Nicole Richie’s Evolution From ‘The Simple Life’ To The Glamorous Life

Nicole Richie wasn’t born with a silver spoon in her mouth, but she acquired one when superstar singer-songwriter Lionel Richie formally adopted her. Richie’s charmed beginnings didn’t preclude her from having a rocky experience, but it gave her a platform to become the award-winning entrepreneur she is today.

Nicole Richie’s star began rising when she entered the limelight with her first reality TV show, The Simple Life, in which she starred with fellow socialite and longtime BFF Paris Hilton. Thanks in part to Richie’s refreshing wit and candor, the show enjoyed a successful run for four seasons, but later fizzled in its fifth and final season following a very public and messy fallout with Hilton.

After wrapping The Simple Life, Richie fell into despair that led to crippling drug use and drug-related legal issues. Dealing with the loss of her best friend and a bad breakup, Richie slowly started losing control. From multiple arrests, including DUI and drug possession, Richie was on a steady decline that had friends and family worried for her survival. Richie was involved in five car crashes, two of which resulted in car totals.

Following jail time and a stint in rehab, Richie enlisted the help of a multidisciplinary team, eventually bouncing back from gaunt girl to fashion icon.

Her personal fashion sense was setting trends, leading to her landing gigs on several ad campaigns including Jimmy Choo. Before long, Nicole Richie was designing her own accessories, jewelry and a line of maternity wear. Winning Entrepreneur of the Year at Glamor’s Woman of the Year Awards for her House of Harlow 1960, Richie went on to produce an extensive line of handbags available at high-end retailers.

With a lifelong desire to sing and perform musically on Broadway, the two-time author and award-winning fashionista eventually found her passion in fashion mentoring young hopefuls on NBC’s Fashion Star and the wildly popular Project Runway.

These days Richie is enjoying marital bliss with Good Charlotte rocker Joel Madden, with whom she has two children. Richie is also starring in her newest reality TV venture, Candidly Nicole that began as a web series, according to Variety, but blossomed into must-see TV with VH1 picking up the second season.

Initially starting out as motivational media that focused on enjoying everyday life, Candidly Nicole has evolved into a show about everything, Richie told People.

“No topic is off-limits.”

Season 2 of Richie’s Candidly Nicole premieres on Wednesday, July 29 on VH1.

[Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images]