Forbes Releases List of Highest Paid Celebrities 2017

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NEW YORK (June 12, 2017) – Sean “Diddy” Combs ($130 mil), seizes the top spot on Forbes’ annual Celebrity 100 ranking of the world’s highest-paid celebrities (p. 96 in Forbes’ June 29, 2017 magazine issue).  Nearly two decades after appearing on the cover of the first-ever Celebrity 100 issue, Diddy tops the list thanks to his Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour, a partnership with Diageo’s Ciroc vodka and selling one-third of his Sean John clothing line for an estimated $70 million.  Beyoncé is in the No. 2 spot: her $105 million payday, resulting from her Formation World Tour and Lemonade release is the second-best haul of her career.  Author J.K. Rowling ($95 mil) returns to the list at No. 3, followed by Drake ($94 mil) at No. 4. Drake, who has jumped significantly from his No. 69 rank in the 2016 list, more than doubled his fortune, with most of it from relentless tour dates, plus endorsements with the likes of Apple, Nike and Sprite. Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, earning $93 million, rounds out the top five.

2017 Celebrity 100 Highlights:

  • The world’s 100 top-earning celebrities earned a cumulative $5.15 billion pretax between June 1, 2016 and June 1, 2017, essentially flat over 2016’s $5.1 billion total.
  • Forbes ranks talent across the entire entertainment world, including stars from Hollywood to Bollywood. 66% of Forbes’ Celebrity 100 hail from the United States, 20% from Europe, 12% from Canada and 5% from Asia.
  • Women comprise just 16% of the world’s top-earning celebrities, an imbalance that reflects the gender pay gap across industries.
  • Newcomers: Kylie Jenner joins the ranking for the first time. At just 19, the youngest list member earns a small fortune from endorsements, her family’s reality TV show, a namesake cosmetics company and clothing line. Also new to the list is Steve Harvey (No. 53), earning $42.5 million this year.
  • Taylor Swift, who held the top spot in 2016, dropped to No. 49 on Forbes’ Celebrity 100 list this year.  Swift’s paycheck dipped $126 million from $170 million in 2016 to $44 million in 2017—a 74% year-over-year decrease.

“Though the members of Forbes’ Celebrity 100 this year earned about the same as they did last year — just over $5 billion in total — the way they’re earning is changing,” says Zack O’Malley Greenburg, Forbes’ senior editor of media & entertainment. “Streaming platforms from Spotify to Netflix are finally creating meaningful income for entertainers, something that seemed a distant dream only a few years ago.”

Featured on the cover of the June 29, 2017 issue of Forbes magazine is The Weeknd. The musician is ranked No. 6 with $92 million in earnings and cracks the top 10 of Forbes’ Celebrity 100 list this year for the first time. The Forbes cover story Music Goes Freemium (p. 96), provides an inside look at how artists like The Weeknd are capitalizing on streaming entertainment and changing the way they make their millions.  Physical album sales and digital downloads are down. But more people are listening to more music than ever, which presents staggering opportunities for artists like the Weeknd who connect with an audience.

Top 10 Highest-Earning Celebrities

2017 Rank Name Category Earnings 2016 Rank Country
1 Sean “Diddy” Combs Musician $130 mil 22 USA
2 Beyoncé Knowles Musician $105 mil 34 USA
3 J.K Rowling Author $95 mil Returnee UK
4 Drake Musician $94 mil 69 Canada
5 Cristiano Ronaldo Athlete $93 mil 4 Portugal
6 The Weeknd Musician $92 mil 30 Canada
7 Howard Stern Radio Host $90 mil 7 USA
8 Coldplay Musicians $88 mil Returnee UK
9 James Patterson Author $87 mil 3 USA
10 LeBron James Athlete $86 mil 22 USA

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