Awkwafina Net Worth [Nora From Queens From Shang-Chi]

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Net Worth:$10 million
Profession/Career:Actress, rapper, and comedian
YouTube Channel:Awkwafina (@awkwafina)
College:University at Albany
Major/Degree:BA in Journalism and Women’s Studies
Full Name:Nora Lum
Date of Birth:June 2, 1988
Place of Birth:New York City, New York
Height:5’ 1”
Weight:121 lbs

Who is Awkwafina?

Awkwafina, whose real name is Nora Lum, is an American actress, comedian, writer, and rapper. She was born on June 2, 1988, in New York City.

Awkwafina gained popularity through her music, which often blends comedy with social commentary. Her 2012 rap song, “My Vag,” became a viral hit on YouTube. She released her debut album, “Yellow Ranger,” in 2014.

She broke into acting with roles in several high-profile films. Her notable roles include Peik Lin Goh in “Crazy Rich Asians” (2018), and the voice of the dragon, Sisu, in Disney’s “Raya and the Last Dragon” (2021). Awkwafina also played a significant role in “Ocean’s 8” (2018) and starred in the critically acclaimed film “The Farewell” (2019), for which she won a Golden Globe Award, making her the first woman of Asian descent to win a Golden Globe in any lead actress film category.

In addition to her work in film, Awkwafina also has a television series, “Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens,” which premiered on Comedy Central in 2020. The semi-autobiographical sitcom is based on her life growing up in New York City.

Awkwafina’s Net Worth

Awkwafina’s net worth is estimated to be around $10 million.

What we know about her:

  • For her role in the movie Raya and the Last Dragon, she was paid $2 million.
  • She states that her music brings her “between $400 and $800 a month from all the platforms that sell my music: iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, etc.”
  • Her first big paycheck came from “Crazy Rich Asians.” Unsurprising, considering how well the movie did.
  • She also gets royalties (unknown amounts) from her book, “Awkwafina’s NYC,” and some income from her own TV show “Awkwafina is Nora From Queens.”
  • She owns a home in Hollywood that’s worth $2.2 million and a home in Bel Air that’s worth $3.5 million.
  • She is estimated to have earned around $3 million for her role in “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.” This is in contrast with Tony Leung, who played Xu Wenwu, having received $7.6 million for his role, and Simi Liu as Shang-Chi having earned $6 million for the lead role.

Awkwafina’s Early Life and Childhood

Awkwafina, born Nora Lum, was born on June 2, 1988, in Stony Brook, New York, and raised in Forest Hills, Queens. She is of Chinese and South Korean descent. Her mother, Tia, a painter, was South Korean, and her father, Wally, a lab technician, is Chinese-American.

Tragically, Awkwafina’s mother died from pulmonary hypertension when she was just four years old, and she was raised by her father and paternal grandparents. Her grandmother played a significant role in her upbringing.

Awkwafina showed an interest in music and performing arts from an early age. She learned to play the trumpet and was trained in classical and jazz music at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School, a prestigious performing arts school in New York City. Awkwafina has described her time at LaGuardia as pivotal in her development as an artist and performer.

She adopted the stage name “Awkwafina” when she was a teenager. She has described the name as a reflection of an “alter ego,” and it’s a play on the word “awkward” and the brand name of a popular bottled water, “Aquafina.”

After high school, she studied journalism and women’s studies at the University at Albany, State University of New York. After graduating, she attended the Beijing Language and Culture University in Beijing, China, where she studied Mandarin.

Her career in entertainment began in her early twenties with her work as a rapper, which later expanded to include acting and comedy.

Awkwafina’s Most Well-Known Works


“My Vag” (2012): This humorous and provocative rap song became a viral hit on YouTube and helped put Awkwafina on the map.

“Yellow Ranger” (2014): This is Awkwafina’s debut album and includes tracks that blend humor with social commentary.


“Ocean’s 8” (2018): Awkwafina was part of an ensemble cast in this heist comedy film, which is both a sequel and spin-off of the Ocean’s Trilogy.

“Crazy Rich Asians” (2018): She played Peik Lin Goh in this romantic comedy-drama, which was a major box office hit and marked a significant moment for Asian representation in Hollywood.

“The Farewell” (2019): Awkwafina delivered a dramatic performance in this film, which earned her a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical, making her the first woman of Asian descent to win a Golden Globe in any lead actress film category.

“Raya and the Last Dragon” (2021): Awkwafina provided the voice for the dragon, Sisu, in this Disney animated feature.

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” (2021): She played Katy Chen, the lifelong best friend of Simi Liu’s character Shang-Chi, and single-handedly provided most of the humor in the film.


“Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens” (2020): This semi-autobiographical sitcom, based on her life growing up in New York City, features Awkwafina as the lead and one of the executive producers.

Awards and Accolades

Nora Lum has won numerous awards and accolades for her work in music, film, and television. Some of the most notable include:

  • Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical (2020): She won this award for her performance in “The Farewell,” making her the first woman of Asian descent to win a Golden Globe in any lead actress film category.
  • Satellite Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture (2019): This was another award she received for her performance in “The Farewell.”
  • Dorian Award for Film Performance of the Year – Actress (2019): Given by GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, this award also recognized her performance in “The Farewell.”
  • Palm Springs International Film Festival – Rising Star Award – Actress (2020): This award is given to an actor or actress in recognition of their burgeoning talent. Awkwafina received it for her performance in “The Farewell.”
  • Santa Barbara International Film Festival – Virtuosos Award (2020): Another accolade for her work in “The Farewell.”
  • Golden Derby TV Award for Comedy Breakthrough Performer of the Year (2020): Awkwafina won this award for her work in her semi-autobiographical TV show, “Awkwafina is Nora from Queens.”

Awkwafina’s Controversies

Awkwafina, like many public figures, has been the subject of some controversy. The primary controversy surrounds the critique that her public persona appropriates African American Vernacular English (AAVE), a cultural and linguistic style associated with some African American communities.

Critics have argued that Awkwafina’s use of AAVE, particularly in her earlier music and comedy work, could be seen as a form of cultural appropriation. The argument is that, as an Asian American woman, she is adopting linguistic and cultural practices of another racial group for her gain, contributing to a pattern where elements of African American culture are commodified and taken out of context.

However, Awkwafina has stated in interviews that her persona is not a contrived act but a reflection of how she grew up in Queens, New York, a culturally diverse area where different linguistic and cultural influences blend together.

Awkwafina’s Endorsements and Philanthropy

Awkwafina has been involved in some notable brand endorsements as well as some philanthropy.

Major Brand Endorsements

She has worked with Nintendo, Oculus, GM, Google Assistant, and HotelTonight, to name a few. 

COVID-19 Relief Efforts

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Awkwafina joined other celebrities in raising awareness and funds for various causes. She participated in initiatives like the All-In Challenge, which raised funds to provide food for those in need during the pandemic.

Support for Asian Communities

Awkwafina has used her platform to support Asian communities and advocate against anti-Asian discrimination. Following a surge in anti-Asian hate crimes, she took part in public awareness campaigns condemning the violence and expressing solidarity with the Asian community.

Building Beats

Awkwafina has supported this non-profit organization, which aims to provide DJ and music programs that teach entrepreneurial, leadership, and life skills to the youth.

What Luxury Items Has Awkwafina Been Known to Spend Money On?

Real estate has been her biggest splurges. She has a $2.2 million home in Hollywood as well as a $3.5 million home in Bel Air, and the latter home has a 2,500-bottle cellar for wine and its own recording studio, to name a few features.

She has also been known to have spent her first significant paycheck on a Gucci handbag, but all things considered, she’s still quite conservative with her money as a whole, putting most of it away for savings and still buying clothes from Target despite her impressive overall net worth.

Inspirational Quotes by Awkwafina

“You don’t have to please everyone. You should first and foremost focus on your happiness, because that’s the most important thing.”

“Believe in your dream like it’s an unshakeable truth.”

“The most important thing in life is not what you do; it’s how you do it.”

“Change is a constant. Something I’ve learned along the journey is that change is inevitable and to fear change is to fear being human.”

“I think with any kind of success, with the opportunities you’re given, it’s up to each person to decipher what their own authentic story is.”

“You need to be determined. You need to be driven. You have to be ambitious, but you cannot do it alone.”

“We can’t let our futures be dictated by the past.”

“When you grow up in New York, no one is ever one thing. There’s so much diversity that you are exposed to many different types of people.”

“Sometimes you just have to do these things and not question why you’re doing them.”

“It’s okay to not know what you want to do, as long as you know what you don’t want to do.”

“I’ve learned not to let successes get me too high, and the failures get me too low.”

“We’re all on this earth for such a limited amount of time, and we need to show kindness to one another.”

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