Top Ten Highest Paid Entertainers In The World

From Left: Genesis, Brad Pitt, Taylor Swift and James Cameron

In 2022, these highest-earning artists, musicians, and creators earned more than $1.3 billion.

In October 2022, Taylor Swift released her tenth studio album, “Midnights,” making her the first artist in history to reach the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100 song chart.

A month later, 14 million devoted fans attempted to purchase tickets for the 12-time Grammy winner’s 2023 Eras Tour. This resulted in a massive backlash against Ticketmaster and the Department of Justice reportedly initiating an antitrust investigation into the ticket site.

The pop icon made the majority of her $92 million in earnings from music she had previously released, despite the popularity of “Eras and Midnights”. The 33-year-old’s back catalog, which includes earnings from album and streaming sales, made up about 70% of her pay.

According to a report from an analyst at JPMorgan, Universal Music Group, which receives 3% of Swift’s revenue, sold $50 million worth of physical albums in 2022. The musician was ranked No. 9 because of this alone. Out of the nine of the top ten highest-paid entertainers; She has made the cut six times, and she came in at No. 1 in 2019.

Even better than Swift’s year was the year of several aging rock stars. During their European Sixty tour last year, the Rolling Stones earned $98 million by belting out their hits and commemorating their 60th anniversary.

Sting and Genesis performed even better. Although not at the jaw-dropping valuations of the landmark $500 million deals between Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, both artists sold their entire works for $300 million, demonstrating that investors continue to view popular music with extensive libraries as a safe bet. Despite the fact that the deal does not include the work of former member Peter Gabriel, Genesis was deemed to be of such high value.

Due to an estimated $27 million in touring revenue, Genesis even outperformed the former Police frontman (who younger fans may be more familiar with due to his cameo in ‘Hulu’s Only Murders In The Building’ alongside Selena Gomez), earning the top spot on the list for the first time ever.

There are numerous additional indications that the entertainment industry values certainty. Two people who came up with America’s favorite yellow family make their television debut at No. 5, as a result of a 2019 streaming agreement that moved all 30 seasons to Disney+ and paid them a reported $105 million per year.

After a period of a dozen years, James Cameron, the director you “Never Bet Against,” is back in the top 10. The blue-skinned creatures in his Avatar sequel, The Way of Water, have given the box office some much-needed life. Since its December release, it has earned over $2.1 billion while still playing in theaters.

Box-office stars’ lives have been harder. Brad Pitt and Tyler Perry are the only people in the top 10 who made most of their money off-screen. In a deal in December that was worth $300 million, Pitt sold a majority stake in his production company, Plan B, to the European media conglomerate Mediawan. The last time Pitt was in the top 10 was in 2009. An estimated third of his earnings came from his roles in The Lost City, Bullet Train, and Babylon.

The only genuine newcomer to the list this year is: According to concert tracker Pollstar, Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny sold $400 million worth of tickets to his two tours—one in the spring in the United States and one in the fall across the United States and Latin America.

The World’s Hottest was the name of his second tour, which was expensive. According to sources with knowledge of the tour, it took between 35 and 40 trucks to transport crew and gear from one venue to another across the United States. For the Latin American leg, three planes, including a 747 cargo jet, were used to transport everything. Even though this kind of spectacle made sales go up, it cost the star less money. Bad Bunny’s earnings, including endorsements, totaled $88 million.

Top Ten Richest Clubs In The World

The top 10 earners from last year, which included Jay-Z, Kanye “Ye” West, and Bruce Springsteen, earned $1.35 billion this year. Only two names were on either list: Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of South Park, Tyler Perry.

  1. Genesis • $230 M
    The pioneers of progressive rock topped 2022 with a $300 million music rights sale to Concord Music Group in September. The deal comprised publishing rights and a selection of recorded music income streams from the group, as well as solo income streams from Phil Collins (including hit song “In The Air Tonight”) and bandmates Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford. Touring and recorded music royalties rounded out their income.
  2. Sting • $210 M
    The 17-time Grammy winner and former Police frontman—known for hits including “Every Breath You Take” and “Roxanne”—pocketed $300 million before fees by selling his entire musical output, both solo and with The Police, to Universal Music Group in February. “It’s a good catalog,” says one longtime industry attorney on the British singer’s work. “Wouldn’t mind owning it.”
  3. Tyler Perry • $175 M
    Just call multi-hyphenate Perry a modern Renaissance man. The actor-director-writer-studio mogul had another lucrative year thanks to simultaneous income streams from film, his BET TV shows and the sprawling production backlot he outright owns in Atlanta. In his second year among Forbes’ top 10 highest-paid entertainers, Perry is the list’s sole billionaire with an estimated $1 billion fortune.
  4. Trey Parker & Matt Stone • $160 M
    The devilish duo behind South Park had another banner year, thanks to earnings from a legacy HBO Max deal and Book of Mormon, their comedic musical (and skewering) of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The majority comes from their Paramount deal, signed in 2021 and guaranteeing the pair $935 million over six years.
  5. James L. Brooks & Matt Groening • $105 M
    America’s favorite yellow cartoon family, The Simpsons, migrated all 30 seasons to Disney+ from FX in an April 2019 streaming deal made after Disney’s previous acquisition of Fox for some $52 billion. Series co-creators Brooks and Groening aren’t having a cow, man, having earned a previously unreported $105 million annually after fees, according to sources familiar with the deal.
  6. Brad Pitt • $100 M
    Pitt’s majority sale of his Plan B production company in December earned the actor an estimated $113 million after fees. The deal also had Hollywood chattering. “It’s definitely become a brand,” says one lawyer, adding that Plan B in addition to producing Oscar winners Moonlight, 12 Years A Slave and Martin Scorsese’s The Departed, likely owns back ends and has a development slate that would increase its value. Others weren’t sold. “It doesn’t really have assets,” says a second attorney, pointing out that the company simply produces projects, rather than owning them. Pitt earned an additional estimated $30 million from roles in Bullet Train, Babylon and The Lost City.
  7. Rolling Stones • $98 M
    If Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and company can’t get (no) satisfaction from a $136 million grossing tour and record royalties, then perhaps they should paint their coffers black. The OG British rockers pocketed over $8.5 million per night on a 15-city tour across Europe last summer, according to concert tracker Pollstar.
  8. James Cameron • $95 M
    His wallet will go on: The smash success of Avatar: The Way of Water made Cameron the director of three of the highest-grossing movies of all time, alongside the first Avatar (2009) and Titanic (1997). His second outing to Pandora netted him at least $95 million, according to industry insiders, in a deal that’s said to be back-end-heavy with bonuses for crossing certain box office thresholds.
  9. Taylor Swift • $92 M
    Combined income streams from physical record sales, streaming on platforms like Spotify, digital downloads, licensing and sync make up Swift’s earnings. It begs the question: What can’t the 33-year-old superstar (and her loyal fanbase, the Swifties) accomplish? Crashing Ticketmaster with insane demand for her Midnights tour in November suggests an even bigger 2023 for her, as she’ll be on the road for 52 nights across the U.S. with a potential nine-figure payout as a result.
  10. Bad Bunny • $88 M
    The Puerto Rican rapper, best known for combining reggaeton (a mix of Caribbean reggae and mainland rap) with Latin trap (a hip-hop subgenre with roots in the southern U.S.) charmed millions around the world as he flew on a palm tree on tour, appeared alongside Brad Pitt in Bullet Train and challenged machismo with genderfluid style. The lion’s share of his income came from two tours: El Último Tour Del Mundo, performed in arenas, and The World’s Hottest Tour, his first time playing in the biggest possible stadiums. Endorsements with the likes of Corona, Cheetos and Adidas were icing on the cake.

Source: Forbes Magazine

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