NFTs (or non-fungible tokens) have taken the virtual realms of art, music and sports by storm. For the uninitiated, NFTs are unique digital assets that use the same blockchain technology behind cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum—think of the digital tokens as certificates of ownership for virtual or physical assets.
The new trend has exploded in popularity among crypto millionaires, tech moguls, and even celebrities. Ahead, we round up some of the biggest names that are riding the NFT hype.
Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk produced an electronic music track about the NFT craze and offered it for sale as an NFT. The looping video that accompanied the song had a top bid of US$1.1 million, but Musk had a change of mind and decided not to sell it.
The model, activist and new mom is minting an NFT titled Buying Myself Back: A Model for Redistribution, up for auction on Christie’s, in an effort to reclaim authority over the usage her likeness. “The digital terrain should be a place where women can share their likeness as they choose, controlling the usage of their image and receiving whatever potential capital attached. Instead, the internet has more frequently served as a space where others exploit and distribute image,” she wrote. Ratajkowski will receive an undisclosed cut each time the NFT is resold.
Rap legend Eminem dropped his Shady Con NFTs in partnership with Nifty Gateway, featuring collectibles including comic books, trading cards, action figures, and original music. The sale raised almost US$1.8 million.
Musician Grimes has sold around US$6 million worth of NFT artworks. Her WarNymph collection created in the wake of her fifth album, Miss Anthropocene—think: cherubs and piglets floating in space, accompanied by unreleased music—reportedly sold out within 20 minutes.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey sold his first-ever tweet as an NFT for almost US$3 million. Dorsey said he will convert the proceeds to bitcoin and donate the sum to GiveDirectly’s Africa Response fund.
Top model Kate Moss teamed up with art collective MITNFT to mint three videos of herself as NFTs—Drive with Kate, Walk with Kate, and Sleep with Kate—offering glimpses into some of her most intimate moments. A percentage of proceeds go to Adwoa Aboah’s Gurls Talk, dedicated to promoting the mental health and well-being of women and girls.
Kings of Leon
American rock band Kings of Leon‘s album When You See Yourself was sold as an NFT, marking a music industry first and earning an impressive US$2 million in sales. The sale involved perks such as moving album covers, front row concert tickets, and a limited-edition vinyl copy of the album.
Lindsay Lohan sold her first NFT on Rarible for US$57,290 in February. Since then, she’s been minting more NFTs and donating the proceeds to charity. The star recently released her new single Lullaby as an NFT.
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Early bitcoin and ethereum adopter Paris Hilton quietly released her first NFT back in August 2020; she auctioned a drawing of her cat on NFT platform Cryptograph and donated sale proceeds to charity. The socialite has since dropped official NFTs in collaboration with artist Blake Kathryn, which sold for over US$1.1 million.
Shawn Mendes collaborated with Genies—a company that creates digital avatars for the likes of Rihanna and Justin Bieber—for one-of-a-kind NFT artworks incorporating Mendes’s signature Fender guitar, gold ring, and embellished vest. All proceeds go to the Shawn Mendes Foundation.
Rapper Snoop Dogg released an NFT collection titled A Journey with the Dogg, featuring Snoop’s memories from his early years, NFT-inspired artwork, an original track titled NFT. A portion of the proceeds went to young, emerging crypto artists and Snoop’s Youth Football League.
The Grammy nominated EDM DJ dropped the Dream Catcher in collaboration with artist Antoni Tudisco in early March, which raked in US$4.25 million. Aoki has recently partnered with motivational speaker Tom Bilyeu to launch sci-fi themed Neon Future NFTs that went live on April 27.
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