Celebrities collect eight-figure checks each year from their salaries, royalty payments, and endorsement deals. It seems that 2017 has been a pretty good one for the entertainment industry. Most of the individuals found on this list have made their profit thanks to the emergence of the new entertainment economy including streaming platforms like Spotify and Netflix. This year’s richest celebrities have grossed more than $5.15 billion together. Check out the list of the wealthiest stars below.
Sean Combs, better known as Puff Diddy, appeared on the Celebrity 100 list back in 1999. Almost two decades after, the rapper officially became the richest celebrity in the world in 2017 with estimated earnings of $130 million. The most prominent part of his earnings comes from his fashion empire called Sean John. The clothing line that the music mogul founded in 1998 grew into an international brand, and now includes multiple product categories from sportswear to fragrances. Diddy pocketed $70 million after Global Brands Group bought the majority stake in his company. The artist also has stakes in Revolt TV, DeLeon tequila, and Aquahydrate alkaline water, as well as a lucrative endorsement deal with Diageo’s Ciroc vodka.
Beyoncé was launched into stardom back in the 1990s as the leader of Destiny’s Child. She went on to become an R&B icon after the release of her solo debut album Dangerously In Love. Queen B is the second highest earning celebrity in 2017 at $105 million. This is mostly thanks to her Formation world tour which won the Tour of the Year award at the AMAs and grossed $256 million. A large part of her earnings also comes from the conceptual film and album entitled Lemonade. The album became the most streamed album in a single week by a female artist ever. The singer also pocketed a hefty sum from her Pepsi endorsement. Apart from that, when you think of the richest celebrity couples, Beyoncé and Jay Z are high on the top with a combined net worth of $1.16 billion in 2017.
J.K. Rowling got her awaited breakthrough with the fantasy book series Harry Potter. The books about the fictional wizard have become a global sensation, winning multiple awards. They are the best-selling book series in the history with more than 400 million copies sold. The British novelist earned $95 million, becoming the highest paid author in Europe and one of the richest celebrities of 2017. The most significant part of her earnings comes from co-writing the two-part stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which sold 1.3 million copies during 2016 worldwide.
Drake made it to the top five richest celebrities by earning $94 million in 2017. The actor-turned-rapper gained worldwide recognition with his debut album Thank Me Later. Since then, Drake has made history as a solo artist with some of the most recorded entries. Throughout his career, he has worked on many successful projects, and most of his albums have been certified platinum. Most of his earnings this year come from the success of the Boy Meets World tour and his album More Life, which became the highest streamed album ever within 24 hours upon its release. The artist was also a host of the annual NBA awards and helped his father in promoting the bourbon-based whiskey, Virginia Black. Drake also gained some extra income from endorsing Apple, Nike, and Sprite.
Cristiano Ronaldo, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest football players of all time, is also one of the richest celebrities in 2017. The Real Madrid star earned $93 million this year. Most of his income came as a result of his renewed deal with the club, which now secures him $58 million per year and his CR7 brand. The highest-paid athlete is also a walking billboard. He endorses some of the most prominent brands like Toyota, Herbalife, Castrol, and PokerStars; which bring another $36 million for him. However, his lifetime deal with Nike, worth $1 billion, also contributes to his annual income.
The Weeknd made a prominent appearance in the music world after releasing three mixtapes and a compilation album entitled Trilogy through 2011 and 2012. The free streaming on YouTube enabled the artist to gain a significant fan base and followers. His global breakthrough came later when he released his second album, Beauty Behind the Madness. His third album and single, Starboy, became an instant success. The Weeknd had a total of 5.5 billion streams in the last two years which turned into $75 million touring advances. The endorsement deals with brands like Puma, H&M, and Apple Music helped the singer become one of the richest celebrities this year, earning $92 million.
The American radio host and TV personality, Howard Stern, gained his popularity with his self-titled show. He returned to television as a replacement for Piers Morgan as a judge in the seventh season of America’s Got Talent and held that position until 2015. This controversial celebrity made $90 million in 2017, appearing on the top 10 richest celebrities in the world. The largest part of his income comes from his lucrative deal with Sirius XM and his digital ventures, which include a mobile app and video streaming.
James Patterson is the richest American author whose opus includes Women’s Murder Club, Maximum Ride, Witch and Wizard, and the Private series. Several of his books have been turned into small-screen adaptations, including Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life. Patterson has sold over 300 million copies of his books, and also made history as the first person to sell one million e-books. The novelist has also signed a lucrative deal with former President Bill Clinton for co-writing a thriller novel, adding to his annual earnings estimated at $87 million.
LeBron James took the National Basketball Association by storm when he arrived in 2003. Throughout his career, he has established himself as one of the most influential athletes, both on and off the court. Currently, The King is the second-highest-paid athlete with a salary of $31 million. Apart from his salary, the NBA star made whopping $55 million from endorsements and signed a lifetime deal with Nike. A significant part of his earnings also comes from his savvy business investments, as well as additional endorsements. LeBron James is the ninth richest celebrity on our list, with an income of $86 million in 2017.
Radio host Rush Limbaugh started his talk show back in 1984 on California radio station KFBK. He became even more widely known after he began to broadcast his show nationally from WABC New York station. Recently, his show saw a significant growth in audience numbers which brought about signing a new deal for keeping the show alive until 2020. His lucrative deal with iHeartMedia brings him millions from children’s books and the exclusive web content. These contracts made the conservative political commentator the 10th richest celebrity on our list, with an income of $84 million this year.
Justin Bieber became a global sensation after releasing his hit Baby in 2010, and his earnings have been going up ever since. The Canadian singer grossed $83.5 million in 2017 so far, thanks to his Purpose tour which picked up for its second year in February. The tour grossed approximately $200 million from the ten concerts this year. A smaller part of Bieber’s earnings come from the Calvin Klein endorsement contract and his JustMoji app.
Lionel Messi quickly caught the attention of the football world after his first outing in the Champions League in 2005. After showing his amazing performance and setting numerous records, Messi became regarded as one of the best players of his generation. The Argentinian extended his stay in FC Barcelona and also has a lucrative deal with Adidas. The athlete earned a total of $80 million in 2017, with $53 million in salaries and $27 million coming from sponsorships.
The American TV personality, Dr. Phil McGraw, is currently the highest-paid TV host and one of the richest celebrities. He grossed $79 million in 2017, and most of his earnings come from his daytime show Dr. Phil, which debuted back in 2002. He earns a profit from product placement in the show and also gets a share of the profits from advertising. A smaller portion of his income comes from producing the CBS The Bull and The Doctor, his Astra Zenit endorsement, and his speaking engagements.
With that said, we can agree that nowadays it’s easier than ever for celebrities to earn some big bucks. Social media and streaming platforms offer a revolutionized way for stars to present their brand and convert their image into money. Make sure to check out CelebJury daily, for more celebrity news!