Forbes Highest Paid Entertainers

The total sum of earnings of the highest paid entertainers in the world will make you think twice about your career options. According to findings by the renowned Forbes Magazine, the world’s 100 top-earning entertainers pocketed a total of $5.15 billion, pretax, in the year 2017.

People on the list of the highest paid entertainers in the world include actors, actresses, musicians, television personalities, sportsmen, and authors. About a third of these entertainers come from the United States. Twenty people on the list are from Europe, twelve from the United Kingdom, five from Asia and four from Canada. Entertainers from South America, Africa, and Australia failed to make the cut.

Forbes explained that it came up with its figures by calculating ticket sales from tours and or salaries, endorsement deals, merchandising and by interviewing industry insiders and sometimes the stars themselves.

So who is the highest paid entertainer in the world? It none other than musician turned businessman, Sean “Diddy” Combs.

1. Diddy – $130 Million

Forbes Highest Paid Entertainers
Forbes Highest Paid Entertainers

Diddy made a whopping $130 million thanks to his Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour, the sale of one-third of his Sean John clothing line, and his partnership deal with Diageo’s Ciroc vodka.


2. Beyonce – $105 Million

Forbes Highest Paid Entertainers
Forbes Highest Paid Entertainers

Beyonce grossed a fortune from her Formation World Tour. It is estimated that the tour made a quarter of a billion dollars. Add that to her “Lemonade” album sales and you see why Beyonce is number 2 on the list.

3. J.K. Rowling – $95 Million 

Forbes Highest Paid Entertainers
Forbes Highest Paid Entertainers

British novelist, J.K Rowling, who once made the billionaire list but dropped off due to her charity work, comes in at number three, making her the highest-earning entertainer outside the United States. She made the list thanks to her 2016 best selling book titled; “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”. She also cashed in off the Hollywood movie adaptations of her books with the most recent one being “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”.

4. Drake – $94 Million

Forbes Highest Paid Entertainers
Forbes Highest Paid Entertainers

Canadian musician, Drake, comes in at number four. The hip-hop star made the list thanks to his very successful Boy Meets World Tour. It also helped that he was the most-streamed artist on the planet over the past 12 months. That led to lucrative endorsement deals with Apple, Sprite, and Nike

5. Cristiano Ronaldo – $93 Million

Forbes Highest Paid Entertainers
Forbes Highest Paid Entertainers

The number one highest earning sportsperson in the world, and fifth on this list, is Portuguese and Real Madrid star, Cristiano Ronaldo. The 2017 FIFA Best Player and Ballon d’Or winner achieved this status thanks to his contract with Real Madrid. His lifetime endorsement deal with Nike, worth upwards of $1 billion also helped. Another thing worth mentioning is his growing line of CR7 branded products which include clothing items and a line of hotels, have added to his pockets.

6. The Weeknd – $92 Million

Forbes Highest Paid Entertainers
Forbes Highest Paid Entertainers

The second Canadian to make the list is R&B sensation, The Weeknd. Although relatively a newcomer to the industry, the 26-year-old had very good album sales and a sold-out world tour. His “Starboy: Legend of the Fall World Tour” is estimated to have made more than $1.1 million per show.

7. Howard Stern – $90 Million

Forbes Highest Paid Entertainers
Forbes Highest Paid Entertainers

Somewhat controversial radio host and television personality, Howard Stern, is among the top 10 earners thanks to his eight-figure contract with SiriusXM.

8. Coldplay – $88 Million

Forbes Highest Paid Entertainers
Forbes Highest Paid Entertainers

British rock band, Coldplay, are on the list thanks to their earning from the Head Full of Dreams Tour which took them around the world, playing stadiums. The tour is estimated to have made upwards of $5 million per city.

9. James Patterson – $87 Million

Forbes highest paid entertainers
Forbes Highest Paid Entertainers

James Patterson is the second author to make it into the top 10. He is said to be America’s richest author, having sold over 9.5 million copies of his books in one year. In addition to that, the New York-born writer agreed to co-write a thriller novel with former President Bill Clinton which will guarantee him an estimated seven-figure payment.

10. LeBron James – $86 Million

Forbes highest paid entertainers
Forbes Highest Paid Entertainers

Cleveland Cavaliers star, Lebron James, is the second sportsperson on the list. His earnings have come from his contracts as well as endorsement deals with Intel, Verizon, Coca-Cola, Beats by Dre, Kia Motor and just like Ronaldo, a lifetime deal with Nike worth more than $1 billion.

James has other business ventures which includes a production company, SpringHill Entertainment, and the fast-food chain, Blaze Pizza.

Full list of Forbes Highest Paid Entertainers

11. Guns N’ Roses – $84 million

11. Rush Limbaugh – $84 million

13. Justin Bieber – $83.5 million

14. Lionel Messi – $80 million

15. Dr. Phil McGraw – $79 million

16. Ellen DeGeneres – $77 million

17. Bruce Springsteen – $75 million

18. Adele – $69 million

18. Jerry Seinfeld – $69 million

20. Mark Wahlberg – $68 million

21.  Metallica – $66.5 million

22. Dwayne Johnson – $65 million

23. Roger Federer – $64 million

24. David Copperfield – $61.5 million

25. Kevin Durant – $60.6 million

26. Garth Brooks – $60 million

26. Elton John – $60 million

26. Gordon Ramsay – $60 million

29. Ryan Seacrest – $58 million

30. Chris Rock – $57 million

31. Vin Diesel – $54.5 million

32. Paul McCartney – $54 million

32. Red Hot Chili Peppers – $54 million

34. Louis CK – $52 million

35. Jimmy Buffett – $50.5 million

35. Adam Sandler – $50.5 million

37. Andrew Luck – $50 million

37. Rory McIlroy – $50 million

39. Jackie Chan – $49 million

40. Calvin Harris – $48.5 million

41. Robert Downey Jr – $48 million

42, Stephen Curry – $47.3 million

43. Dave Chappelle – $47 million

43. Judy Sheindlin – $47 million

45. James Harden – $46.6 million

46. Lewis Hamilton – $46 million

47. Kim Kardashian West – $45.5million

48. Drew Brees – $45.3 million

49. Taylor Swift – $44 million

50. Simon Cowell – $43.5 million

50. Phil Mickelson – $43.5 million

52. Tom Cruise – $43 million

53. Kenny Chesney – $42.5 million

53. Steve Harvey – $42.5 million

55. Luke Bryan – $42 million

55. Celine Dion – $42 million

55. Jay-Z – $42 million

58. Sofia Vergara – $41.5 million

59. Kylie Jenner – $41 million

60. Bruno Mars – $39 million

60. Tiesto – $39 million

62. Russell Westbrook – $38.6 million

63. Sebastian Vettel – $38.5 million

64. Damian Lillard – $38.4 million

65. Shah Rukh Khan – $38 million

65. Jennifer Lopez – $38 million

65. The Chainsmokers – $38 million

68. Novak Djokovic – $37.6 million

69. Amy Schumer – $37.5 million

70. Tiger Woods – $37.1 million

71. Salman Khan – $37 million

71. Neymar – $37 million

71. Bill O’Reilly – $37 million

71. Dolly Parton – $37 million

71. Ed Sheeran – $37 million

76. Dwayne Wade – $36.2 million

77. Fernando Alonso – $36 million

77. Sean Hannity – $36 million

77. Rihanna – $36 million

80. Bon Jovi – $35.5 million

80. Akshay Kumar – $35.5 million

82. Billy Joel – $35 million

83.  Dr Dre – $34.5 million

83. Florida Georgia Line – $34.5 million

83. Toby Keith – $34.5 million

83. Jordan Spieth – $34.5 million

87. Derrick Rose – $34.3 million

88. Usain Bolt – $34.2 million

89. Gareth Bale – $34 million

89. Conor McGregor – $34 million

89. Britney Spears – $34 million

92. Kei Nishikori – $33.9 million

93. Fletcher Cox – $33.4 million

94. Clayton Kershaw – $33.3 million

95. Chance the Rapper – $33 million

95. Katy Perry – $33 million

97. Carmelo Anthony – $32.6 million

98. Jason Aldean – $32.5 million

98. Kevin Hary – $32.5 million

100. Zlatan Ibrahimovic – $32 million