There’s never been a better time to be famous. The world’s 100 top-earning celebrities pulled in a combined $6.3 billion pretax over the past 12 months, up 22% from last year; 11 superstars crossed the $100 million threshold, more than double the number from the last two years combined.
Those are just a few of the takeaways from the 20th annual Celebrity 100 package, our accounting of the highest-paid front-of-camera stars on the planet. Floyd Mayweather tops the ranking with $285 million in pretax earnings, almost entirely on the strength of his August 2017 fight versus listmate Conor McGregor. George Clooney finishes second with $239 million, most of it coming from liquor giant Diageo’s purchase of Casamigos, the tequila company he cofounded, giving him the best annual take-home of his—or any actor’s—career.
Our cover star, Kylie Jenner, pulled in $166.5 million to claim the No. 3 spot, boosted by a sprawling cosmetics empire that has her on the verge of becoming a billionaire before she’s old enough to drink. Judge Judy Sheindlin’s $147 million puts her at No. 4—buoyed by the sale of her TV library for $100 million—while Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson rounds out the top five with $124 million thanks to blockbusters like newly-released Skyscraper.
“The number one goal is to create stuff for the world,” the superstar explained to Forbes in an interview for the package.
The Celebrity 100 list ranks front-of-camera stars around the globe using their pretax earnings from June 1, 2017 through June 1, 2018, before deducting fees for managers, lawyers and agents. Estimates are based on numbers from Nielsen, Pollstar, IMDB, SoundScan, NPD BookScan and ComScore, as well as interviews with industry experts and many of the stars themselves.
Over the past two decades, more than 700 actors, actresses, musicians and other stars have appeared on the list, accumulating a total of $80 billion in earnings. This year’s list members represent 17 countries: the U.S., U.K., Barbados, Portugal, Ireland, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, Switzerland, Canada, China, Mexico, Colombia, Germany, Spain, Greece, India. Newcomers range in age from septuagenarian Pink Floyd cofounder Roger Waters (No. 28, $68 million) to thirtysomething pop rockers Imagine Dragons (No. 89, $36.5 million).
The youngest on the list is 20-year-old Jenner. Later this year, she’ll likely take the title Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates once held: the world’s youngest ever self-made billionaire. Like The Rock, Jenner has leveraged social media to market her wares to a mammoth audience—over 110 million followers on Instagram alone.
“Social media is an amazing platform,” she told Forbes. “I have such easy access to my fans and my customers.”
Jenner isn’t the only cover star to make the list. She’s joined by her half-sister, Kim Kardashian-West (No. 30, $67 million); The Weeknd (No. 39, $57 million) and Katy Perry (No. 19, $83 million), all of whom appeared on the cover of the Celebrity 100 in recent years.
“I don’t feel like my career is a ticking time bomb,” Perry said, presciently, at the time. “I don’t feel like I’ll always have to be feeding the meter of show business. I got my spot, yo.”
EDITED BY: Zack O’Malley Greenburg and Natalie Robehmed.
REPORTED BY: Kurt Badenhausen, Madeline Berg, Hayley Cuccinello, Rebecca Lerner and Susan Radlauer.
More Info: www.forbes.com