Celebrities are adored by a lot of people and have a large fan base, hence, their huge number of followers on social media platforms. The status of a celebrity is often attained by heavy media coverage, due to their wealth, lifestyle, controversial issues or their association with popular people.
However, most celebrities are workers, workers that became famous because of their spectacular work. Whether formal or informal work, they earn income, mostly huge sums of money. Formal work includes acting, boxing, football, policy making, etc, while informal activities like pulling social media stunts regularly among others, places the spotlight on them. Some celebrities are paid or earn more revenue than others, hence, the ranking of our celebrities into the highest paid to the least paid. Here are a list and profiles of the 20 highest paid celebrities from all over the globe.
Highest Paid Celebrities In The World At The Moment
Floyd Mayweather – $285 million
The Money Man was born Floyd John Mayweather Jr. on 24th February 1977 to Floyd Mayweather Sr. and Josie Harris. He grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Floyd is popular in the field of boxing as he has taken several championships home and is often referred to as the greatest boxer of this era.
Before his professional days, Mayweather had won an Olympic bronze medal and three national Golden Glove championships. He has a boxer’s blood – his father and two of his uncles were weight championship holders.
As a professional boxer, his first championship win came in 1988 when he took home the WBC super featherweight championship and another in 2002 for the WBC lightweight title after defeating Jose Luis Castillo. In 2005, he clinched the WBC super-light title and a year later, his success accelerated as he won the IBF, IBO, WBC, and IBA welterweight championships. As the years progressed, he added more titles to his wall and in 2010, he became the third highest paid American athlete.
He moved from earning as low as $2,500 to earning $100,000,000 per match. He is currently worth between $700million to $1 billion and receives a paycheck of $285 million which secured his place as the highest paid celebrity in the world.
George Clooney – $239 million
George Clooney is famous as an actor, filmmaker, and businessman. He is most popular for his roles in several movies over the past 3 decades. He was born George Timothy Clooney into the family of Nina and Nika Clooney on May 6, 1961, in Lexington, Kentucky, USA.
He featured in award-winning movies like Batman & Robin (1997), Ocean’s Eleven (2001), Good Night and Good Luck (2005) among so many others. For his roles in movies and his production skills, he has been awarded severally. Among his awards are Best Supporting Actor (2005) under the Academy Awards, 5 Golden Globe Awards, British Academy Film Awards (2012) among others.
The extremely popular and wealthy actor is worth a staggering sum of $500 million and receives a yearly pay of $239 million. Makes you want to become an actor, doesn’t it?
Kylie Jenner – $166 million
Kylie Jenner is first and mostly known for her female cosmetic brand Kylie Cosmetics, a company that has grossed Kylie a fortune since its inception. She is majorly involved in its marketing, especially on social media, however, the production and packaging of the items are given out to private companies. Her large followership has availed her an avenue for the promotion and huge sales of her products. A very effective strategy indeed!
She also makes a fortune for being on the reality show Keeping Up With The Kardashians, asides that, she is the co-owner of the clothes and accessories line Kylie + Kendall, alongside her sister, Kendall Jenner. Kylie who is a model has bagged several endorsements with companies like Puma, Fashion Nova among many other brands. These endorsements serve as another rich stream of income.
In addition, the Jenner offspring has an app that yielded over $150,000 on the first day of its launch. The app is said to give her fans an up-close experience of her. With her various sources of income, she is said to have a yearly pay of $166 million.
Judy Sheindlin – $147 million
Judy Sheindlin is most popularly known as Judge Judy, a title she was given on the popular CBS television courtroom series. She was born Judith Susan Blum on October 21, 1942, in the boroughs of Brooklyn New York City, U.S.A. She had her first degree in Arts and in 1958 graduated from law school. She began practicing as an attorney in 1965 as a prosecutor in the family court and was later made a Judge in the Manhattan’s supervising family court judge in 1986.
As a lawyer and judge, she was largely successful and exhibited integrity with a sense for justice. Her success accelerated when she was featured on her first CBS television series titled 60 minutes, which earned her national acknowledgment.
Asides being a prosecutor, judge, and television personality, she is also a television producer and a writer. She is famous for her 1996 non-fictional masterpiece: Don’t Pee on My Leg and Tell Me It’s Raining. Judy is most popular for her role in the television series, Judge Judy. In this show, she presides over real cases and gives real rulings. By 2012, she was earning a comfortable salary of $45 million and by 2018 it rose up to $147 million per anum, placing her on the fourth spot of the highest paid celebrities in the world.
Dwayne Johnson – $124 million
Dwayne Johnson is popularly known as the WWE wrestler, The Rock. Recently he has had a transition into professional screen acting and has been seen in a couple of blockbuster movies such as Rampage, Baywatch, Hercules, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Skyscraper among others.
The handsome and well-built celebrity was born on the 2nd of May, 1972 in Hayward, California into a professional wrestling family. He became famous as a wrestler and has been extremely successful. He had a huge fan base and could shut down any event by just simply holding the mic. Dwayne made his first appearance in Hollywood in the movie The Scorpion King, this role ushered him into the Guinness Book of Records for the astonishing fee received for a debut performance ($5.5 million).
As his appearances went up, so did his pay and in 2016/2017, he was the second highest paid celebrity in the world. Most recently, he fell to the fifth spot with yet an impressive pay of $124 million annually.
U2 – $118 million
U2, the Irish music group has earned the 6th spot of the highest paid celebrities. The rock band formed in 1976 comprises of four men including vocalists, a guitar expert, and a drum percussionist. The young lads now men formed the band in their teenage years while in high school and had their debut album in 1980.
The group is famous for its social and political stance which they portray through music. They have won 22 Grammy awards and sold over 170 million records worldwide throughout their music history. They have also had a couple of tours and concerts around the world. A recent tour titled Joshua Tree Tour in 2017 earned them a thrilling sum of $316 million. The immortal band as at 2018 had an annual income of $118 million.
Coldplay – $115 million
Coldplay is a British rock band who have become a 21-century sensation with their fusion of introspective Brit-pop and anthemic rock. The group was initially popular for their 2000 album Parachutes which earned them their first Grammy and has subsequently released chart-topping and award-winning albums over the years.
The group was put together in 1996 by four college students: Chris Martin, Jonny Buckland, Guy Berryman, and Will Champion. Their 2008 album Viva la Vida or Death of All Friends was the bestselling album worldwide in that year and earned them 3 Grammy Awards. Their major sources of income come from tours, album sales, and concert ticket sales. In 2017, the group had an annual income of $88 million and by 2018 closely doubled the figures with earnings totaling about $115 million. They are 7th on our rankings of the world’s highest paid celebrities.
Lionel Messi – $111 million
Lionel Messi was born Lionel Andres Messi Cuccittni on June 24, 1987, in Rosario, Argentina. His father, Jorge Messi was a steel factory manager while his mother, Celia Cuccittini worked as personnel in a magnet manufacturing workshop. He began playing football at the age of 13 with the Spanish football club Barcelona. He moved from its youth academy and joined the league of the big boys at the senior club.
From his early career days until now the Argentinian player has continued to excel, he has won the FIFA World Player of the year and the Ballon d’Or 5 times, four of which were consecutive. In addition to his club matches, he also plays for his home country Argentina. He is responsible for over 400 goals for his club, Barcelona. Summarily, he has scored over 600 goals for both his club side and country throughout his senior career.
Often referred to as the best player in the world, Lionel Messi as expected has a mint of a salary. As at 2018, Lionel grossed $111 million as his annual salary making him the 8th highest paid celebrity in the world.
Ed Sheeran – $110 million
Ed Sheeran was born Edward Christopher Sheeran on 17 February 1991. He was born in Halifax, West Yorkshire and grew up in Framlingham, Suffolk, England. He is well known as a singer, songwriter, and guitarist. The genre of his music is pop. He began music in 2005 with his debut EP Orange Room.
+ was his first album and was produced in 2011. It earned top music rankings in many countries. Ed Sheeran has won four Grammy awards and was the highest paid solo musician in 2018. As a celebrity, he is the 9th highest paid in the world with a yearly income of $110 million.
Cristiano Ronaldo – $108 million
Cristiano Ronaldo is a Portuguese forward soccer player. He is an iconic player who has been very successful in the clubs he played for as well as his national team. He was born on February 5th, 1985 as Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro in Funchal, Madeira.
He started off at the early age of 16 and played for Portuguese soccer club Sporting Lisbon before he was signed by an English club, Manchester United for $14 million. By 2008, he had become a Manchester United star and helped them clinch the UEFA Champions League that year.
Like Lionel Messi, he has won the Ballon d’Or 5 times. He also plays for his home country Portugal and helped them win the European Championship. In 2017, he was the world’s highest-paid athlete with an annual salary of $93 million. He began playing for Italian Serie A club, Juventus, in 2018 and that year, he took home an annual pay of $108 million.
Bruno Mars – $100 million
Bruno Mars is an American musician best known for his soulful music. He is also a producer and dancer who was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on October 8, 1985. Mars started his road to fame when he was signed to the record label The Smeezingtons. Under this label, he had several successful songs.
His second album earned the number one spot on the US Billboard 200, Australia, Switzerland, UK, and Canada alongside his first Grammy Awards. Throughout his music career, he has been able to keep an impressive record of 12 Grammy Awards and has sold over 130 million records worldwide.
In 2011, he earned a yearly income of $8 million, $40 million in 2015 and by 2018 he earned $100 million, placing him at the 11th spot of the highest paid celebrities globally.
Conor McGregor – $100 million
Conor McGregor was born on 14 July 1988 at Crumlin, Dublin, Ireland. He is a boxer who is most successful in mixed martial arts with 21 wins out of 25 bouts. He has had a successful career in the lightweight and featherweight divisions. In 2012, he won the Cage Warriors featherweight and lightweight and the UFC Championship in 2015.
Ironically, he was in the news for the defeat against WBO champion Floyd Mayweather in 2017 and with the popularity he garnered from his loss, has bagged a couple of endorsements. Asides being an athlete, McGregor he is also a businessman; he is in partnership with a fashion brand and has also launched a Whiskey company. His annual pay in 2018 was $100 million placing him as the 12th spot on the list.
Neymar Jr. – $90 million
Neymar Jr is a Brazilian footballer who has made a name for himself in the field of soccer. He is a young player who began to interact with success at an early stage. He was born on February 5, 1992, as Neymar da Silva Santos Junior in Mogi das Cruzes, Brazil.
He made his professional debut in Santos at the age of 17 and began his successful journey there. He helped the club win two championships and has won the South American Footballer of the Year twice. He currently plays for French Ligue 1 side, Paris St Germain and the Brazilian national football team. Neymar has won a plethora of awards including the La Liga Best World Player twice and the FIFA Club World Cup Bronze Ball (2011). In 2018, he grossed a salary of $90 million, ranking 13th on the list.
Howard Stern – $90 million
The 14th spot on the highest paid celebrities list is television show host, Howard Stern. Stern is an actor, producer, television and radio personality and a photographer. He is most famous for his Sirius XM Radio show The Howard Stern Show.
He was born Howard Allen Show on 12th January 1954 in Queens, New York City. He worked with his first radio station 1976 earning $96 a week. His pay continued to grow as the years rolled by. For his incredulous works, he has been awarded several plaques such as the Adult Video News (2000), Blockbuster Entertainment awards (1998) and so on. In 2018, he renewed his contract with Sirius XM for an annual pay of $90 million.
Ellen DeGeneres – $87.5 million
Ellen DeGeneres is a comedian, television host and an LGBT activist. She has gained worldwide recognition for her hilarious and entertaining show, Ellen. She was born in Louisiana, USA on January 26th, 1958 and has an older brother Venice who is also into showbiz.
She began her career as a standup comedian at coffee shops in the early 1980s. She gained a lot of fans through her appearance on talk shows circuits. Ellen’s large fans led her to start up her own show Ellen which has won her a couple of Daytime Emmy Awards as well as the People’s Choice Awards. With her fame and success, it comes as no surprise that she ranks 15th in our list of highest paid celebrities in the world earning an annual income of $87.5 million.
James Patterson – $86 million
He was born James Brendan Patterson on March 22, 1947, in Newburgh, New York. He is popular for his proficient writing skills and has authored several bestselling books. He writes in a couple of genres including mystery, young adult fiction, thriller, comedy, realistic fiction, and romance.
His first novel was Alex Cross, a serial detective novel, and is one of which he is most renowned for. James Patterson has had over 160 New York bestselling novels and entered the Guinness Book of Records for holding the number 1 spot of The New York Times Bestseller 67 times and has been awarded severally. He made a gross income of $86 million in 2018, placing him at our 16th spot.
LeBron James – $85.5 million
LeBron James is a basketball player who is often referred to as the greatest baller of all time. He is an NBA star who currently plays for Los Angeles Lakers as a forward player. He was born in Ohio to Gloria and Anthony on the 30th of December, 1984. He began playing basketball in high school and later joined the Cleaveland Cavaliers.
The American basketball player is good at his game and has had several merit awards to prove that. He began winning medals and awards while in high school and continued receiving as a professional athlete. He has gone home with notable awards like the NBA Rookie of the Year 2004, NBA Most Valuable Player 2009, 2010 2012, 2013 among others. By 2018, his earnings were up to the tune of $85.5 million.
Rush Limbaugh – $84.5 million
Rush Hudson Limbaugh III is an American radio host of the most listened to talk show in US: The Rush Limbaugh Show. He has an estimated amount of 13.25 million unique listeners. The Missouri born host is also a political commentator, popular for his conservative views. He was born on January 21, 1951, into a family of solicitors.
Rush began his career as a disc jockey at radio stations in the early 1970s and only became a host in 1984 at KFBK radio station in Sacramento, California. He was successful at this station and his subsequent ones, however, he experienced his career breakthrough with his syndicated self-hosted talk show which premiered in August 1988. With over two decades of its running and unparalleled success, it comes as no surprise that it generates a fortune for Rush. In 2018, Rush was placed at the 18th spot of the highest paid celebrities with an annual income of $84.5 million.
Katy Perry – $83 million
On the 19th spot on our list of highest paid celebrities is the sensational solo singer Katy Perry. She was born in Santa Barbara, California on 25th October 1984 and was named Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson. She ventured into music as a child at the age of 9. She released her first album as a gospel musician but turned to secular music when her gospel album experienced commercial failure.
She had her first successful album in 2008 with the release of One of The Boys. Various singles from the album were instant hits. Among other things, Katy Perry is the first female singer to reach 1 billion views on Vevo for her music videos. The silvery voice singer has entered the Guinness book of records 4 times and received awards such as the American Music Awards (5 times), Brit Awards, Juno Awards and so on. She earns an aggregate yearly income of $83 million.
Robert Downey Jr. – $81 million
Robert Downey Jr was born on April 4, 1965, in New York, USA. He has made a career for himself in screen acting and is on the Hollywood A-list actors. He began acting as a young lad and landed his debut appearance on Saturday Night Live (1980).
Subsequent years saw more of Robert on screen with most of his movies recording success. He has starred in box office movies like Iron Man, Spiderman the Homecoming, a couple of the Avengers series among others. For his works he has won the BAFTA Awards (1993), Golden Globe Awards (2001), and American Cinematheque Awards (2011) among others. As at 2018, he had an annual pay of $81 million.