Paris Whitney Hilton (born February 17, 1981) is an American television personality, socialite, business woman, model, and singer. 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 New York-based modeling development agency Trump Model Management. Her lifestyle and rumored short-lived relationships made her a feature of entertainment news and tabloid magazines, 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 leaked to the 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.
In 2004, Hilton released her book Confessions of an Heiress, which became a New York Times Best Seller. She later played a supporting role in the horror film House of Wax (2005). In 2005, Hilton signed to Warner Bros. Records as a singer and began working with producers such as Scott Storch, Tom Whalley, J.R. Rotem, Dr. Luke, Fernando Garibay and Kara DioGuardi on a pop album. Hilton's debut single "Stars Are Blind" was released worldwide in June 2006 and quickly became an instant hit around the world including number one in Scotland. In the United States, "Stars Are Blind" was amongst the highest debuting singles in the U.S. in 2006, entering the Billboard Hot 100 at number 18 due to strong digital sales and was played on more than 125 pop stations in the U.S. alone in 2006-2007. The self-titled album, Paris, was released worldwide on August 22, 2006. The album reached number six on the Billboard 200, and has since sold over 600,000 copies worldwide.
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 Oxygen series The World According to Paris. Her other acting credits include Bottoms Up, National Lampoon's Pledge This! (2006), The Hottie and the Nottie (2008), 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 Lil Wayne's and Birdman's label Cash Money Records.
Commentators 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 earned $1.5 billion. There are currently three Paris Hilton apartment complexes and 44 Paris Hilton stores worldwide, with products including perfumes, handbags, watches and footwear. Hilton earns over $10 million a year from product sales. Hilton's perfume products alone have brought in over $2.5 billion in revenue, the second largest celebrity fragrance of all time behind Hollywood actress Liz Taylor, and, as of 2005, was paid about $300,000 for appearances in clubs and events.