CryptoPunks might have kicked off the NFT profile picture trend, but the Bored Ape Yacht Club is making even stronger inroads to collectors who aren’t deeply immersed in crypto culture.
Yuga Labs’ Ethereum-based NFT project—which has yielded more than $2 billion in secondary trading volume across three collections—counts a growing number of celebrity owners, including big names like TV host Jimmy Fallon, athletes including Stephen Curry and Shaquille O’Neal, and musicians like Marshmello and Post Malone.
The Bored Ape Yacht Club is billed as an exclusive social group for NFT holders, and the club keeps drawing more and more famous folks. An NFT acts like a receipt that proves ownership for a rare digital item: in this case, one of 10,000 unique avatars that can be used for social media profiles, creative projects, and potentially turning a profit given their rapid rise in value.
With both Universal Music Group and producer Timbaland turning Bored Apes into virtual music groups, plus plans to bring the brand across the world of entertainment, Bored Apes could soon become ubiquitous—with celebrity holders helping to lead that charge.
Here’s a look at some of the biggest celebrity holders of Bored Ape Yacht Club and Mutant Ape Yacht Club NFTs, in order of when they first bought in.
Billionaire investor, Dallas Mavericks owner, and “Shark Tank” star Mark Cuban apparently received his Bored Ape as a gift in May, according to community resource The Bored Ape Gazette. He’s since held onto it amid skyrocketing valuations, and even featured it on his own Lazy.com NFT gallery profile. Cuban is also a big fan of Dogecoin and has invested in many NFT and crypto-related companies.
Curry wasn’t the first notable athlete to buy a Bored Ape, but he was surely the most prominent one when he joined in late August. The three-time NBA champion, Subway spokesperson, and “Holey Moley” TV show co-creator snagged his Bored Ape NFT for about $180,000 worth of ETH at the time. Curry was seen hanging out in the project’s official Discord server shortly after the purchase.
DJ Steve Aoki is deeply invested in NFTs, not only as a collector but also a creator. He’s dropped stuff on Nifty Gateway in the past, recently announced a Solana-based marketplace alongside legendary comic book artist Todd McFarlane, and works with artist pplpleasr to support women NFT artists. Aoki also holds eight Bored Ape NFTs and a couple of Mutant Apes, as well, alongside plenty more NFTs.
YouTube star and rapper KSI fell rapidly down the NFT rabbit hole. He bought his first NFTs in August, and within two days he’d created a Twitter alt account (@ksicrypto) dedicated to NFTs and gloated about how much his Bored Ape rose in value. Helping KSI ape in was Banks, another NFT die-hard and co-founder of the popular esports organization, FaZe Clan.
Shaq, the retired four-time NBA champion and prolific ad pitchman, owns an NFT from the spinoff collection, Mutant Ape Yacht Club. He bought it in September at a relatively modest $14,000 worth of ETH, and best of all, his OpenSea wallet name is “manofdominance.” For a while, Shaq used a Creature World NFT as his Twitter avatar, plus he has launched his own NFTs via the Ethernity Chain platform.
DJ and producing duo The Chainsmokers have been in the crypto space for a while, investing in startups, and they aped into a Bored Ape NFT in September at a price of about $210,000. They’re on hiatus and actually haven’t tweeted since early 2020, but that didn’t stop them from changing their Twitter avatar to the Bored Ape in question.
The Linkin Park rapper and solo musician not only collects NFTs and showcases them via his Audius profile (including numerous Mutant Apes), but also creates his own. Shinoda has released an array of NFTs, particularly via the recently-shuttered Tezos marketplace, Hic et Nunc. He also streams regularly via Twitch and releases NFT of artwork created on stream, and is keen on a crypto future.
The mask-wearing DJ has since traded up to a CryptoPunk avatar for his Twitter profile pic, but he aped into the Bored Apes in September with a rainbow-teeth NFT purchased for nearly $220,000 worth of ETH at the time. Marshmello has tweeted about CrypToadz, as well.
Rich the Kid
Rapper Rich the Kid is quickly making moves in the NFT space, buying his first Bored Ape in early November and already asking his fans whether his Ape should “drop a music video.” He also tweeted about purchasing NFT-based land in the upcoming Ethereum-based metaverse game, The Sandbox. He previously released his own Rich Kids NFT project in September.
"Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon revealed on his show to top-selling NFT artist Beeple that he had “aped into” the collection, then on November 12 revealed his purchase: Bored Ape #599. It was purchased for about $224,000 worth of ETH in early November, and Fallon showcased the image to his 51 million Twitter followers by writing, “Permission to come a bored?” Now he says he’s looking into Mutant Apes as well.
DJ and music producer DJ Khaled joined the Bored Ape Yacht Club in November through a MoonPay-led acquisition: he purchased Bored Ape #7380 for more than $227,000 worth of ETH. As of this writing, DJ Khaled is using his Ape—which features a vibrant tropical shirt and coins over his eyes—as his avatar on Instagram, where he has more than 27 million followers.
Continuing the trend of rappers wielding Bored Apes, Future snagged his NFT in November and immediately embraced the culture, tweeting it with a “gm” to his 7 million Twitter followers. Like DJ Khaled, Snoop, and others on this list, Future secured Bored Ape #4672 in partnership with MoonPay, which paid nearly $223,000 worth of ETH to purchase the Ape with a Sea Captain’s hat and a red robe.
Rapper Post Malone is the newest addition to this list, just changing his Twitter profile picture to a Bored Ape today. Crypto payments processor MoonPay posted a TikTok video over the weekend that teased him buying a Bored Ape and chatting about it. MoonPay also handled Fallon’s purchase, potentially as part of a celebrity marketing campaign. Post looked excited in the video, but hasn't tweeted about the acquisition as of this writing.
The legendary hip-hop producer has not only launched his own Ethereum music NFTs that you can mix and match together, but also aped into the Bored Ape Yacht Club. Timbaland has Bored Ape #590 as his Twitter profile picture as of this writing, plus he announced Ape-In Productions, which will develop virtual music groups and animation featuring avatars from Bored Ape NFTs.
Rapper Lil Baby is yet another celebrity that joined the Yacht Club via MoonPay, but he also went a step further, “mutating” his Bored Ape with a special NFT serum to create a second Mutant Ape Yacht Club NFT. He’s using the latter as his Twitter profile pic now, and MoonPay captured both the purchase and mutation on its TikTok.
Free agent NFL wide receiver Dez Bryant, best known for his years with the Dallas Cowboys, was an early celebrity fan of Bored Apes and NFTs before a lot of the people on this list aped in. He doesn’t currently have his Bored Ape as his Twitter avatar—now he has an NFT profile pic from one of the collections launched on his own NFT platform, Personal Corner.
Like his brother Jake, social media influencer Logan Paul is big on NFTs. He appears to be most partial to CryptoPunks, owning a handful and even turning one into jewelry, but he also has a Bored Ape in his wallet—and a bunch of knock-offs that were likely sent to his wallet unprompted. He has over 4,000 NFTs in his wallet, with a steady stream being sent in by folks probably trying to pump their projects.
Snoop Dogg is a huge NFT collector via his Cozomo de’ Medici alias, but the Bored Ape Yacht Club had been curiously missing from his collection. In December, the rapper aped in hard, working with MoonPay to purchase a Bored Ape along with a Bored Ape Kennel Club companion and two Mutant Apes.
Rapper Eminem, a.k.a. Marshall Mathers, is one of the latest heavyweights to join the Bored Ape Yacht Club, buying his NFT at the end of December 2021. Interestingly, his Ape looks much like him, including the same type of hat that he’s often worn in real life. The previous owner had actually tweeted about the resemblance weeks before Eminem’s team reached out to broker the deal for about $452,000 worth of ETH.
Here’s another rapper that MoonPay has apparently enlisted to showcase its NFT concierge service. On January 1, MoonPay purchased Bored Ape #6877 for over $245,000 worth of ETH, and then transferred it out to another wallet. Meek Mill was then seen showing it off on his phone while sitting alongside BAYC holder Lil Baby. Meek has yet to change his Twitter avatar to his Bored Ape, as of this writing, but the list of MoonPay-backed celebs is growing.
Widely considered one of the world’s best soccer players, Neymar Jr. also holds the honor of having the most Twitter followers of anyone on this list. He entered the Bored Ape Yacht Club with a big splash, buying two Apes for a combined total of more than $1 million worth of ETH on January 20. He announced his presence to his 55 million followers with this bubble-blowing pink ape with holographic glasses and a party hat, Bored Ape #6633. He also owns the laser-eyed #5269.
The 23-time Grand Slam tennis champion was onboarded into NFTs by a prominent enthusiast: her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. He bought her Bored Ape #5797 for about $414,000 worth of ETH, and then she shared it on Twitter on January 20 with the message, “GM.”
Ohanian had also previously bought his wife a Serena-like CryptoPunk. Williams, meanwhile, recently joined crypto fantasy soccer game Sorare as a board advisor.
Reality TV star and socialite Paris Hilton entered the NFT space before the vast majority of people on this list, selling her own blockchain-based artwork way back in 2020. So while it might be surprising to see her become something of an ambassador for NFTs—including giving some away on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon”—she’s got the crypto credentials.
In January, Hilton went on "Late Night" and showed off Bored Ape #1294, which she purchased via MoonPay for $287,000 worth of ETH. "They look like they could be friends," she joked about Fallon's ape and her own.
Actress and entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow doesn’t tweet very often, but her latest (in late January) announced her entry into the Bored Ape Yacht Club to her 2.7 million followers. Paltrow aped in with the help of MoonPay, like so many celebs on this list; MoonPay purchased Ape #6141 on her behalf in November 2021 for about $228,000 worth of ETH. She even got her Ape custom-animated for the reveal, with the original image evolving as the blindfold and hat are removed to reveal a blonde-haired ape.
International pop sensation Justin Bieber aped in with Bored Ape #3001 on January 29 for a whopping 500 ETH, or $1.3 million. Crypto influencers like Gmoney and Farokh think he overpaid, but maybe Bieber just loved the look of this Ape with relatively common traits. Bieber—who has the second-most followers in all of Twitter at 114 million—shared the image on his Instagram using lyrics from his single “Lonely.” His wallet also holds NFTs from Doodles and World of Women, among other projects.
Justin Bieber's January 31 Instagram post.
Rocker and “Prince of Darkness” Ozzy Osbourne aped into the Club in February with Bored Ape #9939, which was acquired for about 115 ETH (over $359,000). This Ape has a “Vietnam era helmet” and coins over its eyes, and Ozzy tweeted about it on February 16 while promoting his own CryptoBatz NFT project. CryptoBatz lets owners “bite” another NFT to generate a hybrid image. Ozzy and wife Sharon crossed the NFT species on a Twitter Space.
Image: Yuga Labs
Musician and DJ Dillon Francis joined the Bored Ape Yacht Club in February, but did so in a unique way: The NFT was given as compensation to Francis as part of a record deal and nightclub residency agreement. Bored Ape #378 was purchased for 109 ETH (about $340,000) by Randy Greenstein of Big Night Entertainment, and then transferred to Francis’ wallet. Francis has been collecting NFTs for about a year, he told Decrypt in an interview.
Image: Yuga Labs
We found out that Colin Kaepernick apparently aped into the project in an unexpected way: His Ape was shown on a poster of investors that Bored Ape creators Yuga Labs shared in March when the firm raised $450 million at a $4 billion valuation. Kaepernick has yet to share his Ape via social media, as of this writing, but it’s Bored Ape #7434 and it was purchased by MoonPay in February for 120 ETH (nearly $317,000 at the time).
Image: Yuga Labs
Rapper and actor Wiz Khalifa has followed the lead of frequent collaborator Snoop Dogg in joining the Bored Ape Yacht Club. He made Bored Ape #1506 his Twitter profile picture on March 23 after launching an NFT mixtape (album) with Snoop, which could only be purchased with ApeCoin (APE). According to public blockchain data, the Ape was transferred from NFT entrepreneur Jimmy McNelis to MoonPay before being transferred to Khalifa, but it’s unclear whether money changed hands.
Image: Yuga Labs
The “Queen of Pop” shared her Ape pickup on March 24: a pink ape with eyeballs all over its fur and the “S&M hat” trait. It’s worth noting that Madonna’s longtime manager, Guy Oseary, who also used to run her Maverick record label, also now represents the Bored Ape IP as it expands into other entertainment realms. Moonpay purchased Bored Ape #4988 for 180 ETH (about $466,000) earlier in March, and the version of the image Madonna tweeted looks to be altered with a different background and other color tweaks.
Image: Yuga Labs