Personal Finance

7 stars who bounced back from bankruptcy court

Cyndi Lauper performs.
Getty Images

Cyndi Lauper. Larry King. Jerry Lee Lewis. What do these celebs have in common? At some point, they had each filed for bankruptcy protection.

The commonalities don't stop there: Each star managed to use their talents to overcome their financial woes.

From rags to riches, these seven had some of the greatest comebacks following bankruptcy filings, according to research by financial services company

Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye performs on stage in Rotterdam, Netherlands, July 1, 1980.
Rob Verhorst | Redferns | Getty Images

The bankruptcy: The "Prince of Soul" filed for bankruptcy in 1976 after failing to keep up with alimony payments. At the time, he reportedly owed his ex-wife around $600,000.

The comeback: In 1982, Gaye's Grammy-winning single "Sexual Healing" reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Black Singles chart — where it stayed for a record 10 weeks. The hit sold more than 2 million copies in the U.S. alone, and peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. There was no happy ending, however. Gaye was shot to death by his father on April 1, 1984, a day before the singer's 45th birthday.

Meat Loaf

Meat Loaf speaks to the crowd at the London Coliseum Nov. 3, 2016.
Dave J Hogan | Getty Images

The bankruptcy: As a result of disputes with his record label and songwriter Jim Steinman, rocker Meat Loaf at one point had more than 45 lawsuits totaling over $80 million against him. He told the Guardian in 2003, "The only way to stop them playing their game was to declare a Chapter 11 bankruptcy," which he did, in the late 1980s.

The comeback: Meat Loaf and Steinman resolved their issues and, in 1993, released the album "Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell." It was a commercial success, selling more than 14 million copies around the world. Its top selling single, "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" reached No.1 in 28 countries.

Kim Basinger

Kim Basinger attends the "Black November" New York premiere.
Getty Images

The bankruptcy: Main Line Pictures sued Basinger for more than $8 million after she pulled out of the film "Boxing Helena." As a result, the actress filed for bankruptcy in 1992.

The comeback: Director Curtis Hanson cast Basinger in the role of Lynn Bracken in the 1997 film "L.A. Confidential." The film earned her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Basinger went on to star in many other successful movies, including "8 Mile" and "The Nice Guys." Most recently, she appeared in "Fifty Shades Darker." (She ultimately settled the lawsuit with Main Line Pictures out of court for $3.8 million.)

Cyndi Lauper

Getty Images

The bankruptcy: After a falling out, the manager for Lauper's early-1980s band, Blue Angel, sued the singer and her bandmates for $80,000 — forcing the then-struggling artist to file for bankruptcy in 1981.

The comeback: Two years later, Lauper released the album "She's So Unusual" featuring hits "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" and "Time After Time." The album peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 chart and stayed in the chart's top 40 for 65 weeks. That year, Lauper and her album were nominated for six Grammy Awards, and won Best New Artist. In addition to her singing success, Lauper would go on to compose the music and lyrics for Broadway sensation "Kinky Boots." In 2013, she became the first solo woman to win a Tony Award for Best Original Score.

Isaac Hayes

Isaac Hayes performs at the Big Chill music festival Aug. 5, 2007
Getty Images

The bankruptcy: Hayes found himself in debt to Union Planters Bank, which administered loans for his music label, Stax Records. He reportedly owed more than $6 million when he was forced to file for bankruptcy in 1976. In turn, Hayes lost his home, much of his personal property and the rights to all future royalties earned from the music he had written, performed and produced.

The comeback: Hayes reached a new level of fame by providing the voice for the character Chef on Comedy Central's hit show "South Park." The lunchroom cook appeared in the show's debut in 1997, and stuck around through the end of its ninth season in 2006. The successful series has been nominated for more than 15 Emmy Awards.

Jerry Lee Lewis

Getty Images

The bankruptcy: Singer-songwriter Jerry Lee Lewis owed $3 million in medical, personal and tax debts when he filed for bankruptcy in 1988.

The comeback: The singer's 2006 duets CD "Last Man Standing" was his biggest-selling album ever — and highest-charting, peaking at No. 26 on the Billboard 200 chart. His 2010 album "Mean Old Man" reached No. 30.

Larry King

Larry King
David Orrell | CNBC

The bankruptcy: In 1971, authorities charged King with grand larceny for allegedly stealing $5,000 from his former business partner. The charges were eventually dropped, but as a result of the allegation, he wouldn't find a regular journalism position for more than four years, according to Time. That period of unemployment contributed to King racking up more than $350,000 in debt, which resulted in him filing for bankruptcy in 1978.

The comeback: That year, King was offered a national nightly television slot at Mutual Broadcasting. In 1985, he landed his own CNN television show, "Larry King Live," which ran for more than 25 years.