People either love them or hate them for their lavish lifestyles that most of us ordinary mortals can only dream of having. Nevertheless, we cannot help taking a look at how much these high-profile actors, singers, entertainment moguls, and models are worth. Here’s our list of some of the world’s richest celebrities:
The U2 front man’s net worth amounts to $700 million. Aside from being a rock singer and a passionate activist, Bono is also a smart businessman. The equity firm that he co-owns, Elevation Partners, bought in about 2.3% share of the social media giant Facebook in 2009. And now he and his company are raking in over a billion British pounds (about $1.532 billion).
The French-Canadian songstress is one of the most bankable and established pop artists in the world. Her 1997 album Let’s Talk About Love, which featured the Titanic theme song “My Heart Will Go On,” went to #1 on the US Billboard 200 and charts of many other countries around the world, becoming one of the best-selling albums in history. From 1997 up to 2010, these years were Dion’s most profitable era. When you also include record and ticket sales, merchandise and her other business ventures, Celine’s worth could reach up to about $720 million! It seems that her wealth just goes on and on…
Despite having made a name for herself as an actress (whose film credits include Operation Petticoat and Butterfield 8, among others), Dina Merrill got most of her fortune from her bloodline. She is the only child of Post Cereals heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post with her second husband Edward Hutton, a businessman who worked for Wall Street.
In 1914, Merrill’s father died when she was 27, leaving her with a fortune of $250 million — that’s about $5 billion in today’s money when adjusted for inflation.
Rapper, actor, record producer, and businessman Dr. Dre have created a niche in the aural market with his famous Beats by Dr. Dre line of premium headphones. He eventually became the co-founder and co-owner of the company Beats by Dre with Jimmy Iovine (head of Interscope record label). In 2014 Apple acquired Beats to the tune of $3 billion. The acquisition led Dr. Dre to own about 25% stake of the Beats company. So this means the shares would get him $750 million which are taxable. After tax, Dr. Dre’s profit from the deal would give him about $500 million. When you add Dr. Dre’s $280 million profit from making music, he would be $780 million richer (even after taxes) when the Apple/Beats deal was sealed.
The entertainment mogul’s net worth is $5.1 billion, making him the richest entertainment figure yet. The American director and producer are best known conceiving the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises whose films became multi-million blockbuster hits. He was also the founder and sole owner of Lucasfilm and Industrial Light and Magic (ILM). He headed Lucasfilm before selling its entire stake to the Walt Disney Company in 2012 to the tune of $4.05 billion.
The Canadian director is known for his blockbuster movies Titanic and Avatar which are just two of the highest-grossing films of all time, with $2.19 billion and $2.78 billion respectively (when not adjusted for inflation). Cameron has also helmed other financially successful films such as Aliens, The Terminator, True Lies, and The Abyss. His directorial work has grossed about $6 billion worldwide, including $2 billion in North America alone.
Why is American actress Jami Gertz that rich? If you don’t know it yet, it’s mostly because of businessman Antony “Tony” Ressler to whom she has been married since 1989. Ressler co-founded the private equity firm Ares Management, whose total assets amount to $87 billion. Apart from that, Ressler is the co-founder of another private equity firm Apollo Global Management (whose total assets are $22.9 billion). In June 2015 he and former NBA star Grant Hill purchased the Atlanta Hawks (Ressler also used to be the owner of the baseball team the Milwaukee Brewers).
Gertz’s notable appearances include films like Sixteen Candles, The Lost Boys, Crossroads, and Less Than Zero, as well as television work such as Square Pegs and Still Standing, among others.
The American rapper and record producer is considered one of the most successful hip-hop artists of all time, having sold over 100 million records worldwide. Apart from his profits from recording, he also earned revenues from his concerts, endorsements, his former clothing line Rocawear (which he sold for $204 million in 2007), and other business ventures which have netted him hundreds of millions of dollars.
Much of comedian Jerry Seinfeld’s personal wealth has been derived from his long-running self-titled TV show, which led him to profitable syndication deals. However, he has also made lucrative earnings from other sources such as his stand-up gigs as well as other stints as a book author and public speaker. According to Forbes, Seinfeld earns as much as $32 million annually, although Seinfeld himself has disputed these figures.
In 1978 Davis launched a comic strip about the everyday life of a lazy fat orange cat named Garfield. Not only did Garfield become the biggest syndicated comic strip, but its success also led to the small screen (Garfield and Friends, where Davis served as one of the producers), and to the big screen (Garfield: The Movie). He also has written other comic works like US Acres (aka Orson’s Farm), Gnorm Gnat, Mr. Potato Head, and Tumbleweeds. Davis has written (or co-written) Garfield TV specials which went on to receive Emmy nominations and awards.
Apart from these endeavors, Davis has served as a writer and producer for the computer-generated, direct-to-video Garfield movies, as well as for the French-American animated series The Garfield Show.
British author JK Rowling is famous for her Harry Potter fantasy novels, which have sold over 400 million copies, spawned the hit Harry Potter film series, and other forms of licensed merchandise. These books and movies have broken literary and box-office records.
Oprah Winfrey is widely known as a media mogul, talk show host, and philanthropist. Against all odds and adversities — abject poverty, sexual abuse, and racial prejudice — Winfrey rose to become one of the most influential and inspiring figures in the world. She started her radio career while she was still in her teens. Her off-handed, emotional delivery on the air led her to the talk show world. Her own program The Oprah Winfrey Show made its maiden broadcast in 1984 and went on syndication two years later which caused the show to skyrocket in the TV ratings.
Being one of the very few African-American billionaires, Winfrey’s net worth is presently about $3 billion.
The name may not be familiar to many of you, but you may have heard of her ex-husband, Formula One CEO Bernie Ecclestone. Born Slavica Radic, the tall and young Croatian model caught the eye of the much older and shorter Ecclestone who began to pursue her relentlessly, despite their obvious differences.
The couple married in 1985. But after nearly 24 years of marriage and two children, they divorced in 2009. As the divorce made headlines, Slavica was awarded a settlement worth £740 million (about $1.2 billion), making her one of the wealthiest divorcees in history.
It’s not so surprising why Steven Spielberg makes it to the list. The legendary director, screenwriter, and producer has been enjoying a long and illustrious filmmaking career, not to mention the fortune he’s attained from it. As we all know, Spielberg is the brains behind Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T. The Extraterrestrial, the Indiana Jones films, Jurassic Park, Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan and A.I. Artificial Intelligence. You could say that it was Spielberg who sowed the seeds of a new trend then that is now called blockbuster movies.
Call him P. Diddy, Puff Daddy, Puffy, Sean Combs or whatever, there’s one constant thing for sure: P. Diddy is one of the wealthiest hip-hop artists around. Aside from the million-selling records such as his debut album No Way Out (which sold over 7 million units, by the way), he has other lucrative pursuits outside of music. His company Bad Boy Entertainment Worldwide has a movie production firm and a couple of restaurants. P. Diddy also entered the world of fashion with his clothing line Sean John and Sean by Sean Combs.
Pop music icon Madonna is one of the wealthiest entertainers, having a net worth of over $800 million. She has sold around 400 million records around the world and is still undisputed as the best-selling female artist of all time, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Madonna has also dabbled in the acting world and fashion, as well as founded production companies such as Maverick and Semtex Girls, and launched a line of fitness centers around called Hard Candy Fitness.
American musician Herb Alpert enjoyed a long career that has spanned over five decades. He is famously associated with his own act, Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass.
Alpert’s career highlights include five No. 1 albums, eight Grammy awards, several gold and platinum records, and over 72 million albums sold worldwide. Aside from being a successful musician, Albert is also a successful music executive. He co-founded A&M Records with fellow musician Jerry Moss in 1962. Over the next several years A&M grew into one of the biggest independent record labels whose stable of artists ranged from the Carpenters to Janet Jackson to Sheryl Crow. A&M was acquired by Polygram in 1989 and then by its present owner Universal Music Group in 1998.
Even American illusionist David Copperfield himself probably can’t use magic in making himself instantly rich. But his years of wowing audiences around the world with his sleight of hand tricks and death-defying stunts have brought him great fame and fortune. From 1999 to 2009 Copperfield was consistent on the Forbes list of highest-paid celebrities. He still does over 500 shows a year in many countries across the planet.
The British businesswoman is presently the chief executive of Gold Group International, which operates the companies Ann Summers (a line of sex toys stores) and Knickerbox (a women’s underwear chain). The empire was founded by Jacqueline’s father, businessman David Gold.
When she first worked for Ann Summers, Jacqueline learned that the operations were run by mostly men, which she wasn’t quite comfortable about. Then she recognized the potential of selling sex toys and lingerie exclusively to women in an all-female environment, in the comfort and safety of their homes. When she took the position as the Gold Group’s Chief Executive, Jacqueline did what she intended. Her strictly no-men-allowed “home party” marketing strategy proved to be popular. Its success helped Ann Summers to become a multi-million-pound company and a legitimate business brand. Over 7,500 women are employed by Ann Summers as party planners.
Of all the former Beatles, Sir Paul McCartney has attained the most success in his solo career. Indeed, he is one of the most successful musicians and songwriters of all time. He has sold over 100 million records (as a member of the Beatles and as a solo artist) and has 60 gold discs. His song “Yesterday” became and still remains the most covered song in the world as it has been re-recorded by over 2,200 artists.
After the Beatles split in 1970, McCartney embarked on a solo career as well as founded and led his own group named Wings in 1971. After Wings disbanded in 1981 McCartney went solo again. Since then he has been selling records and performing at sold-out concert tours. To date, he has issued 27 studio albums (including five classical albums) and has sold over 15.5 records that have been certified gold or platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).