Top 10 Highest Paid Celebrities in the World

Illustration of woman in red dress having her pictures taken by paparazzi

Thanks to social media and other widespread endorsements, celebrities are ranked as some of the highest earners in the entire world!

And these high earners come in all shapes and sizes, from the Queen of lip kits, Kylie Jenner, to lyrical genius and fashion designer Kanye West and football legend, Cristiano Ronaldo. Between them, these famous faces have managed to rake in over $1.2 billion (£936.8 million) in 12 months, with a few stars keeping their spot as one of the highest-paid celebrities in 2020!

In true CareerAddict style, we’ve rounded up the 10 highest-paid celebrities in the world, detailing their success stories and just how they made their way onto this list with their hard-earned salaries.

10. Dwayne Johnson

Profession: Actor

Nationality: American

Age: 48

Annual earnings: $87.5 million (£68.3 million)

With the success of both Jumanji films, it’s not surprising that Dwayne Johnson made it as one of the highest-paid actors in 2020. Besides his time on the big screen, he also signed a $23.5 million (£18.3 million) deal for Netflix’s Red Notice.

Beyond his successful acting career, The Rock also cashes in on social-media marketing fees to promote upcoming films and products.

9. Lebron James

Profession: Basketball player

Nationality: American

Age: 35

Annual earnings: $88.2 million (£68.9 million)

LA Lakers player, LeBron James is one of the most well-known faces in sport with a $153 million (£119.5 million)contract under his belt. Besides his wealth, which he earns on the court, he also has one of the highest NBA endorsement portfolios, as well as his own production (SpringHill Entertainment) and media companies (Uninterrupted). Although he makes a lot of money, he is a celebrity that is known for giving back. In 2018 his LeBron James Family Foundation opened its first primary school with plans to help teenagers go to college.

8. Howard Stern

Profession: TV Personality

Nationality: American

Age: 66

Annual earnings: $90 million (£70.3 million)

Radio host, Howard Stern, has landed himself a spot on the list thanks to his eight-figure annual contract with SiriusXM. While his contract expires in December, he is due a major cash out for the company to retain the rights to his interview archives. So, we expect to see him on this list in 2021, too.

7. Neymar

Profession: Athlete

Nationality: Brazilian

Age: 28

Annual earnings: $99.5 million (£77.7 million)

Better known simply as Neymar, Brazilian footballer Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior’s transfer to Paris Saint-Germain stands as one of the most expensive in football history. His five-year contract is worth a staggering $350 million (£273.4 million). Being the second most popular athlete on social media, with over 200 million followers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter combined, Neymar is one of the most sought-after superstars to feature in adverts and sponsorships, having worked with the likes of Nike, Gillette, Red Bull, McDonald’s and Beats by Dr. Dre.

6. Tyler Perry

Profession: Actor

Nationality: American

Age: 50

Annual earnings: $97 million (£75.8 million)

Tyler Perry is famously known for his successful film franchise Madea, which includes a series of 11 movies grossing over $660 million (£515.5 million). Besides his on-screen success, he also owns Tyler Perry Studios, which is a 330-acre property with a great filming set. In 2019, he also struck a deal with Viacom for content creation.

5. Lionel Messi

Profession: Athlete

Nationality: Argentinean

Age: 33

Annual earnings: $104 million (£81.2 million)

Lionel Messi, who plays for Barcelona FC, is the highest-earning athlete in the world – and after scoring 603 goals throughout his career, it’s easy to see why! His endorsements with Adidas, Pepsi, EA Sports and Samsung all add up to his admirable net worth, which is estimated by some sources at $400 million (£312.4 million).

4. Cristiano Ronaldo

Profession: Athlete

Nationality: Portuguese

Age: 34

Annual earnings: $105 million (£82 million)

Football legend, Cristiano Ronaldo, has been an idol for men and women across the globe for over a decade. After having signed a new contract with Juventus for $256 million (£200 million) in 2018, he became the second highest-paid athlete in the world. As the most followed footballer on social media, the football star also enjoys earnings from various endorsement deals, with his largest being a lifetime sponsorship deal with Nike.

3. Roger Federer

Profession: Athlete

Nationality: Swiss

Age: 39

Annual earnings: $106.3 million (£83 million)

Tennis-player Roger Federer is the world’s highest-paid athlete thanks to his lucrative endorsement deals. In 2018, he signed a 10-year, $300 million (£234.5 million) contract with Uniqlo. That said, he is also a great philanthropist. His foundation has raised more than $50 million (£39.1 million)  to educate 1.5 million children in Africa.

2. Kanye West

Profession: Musician and entrepreneur

Nationality: American

Age: 43

Annual earnings: $170 million (£132.9 million)

Having once claimed to be $53 million (£41.4 million) in debt, Kanye West has managed to climb his way onto this list as one of the highest-paid entertainers in the world. With most of his income coming from his Yeezy shoe partnership with Adidas, the rapper-turned-entrepreneur has managed to build a clothing empire. Frequently appearing on Keeping up with the Kardashians has also boded well for West, making the controversial star more popular than ever before.

1. Kylie Jenner

Profession: Model, entrepreneur and TV personality

Nationality: American

Age: 23

Annual earnings: $590 million (£461.4 million)

Makeup mogul Kylie Jenner has had a whale of a year, having been crowned the youngest-ever self-made billionaire. Her income comes from her appearance on hit reality series Keeping up with the Kardashians, her joint fashion collaboration with sister Kendall, as well as her successful makeup and skincare business Kylie Cosmetics and Kylie Skin. With rumours that the youngest Jenner has also trademarked her own baby line, the fashion icon will probably be hogging this spot for years to come.

Who are you surprised to see on this list – and who are you shocked didn’t make the cut? Join the conversation down below and let us know!


This article is an updated version of an earlier article originally published on 26 July 2018. Currency conversions are based on rates supplied by XE.com on 11 September 2020.

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