The 20 Richest Celebrities On The Planet

By on May 14, 2015 in ArticlesEntertainment

Stars like Beyoncé, Elton John, and Johnny Depp are up there, but none of them make the cut when it comes to the twenty richest celebs. They might have private jets and islands, but they have a ways to go before they're up there with the greats. Well, maybe not a ways to go. They're pretty close. It's not as if Beyoncé is worried about paying the gas bill or anything. So who are the top twenty richest celebs? They're a mix of music moguls, hip-hop icons, actors, magicians, and cartoonists. Some of them seem like no-brainers, and some are head scratchers. Take a look…

#20 Paolo Coelho 

Net Worth: $500 Million

Paulo Coelho is a Brazilian novelist, musician, and lyricist who has a net worth of $500 million. His novel The Alchemist became an international bestseller and cultural phenomenon. It has now sold more than 65 million copies around the world and holds the Guinness World Record for most translated book by an author who's still alive. Coelho's other work includes The Fifth Mountain, Veronika Decides to Die, Eleven Minutes, and The Witch of Portobello. His combined works have sold more than 150 million copies.

#19 Mariah Carey

Net Worth: $520 Million

Self-proclaimed diva Mariah Carey is a singer, songwriter, producer, and pop culture sensation with a net worth of $520 million. Carey has sold over 200 million albums worldwide to date. In 2000, Mariah Carey was given a $100 million recording contract with Virgin. It was the biggest contract in the history of music at the time. Years ago, her gigantic closet caused a stir on MTV's Cribs, and her wealth has only skyrocketed since then. This Mother's Day her manager gave her a $1,000 cake dusted with real gold.



#18 Simon Cowell

$550 Million

American Idol might be coming to an end, but Cowell's fortune isn't. The British reality show mogul was one of the original judges, after making a name for himself in England. He's also got X Factor money, and don't forget that little band One Direction. Cowell basically created them, and he's making a pretty penny off the boy band.

#17 Howard Stern

$550 Million

Stern is a radio host, ace interviewer, and media phenomenon. He signed a $1 million advance contract with Simon & Schuster in 1993 to publish his first biographical book, Private Parts, which was released on October 7, 1993. The book's first printing sold 225,000 copies within hours of going on sale, becoming the fastest-selling title in Schuster's history at the time. A film adaptation of the biographical Private Parts, in which Howard Stern plays himself in the title role, was released on March 7, 1997 and topped the box office in its opening weekend with a gross of $14.6 million. Stern continues to work for Sirius and is currently the highest-paid radio figure in the United States. He also earns $15 million per year as a judge on the hit NBC reality show America's Got Talent.

#16 Bono

$600 Million

Bono is the Irish singer/songwriter for U2, one of the biggest rock/pop bands of all time. He's also a businessman. His investment firm, Elevation Partners, purchased a 1.5% stake in Facebook for $90 million. At Facebook $220 billion market cap, that 1.5% stake is worth $3.3 billion. He's also a humanitarian and philanthropist, and the U2 cash just keeps rolling in.

#15 Celine Dion

$630 Million

Celine Dion is a Canadian singer who skyrocketed to international fame when she sang that now famous song My Heart Will Go On from mega-movie Titanic. She won the Academy Award and the Golden Globe for original song. Tickets for her Vegas show cost a pretty penny, and between that, album sales, merchandise, and her business ventures, she's one of the wealthiest celebs in the world.

#14 Jay-Z

$650 Million

Jay-Z aka Shawn Carter is a hip-hop mogul, rapper, songwriter, entrepreneur and husband of none other than Beyoncé.

He sold Rocaware clothing for $204 million back in 2007, and every single album he's ever released has gone platinum. His fortune also comes from endorsements from Chevy, Budweiser, Armadale Vodka, Hewlett Packard, his record deal with Live Nation is worth $150 million, and he has stakes in the New Jersey Nets, Arsenal Football Club, 40/40 nightclubs, and Def Jam Records. He should probably teach business classes at Harvard.



#13 James Cameron

$700 Million

James Cameron is a filmmaker and producer, and the creative force behind films like The Terminator, Aliens, Rambo II, The Abyss, Terminator 2, True Lies, Titanic and Avatar. In the U.S. alone, his movies have earned over $1.1 billion, and when you think about foreign markets as well as DVDs, video games, TV shows, investments, and merchandise you are easily looking at someone who has generated over $3 billion worth of revenues, unadjusted for inflation. And now he just needs to get that Avatar sequel going.

#12 P Diddy

$700 Million

P Diddy (aka Diddy, Sean Combs or Puff Daddy) is a rapper, actor, record producer, and men's fashion designer who has a net worth of $700 million dollars. After working his way up in the music industry, Diddy was promoted to a position as a top executive at Uptown, where he discovered and managed artists like Mary J Blige and Jodeci. After being fired from Uptown records, Diddy created his own record company, Bad Boy records, with clients like The Notorious B.I.G and Craig Mack, Carl Thomas, Father M.C., and Faith Evans. Diddy also began producing records for artists such as Boys II Men, Usher, Mariah Carey, and Aretha Franklin. He's also an actor, and his business ventures, which are part of his Bad Boy Entertainment Worldwide company, include a movie production company, and two restaurants, Bad Boy Records and the clothing lines Sean John, Sean by Sean Combs, and 3AM.



#11 Jim Davis

$800 Million

Jim Davis is a cartoonist known for his internationally successful comic strip, Garfield. Davis has also worked on five other strips, and has written numerous Garfield television specials. There's also the CGI series The Garfield Show, and he continues to produce his strip. Davis has penned (or served as a co-writer) all of the Emmy Award-winning or nominated Garfield TV specials. He still works on his various comic strips. He's living proof that you don't have to be the creator of The Simpsons to become one of the world's wealthiest cartoonists.

#10 David Copperfield

$800 Million

David Copperfield is an internationally known magician and performer, and his shows continually sell out, despite hefty price tags. Copperfield opened the International Museum and Library of the Conjuring Arts in Las Vegas, Nevada, which is dedicated to preserving the history and art of magic, and holds the world's largest magical artifact collection. He's a master at making things disappear, and lucky for him his fortune isn't one of them.

#9 Jerry Seinfeld

$800 Million

Jerry Seinfeld is a comedian and actor best known for playing the lead role on the hit sitcom Seinfeld. He continues to rake in the cash from Seinfeld reruns and syndication deals, and he also continues to do standup, web series (his Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is an online hit). He's one of the highest paid comedians in the U.S., and at this point in his career, he can pretty much do whatever he pleases.



#8 Madonna

$800 Million

Madonna is the queen bee of pop music, and her singles, records, concerts, merchandise, and film appearances have netted her an estimated $800 million. The Recording Industry Association of America has ranked Madonna as the Best-Selling Female Rock Artists of the 20th century. She is also the Number Two best-selling female artist in the U.S., with 64 million certified albums sold. Guinness World Records has labeled her the most successful female artist of all time.

#7 Dr. Dre

$810 Million

Dr. Dre became a member of electro-hop group World Class Wreckin' Cru, in 1984. After meeting fellow rapper Ice Cube, he joined rap project N.W.A. with Eazy-E under Ruthless Records and released the debut album Straight Outta Compton, in 1988. It would eventually be certified double platinum. Dre later co-founded Death Row Records with Suge Knight. He released his first solo album, The Chronic, which soared to number three on the Billboard 200 and went multiplatinum less than a year later. The album also earned Dr. Dre a Grammy for Best Rap Performance. In 1996, Dre established Aftermath Entertainment. His Beats By Dre headphone line was acquired by Apple for $3 billion.

Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for BET

Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for BET

#6 JK Rowling

$1 Billion

JK Rowling is the author of the Harry Potter series, and is one of the wealthiest private citizens in the United Kingdom and the first author in the world to achieve a net worth of $1 billion. Rowling was born in Yate, Gloucestershire, England on July 31, 1965. She studied French and Classics at the University of Exeter before becoming a researcher and then an English teacher in Portugal. Rowling conceived the idea for her first novel (the Potter series) during a delayed train ride in 1990 and finished it in 1995. And the rest is history.

#5 Paul McCartney

$1.2 Billion

Paul McCartney is a former Beatle and one of the most successful musicians in history. Between the albums, singles, merchandising, and re-recording rights, plus the fact that McCartney has sold over 100 million singles, this Beatle's net worth is in the billions.

#4 Jami Gertz

$2 Billion

Jami Gertz is an American actress and philanthropist who has a net worth of $2 billion dollars. Her net worth is mostly derived from her marriage to LA-based billionaire Tony Ressler, the co-founder of Ares Management which has over $40 billion under management. Ressler is a former owner of the Milwaukee Brewers and was once in the running to purchase the Dodgers. Gertz rose to fame in 80s TV shows and films like The Lost Boys and Less Than Zero, and she continues to act in both film and TV.

#3 Oprah Winfrey

$2.9 billion

Oprah Winfrey is a talk show host, actor, network exec, publishing phenomenon, and overall queen of all media. After working her way up, she became an internationally beloved daytime TV host. Her popularity led to magazines, networks, and various business ventures that have catapulted her into the billionaire's club.



#2 Steven Spielberg

$3.5 billion

Steven Spielberg is one of the most successful film directors in the history of Hollywood, with megahits like Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Arc, E.T., Saving Private Ryan, and Schindler's List under his belt. He's also a successful producer, founding partner of DreamWorks, and an Oscar winner. If Indiana Jones 5 is indeed in the works, it'll no doubt only add to his ever-growing fortune.

#1 George Lucas

$5.1 billion

George Lucas is a director, writer, producer and businessman who has a net worth of $5.1 billion. Lucas initially had his eye on a career in racing cars, but after an accident in high school Lucas' interests shifted. He developed a new interest – this one in film – and won accolades during his post-graduate studies, including a Warner Brothers student scholarship. His 1967 student film, Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB, was eventually made into his 1971 premier full-length feature film, THX 1138. That led to American Graffiti, which garnered five Academy Award nominations and grossed $115 million in domestic revenue alone. His biggest box-office hit and what came to seal Lucas as a Hollywood film legend is the epic Star Wars franchise, which has earned well over $5 billion in worldwide box office receipts. Lucas founded THX, Skywalker Sound, Industrial Light and Magic and LucasArts as subdivisions of his parent company, Lucasfilm Ltd. In 2005, Lucas received The Lifetime Achievement Award from The American Film Institute. In 2012, Lucas announced that he signed a deal to sell his entire Lucasfilm company to Disney for $4 billion. Lucas owned 100% of the company, which means the entire $4 billion went into his pocket, and as a result, his net worth more than doubled from $3.3 billion to $7.3 billion, overnight.

Articles Written by Dina Zipin
Dina is the author of Brokenomics, a book of humorous essays and tips about money. She has written for Forbes, Marie Claire, The Billfold, and Bustle. You can find her on Twitter @TheElf26. Follow her on Google+.
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