Nicole Richie: Snapshot

Nicole Richie
Date of Birth
September 21, 1981
Birth Place
Berkeley, Calif.
Adopted by singer Lionel Richie, Nicole Richie grew up in privileged L.A. society, where her playmates included hotel heiress Paris Hilton. In 2003, the pair starred in the reality show, The Simple Life. After arrests and problems with drugs, Richie found herself in rehab.

Often accused of being too thin, Richie became a style icon, with endless coverage of her shrinking frame. She continued working with Hilton although they famously fell out, but reconciled in 2006 before starring in their show's fifth season.

The former wild child has become a business-minded style magnet (she's currently starring on NBC's Fashion Star) and a domesticated goddess with rocker hubby Joel Madden, with whom she has two children.

Nicole Richie: Video

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The boho chic star turned the fashion world upside down with her unique style - and continues to rule from the top (02:15)

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Nicole Richie: Five Fun Facts

  1. Michael Jackson is Nicole Richie's godfather.
  2. Growing up, Nicole Richie studied cello, violin, piano and ice skating.
  3. Nicole Richie has 9 tattoos: a rosary around her ankle, a tiara on her hip, a cross on her lower back, ballet slippers on her abdomen, the word "virgin" on one wrist, a shooting star on her other wrist, two angel wings on her shoulder blades and "Richie" on the back of her neck.
  4. Nicole Richie's first puppy was a gift from Prince.
  5. Her adoptive father, Lionel Richie, wrote the 1986 song "Ballerina Girl" for her.

Nicole Richie: Biography

circa 1984

Nicole Richie

Becoming a Richie

Lionel Richie is taken by 3-year-old Nicole, a fixture at his concerts, and gets the approval of her birth parents to let her move in with him and his wife, Brenda. She is officially adopted six years later. "My parents were friends with Lionel," Nicole tells PEOPLE in 2003. "They trusted that they would be better able to provide for me." In 1986, she attends kindergarten at the Buckley School in Sherman Oaks, Calif. with classmate Paris Hilton.


February 27

Heroin Bust

Richie, 21, is busted on suspicion of possessing a controlled substance and driving with a revoked license. "They found one balloon of heroin. It wasn't on me; it was in the car," she tells PEOPLE. She soon enters the Sierra Tucson drug rehab center in Arizona.

Nicole Richie

Richie & Hilton's Simple Life

The fish-out-of-water reality series The Simple Life is originally conceived as a vehicle for Paris and her sister Nicky Hilton. When Nicky bows out, Richie steps in. Soon after she leaves rehab, Richie heads for the Ledings' farm in Altus, Ark., where she and Hilton are guests of the family and start filming their first season.

Read More on Nicole Richie's Life

Photo Credits

Top Left: George Holz/Contour Photos

BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Ron Wolfson/WireImage; 20th Century FOX/Everett

Edited by Julia Wang

Nicole Richie

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