For wealthy celebrities, the world is their oyster. With millions, or even billions, of dollars, there isn’t much that a famous person can’t do. So it shouldn’t come as a shock that many celebrities have bought entire islands. But buying an island isn’t just about showing off wealth; it also provides famous people with an escape. When people recognize your face everywhere you go, it can be a relief to retreat to an isolated spot of land in the middle of the sea. Some of the islands are larger and more lavish than others, but they all cost a pretty penny. Let’s take a look at these celebrities’ islands in the sun.
Brooklyn-born comedian Eddie Murphy began his show biz journey as a standup comedian in the 1970s. His acting career soared after he landed a spot on SNL in the ’80s. While he’s primarily known for his comedic performances, he has also dabbled in singing.
Murphy has managed to attain a net worth of about $120 million, which explains how he pulled off purchasing his island in the Bahamas. Forbes states that the property is worth $15 million, or at least it was when he bought the island back in 2007. The 15-acre island sits off the coast of Nassau.
Leonardo DiCaprio stole our hearts with his impressive roles in the movies What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? and This Boy’s Life. He’s won us over again more recently by raising money to help preserve the environment. The three-time Golden Globe winner began his environmental efforts after filming Titanic back in 1997.
As part of his environmental efforts, he purchased Blackadore Cay in 2015 for just under $2 million. He’s restored the island in Belize, which had suffered from deforestation, over-fishing, and an eroding coastline, according to BBN. The island is set to become an eco-resort in 2020.
Faith Hill And Tim McGraw
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are arguably the most beloved country music couple since Johnny Cash and June Carter. The musicians have had a successful career as both independent artists and as a collaborative duo.
After more than two decades of marriage, they have been rated as one of the richest celebrity couples. Their island in the Bahamas, named Goat Cay, is 17 acres of paradise. They also have a 15,000 square foot mansion on the island, complete with a tower.
One of the richest singers in the world, Celine Dion sits on a net worth of $800 million. Considering the fact that she’s been singing onstage for nearly half a century (since she was five), it’s no surprise her fame is international. However, her hometown in Quebec, Canada is where she chose to purchase her island.
The bilingual singer had a custom stone mansion built on the 19-acre island in 2001. In 2013, she put the property up for sale for nearly $30 million. After lowering the asking price to $25.5 million, the island sold in 2016.
Johnny Depp has played so many versatile characters that it’s left his true identity a mystery. What we do know about him is that he purchased an island in the Bahamas in 2004. According to Forbes, the actor paid $3.6 million for the property.
The island is called Little Hall’s Pond Cay and boasts 45 acres and six beaches. The actor became a heartthrob in the mid-’80s and has amassed a net worth of nearly half a billion dollars since.
Nascar racing fans will know all about the German driver Michael Schumacher. The now-retired racer is the only one in history to win the Formula One World Championship seven times. Michael is also known by the tens of millions he’s donated to support humanitarian efforts.
The Guardian reports that in 2008 the prince of Dubai gave him one of “The World” islands. These islands are off the coast of the United Arab Emirates and are developed to look like a map of the Earth, with each island representing a different part of the world. Rumors have swirled for years that other celebs will also jump on “The World” bandwagon.
Filmmaker Steven Spielberg has created some of the most popular adventure films of all time. The Hollywood Reporter states that he’s one of the highest-grossing film directors in history. The now-billionaire was once described by Joan Crawford as a “young genius.”
The groundbreaking director owns two of the Madeira Islands in Portugal. The famous star has managed to keep his life profoundly private. For this reason, the exact name and price of said islands remain a mystery. We’ll just have to wait until they hit the market to get all of the details.
While Bill Gates is generally the name associated with Microsoft, Paul Allen was right by Bill’s side as the co-founder of the company. The $2 billion he’s given to various causes, in addition to the pile of honors he’s won, placed him on the Time 100 Most Influential People list two years in a row.
Though his island’s name is Allan, this has nothing to do with his last name. He owned the island off of Washington for a little over a decade. It sold in 2013 for $8 million, five years before Paul passed from cancer.
Even the funniest stars need solitude sometimes. That’s why director, actor, and writer Tyler Perry gifted himself White Bay Cay island in the Bahamas for his 40th birthday in 2009. While it may seem like a large purchase, it’s chump change to the comedy giant, who was listed by Forbes as the highest-paid man in entertainment in 2011.
Tyler is currently estimated to have a net worth of nearly $600 million. That’s super impressive, considering he’s been active in his career for less than 20 years. While he vacations on his giant island in the Bahamas, he primarily lives in Atlanta where his television studio is.
John Malone is a celebrity perhaps best recognized through the giant businesses he’s been at the top of: AT&T, Expedia.com, Tele-Communications Inc., DirecTV Group… the list goes on. He’s also the largest individual private owner in the United States, so it’s really no surprise that he owns an island in the Bahamas.
The island was home to a resort until being renovated in 2013. Then John arrived on the scene with his $7 billion net worth. The island is now a private estate for the wealthy businessman and his family.
Actor Nicolas Cage purchased an expensive piece of real estate in the Bahamas’ exotic and tropical Exuma Islands in 2006. His 45-acre island is called Leaf Cay, and although he had big visions of turning it into his own private paradise, things just didn’t work out.
Despite shelling out roughly $7 million for the exclusive land, Cage’s debt and some tax problems caught up with him and he wasn’t able to do what he wanted with Leaf Cay. It was put back on the market for some lucky billionaire to scoop up.
Dr. Henry Jarecki
Henry Jarecki is one of those individuals who has gotten involved in several fields and garnered wealth in them all. He obtained his medical degree in 1957 and was both an academic and a practicing psychiatrist throughout his life. Meanwhile, he became a wealthy businessman through smart Wall Street investments.
Like many celebrities, Jarecki has also been involved in the entertainment industry as a producer of both film and theater. In 1975, he and his wife purchased Guana Island in order to preserve its notable flora and fauna. Their restoration program has also sought to bring back the tropical species of the island.
Aristotle Onassis was one of the most successful business men at the time of his death in 1975. His net worth was $500 million at the time he passed, equivalent to over $2 billion today. Aside from having the world’s largest privately-owned shipping fleet, he also married the former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy after her husband passed.
He purchased Skorpios Island in 1962 for a shocking $10,000. That number is even more insane when you discover that it was purchased from Onassis’ granddaughter for $100 million in 2013. The Greek island spans 74 acres and has more than 200 tree varieties that Onassis had imported.
If you’ve studied ballet, there’s a high probability that you’ve heard the name Rudolf Nureyev at some point. The Russian dancer isn’t just known for his amazing talent, but also for being the first Soviet artist to defect from his country during the Cold War. He danced for The Royal Ballet in London through the ’80s.
In 1988, he purchased this dolphin-shaped island in Italy. The island was previously owned by Russian dancer Leonide Massine, who implemented a theater and dance studio into the residence. When Rudolf took over, he added in a desalinization plant. He spent the last five years of his life there before dying in 1993.
Nick Hexum’s story is a true American dream success story. After relocating to Los Angeles, he moved back to his hometown in Nebraska to build a band with his hometown friends, who would become 311. Rather than seeking the approval of major record labels, he made his own.
Nine million sold albums later, Nick has an estimated $25 million net worth. He purchased this six-acre island off the coast of Florida, Melody Key, but sold it in 2011. The new owner updated the 3,000 square foot home and added a desalinization system, bumping up the resale value to almost $6 million in 2012.
Mel Gibson’s popular roles have kept him afloat despite controversial moments towards the latter half of his career. The classically trained actor has earned several awards over the years and is worth nearly half a billion dollars.
Mel purchased Mago Island in 2005 for $15 million. The high price tag is explained by the fact that the private island is one of the largest in the Pacific Southwest (more than 5,000 acres!) A few natives occupy the land and have protested Mel’s ownership.
Though you might not recognize him at first glance, Louis Bacon is the owner of Moore Capital Management (MCM), a big-time New York investment firm. The brilliant investor has been named on Forbes’ richest people lists since 2006.
The money genius also has a heart for the environment, having purchased both Robins Island and Cow Neck Farm for the sake of preservation. Louis bought the island in 1993, which the New York Times reports had been deteriorating for 300 years.
In this day and age, we often associate inventors with apps and other computer-related items. But there are still those out there inventing devices that help us get around, literally. Dean Kamen invented the Segway, which he’s pictured standing on.
He’s also won awards for his biomedical devices. The engineer and businessman has amassed half a billion dollars over the years. Naturally, he used some of it to purchase this charming island near New York. Given his career, it’s no shock that Dean transformed his North Dumpling Island to reduce its energy consumption by 70%.
In French Polynesia, there is a group of islands called the Society Islands. The “Sacred Island” of Raiatea was reportedly a second home to Diana Ross. The name means “bright sky” and is said to have been the first of the islands to be inhabited by people, according to Seabourn.
Raiatea is the second largest to Tahiti amongst the Society Islands. Vladi reports that the Ross spent her honeymoon at the island in the ’80s, in her Polynesian villa.
Near the coast of Rio de Janeiro, Ricky Martin reportedly bought an island in the Angra dos Reis archipelago for $8 million in 2008. While information on his island is slim, another nearby island featuring a seven-bedroom house and a helicopter went up for $3.5 million.
That means that Ricky’s house must be killer to cost more than double a similar property. Considering the island ate up a good 10% of his net worth, it better be as lavish as we think it is. The actor and singer deserves the luxury, having climbed the fame ladder from the age of nine years old.
Magic is a career that some people scoff at. But David Copperfield’s giant fortune proves that magic is a legitimate industry to work in. In total, David has earned more than $4 million through his shows, beating out any other solo performer according to Guinness World Records.
Like so many other celebrities, the illusionist purchased an island in the Bahamas. The 700-acre property is known as Musha Cay. Fun fact: it’s the same island that Google’s co-founder, Sergey Brin, was married on.