Entertainment Celebrity The highest-paid American celebrities of 2018
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The highest-paid American celebrities of 2018

Filmmaker George Lucas' most recent film premiere is 'Solo: A Star Wars Story' in May this year. Photo: Getty
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Star Wars creator George Lucas has topped Forbes magazine’s list of richest celebrities for 2018, raking in a whopping $US5.4 billion (A$7.5 billion).

Lucas, 74, continues to profit from the sale of his entertainment company, LucasFilm – home to the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises – to Disney in 2012 for $5.7 billion ($8.02 billion).

Coming in second was film director Steven Spielberg, who earned $3.7 billion ($5.1 billion). The 2018 release of Ready Player One, a sci-fi movie set in 2045 about the world being on the verge of chaos and collapse, was his most profitable project.

Third on Forbes‘ annual ranking of America’s richest people is talk show host and entrepreneur Oprah Winfrey, 74, with her recent investment in Weight Watchers bringing her annual salary to $2.8 billion ($3.9 billion).

Winfrey’s net worth was $2.9 billion ($4.08 billion), according to Forbes. Most of it came from her business ventures, which range from a TV channel to a book club.

richest celebrities 2018
Oprah Winfrey was the third highest-earning celebrity in 2018, according to Forbes. Photo: Getty

In fourth place is retired basketballer Michael Jordan, 55, whose estimated net worth is $1.65 billion ($2.32 billion), with sponsorships being his main source of income, according to Forbes‘ calculations.

The former athlete enjoys about $100 million ($140 million) a year from Nike royalties, thanks to his world-famous personal shoe line, Air Jordan.

Tied at fifth place are Kylie Jenner and Jay-Z, who each earned $900 million ($1.25 billion) this year.

Jenner, 21, has achieved more than $878 million ($123 million) alone from her Kylie Cosmetics brand since she launched her first set of own-brand lip kits in November 2015. Forbes featured her on its August cover, with the headline “America’s women billionaires”.

Rapper Jay-Z, 49, earns a great chunk from investments in champagne brands Armand de Brignac and D’Ussé cognac.

He and his wife Beyoncé also grossed $150 million ($211 million) from their On The Run II tour, which began on June 6 and ended on October 4.

In sixth place is magician David Copperfield, who is worth an estimated total $875 million ($1.2 billion), according to Forbes.

Copperfield, 62, who has won 21 Emmys and received 38 nominations, is considered to be the most successful magician in history, Forbes stated.

Rapper Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, also known as Puff Daddy and P Diddy, 49, is the seventh wealthiest star. He made $825 million ($1.15 billion), mostly from non-music sources, including his Sean John clothing line, an investment in Ciroc vodka and other stakes in music-centric Revolt TV and the alcohol brand DeLeón tequila.

Golfer Tiger Woods, 42, and best-selling author James Patterson, 71, are tied at ninth place. They round out Forbes‘ wealth list for 2018, with each having earned $800 million ($1.11 billion).

Despite being ranked 51st in the international golf rankings, Woods remains the world’s highest-paid golfer, according to Forbes.

He earned $43.3 million ($60.9 million) in 2017 – and an average of $US1282 for every golf shot, Golfworld estimates.

Patterson has profited from the sale of more than 300 million books, most notably Women’s Murder Club and Alex Cross.