Other celebs who had it tough
Born in 1954 to poverty-stricken unwed teens in Mississippi, she was raised on a farm by her equally poor grandmother. She was later sent to live with her mother in inner city Milwaukee.
Winfrey revealed in 2012 that she was raped at age nine and often molested by relatives and her mother's friend.
Winfrey started to get into trouble and often tried running away from home. Her mother tried to have Winfrey sent to juvenile detention.
At 14, she gave birth to a premature baby who died a short time later.
Her life changed for the better when she went to live with her father, who was a strict disciplinarian.
Winfrey's media career took off when she became a TV station's youngest and first black female news anchor.
Dawson's mother was 16 when she became pregnant with her in 1979.
At one point the family was living in what Dawson described as "a railroad apartment run by a slumlord".
Her mother, then 21, moved the family into an abandoned apartment.
At 15, Dawson was discovered by director Larry Clark. He offered her her first movie role in 1995's Kids.
The 33-year-old singer and The Voice judge has been vocal about physical abuse she and her mother suffered at the hands of her father, a US Army sergeant.
She told E! in 2009: "Growing up, I did not feel safe. Feeling powerless is the worst feeling in the world."
It became the basis of a song - I'm Okay - from her 2002 album Stripped. When her father got violent, the police were called but Aguilera says little was done to punish him.
Aguilera's mother Shelly recalled finding the then four-year-old Christina on the floor with her face bloodied. Her father had wanted to take a nap but the girl was making too much noise. Aguilera's father has denied the allegations.