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Most stars have a history in various forms of the performing arts, but some of them got their start in different ways than others. Several, in fact, hit the stage as strippers to make a living before they got their big break. Check out the following celebs – both male and female – who used to take it off on stage to pay the bills. There are actually a couple of Oscar winners on the list!

1. Channing Tatum

Most people know that Channing Tatum worked as a stripper before he became famous. That body and those moves came in handy when he landed a starring role in the Magic Mike films. In fact, those films were loosely autobiographical about his experiences as a male exotic dancer at a “stripper convention”. Dancing of all kinds has been a big part of Channing’s life. It also lead him to his wife Jenna Dewan when they costarred in the dance movie Step Up. Undressed or fully clothed, we just like to look at him.

Channing Tatum
Channing Tatum
Debby Wong /

2. Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga grew up in a relatively well-off family but started working the pole at the age of 18 anyway. She seemed to have been born with a flair for the dramatic and hasn’t slowed down, although her career has progressed considerably since her stripper days. “I made more money stripping than waitressing. I didn’t show too much — I was a burlesque dancer. Because my family’s European, for me it wasn’t that weird and I didn’t do anything super seedy — although my dad didn’t think so.”

Lady Gaga
Joe Seer /

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