With a jazz hands worthy pre-tax income of $185 million, Taylor Swift has beaten her nemesis Kanye West to top Forbes’ Celebrity 100 list in 2019 – but there are a couple of surprises in the top 10.
1970s old stagers The Eagles (No.8) and TV uber counsellor Dr Phil McGraw (No.9) reaped more money than stars including Roger Federer, JK Rowling, Beyonce, Jay-Z and Ellen DeGeneres.
The top 10 was a mixed bag comprising four musical acts – Swift, West, The Eagles and Ed Sheeran – a make-up mogul (Kylie Jenner, at No.2), Dr Phil and four athletes: soccer stars Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar, plus boxer Canelo Alvarez.
The list ranks the world’s highest-paid celebrities in music, sports and entertainment, “from Hollywood to Bollywood”, Forbes said.
Nearly a third of the celebrities on this year’s list are from outside the US.
But Swift, on top of the list for the second time in her career, was the undisputed queen.
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Her estimated earnings increased 131 per cent from last year, with her Reputation stadium tour surpassing her 1989 world tour as the highest-grossing in the US, with a global take of $345 million, according to Billboard Boxscore.
Swift also sold the tour to Netflix and millions more were added to her bank account via endorsement deals with Apple, AT&T and Diet Coke.
Then there was the deal Swift did to cut ties with the Big Machine Label Group and join Universal Music Group’s Republic Records, which Forbes‘ sources said could be worth up to $200 million.
Other female musicians to join Swift on the Top 100 list include newcomer Ariana Grande (No.62, $48 million), Jennifer Lopez (No.76, $43 million), Lady Gaga (No.90, $39.5 million) and Celine Dion (No.100, $37.5 million).
At a still-stratospheric No.20, Beyonce might not be totally happy.
“I’m never satisfied,” she once told Forbes. “I’ve never met anyone that works harder than me in my industry.”
While the top of this year’s Celebrity 100 is packed with female superstars, “only 16 women made the list in total,” Forbes said – and only two of the actors on the list are women.
Johansson, the top-earning woman in the Marvel Universe, landed at No.47 and Modern Family‘s Sofia Vergara locked in No.76.
“The imbalance indicates the gender pay gap existing throughout the entertainment industry – whether it be on the field (no female athletes made the cut this year) or on the big screen.”
West, surpassed by his sister-in-law Jenner, is back on the list after a four-year hiatus.
How did he do it? Not with music.
In Forbes‘ cover story Kanye’s Second Coming, he revealed details of his billion-dollar Yeezy sneaker empire, which rivals Air Jordan.
Like Jenner, who owns her eponymous make-up company, West still owns 100 per cent of Yeezy.
All up, the world’s 100 highest-paid celebrities made $6.3 billion pre-tax in the past year.
The cost of admission to the list was a record $37.5 million, up 7 per cent on last year.
Most of the 16 debutants are athletes, thanks to mega deals signed this year.
As for Dr Phil, he’s the highest-paid TV host in the world, thanks to his long-running daytime talk hit, product placements and advertising profits from the show.
He also has speaking gigs and endorsement deals.
Hotel California rockers The Eagles can thank a world tour for their high placing.