The world’s highest paid celebrities earned a total of $6.1 billion before taxes this year, $200 million less than last year. This is undoubtedly due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has led to the closure of concert halls and paralyzed the entertainment industry around the world.
This is the first decline since 2016, when Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao earned almost half a billion dollars from the fight of the century, the most lucrative fight in the history of boxing. But even the spectre of coronavirus and the Black Lives Matter protests have not completely interrupted the activity of the world’s biggest stars. As they said on the other side of the Atlantic: “Show must go on”.
At the top of this year’s list of the most highly paid celebrities are Kylie Jenner and Kanye West, who earned $590 million and $170 million respectively. The rapper received most of his income from his Yeezy collaboration with Adidas, while the youngest member of the Jenner-Kardashian family earned this amount by selling 51% of his makeup brand to the giant Coty in January. Although the young woman has lied about her company’s profitability for several years, the sale of Kylie Cosmetics for $600 million still puts her at the top of the rankings. In the world of music, Ed Sheeran is asserting his dominance, with $776 million pocketed from his Divide Tour, which attracted 8.9 million fans. In two years, the British singer has managed to surpass the record set by U2 and is now ranked 23rd. Also in the rankings are Taylor Swift (25th position with $63.5 million) and Paul McCartney (93rd position with $37 million).
Among the athletes, it is Roger Federer who takes the lead, as he is ranked third with $106.3 million in revenues this year. Right behind him is Cristiano Ronaldo, who pocketed $105 million, becoming the first player to earn $1 billion during his career. On the women’s side, Naomi Osaka broke her own record, ranking 90th with $37 million. This makes her the highest paid sportswoman in history.
Meanwhile, the podcasting world is making its entry into the rankings, notably with Bill Simmons (13th position and $82.5 million), who sold his podcast company The Ringer to Spotify in February for $206 million. Another newcomer is Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator and actor of the hit musical Hamilton (62nd place at $45.5 million). The latter received $75 million in February from Walt Disney, which bought back the rights to the filmed version of his musical Founding Father.