Paris Whitney Hilton (born February 17, 1981) is an American businesswoman, socialite, television personality, model, actress, singer, DJ, and author. She is the great-granddaughter of Conrad Hilton, the founder of Hilton Hotels. Born in New York City and raised there and in Beverly Hills, California, Hilton began her modeling career as a teenager when she signed with Donald Trump’s agency, Trump Model Management. Her lifestyle and rumored short-lived relationships made her a feature of entertainment news, and Hilton was proclaimed “New York’s leading It girl” in 2001. In 2003, a sex tape with Hilton and her then-boyfriend Rick Salomon, later released as 1 Night in Paris, was made public. Released only three weeks before the premiere of the reality television series The Simple Life, in which she starred alongside her long-time friend Nicole Richie, the sex tape became a media sensation. The Simple Life continued for five seasons and gave both women international recognition.
In 2004, Hilton released her book Confessions of an Heiress, which became The New York Times Best Seller. She later played a supporting role in the horror film House of Wax (2005) and released her debut album, Paris (2006). The album received generally mixed reviews, but the lead single, “Stars Are Blind”, managed to be successful in charts, peaking at number eighteen on the Billboard Hot 100. Hilton returned to reality television in 2008 with Paris Hilton’s My New BFF (2008) and its two spin-offs: Paris Hilton’s British Best Friend (2009) and Paris Hilton’s Dubai BFF (2009), and again in 2011 with The World According to Paris. Her other acting credits include Bottoms Up, National Lampoon’s Pledge This! (2006), The Hottie and the Nottie, Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008) and Sofia Coppola’s film The Bling Ring (2013). In 2012, Hilton announced her DJ career and made her debut at the São Paulo Pop Music Festival. Although her performance was criticized, she became one of the highest-paid celebrity DJs, holding club residencies all over the world. That same year, she also returned to music, signing a record deal with Cash Money Records.
Critics and admirers have said that Hilton is famous for being famous, exemplifying the celebutante: a celebrity not through talent or work, but through inherited wealth and lifestyle. She has parlayed her media fame into perfumes and a fashion line with her endorsement; her fragrances have reportedly earned $1.5 billion. There are 44 Paris Hilton stores worldwide, with products including perfumes, handbags, watches and footwear. Hilton earns over $10 million a year from product sales and, as of 2005, was paid about $300,000 for appearances in clubs and events.