Cigars and Celebs
If there’s anything we know about our fellow cigar smokers, it’s that they have character. Think about the people in your life who smoke cigars. Is there a single mild and mediocre person among them? Of course not. People who smoke cigars are all different to be sure, but there are qualities that we all tend to share. Cigar smokers tend to be independent and outgoing. We’re generally the type of people who take initiative. We don’t ‘wait and see’ as often as we roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty. It should be no surprise to anyone that some dynamic celebrity personalities are known cigar smokers too. From Hollywood actors to musicians to entrepreneurs, here are some of Smoke Inn’s favorite famous cigar smokers.
Michael Jordan and His Cigars
Michael Jordan is unquestionably one of the greatest athletes who’s ever lived. There probably isn’t a country on earth where he wouldn’t be recognized if he strolled through the airport with a Louis Vuitton Horizon 55 in tow. MJ’s list of accomplishments in the intersecting worlds of sports, business and entertainment are a mile long. Many of us grew up watching Jordan tear up the court with Chicago Bulls. Some of us cigar smokers who are a little longer in the tooth remember when he made his NBA debut at Chicago Stadium on October 26, 1984. His storied career spans some of the most exciting decades in NBA history. He’s now a successful businessman and entrepreneur with a $1.7 Billion net worth. You can definitely make a persuasive argument that Michael Jordan has lived his life the way he plays ball. Competitive, adaptable, a strong clutch performer who thrives under pressure. All qualities any of us would be proud to have.
MJ is undoubtably a man of refined tastes too. Jordan is known to appreciate a fine Delmonico Steak. He even enjoyed one before most Bulls games and later went on to open his own steak restaurant. But we’re here to talk cigars, and Michael Jordan doesn’t mess around when it comes to them either. If you know MJ at all, you’ve seen an image of him with cigar in his mouth. Whether he’s playing golf, holding court in the locker room or playing cards, the man is not without a fine cigar. He’s been on the cover of Cigar Aficionado twice. Enough said.
In fact, in a 2005 interview told the magazine that he first really got into cigars by smoking one on the way to games. “In 1993. It became a ritual for every home game.”, Jordan said, “It became such a relaxing thing to do… each and every day for a home game, I smoke a cigar. I wanted that feeling of success and relaxation. It’s the most relaxing thing.”
There’s not a single one of us that doesn’t know exactly what he means. MJ gets it. He’s one of us. It won’t surprise you that he has his favorites, just like you. MJ is said to enjoy everything from rum-dipped Churchills to the Cohiba Siglo II, but his favorite is the elegant double corona Partagas Lusitanias. We wouldn’t expect anything less than an epic cigar for an epic individual like Michael Jordan though, would we?
Arnold Schwartzenegger’s Cigars
Arnold Schwartzenegger is another well-known celebrity cigar aficionado and another great representative of our tribe. The 7-time Mr. Olympia known as the ‘Austrian Oak’ in his bodybuilding days has had several careers. Arnold is clearly a guy who doesn’t just live. He cracks the bones and sucks out the marrow of life. He parlayed his bodybuilding success into a movie career playing the Terminator in the eponymous sci-fi film series, Conan the Barbarian and several other icon action heroes. Arnold is an icon for any kid who grew up in the 80s and 90s, but there’s hardly a person in the western world who doesn’t recognize him on sight and know at least one of his movies.
The iconic image of Arnold driving his Hummer H1 with a cigar in his mouth is an indelible part of his identity. When you picture Arnold in your mind, chances are good that you see him with a cigar in his mouth. The 80s and 90s action hero more recently served as California Governor. But, his first entry into the world of politics was actually as an advisor for the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports in the early 1990s. His rival Sylvester Stallone and Twins sidekick Danny DeVito are also both well-known cigar smokers. Schwartzenegger’s favorite cigar is said to the be the Punch Punch, and he’s a fan of Punch in general. So are we. Great minds think alike?
Jay-Z and His Cigars
Shawn Corey Carter, known to most of us as Jay-Z is a prolific rapper, media tycoon, record producer and entrepreneur. He came up in the rap game in the late 80s and was early to the ownership trend in hip hop, cofounding Roc-A-Fella Records in 1995. He’s successfully staked his claim as an innovator in the rap world. Known as a “rapper’s rapper” for his profound lyricism and his uncanny ability to master every major style of lyrical flow. The 24-time Grammy Award winner is one of the world’s best-selling musicians with over 125 million records sold. As an entrepreneur, he operates clothing maker Rocawear, luxury sports bar chain The 40/40 Club and a music streaming service called Tidal offering lossless high-quality audio.
That’s an incomplete list of course. Jay-Z seems to have a knack for seeing what’s next and getting ahead of trends in culture, business and music. When he’s not busy creating them, that is. HOV is no stranger to luxury goods and accoutrements. He’s got an eye for quality and an appreciation of the finer things and as a billionaire, he’s got the capital to enjoy them. Like more than a few hip hop artists, he’s known to be a fan of Louis Roederer’s Cristal champagne. He also partnered with French luxury conglomerate LVMH to create his own, Armand de Brignac champagne.
Mr. Carter is into high-end luxury clothing like Versace, Gucci and Tom Ford too. We could easily write an entire article twice the length of this one about the man’s music alone and still not scratch the surface of Jay-Z’s greatness. But we’re about cigars here so let’s dig into that. As a man of complex tastes, like most of us he doesn’t settle on just one fine cigar. Jay-Z is known to favor Montecristo but is also a big fan of Davidoff’s Zino Platinum Crown Series and AJ Fernandez’ Ramon Allones line as well as the historic Partagas brand. Like we said, the man has discriminating taste and an eye for quality.
Robyn Rihanna Fenty, better known as Rihanna is the second bestselling female recording artist of all time. She racked up 14 number-ones and 31 top-ten singles in the US in her career, thoroughly dominating the popular music charts. With nine Grammy wins, 12 Billboard Music Awards, 13 American Music Awards and six Guinness World Records, you could call her a high achiever. She’s also collaborated with other huge names like Drake, Eminem, Jay Z and Kanye West to name a few. Forbes named Rihanna the wealthiest female musician as of 2021 with an estimated net worth of $1.7 Billion, right in line with Michael Jordan, the first name in our list.
Keeping up with the gentleman of distinction on our list, Rihanna is also a renaissance woman with diverse talents not limited only to the arena of music. She’s the CEO of high-end cosmetics brand, Fenty Beauty and founder of the nonprofit Clara Lionel Foundation. In 2020, Rihanna personally donated $5,000,000 to COVID-19 relief and sent $750,000 worth of ventilators to her home country of Barbados. She’s one of a few select female celebrities and power players who you can see smoking a cigar if you’re paying attention. In fact, one of her top cigars of choice is known to be the Arturo Fuente Exquisitos Natural.
Other Celebrity Cigar Connoisseurs
When we started to pull together this list, we had a really hard time narrowing it down. Cigars are one of the world’s great luxuries for a few reasons. They provide a reward. An experience. They are a luxury enjoyed by billionaires, royalty and heads of state, but not out of reach for the rest of us. It only follows that famous cultural icons who live the good life would partake of our favorite pastime too, right. Cigars themselves are iconic. What would Al Pacino’s Scarface be without his cigar? Pacino himself is a cigar smoker in real life, of course. Another of our other favorite cigar-smoking celebs include Lincoln Lawyer star and Lincoln pitchman Matthew McConnaughey, who’s a fan of medium sized Romeo y Julieta’s and big maduros. Ron Perlman, who played one of our favorite TV bad guys, Clay Morrow from Sons of Anarchy is also a serious cigar smoker who savors Joya De Nicaragua among others.
This list will probably never be complete, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t also mention screen legend Jack Nicholson. Like more than a few people we know, Nicholson favors Romeo y Julieta, but he’s known to enjoy Montecristos and Cohiba Robustos too. Women have been smoking cigars for nearly as long as men, although they’ve seemed underrepresented in cigar culture up until very recently. Some celebrities of the fairer sex who love cigars include Jennifer Lopez, Heidi Klum, Salma Hayek and Sharon Stone. We have it on good information that Heidi Klum’s smoke of choice is the Partagas Robusto and that leaves little doubt that she’s got sophisticated tastes. We’re planning on a future article to explore the rise of women in cigar culture, so stay tuned for that.
Smoke Inn is Your Cigar Shop
We hope you enjoyed our rundown of celebrity cigar aficionados. It makes perfect sense to us that people who rise above the ordinary and strive for excellence in life would choose to reward themselves the same way we do. One of the great things about cigars is that they are a rarified luxury experience that doesn’t have to be limited to only the upper echelons of society. No matter who you are or where you came from, you can appreciate the quiet reflection of the cigar smoking experience.
We think of smoking a cigar as a meditation of sorts. That may be part of why they are so popular with high performance individuals. When you carry the weight of responsibility and all the rigors of leadership, it’s on you to make time for yourself. No one is going to tell you to take a break. You want to make the most of that well-deserved downtime when you’ve got it. What better way to do it and reward yourself than partaking of the fine, curated leaf that built empires and satisfied everyone from kings to courtesans throughout history?
If you’re local or happen to be visiting South Florida, be sure to reward yourself with a visit to one of the country’s best cigar shops in person. We’d love to see you.