By Haddon Libby
Forbes recently released their annual Celebrity 100 list for the twelve months ending June 1st. The list ranks “celebrity” via a mix of earnings and presence over more than twelve types of media platforms.
Topping the list with earnings of approximately $115 million was Beyonce Knowles. Pollstar estimated that she averaged earnings of $2.4 million over the 95 concerts that she performed in support of her new CD.
Second on the list is Ohio’s sometimes favorite son, King James aka LeBron James with $72 million in earnings bolstered by the payoff of his investment in Dr. Dre’s Beats that netted ‘the King’ $30 million.
Dr. Dre came in third by earning $620 million from the sale of Beats to Apple for $3 billion, as well as his mentoring of hip-hop artist Kendrick Lamar who this year received seven Grammy nominations. Forbes believes that Dr. Dre had the best year for earnings of any celebrity ever.
Oprah Winfrey at #4 remains one of the most important and influential entertainers as exhibited by $82 million in earnings, her cable channel OWN, her influence in making Lee Daniel’s The Butler as well as her television shows like Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz and Rachel Ray.
In fifth position is the most likable person on television, Ellen DeGeneres. Besides her daily show, she had a great year due to her performance at the Oscars as well as television production efforts with CW, NBC and HGTV.
Beyonce’s philandering husband, Jay-Z came in sixth due to the success of his Roc Nation concert series, ownership in D’Usse cognac and most recent CD.
Rounding out the top ten are Floyd Mayweather, Jr. due to earnings of $105 million related primarily to his two boxing matches, Rihanna, Katy Perry and Iron Man, Robert Downey, Jr.
Roger Federer is the highest ranked tennis player at #16 with annual earnings of $40 million.
Tiger Woods remains the highest ranked golfer at #21 despite little time on the links over the last year.
Former grocery store stocker and DJ, Calvin Harris, ranked #22 with $66 million in earnings. If you want to hear him spin CDs, he can often be found at Hakkasan in Las Vegas.
Despite Portugal’s early exit from the World Cup, footballer Cristiano Ronaldo ranks #30 on the list due in large part to his $200 million, five-year contract with Real Madrid. The top ranked American footballer was Peyton Manning with nearly $20 million a year from the Denver Broncos and $12 million from endorsement deals.
James Patterson was the highest ranked author at #37 as he cranked out 14 books earning $90 million over the last year.
Gisele Bundchen was the highest ranked model at #56 earning $47 million.
The top ranked chef was Gordon Ramsay at #58 due to his 24 restaurants and numerous television shows.
Worth noting, no baseball, hockey or NASCAR professionals made the Celebrity 100 list.
Beyond the Celebrity 100 list, the highest earning American football player was Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons who earned $44 million but was not considered a top celebrity.
Lewis Hamilton is the highest paid race car driver at with $32 million.
Cricket player Mahendra Singh Dhoni earned $30 million, nearly $5 million more than the highest baseball player, Cliff Lee of the Philiadelphia Phillies, with $25.3 million.
Runnier Usain Both earned $23.2 million, far better than the highest paid hockey player, Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators at $14 million.
Among deceased celebrities, Michael Jackson remains far and away the King of Earnings earning in excess of $150 million annually.
All of these heady earnings levels pale when compared to Warren Buffett’s $12.7 BILLION, Bill Gates $11.5 billion or anyone of dozens of other billionaires.