On February 17, 1981 American socialite and heiress Paris Hilton was born. Hilton is the great-granddaughter of Conrad Hilton, the founder of the Hilton Hotels. Due to being a stable in the late night scene, from parties, to high profiled relationships, she’s been a constant fixture in various entertainment outlets.
Hilton first gained notoriety in 2003 when a sex tape of hers, starring then-boyfriend Rick Saloman, was leaked. In the same year, alongside best friend Nicole Richie (daughter of Lionel Richie), she starred in the Fox reality show, “The Simple Life.” The reality series, lasting five seasons, depicted the two socialites as they struggled to do manual labor doing various low-paying jobs. The concept was a “fish out of water” scenario, giving both women international stardom, as well as being a ratings hit for Fox, debuting with 13 million viewers.
She simultaneously has ventured into both the film and music industry. In 2005 she had a supporting role in the horror film, “House of Wax,” which was a remake of the 1953 film of the same name. The horror film was a box office success, grossing over $70 million worldwide. In addition, Hilton had a cameo role in the 2013 Sofia Coppola independent film, “The Bling Ring.” The film was based on the true events of a group of teenagers who robbed various celebrity homes, including Paris Hilton’s, in the late 2000s.
In 2006 she released her debut album, “Paris,” which spawned the hit single, “Stars Are Blind.” The song itself was a top 20 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. Starting in 2013, she has ventured into the world of DJing, teaming up with various established DJs, and becoming one of the highest paid DJs in the music industry.
Music video for “Stars Are Blind”:
Hilton herself has had a few run-ins with the law, from being arrested for a DUI, arrested for violating her probation, as well as reportedly having a controlled substance in her possession. Her most famous arrest occurred in 2006 when Hilton was required to serve 45 days in jail at the Central Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood, California at the request of Judge Michael Sauer.
Hilton planned to appeal the sentence at first, even requesting a pardon from California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. In what some may label “special treatment,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca signed orders allowing Hilton to spend 40 days under house arrest with an electronic monitoring device due to an “unspecified medical condition.” Within the next day, Judge Michael Sauer summoned her to reappear back in court, and immediately sent her back to jail due to the fact that the original conditions of her sentence stated “no electronic monitoring.” She was later released after three weeks due to good behavior.
Video of Paris Hilton being released from jail in 2007:
Many pop culture critics have been quick to agree that Hilton was the one who originally embodied the moniker “famous for being famous,” and is an example of what one may call a celebutante, someone who is famous for not their talent, but their inherit wealth. The world celebutante is a play on the world debutante. She is credited in helping pave the way for other celebutantes to achieve fame, such as the Kardashian sisters. She is reportedly set to inherit over $100 million dollars from the Hilton empire, while earning over $10 million a year from her product sales. Her perfumes alone have reportedly earned $1.5 billion, while she reportedly earns between $100 – $300 thousand for her Dj performances.
Random Pop Culture Fact: Paris Hilton’s aunts, Kim and Kyle Richards, are cast members on Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.” They are sisters to Paris’ mom, Kathy Hilton.