Only three celebrities on this year’s Forbes Celebrity 100 list retained their top 10 status from 2014:
Some celebrities work their whole careers to get to the top of Forbes’ ranking of the world’s highest paid celebrities. This year’s 1-2 punch worked just one night. But what a night—payday-wise.
Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao rank first and second on Forbes’ 2015 Celebrity 100 list, which measures the earnings of the world’s highest-paid entertainers over the past 12 months. The boxers battled on May 2 in a bout that brought in a record 4.4 million Pay-Per-View buys as well as an unprecedented total gate ($73 million) and sponsorships ($13 million), according to Forbes writer Zack O’Malley Greenburg.
Mayweather’s $300 million year—the highest annual sum ever for an athlete—mostly comes for the fight that many consider to be otherwise underwhelming. Pacaquiao ranks second with $160 million, $125 million of which was his take-home from the Mayweather bout.
At No. 3, no slouch in the knockout department, is Katy Perry with $135 million, making her the highest-earning non-boxer on the list. During Forbes’ scouting period, Perry grossed more than $2 million per day over the course of 126 shows on her Prismatic World Tour. This doesn’t even figure in her merchandising sales, endorsements and a new mobile game scheduled for release in the fall.
The highest-ranking band on Forbes’ Celebrity 100 list is One Direction, coming in at No. 4 with $130 million. Forbes notes that the world’s most popular boy band’s payday is more than twice as high as that of the Rolling Stones, who are currently on tour.
Rounding out the top five is the self-proclaimed King of all Media, Howard Stern with $95 million. He is currently in contract negotiations with Sirius XM Radio. He recently announced he will exit “America’s Got Talent,” which he has appeared as a judge since 2012/
Forbes has released is ranking of the world’s highest-paid celebrities since 1999. This year’s list, for the first time, ranked the world’s highest paid celebrities regardless of nationality. Thus, Salman Khan and Amitabh Bachchan, two Bollywood superstars, rank higher on the Forbes’ list than Leonardo DiCaprio and Channing Tatum.
In another change, this year’s rankings focus only on “front of the camera” talent rather than those who make most of their money behind the scenes. The 2015 list measures money earned between June 1, 2014 to June 1, 2015 before subtracting management fees and taxes.
Only three celebrities on this year’s list retained their top 10 status from 2014: Mayweather (ranked No. 7 last year), Perry (no. 9 last year), and Robert Downey, Jr. (8th on this year’s list, up from 10)
Dropped from the top 10 was last year’s highest-paid celebrity, Beyonce Knowles, followed by Lebron James (previously No. 2), Dr. Dre (3), Oprah Winfrey (4), Ellen DeGeneres (5), Jaz Z (6), and Rhianna (8).
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.