Forbes likes to count. They count the richest bankers, the richest under-30, the richest CEOs and on and on. But the list that most intrigues is always the Celebrity 100. Because it’s not inherited money or a windfall from an acquisition by Google. Instead it’s a cultural barometer, because the celeb money is cash the famous collect almost directly from the public, by selling their music or their soccer skills, their books or their concert tickets, their daytime talk or the satellite radio shows.
Some, like Taylor Swift and One Direction who top the list, made their money on massive concert tours — plus endorsements and music sales. Others, like Cristiano Ronaldo and Howard Stern, make a salary — plus endorsements and sundry side deals including stock options, etc. One surprise, perhaps, among the expected names is Dr. Phil. One might expect Dr. Phil to live in the top 100, but beating Howard Stern by $3 million and nestling into the No. 4 spot? There’s proof positive that it’s a big world, and anybody can win. Below is the Forbes Celebrity 100’s Top 10 for 2016. (Dr. Phil McGraw has parlayed his Oprah connection into massive sales, plus he’s exec producing and, of course, has his own very profitable show.) LeBron James, in case you were wondering, is number 11.
1.Taylor Swift, $170 million
2. One Direction, $110 million
3. James Patterson, $95 million
4. Dr. Phil, $88 million
4. Cristiano Ronaldo, $88 million
6. Kevin Hart, $87.5 million
7. Howard Stern, $85 million
8. Lionel Messi, $81.5 million
9. Adele, $80.5 million
10. Rush Limbaugh, $79 million