Top Earning Women in the Forbes Celebrity 100 Has Surprises

Forbes Celebrity 100 Surprises

The Forbes Celebrity 100, which features the world’s highest-paid celebrities, is a mix of actors, musicians, professional athletes and personalities. Given their celebrity status, they’re all familiar names. However, their appearance on the line up may not be quite what you expected.

The rich list features nifty filters to navigate the overall standing of everybody or to filter the list by age, industry and more. What interested me most is the women’s category. There are only five women in the top 30 overall. They are Katy Perry ($135m), Taylor Swift ($80m), Ellen DeGeneres ($75m), Lady Gaga ($59m) and Beyonce Knowles ($54.5 m).

The top five highest-paid women weren’t too surprising for me personally. I know Katy Perry has become quite the international export, even scoring a Forbes print cover for exactly that. Taylor Swift bends and wields the music industry with the touch of a button (literally), such as when she promoted proper royalties and practices for musicians on Apple Music over Twitter this year and won.

Ellen has become a TV icon, filling the Oprah void on daytime talks hows nicely in a style that is completely her own. She’s hilarious and the proud owner of killer dance moves. (Admittedly, I did expect O to appear on the top half of the women’s list—or anywhere. She’s a billionaire though. That puts her on a whole other level!) Lady Gaga has a fiercely loyal fan base, and then there is Beyonce. Just the mere uttering of her name needs no explanation. They don’t call her Queen B for nothing!

The second half of the top ten is what surprised me most. Kim Kardashian, a personality who arguably created celebrity out of just existing, came in at number six with $52.5m. Not a fan of Kim K, but I do respect her undeniable gift at self-branding and promotion. She’s only a few million behind Beyonce and doesn’t do anything nearly as impressive from a creative, professional standpoint.

Jennifer Lawrence came in at seven with $52m. This wasn’t a shocker, as the Oscar winner has been a Hollywood favorite for a few years. Okay, now here is where things got weird. Judge Judy (Judy Sheindlin) is at eight with $47m. I honestly had no idea she still carried that much earning power. Gisele Bundchen, who is one of the highest-paid models, came in at nine with $44m. Didn’t expect her to be so high on the list. Finally, number 10 was Scarlett Johansson with $35.5m. Although she is one of The Avengers, which is one of the highest-earning franchises of all time, shattering box office records, I had no idea how much Johansson made. I am a huge fan though, so I am happy for her.

Did any of these surprise you?


Opinion pieces reflect the views of the writer and not ForbesRichListFacts. Column written by Jen Meyers.