Top 20 Highest Paid Celebrities in the World (2018)

Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor USA Today

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 wrestler-cum-actor Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and football legend Cristiano Ronaldo. Between them, these famous faces have managed to rake in over $6.3 billion (£4.77 billion) in 12 months, a huge increase compared to last year’s mere $1.7 billion (£1.28 billion)!

In true Career Addict style, we’ve rounded up the 20 highest paid celebrities in the world, detailing their success stories and just how they made their way onto this worthy list with their hard-earned salaries.



20. Robert Downey Jr

Robert Downey JrShutterstock

Profession: Actor

Nationality: American

Age: 53

Annual earnings: $81 million (£61.4 million)

Best known for playing Iron Man in the eponymous blockbuster superhero movie and its sequels, Robert Downey Jr cashed in over $15 million (£11.37 million) last year for his supporting role in Spider-Man: Homecoming alone! He also managed to make big bucks for his leading role in Avengers: Infinity War and the upcoming The Voyage of Doctor Doolittle.


19. Katy Perry

Katy PerryShutterstock

Profession: Singer

Nationality: American

Age: 33

Annual earnings: $83 million (£62.92 million)

After her Glastonbury Festival debut and joining the judging panel of ABC’s American Idol, it should come as no surprise that pop princess Katy Perry is the highest earning female singer in 2018. Between Forbes’s scoring period, Perry performed over 80 gigs as part of her world tour in support of her 2017 album Witness, earning over $1 million (£758,000) a night!


18. Rush Limbaugh

Rush LimbaughRed Nation Weekly

Profession: Radio show host

Nationality: American

Age: 67

Annual earnings: $84.5 million (£64.06 million)

America’s most-listened-to radio show host and conservative political commentator Rush Limbaugh reaches an audience of over 25 million – each month! Meanwhile, he recently launched his first mobile app which helped him reach out to a wider audience – and it’s safe to say that he’s cashing in on the results.


17. LeBron James

LeBron JamesThe Source

Profession: Basketball player

Nationality: American

Age: 33

Annual earnings: $85.5 million (£64.82 million)

Basketball legend LeBron James follows in the footsteps of the great Michael Jordan, with his new Los Angeles Lakers deal which is set to make him the best-paid NBA player – ever. James’s 12-month income is also made up of endorsements with big brands like Nike, Coca-Cola and Beats by Dr Dre.


16. James Patterson

James PattersonMasterClass

Profession: Author

Nationality: American

Age: 71

Annual earnings: $86 million (£65.2 million)

It comes as no surprise that this gifted storyteller has made it in the top 20 of the Celebrity 100 list. With over 52 published books, including The President Is Missing (which he co-authored with former US president Bill Clinton), James Patterson is one of the bestselling authors in the USA. Their book is currently being adapted into a TV show, so Patterson can expect to receive a large payout from that, too.


15. Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneresShutterstock

Profession: Talk show host

Nationality: American

Age: 60

Annual earnings: $87.5 million (£66.34 million)

TV show host and comedian Ellen DeGeneres makes the bulk of her earnings from The Ellen Show, while her umbrella company Ellen Digital Ventures also brings in a large amount of revenue through the EllenTube video platform. DeGeneres also signed an exclusive deal with Netflix for a stand-up special that will feature a number of comedians on the road, including Dave Chapel and Chris Rock.


14. Howard Stern (tie)

Howard SternThe Hollywood Reporter

Profession: Radio show host

Nationality: American

Annual earnings: $90 million (£68.23 million)

Age: 64

Radio show host Howard Stern recently renewed his contract with Sirius XM for a five-year extension, worth a whopping $80 million (£60.65 million) a year. As part of the deal, the controversial Stern also has stakes in digital distribution channels like mobile apps and video streaming services, boosting his paycheque even further.


13. Neymar (tie)

Neymar cheering on football pitchShutterstock

Profession: Football player

Nationality: Brazilian

Age: 26

Annual earnings: $90 million (£68.23 million)

Brazilian footballer Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior (better known simply as Neymar) recently broke free from his contract with Barcelona FC to sign on to Paris Saint-Germaine for a four-year contract worth a staggering $350 million (£265.38 million). The 26-year-old is also 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.


12. Conor McGregor

Conor McGregorFor the Win

Profession: Mixed martial artist

Nationality: Irish

Age: 30

Annual earnings: $99 million (£75.06 million)

UFC’s fighting-machine Conor McGregor has been the talk of the town for 2018, thanks to his boxing match with heavyweight Floyd Mayweather Jr. Though he was defeated, he banked in on a number of endorsements following the fight and even signed a residency deal with Wynn Las Vegas for all of his after-parties.


11. Bruno Mars

Bruno Mars performing in concertShutterstock

Profession: Singer

Nationality: American

Age: 32

Annual earnings: $100 million (£75.82 million)

Eleven-time Grammy Award winner Bruno Mars has had quite a rollercoaster year. Following the success of his third studio album, 24k Magic, which sold over two million units in the US alone, the soulful singer then set off on a 212-date worth tour which grossed over $200 million (£151.64 million).



10. Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano RonaldoShutterstock

Profession: Football player

Nationality: Portuguese

Age: 33

Annual earnings: $108 million (£81.88 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 Real Madrid FC for $50 million (£37.91 million) in 2016, he became the second highest paid athlete in the world. Around the same time, Nike also tempted the platter with a lifetime endorsement deal worth over $1 billion (£758.13 million).


9. Ed Sheeran

Ed SheeranShutterstock

Profession: Singer

Nationality: English

Age: 27

Annual earnings: $110 million (£83.39 million)

At just 27 years old, Ed Sheeran has already won four Grammy Awards, and is the highest-earning solo singer of 2018. After taking a year off to travel the world, Sheeran returned to the music scene with his third album Divide – it went on to top the charts in over 14 countries (including the UK and USA) and has sold over 12.2 million copies worldwide.


8. Lionel Messi

Lionel MessiShutterstock

Profession: Football player

Nationality: Argentinean

Age: 31

Annual earnings: $111 million (£84.15 million)

Lionel Messi, who plays for Barcelona FC, is the second highest-earning athlete in the world – and after scoring 51 goals this season alone, it’s easy to see why! His endorsements with Adidas, Pepsi, EA Sports and Samsung all add up to his admiring net worth of $350 million (£265.34 million).


7. Coldplay

Coldplay at Grammy AwardsShutterstock

Profession: Musicians

Nationality: English

Age: 39 to 41

Annual earnings: $115.5 million (£87.56 million)

After headlining at the Glastonbury Festival in 2016, Coldplay (comprising Chris Martin, Will Champion, Jonny Buckland and Guy Berryman) kicked off their seventh concert tour, which brought in over $5 million (£3.79 million) per show.


6. U2


Profession: Musicians

Nationality: Irish

Age: 56 to 58

Annual earnings: $118 million (£89.45 million)

U2 may not be the newest faces on the block, but the Irish rockers have been dubbed the highest earners in music in 2018. Over the past the year alone, they earned $54.4 million (£41.24 million) from a 52-date tour marking 30 years since the release of their chart-topping album The Joshua Tree.


5. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson

Dwayne Shutterstock

Profession: Actor

Nationality: American

Age: 46

Annual earnings: $124 million (£94.01 million)

With over 111 million Instagram followers, Dwayne Johnson, also known as the Rock, has set himself in a league above all other actors. He cashes in on seven-figure social media fees on top of his acting salary to advertise upcoming projects. The hilarious Johnson has also had a great year performing in box office hits Jumanji: Welcome to Jungle and Skyscraper.


4. Judy Sheindlin

Judge JudyThe Hollywood Reporter

Profession: Prosecution lawyer, court judge and TV personality

Nationality: American

Age: 75

Annual earnings: $147 million (£111.45 million)

Better known as Judge Judy, Judy Sheindlin’s eponymous show is the longest-running courtroom show in television history. Since 1996, Sheindlin has been solving real-life small claim disputes on TV, and with an annual estimated salary of $45 million (£34.11 million), she doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.


3. Kylie Jenner

Kylie JennerLondon Evening Standard

Profession: Model, entrepreneur and TV personality

Nationality: American

Age: 20

Annual earnings: $166.5 million (£126.24 million)

Makeup mogul Kylie Jenner has had a whale of a year, becoming the youngest woman to ever be listed among the richest self-made ladies in America. Her income comes from her hit reality show Life of Kylie, her joint fashion collaboration with sister Kendall, as well as her successful makeup business – Jenner is well on her way to becoming the youngest billionaire in celeb history.


2. George Clooney

George ClooneyShutterstock

Profession: Actor

Nationality: American

Age: 57

Annual earnings: $239 million (£181.2 million)

George Clooney has rightly earned himself the title of the highest-paid actor over the last 12-month period. His hefty salary is largely due to the purchase of his tequila company Casamigos by British liquor giant Diageo.


1. Floyd Mayweather

Floyd MayweatherSporting News

Profession: Mixed martial artist and promoter

Nationality: American

Age: 41

Annual earnings: $285 million (£216.04 million)

Floyd Mayweather punches well above his weight with his annual wealth, after winning his notorious fight with fellow martial artist Conner McGregor in 2017. The 10-round fight went down in boxing history, generating a total of $550 million (£416.92 million) in revenue and a number of endorsements for the now-retired martial artist.



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 list was adapted from Forbes’s list of the highest paid celebrities. Currency conversions are based on rates supplied by on 26 July 2018.