Rod Stewart: Grave Digger
After playing semi-pro soccer, Rod the Mod abandoned his athletic dreams to work with the dead. He dug graves at London’s Highgate Graveyard but laid down his shovel after just a few weeks.
Chubby Checker: Chicken Plucker
Before he was twisting, the rock ‘n’ roll legend was plucking. As a teenager, the man born Ernest Evans tore the feathers off dead chickens at the Fresh Farm Poultry Market in Philadelphia, where his boss gave him the nickname “Chubby” and occasionally let him sing to customers over the loudspeaker.
David Lee Roth: Hospital Orderly
Long before Van Halen, the not-yet-Diamond Dave fluffed pillows and emptied bedpans in a hospital. It’s a career field he almost went back to post-stardom — in 2004, Roth started training to become a paramedic.
Madonna: Doughnut Slinger
As a struggling dancer in New York City, Her Madgesty worked behind the counter at a Dunkin’ Donuts in Times Square. She was reportedly fired for squirting jelly on a customer.
James Brown: Pool Ball Racker
He was “the hardest-working man” even pre-show business! Brown grew up in Augusta, Ga., during the Great Depression, taking on several odd jobs to earn money, including shining shoes, washing cars, picking cotton and racking pool balls in local bars.
Gwen Stefani: Floor Scrubber
The Hollaback Girl’s very first job was mopping floors at a Dairy Queen near her home in Fullerton, Calif. She eventually left to work at a department store before joining her brother’s band, No Doubt.
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