The aggregate earnings of the world’s highest-paid celebrities were $6.1 billion before taxes and fees, a $200 million decrease from 2019, when the worldwide pandemic caused stadiums to close and concerts to be cancelled everywhere. The drop was the first since 2016, the year Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao split almost $500 million from the most lucrative boxing match ever. The show continued despite the presence of Covid-19 and an America that was ablaze in every way after George Floyd’s death.
Kylie Jenner and Kanye West were the most paid celebrities, earning $590 million and $170 million, respectively. The majority of West’s income came from his Adidas contract for the Yeezy footwear, while Jenner’s payoff came from the sale of a 51% part in her cosmetics company to Coty in January. She had overstated the size of her company over the years, but the cash she received from the purchase was legitimate and large enough to be considered one of the highest celebrity payouts ever.
Ryan Reynolds (No. 18, $71.5 million), Billie Eilish (No. 43, $53 million), and Jerry Seinfeld (No. 46, $51 million) were among the celebrities who received payments totaling $300 million from three streaming giants, with Netflix covering more than two thirds of that sum.
Some of the greatest names in music have had career-high earnings thanks to live performances. Ed Sheeran’s Divide Tour, which drew 8.9 million fans and earned $776 million over more than two years, broke U2’s all-time record for a single tour. Since the epidemic forced the cancellation of tours for everyone from Taylor Swift (No. 25, $63.5 million) to Paul McCartney (No. 93, $37 million), others may suffer financially next year.
In terms of sportsmen, Cristiano Ronaldo of soccer (No. 4, $105 million) became the first player to earn $1 billion in his career, while Roger Federer of tennis (No. 3, $106.3 million) is the first tennis player to hold the top slot on the list. The greatest money ever earned by a female athlete in a single year was $37 million, which Naomi Osaka established for herself at position 90.
Bill Simmons (No.13, $82.5 million), who sold his podcast firm The Ringer to Spotify in February for $206 million, is the first person to mention podcasting. Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator and star of the Broadway smash Hamilton (No. 62, $45.5 million), is another newcomer. In February, Walt Disney spent $75 million for the right to broadcast the film adaptation of his musical about the Founding Fathers. Following Floyd’s murder, Miranda joined a chorus of famous people who used their platform to speak out, saying, “It’s up to us, in words and acts, to stand up for our fellow citizens.” He is one of a rising number of celebrities attempting to bring about structural change. Several of the Celebrity 100 have made investments.
any other capacity with Andreessen Horowitz’s Cultural Leadership Fund, which seeks to increase African Americans’ access to investment opportunities and IT careers.
Below is a complete list of the 100, along with some further reading on the industry that supports the greatest performers.