The Billionaire Beatle
At the age of 76, Paul McCartney is the oldest person on this list but still one of the most active.
(Photo by James D. Morgan/Getty Images)
The former Beatle continues to sell out arenas and rake in seven-figure nightly grosses, all while collecting income from his solo and Beatles back catalog. Married with five children and living in the UK, McCartney has a net worth of US$1.2 billion.
Jay Z Rocks the Nation
Rapper, songwriter, and business and media mogul Shawn Carter – better known by his stage name Jay Z – has a staggering estimated net worth of US$900 million at just 48 years old and continues to move up the sports agent rankings with the growth of his agency Roc Nation.
(Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
This past year, Jay-Z negotiated Kevin Durant’s new US$51 million deal with the Golden State Warriors while helping fourth-best NFL draft pick Leonard Fournette sign a US$27 million contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Good Times for the Bad Boy
Sean Combs – who has also been known throughout his career by his stage names Puff Daddy, Puffy, P. Diddy, Diddy, Love and Brother Love – has an estimated net worth of US$820 million. Nearly 20 years after appearing on the cover of the first-ever Celebrity 100, Combs is near the top of the list thanks to his Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour, which is a partnership with Diageo’s Ciroc vodka.
(Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images)
Although initially a Howard University dropout, at 48 years old, Combs has created his wealth predominantly through music, he also has a clothing line named Sean John, for which he sold a third for an estimated US$70 million. He has six children but is now single and resides in New York City.
Buffet Still Open for Business
Jimmy Buffet is a musician, songwriter, author, actor, and businessman. His Margaritaville lifestyle empire, named after his hit song, encompasses hotels, restaurants, merchandise and even a satellite radio station, and accounts for the bulk of his earnings.
(Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)
He is 71 years old, married with two children and lives in Florida, and has an estimated net worth of US$550 million.
The Million-Dollar Songbird Supreme
Singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress Mariah Carey was born on March 27, 1970, in Huntington, New York. She appeared in the Guinness Book of World Records as the “Songbird Supreme” because of her extraordinary vocal power and range.
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She is also uniquely identified for her inspiration to a generation of singers. Carey has been recognized for her philanthropic efforts, having been greatly involved with charitable organizations during her career. She has an estimated net worth of US$520 million.
Elton Still Flying High
Although 71 years old, Elton John still has a prolific touring schedule, playing 99 live shows in Las Vegas and elsewhere during our scoring period.
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Married with two children and living in the UK, John has an estimated net worth of US$500 million.
Hardwired to Succeed
American heavy metal band Metallica has an estimated net worth of US$500 million, which includes all the members.
(Photo by Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Getty Images for F1 Rocks in India with Vladivar)
A pioneer of heavy metal music since 1980, the band recently released its 10th studio album Hardwired … To Self-Destruct, with huge global success. Most of their recent profits, however, came from the WorldWired global tour, which is set to continue through 2018.
Living the Dream
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The band Coldplay has a net worth of US$475 million, which includes all its members. The British pop-rockers completed their A Head Full of Dreams Tour in 2017, which earned them US$5 million per city and the biggest salary of their career so far.
Born to Perform
Bruce Springsteen is undoubtedly one of the most popular musicians of all time. With an estimated net worth of US$460 million at 68 years of age, most of the money Springsteen currently makes comes from shows, thanks to seven-figure nightly grosses.
Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science)
However, memoir Born to Run earned him a reported US$10 million advance, and accompanying compilation album Chapter and Verse added to this total.
A New Day Unlocks a New Fortune
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Although Canadian singer Celine Dion has topped the charts for years, the bulk of her fortune has been made from residencies in Las Vegas, where she has made around US$400 million performing her A New Day show around 70 times a year since its 2003 opening. Dion is now a widow with three children and has an estimated net worth of US$400 million.
Beyoncé Sprints to Riches
At 36 years old, Beyoncé Knowles has made her wealth mainly through music after dropping out of high school. After finding success with band Destiny’s Child, Knowles started producing and releasing music by herself. Lemonade, released in 2016, was her sixth solo number one album, and her Formation World Tour, which finished in the same year, grossed US$250 million.
(Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage )
Together with her husband Shawn Carter – who is better known as his stage name Jay Z – and other high-profile musicians, including Madonna, Knowles owns shares in streaming service Tidal, the value of which soared when Sprint invested US$200 million for a reported 33% stake of the company in early 2017. Knowles now lives in Los Angeles, California with her husband and three children, as has an estimated net worth of US$355 million.
A Swift Rise to Fame and Fortune
At 28 years old, Taylor Swift is one of the highest-earning celebrities in the world. Three years ago, her 1989 Tour smashed North American touring records, grossing US$250 million; however, her current Reputation Tour could top that.
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When released in 2017, the corresponding album sold two million copies in its opening week, becoming the top album of that year regarding total sales. Although touring is Swift’s most significant income stream, her net worth has benefited from continued earnings from her music, endorsements, and merchandise. Swift has had endorsements from the likes of Keds, Diet Coke, and Apple. She has an estimated net worth of US$320 million.
The King of Country
Often dubbed “the King of Country,” Garth Brooks has a net worth of US$280 million. His comeback tour, which began in 2014, is still going strong, with 300 dates and counting.
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What stands Brooks apart from his peers in this list is his commitment to playing multiple arenas shows in a single day – which also increases his revenues significantly.
The Cosmic Country Chart Topper
Kenny Chesney, the leader of No Shoes Nation, continues to thrive at 50 years old, selling out stadiums around the US and topping the country charts with 2016 album Cosmic Hallelujah.
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Also, Chesney cashed in on deals with Corona and Apple, as well as his own Blue Chair Bay rum. He is divorced and lives in Tennessee, with an estimated net worth of US$250 million.
“Beliebers” Give Justin His Largest Paycheck Yet
At 24 years old, Canadian Justin Bieber is a musician and performer with an estimated net worth of US$200 million.
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Boosted by 105 live shows, he recently collected the largest annual haul of his career. Also, he makes money through a Calvin Klein endorsement deal and his JustMoji icons.
No Break in Grammy Award Winner’s Success
UK-born singer and songwriter Adele has enjoyed substantial global success despite being only 30 years old. She has been known to turn down millions of dollars of endorsements but cashes in with consistent tours.
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She notably broke her Album of the Year Grammy Award in half to share with Beyoncé, but many would argue she is at the top of her game. Adele has an estimated net worth of US$185 million.
The Highest-Earning DJ
With an estimated net worth of US$160 million, 34-year-old Calvin Harris is the highest-earning DJ on this list.
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Performances in Las Vegas earned him a substantial amount, cemented by headlining music festivals for fees that go up to seven figures.
DJ Outsells Younger Generation
Born Tijs Verwest, the 49-year-old Dutch DJ better known as Tiësto continues to out-earn electronic dance music stars half his age.
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He does this by playing a staggering number of gigs – 134 in our scoring period – while taking home six-figure nightly fees. Single and living in the US, Tiësto has an estimated net worth of US$150 million.
Guns Are Still Aimed High
Legendary rock band Guns N’ Roses, featuring Axl Rose, Slash, and Duff McKagan, kicked off the Never in This Lifetime Tour in April 2016, covering five continents.
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This helped the band achieve the rare feat of soaring into eight-figure territory without any major endorsements, and Axl Rose has a net worth of US$150 million.
Chili Peppers Still Red Hot
With 108 gigs during our scoring period, the Red Hot Chili Peppers are still on fire in their 34th year.
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The tour has been eventful, particularly for singer Anthony Kiedis, who was hospitalized with the intestinal flu moments before a set at the start of the tour. Kiedis has an estimated net worth of US$120 million.
Mars Is Out of This World
Bruno Mars has won multiple Grammy Awards and, thanks to his 24K Magic World Tour, has recently earned millions of dollars.
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At 32 years old, Mars is single and living in California and has an estimated net worth of US$110 million.
Drake Dominates Streaming
Thirty-one-year-old Aubrey Drake Graham – widely known by his stage name Drake – is Canadian but currently lives in Los Angeles, California.
(Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Coachella)
With an estimated net worth of US$94 million, he was the most streamed artist in the world over the last year. Drake also collects money from deals with Apple, Sprite, and Nike, and has just completed his Boy Meets World Tour.
Starboy Shines on World Tour
Toronto native The Weeknd – whose real name is Abel Tesfaye – is now one of the most prominent artists on the planet at 28 years old, recording 5.5 billion streams in the last two years and earning more than US$1.1 million per stop on his Starboy: Legend of the Fall World Tour.
(Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Victoria’s Secret)
He now lives in California and has a net worth of US$92 million.
Country Legend Turns to Reality TV
Singer-songwriter Luke Bryan is regarded as one of country music’s biggest touring acts. In addition to revenue from music, Bryan earns income from Outdoor Channel reality show Buck Commander, named after the company he co-owns with Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty.
Bryan also pads (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
his coffers through endorsements with Cabela’s and Miller Lite. At 41 years old, he lives with his wife and two children in Tennessee and has a net worth of US$90 million.Sport
No Comeback for Scandalous Tiger
Eldrick Tont Woods – now known as Tiger Woods – was born on December 30, 1975, in Cypress, California. As a professional golf player, Woods has won almost all the records available and was one of the highest-paid golfers in the world.
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
However, his fame and fortune came crashing down around Woods when his infidelity was exposed in November 2009. Although he publicly apologized for his wrongdoing, Woods and his wife Elin Nordegren divorced in 2010, and his career has not been the same since. Woods has a net worth of US$740 million.
Federer Returns to Top Position
Roger Federer is the greatest male tennis player of all time, recently adding two more majors to his tally to bring his record total to 20. He returned to the number one world ranking briefly in 2018, becoming the oldest person by more than three years to reach the ATP top ranking. Federer has won US$116 million in prize money throughout his career, but the total is dwarfed by his off-court earnings from appearances and endorsements.
Mercedes-Benz and Lindt renewed their deals with Federer at the end of 2017, and he added pasta brand Barilla as a sponsor in a deal worth as much as US$40 million. Many of Federer’s sponsor relationships, which include Wilson, Credit Suisse, Mercedes, Rolex, Lindt, Jura, Moet & Chandon, Sunrise, and NetJets, have been running for over a decade. His Nike deal, however, has now expired. The Roger Federer Foundation has raised more than US$40 million toward educating one million children in Africa by the end of 2018. Federer is 36 years old, lives in Switzerland with his wife and four children, and has an estimated net worth of US$450 million.
Christiano Ronaldo is 33 years old and currently lives in Madrid Spain with his four children, although he is Portuguese. He is one of the most popular sportspeople in the world, with 322 million followers on social media, and has had a career full of success that shows no sign of slowing down. He scored 44 goals in 43 matches in all competitions during the last season and added a fifth Ballon d’Or and a fifth Champions League title to his trophy shelf.
(Photo by Daniele Badolato – Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images)
He has also just signed a four-year contract with Juventus for approximately US$340 million. In addition, Ronaldo’s lifetime contract with Nike is worth more than US$1 billion and he has an array of other deals under his belt, including Herbalife, EA Sports, and American Tourister, as well as a growing line of CR7-branded products, including shoes, underwear, fragrances, jeans, children’s clothes and hotels. He is even opening restaurants soon in Brazil. With a net worth of US$450 million, Ronaldo is near the top of the list of the highest-earning celebrities.
The Messi Experience
Lionel Messi is considered to be the best footballer in the world. He finished the 2017–18 season as the top-scoring player in the top five European leagues, with 45 goals in all competitions. In November 2017, he agreed to a contract extension with Barcelona that will keep him with the club through 2020–21 and earned him an annual salary and bonus more than US$80 million, making him the highest-paid footballer in the world.
(Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)
Added to that is a permanent deal with Adidas, as well as current deals with brands such as Gatorade, Pepsi, Ooredoo, Huawei, and Hawkers. A theme park based on him, named the Messi Experience Park, is set to open in 2020 in the Chinese city of Nanjing. At 31 years old, Messi is married with three children and lives in Spain and has an estimated net worth of US$400 million.
No Drought in Deals for Lefty
Professional golfer Phil Mickelson – affectionately known as “Lefty” – is a five-time major champion that boasts 43 PGA victories, the ninth all-time highest number, and US$87 million in career prize money, the second all-time highest figure. After winning the 2013 British Open, he won his first tournament in five years in March with a playoff victory over Justin Thomas at the WGC-Mexico Championship.
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Despite the title drought, Mickelson remains a popular pitchman, adding deals last year with merchant bank Intrepid Financial Partners and human resources firm Workday. Mickelson also endorses Amgen, ExxonMobil, KPMG, Rolex and the Greenbrier. His latest deal is with performance menswear line Mizzen+Main, in which Mickelson is joining NFL star J.J. Watt as an equity holder in the company. Mickelson is 48 years old, married with three children and living in California. He has an estimated net worth of US$375 million.
Four-Time MVP Smashes Jordan’s Record
With an estimated net worth of US$275 million, LeBron James is the NBA’s four-time most valuable player. He has made it to the NBA Finals nine times in total – eight in consecutive years. During his most recent season, he broke Michael Jordan’s long-standing record of consecutive games with double-digit points and became the youngest player to reach 30,000 career points. For all of his success on the court, James’ off-court feats are equally impressive.
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
He has the NBA’s top endorsement portfolio with Nike, Coca-Cola (Sprite), Beats by Dre, Kia Motor, Intel, and Blaze Pizza. He was an early investor in Blaze, and his investor group owns 17 of the fast-growing franchises. Also, James’ Nike signature sneakers are the best-selling among active NBA players. He even has his own production company, SpringHill Entertainment, and media company, Uninterrupted. Even his 2% stake in Liverpool Football Club, acquired through his partnership with Fenway Sports Group, is soaring in value, with the English club reaching the Champions League Final for the first time since 2007. However, James’ most significant accomplishment could arguably be his impact on disadvantaged children in Ohio through the LeBron James Family Foundation. Three years ago, he announced plans to spend US$41 million to send children to college for free, and the foundation will open its first elementary school in 2018. James is 33 years old, married with three children and living in Ohio.
Hamilton Has the Winning Formula
British driver Lewis Hamilton is the most marketable driver in Formula 1 racing, boasting endorsement deals with Mercedes-Benz, Tommy Hilfiger, Monster Energy, Puma, IWC, Sony, Bombardier, Bell Helmets and MV Agusta Motorcycles. The Hilfiger deal signed in 2018 makes Hamilton a brand ambassador, and there are plans for him to promote the Hilfiger Collection, Tommy Hilfiger Tailored line and its range of menswear, underwear, and swimwear.
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Currently, Hamilton is in the final year of a three-year contract extension that kicked off with the 2016 season. It is likely to pay out more than US$120 million in total, including bonuses. He won his fourth Formula one 1 in 2017, becoming just the fifth driver in history with four championships, and as a result, Mercedes and Hamilton are reportedly closing on a new blockbuster three-year deal, tying him to Mercedes through 2021. At 33 years old, Hamilton has an estimated net worth of US$240 million.
Kevin Durant is an American professional basketball player for the Golden State Warriors of the NBA. He turned down his US$27.7 million player option for the 2017–18 season to sign a new, discounted two-year contract paying US$25 million in the first year. This was US$10 million less than the maximum salary he could have received from the Warriors, but Durant was able to make the concession thanks to more than US$30 million worth of annual off-the-court earnings.
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
His endorsement partners include Nike, Beats, American Family Insurance, Alaska Airlines and Panini. Durant launched the Durant Company in 2016 with business partner Rich Kleiman, and it now has more than 30 investments in companies such as delivery service Postmates and micro-investing app Acorns, as well as development and media firm Thirty Five Media. At only 29 years of age, Durant has an estimated net worth of US$150 million.
Harden’s Fortune Rockets
James Harden is a professional basketball player for the Houston Rockets and has an estimated net worth of US$140 million. He became one of the faces of Adidas’ NBA campaign in 2005 when he secured a 13-year deal worth US$200 million, including royalties and bonuses. Harden’s unique style and strong play have made him one of the NBA’s most marketable players, and he partners with brands such as Beats, Foot Locker, State Farm, Electronic Arts, Trolli, and BodyArmor.
(Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for adidas)
The Houston Rockets offered Harden a four-year contract extension in 2016 worth US$169 million that added a combined US$20 million to his salary. Harden repaid the Rockets with the two best seasons of his career – he finished second in MVP voting in 2016-17 while becoming the first player to score both 2,000 points and assist on 2,000 points. This season, he scored more points than anyone else in the league – an average of 30.4 points per game – and is widely expected to win the MVP Trophy.
Breezing Through the Super Bowls
American football quarterback Drew Brees has racked up 10 Pro Bowl selections and a Super Bowl title since he joined the New Orleans Saints in 2006 (he also made a Pro Bowl in San Diego in 2004). He ranks third on the all-time passing yardage and passing touchdowns lists, and first on both among active players. Entering the 2018 season, he was only 1,500 yards, and 51 TD passes from the all-time top spot on both lists, and he signed a two-year contract extension with the New Orleans Saints in March worth US$50 million.
(Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images)
Brees is one of the NFL’s most successful pitchmen, with more than a dozen endorsement deals, including Nike, Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, AdvoCare, Wrangler, Verizon, and Microsoft. Additionally, his philanthropic efforts should not go unnoticed – The Brees Dream Foundation has contributed more than US$25 million to charitable causes and academic institutions in New Orleans, San Diego and West Lafayette/Purdue communities. Brees is 39 years old and married with four children, and has an estimated net worth of US$130 million.
McIlroy Breaks Winless Streak
Rory McIlroy, the golfer who replaced Tiger Woods as the face of Electronic Arts’ golf video game in 2015, continues to be placed in the list of top-earning celebrities despite recent setbacks. The last major win for the world’s sixth-ranked player was the 2014 PGA Championship, and injuries limited him to only 14 PGA Tour stars in 2017.
(Photo by Richard Sellers/PA Images via Getty Images)
However, McIlroy secured a long-term deal with TaylorMade in 2017 and broke an 18-month winless streak at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March, so things are looking up. With other endorsement partners such as Omega and Upper Deck, McIlroy has an estimated net worth of US$110 million.
The Westbrook Warrior
Basketball player Russell Westbrook’s career has taken off since his former teammate Kevin Durant joined the Warriors in 2016. The dynamic point guard averaged a triple-double each of the past two seasons, becoming only the second NBA player after Oscar Robertson in 1961-62 to average double-digit points, rebounds, and assists.
(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)
Westbrook renegotiated his contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder during the summer of 2016, adding US$9 million to Westbrook’s 2016-17 salary. The three-year deal is worth a staggering US$85.6 million. Westbrook’s off-court earnings also got a boost last year under a new 10-year contract extension with Nike’s Jordan Brand. Nike previously released lifestyle signature shoes for Westbrook, but the Why Not Zer0.1, released in January 2018, was the first performance signature shoe for Westbrook from Jordan. At 29 years old, Westbrook has an estimated net worth of US$100 million.
Curry Tops NBA with the Warriors
Two-time MVP Stephen Curry signed the NBA’s first US$200 million contract in 2017, guaranteeing him US$201 million and five years with the Golden State Warriors. Curry’s salary has now tripled in this last season and topped the NBA for the first time. He also earns his wealth through other mediums, including endorsements with Under Armour, Chase, Vivo, eHi, Nissan/Infiniti, Brita, Bubble, and JBL, that generate an estimated US$42 million in off-court income.
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Additionally, Sony Pictures announced a multi-year development and production deal with Curry this year. The newly-formed production company, Unanimous Media, founded by Curry and partners Jeron Smith and Erick Peyton, will look to develop and produce film and television projects with a focus on family, faith, and sports. At 30 years old, Curry has an estimated net worth of US$90 million.
A Little Bit of Luck Goes a Long Way
Quarterback Andrew Luck certainly deserves a spot in the list of top-earning celebrities, with an estimated net worth of US$50 million at the age of 28. Luck was runner-up in the Heisman Trophy for two consecutive years while at Stanford and had immediate success in the NFL after the Indianapolis Colts selected him number one overall in 2012 with three straight 11–5 seasons.
(Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Except for Nike, Luck avoided endorsements early in his professional career but has since done deals with TD Ameritrade, DirecTV, Panini, and BodyArmor. In 2016, he signed a five-year, US$123 million contract extension with the Indianapolis Colts, which included a US$32 million signing bonus. This deal makes Luck the NFL’s highest-paid player based on average salary (US$24.6 million) and guaranteed money (US$87 million).
Cancer-Free Kessel Ranked Fourth Best in NFL
Phil Kessel was born into a family of athletes in Madison, Wisconsin on October 2, 1987, and became a professional ice hockey player and one of the top five scorers of the National Hockey League.
(Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images)
His battle with testicular cancer was a temporary setback in his career, but he was declared cancer free on January 5, 2007. On February 23, 2017, Kessel was ranked as the fourth-best active American-born player in the National Hockey League, with an estimated net worth of US$59 million.
No Love for World Cup
Cleveland Cavaliers basketball player Kevin Love was born on September 7, 1988, in Santa Monica, California, and grew up in Oregon, where he played basketball from childhood. After playing for one season at the University of California in Los Angeles, Love was selected in the 2008 National Basketball Association Draft by the Memphis Grizzlies.
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In 2014, mired in unresolved trade talks between Minnesota and other NBA teams, Love withdrew himself from the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup. Currently, he has an estimated net worth of US$55 million.Entertainment
Beating the Odds
Oprah Gail Winfrey was born on January 29, 1954, in Mississippi. She had a particularly hard childhood, falling victim to sexual abuse and becoming pregnant at just 14 years old. Now, however, Winfrey is a media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer and philanthropist best known for her talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show.
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She was the youngest news anchor when she started her career and the first African American woman to be given her talk show on national television. She is regarded as the wealthiest and most influential African American woman in the world and is famous for her unwavering generosity and acceptance of all people. Winfrey has an estimated net worth of US$2.8 billion.
The Magic of David Copperfield
David Copperfield, the magician who once appeared to levitate through the Grand Canyon, now grounds himself in Las Vegas, where he performed a total of 621 shows, and in Musha Cays, his enclave of 11 private Bahamian islands.
(Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Ride of Fame)
Copperfield also owns the world’s most extensive collection of magic artifacts, consisting of approximately 650,000 objects, including Harry Houdini’s water torture chamber. At 61 years old, Copperfield has an estimated net worth of US$930 million.
Seinfeld Transcends Time and Place
Jerry Seinfeld is a stand-up comedian, actor, writer, producer, and director known for playing himself in the hit sitcom Seinfeld. Seinfeld’s prowess at selling out theaters transcends time and place, and he’s taking his in-real-life act to the digital world with a new Netflix deal.
(Photo by Mike Pont/WireImage)
Consisting of a stand-up special, two more seasons of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee and a development component, Seinfeld took home tens of millions of dollars from the streaming platform this year. Hulu, which owns the streaming rights to the Seinfeld library, is another source of wealth for Seinfeld. He is currently 64 years old, married with three children and living in New York. Seinfeld has an estimated net worth of US$920 million.
The Youngest Billionaire
Kylie Jenner, at just 20 years old, has been predicted by Forbes to be the youngest self-made billionaire. Currently, she has an estimated net worth of US$900 million and is the richest of the Kardashian-Jenner clan thanks to her ever-expanding makeup brand Kylie Cosmetics.
(Photo by Ari Perilstein/Getty Images for A-OK Collective, LLC.)
Famous for its US$29 lip liner and lipstick “lip kits,” Kylie Cosmetics has since expanded into eyeshadow, highlighter, eyeliner and more. Its limited edition product “drops” create giant flash sales, as in November 2016 when her holiday collection raked in nearly US$19 million in 24 hours. Kylie Cosmetics has sold more than US$630 million worth of makeup since its founding in February 2016, and Jenner owns 100% of the company.
Cowell Can Do No Wrong
Although British music mogul Simon Cowell has big names such as Fifth Harmony and Little Mix signed to his Syco label, most of his money comes from being himself.
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Cowell judges Britain’s Got Talent, America’s Got Talent and X-Factor: UK, picking up an eight-figure check for his work. At 58 years old, he has an estimated net worth of US$550 million.
Cruising to the Top of His Game
Famous actor Tom Cruise has an estimated net worth of US$550 million, and the figure is rising.
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The action star and outspoken advocate for Scientology earned eight-figure salaries for films such as The Mummy and Mission: Impossible 6.
Radio Pays Off for Stern
Controversial radio host Howard Stern makes his fortune from his eight-figure contract with SiriusXM, but his upcoming digital ventures, including a mobile app and video streaming service, could also pay off in the future.
(Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
He is 64 years old, married with three children and resides in New York. He has an estimated net worth of US$600 million.
Trump Bump Pays Off
Conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh not only has a lucrative contract with iHeartMedia, which was renewed in August 2017, he also makes millions of dollars from his children’s book series and exclusive web content for his loyal subscribers.
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Thanks to what was dubbed a “Trump bump,” his listening rates experienced a 21% growth. At 67 years old, and having dropped out of Southeast Missouri State University in his younger years, Limbaugh has an estimated net worth of US$550 million.
There’s a High-Paid Doctor in the House
Dr. Phil – whose real name is Phil McGraw – may not be a practicing doctor, but he is a successful businessman with an estimated net worth of US$400 million.
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To become the highest-paid TV host in the world, McGraw negotiated a deal that lands him a hefty portion of his daytime show’s advertisement revenue and product placement profit. Like his mentor Oprah Winfrey, McGraw has more recently dabbled behind the camera, producing “The Doctors” and trial drama “The Bull.” He is 67 years old, married with two children and living in California.
Ellen’s Ventures Rake in Millions
Ellen DeGeneres is the host of a top-rated talk show named after herself. Although this brings the bulk of her earnings, DeGeneres also uses the show’s assets, including adorable toddlers and YouTube stars, to make money in streaming.
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Her digital umbrella company, Ellen Digital Ventures, is a multimillion-dollar business thanks to sponsored shows on proprietary streaming platform Ellentube and various mobile games, including hit Heads Up. Now she’s headed to Netflix, where she will air her first stand-up special in 15 years. At 60 years old, DeGeneres has an estimated net worth of US$400 million.
Fighting His Way to Millions
Jackie Chan is a martial artist, actor, film director, producer and stuntman from Hong Kong.
(Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)
Referred to as “Big Brother” in China, Chan makes most of his wealth from mainland Chinese movies that have little popularity in the Western world – for example, Railroad Tigers and Kung Fu Yoga. Chan is 64 years old and lives in China, and has an estimated net worth of US$395 million.
The Busiest Man in Show Business
Most famously known for his presenting role in American Idol, Ryan Seacrest is arguably one of the busiest men in show business.
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He has been known to host red carpet events, the Rio Olympics, New Year’s Eve and his radio show, all while producing eight TV shows with the likes of the Kardashians and churning out a menswear line. At 43 years old, he has a net worth of US$380 million.
A Ridiculous Six-Figure Salary
Adam Sandler is best known for his comedy roles, but he is also a producer and screenwriter. He made a recent deal with Netflix for an estimated US$250 million to make four original movies for the streaming service.
(Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
Although Sandler’s first offering, The Ridiculous Six, received a 0% rating on review-aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film went on to become to a most-watched movie on Netflix in its first month. As a result, the streaming service signed Sandler up for another four movies. At age 51, Sandler is married with two children and living in California. He has an estimated net worth of US$360 million.
Keeping Up with the Kardashian West Empire
Kim Kardashian West has been in the limelight for years but has recently followed her half-sister Kylie Jenner by starting her own cosmetics company. KKW Beauty has generated some US$100 million in sales since June 2017, thanks to popular contouring kits and perfumes.
LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 18: Kim Kardashian West at her first-ever KKW Beauty and Fragrance pop-up opening at Westfield Century City in Los Angeles on June 20th, 2018 (Photo by Presley Ann/Getty Images for ABA)
Also, Kardashian West has taken reality show Keeping Up with the Kardashians into the mobile gaming world with her Kim Kardashian: Hollywood venture. At 37 years old, Kardashian West has an estimated net worth of US$350 million.
All Rise for the Judge
Judy Sheindlin – better known as “Judge Judy” – has been on the air for 22 seasons and is watched by an average of more than 10 million viewers on a daily basis. Since 2012, she has earned US$47 million a year (pretax) from hosting her show, winning two Daytime Emmys.
(Photo by Donaldson Collection/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Also, she created a successful spin-off series, Hot Bench, in 2014. In 2017, she sold the rights to her extensive library for an estimated US$100 million, and she has a current estimated worth of US$350 million. Judy is 75 years old, married with five kids and living in Florida. She is a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the New York Law School and holds a Bachelor of Arts/Science from the American University.
Iron Man Falls to Number Two
Best known for his leading role in Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr. has an estimated net worth of US$260 million.
(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
He used to be Hollywood’s highest earner but relinquished his throne in 2016. He is 53 years old, married with three children and reside in California.
Baptist Turned Rapper Makes Millions on the Big Screen
Born Willard Carroll Smith Junior on September 25, 1968, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Will Smith – as he is better known – is an actor, producer, rapper, comedian, and songwriter. Many consider him to be one of the most powerful and influential actors in Hollywood and one of the most “bankable” stars worldwide. Smith married Sheree Zampino in 1992 and had one son, but the marriage only lasted for three years.
(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for AFI)
He later married actress Jada Pinkett, with whom he had two more children, and they are still together today. Although Smith was raised in a devout Baptist household, he does not consider himself to be religious – despite this, his many philanthropic efforts in the form of donations to charities and political campaigns do not go unnoticed. Smith has an estimated net worth of US$250 million.
Born on July 13, 1942, Harrison Ford is a professional actor and producer that has achieved worldwide fame through his leading roles.
(Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)
He is, however, considered to be one of Hollywood’s most private actors, guarding most of his personal life against the media. He is a licensed pilot and once survived a helicopter crash, but suffered a back and ankle injury during filming of one of his movies. Currently, in his third marriage, Ford has a net worth of US$230 million.
The Wahlberg Empire
Mark Wahlberg is an actor, producer, businessman, rapper, and songwriter. His movies have grossed US$5.3 billion worldwide, and he recorded his highest-ever payday thanks to soaring fees for movies Daddy’s Home 2 and Transformers: The Last Night.
(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
He is not, however, limited to the big screen – he and his wife and four children appear in Wahlburgers, a reality show based on their fast-food restaurants. He also appears in some commercials for telecommunications company AT&T. At 47 years old, Wahlberg has a net worth of US$225 million.
Fast, Furious and Rich
Mark Sinclair – better known by his stage name Vin Diesel – is an actor, producer, director, and screenwriter. The eighth part of his The Fast and the Furious franchise became the second-highest grossing movie of 2017, raking in US$1.2 billion at the global box office.
(Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)
A cut of the profit plus that from action movie xXx: The Return of Xander Cage boosted Diesel’s bottom line, as did his paycheck for voicing the reticent baby Groot in Marvel’s hit sequel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. At 50 years of age, Diesel has an estimated net worth of US$200 million.
Still Going Strong
Ben Stiller, born Benjamin Edward Meara on November 30, 1965, in New York City, is an actor, writer, producer, and director. He is best known for his lead and cameo roles in many blockbuster comedy films and has won many awards.
(Photo by Antony Jones/Getty Images)
Stiller dated several actresses during his early television and film career but eventually married Christine Taylor. He has an estimated net worth of US$200 million.
Solid as a Rock
After making his name as a wrestler widely known as “The Rock,” Dwayne Johnson fought his way into Hollywood’s movie scene, demanding eight-figure upfront fees for Baywatch and Jumanji, among others.
(Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)
On the small screen, he generates a significant amount of income from his part in the HBO show Ballers. At 46 years old, Johnson has a wife and three children and an estimated net worth of US$190 million.
From the Kitchen to the Big Screen
Gordon Ramsay is the highest-paid man in the culinary world. Already starring in MasterChef, MasterChef Junior, Hell’s Kitchen and Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, Ramsay has recently added two more series to his collection: The F Word and Culinary Genius, which have just premiered on Fox and landed a syndication deal in the US respectively.
(Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
Married with four children and living in the UK, Ramsay has an estimated net worth of US$160 million.
Talking His Way to Popularity
Talk show host Steve Harvey earns a place on the list of top-earning celebrities thanks to paychecks from Family Feud and Little Big Shots.
(Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
He infamously hosted Miss Universe in 2015 and announced the wrong winner – despite this; he’s managed to keep the gig, presumably due to his massive popularity in the US. At 61 years old, Harvey has an estimated net worth of US$120 million.
From Small Screen Actress to International Businesswoman
Colombian-born Sofia Vergara is well known for her small-screen role as Gloria on Modern Family but also has lucrative licensing deals with SharkNinja Coffee and Rooms To Go to thank for her estimated net worth of US$120 million.
(Photo by Amanda Edwards/WireImage)
Also, her perfumes are among the top-selling celebrity fragrances internationally. Vergara is now 46 and lives in California. She is married with one child.
Rock Breaks Records with Deal
It’s been a while since Chris Rock last appeared on the list of highest-earning celebrities but, thanks to a record-breaking deal with Netflix, he earns himself a spot.
(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for BET)
The comedian reportedly took home US$40 million for two stand-up specials with the streaming service and is increasing that income with earnings from his Total Blackout Tour. Rock has an estimated net worth of US$100 million at 53 years of age.
Laughing His Way to Fortune
Over a decade after he walked off his eponymous Comedy Central series, Dave Chappelle has returned to the mainstream spotlight with a Netflix deal for three comedy specials.
(Photo by Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Bombay Sapphire Gin)
The first two, which each provided him with an eight-figure check, were Netflix’s most-watched stand-up specials ever, according to the streaming service. At 44 years old, Chappelle has an estimated net worth of US$47 million.
C. K. Still O.K. After Netflix Deal
Louis A. Székely – better known as Louis C. K. – is a stand-up comedian, writer, actor, and filmmaker. With a net worth of US$35 million, he has Netflix to thank for his income, as Louie is on an extended hiatus and Horace and Pete are not proving to be a big money-maker.
(Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for New York Comedy Festival)
Louis C. K. has signed a deal with the streaming service to do two stand-up specials, each of which will rake in an eight-figure check. Louis C.K. hasn’t completely abandoned his TV home. However – he still pulls in money for Baskets and Better Things on FX.Publishing
At 71 years old, James Patterson is America’s wealthiest author, selling 9.5 million domestic copies in one year and having several of his works being adapted for the screen. He also scored an estimated seven-figure signing payment for co-writing an upcoming thriller novel with former US President Bill Clinton.
(Chris Sorensen For The Washington Post via Getty Images) (Chris Sorensen For The Washington Post via Getty Images)
He is an extremely well-educated man, holding a Bachelor of Arts/Science degree from Manhattan College as well as a Master of Arts from Vanderbilt University. He is currently married with one child and lives in Florida and has an estimated net worth of US$700 million.
Selling Like Magic
Joanne Rowling – better known as J. K. Rowling – was born on July 31, 1965, in Yate, England. Despite setbacks such as the death of her mother and divorce from her husband, and years as a single parent, Rowling became an author, novelist, philanthropist, film and television producer and screenwriter best known for writing the Harry Potter series.
(Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)
She once reached a billionaire status thanks to her hugely popular wizarding stories but lost this due to generous donations to charity. Currently, she has an estimated net worth of US$650 million.