Dorsey found a way to capitalize on it using NFT.
He simply sold on an auction his 15-year-old tweet, which of course,e was the first tweet ever that made it an exclusive asset. And he did not just make money on it; he earned a mesmerizing 2.9 million USD for a tweet! Also, we have to mention that all this money Dorsey converted to Bitcoin and donated to a charity that helps fight COVID in Africa.
Now, we can take a look at the first model on our list. Kate Moss has recently joined the NFT train and also finally merged art and money, but she has done it in a rather unusual way. She made an entire collection of non-fungible tokens which feature herself.
The collection is made of three videos, appropriately named Sleep with Kate, Walk with Kate and Drive with Kate. And each of these videos gives us a look at the most intimate moments of her life. It is interesting that, according to Kates' opinion, these NFT videos are another example of how blockchain and digital technologies can empower women and push the world towards gender equality.
As usual, all 17 thousand dollars that were earned during an auction, Kate Moss donated to a charity organization that is trying to improve the mental health of women around the globe.
I suppose now it would be appropriate to tell you about one more model who not only joined the NFT movement but also used it for the very important task of empowering women around the world through creating and selling non-fungible tokens.
Her first NFT work was released in cooperation with popular artist Chemical X, with whom she created a video that features her naked reading a feminist poem about the notion of ownership, possession and priceless nature of oneself.
Moreover, Cara not only made one of a kind unique NFT which raises serious social and political issues, all the money that she made from selling it she donated to her charity organization that supports LGBTQ rights, struggles against systemic racism and sexism, and also supports the fight against climate change.
Another prominent celebrity and model on our list of celebrities who are good at catching upcoming trends is Emily Ratajkowski, and she is interesting not only because she, like other celebrities, just jumped in time on the train but also because her story with NFC is deeply personal and empowering.
So, her history with NFT started when she sold a digital artwork called "Buying Myself Back," which is not just a picture or musical album. This is the whole story behind one photo. In this photo, Emily is standing in front of the blown-up picture of herself, which one well-known photographer made several years ago and for which Emily and her boyfriend have paid around 80 thousand dollars.
However, now due to NFT, she is able to reclaim ownership over the picture and over herself. She wanted to show that only she is able to do whatever she wants with her pictures. After she had sold the picture, she said that the digital marketplace and NFT were the only way to communicate such a specific idea to a broad audience.
The second sportsman on our list is the star receiver of Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rob Gronkowski, who was probably the first NFL player to embrace NFTs. To launch his collection, he collaborated with a famous digital artist and created an NFTs set of five cards that features his wins in Superballs.
Now we will talk about not a single celebrity who endorsed NFTs but about the whole rock band Kings of Leon, which did the same. And they probably thought that if they joined the NFT market, they would do it big. And indeed, Kings of Leon released the whole new album as an NFT.
The album is called When You See Yourself, and when buying it as an NFT, a listener receives several different possibilities, such as digital downloads, the possibility to move covers, tickets to the Kings of Leon tour, which are not available for people who buy music albums conventionally. Thanks to such an unusual way of releasing an album, the rock band Kings of Leon was able to earn two million USD.
One more rapper on our list who did the very same thing that Jack Dorsey did, he just sold his first tweet with the text "How do I sell my tweet" for more than 1200 USD.
From the individual celebrities and rock bands on our list, we are moving to a whole organization which worth is far beyond a billion dollars. The relationships between NBA and the blockchain world started when NBA decided to sell its highlights through blockchain, this decision helped NBA to earn additional 200 million dollars in revenue, and some highlights of the most famous players, such as Lebron James, can be traded for about 100.000 USD. For example, a passionate collector Mark Cuban recently earned 80.000 trading NBA-related NFTs.
Azealia Banks is a rather well-known rapper, but we added her to this list not only because of the fact that she started collecting art or selling it but for her rather unusual way of becoming a digital artist. The NFT that she made is not a song or picture or whatever that we can think about, and it is a sex tape featuring her and her fiance, who is himself a conceptual artist. And believe it or not, this tape was sold for more than 17,000 USD.
We could not finish this list without mentioning Elon Musk. Obviously, his contribution to the NFT cause is immeasurable, at least because of his tweets on this topic. But besides that, Elon Musk had planned to launch his own NFTs art, which we even predicted to be sold for more than one million USD; however, in the end, he changed his mind, and the track with the video was not auctioned.
A celebrity NFT, basically, can mean two things, it is either an NFT that became very popular, and people consider this object to be famous. Or, it also can mean that NFTs were created by some celebrity with the participation of a celebrity. For example, celebrity NFTs can be Eminem's NFT collection titled Sadu Con. Usually, celebrity NFTs are much more expensive than NFTS created by some no-names because logically, they are more exclusive, and therefore they can create more value and revenue, which are the main aims of NFTs.
Actually, as we can see on the list above, celebrities of all types currently are launching NFTs, singers, sportsmen, businessmen, and this is a good reason for it, money. NFTs opened a whole new market for celebrities to capitalize on their arts, sometimes, like in the case of the first tweet, it even does not have to be an art, it just has to be something exclusive and digital, and investors with money will buy it. Because they believe that those objects would be even more expensive.
An NFT project can be anything in a digital world that is exclusive and has some value. And due to blockchain technology, almost anything can be exclusive, a video play that everyone has downloaded or a tweet that was downloaded, copied, or screenshotted a million times. Also, the NFTs project can be something more related to actual art, like a musical album, but which is created or distributed through NFTs marketplaces, like it was done by the Kings of Leon. Additionally, it can be a whole industry like the NBA created with highlights of their matches that are sold through blockchain.