Reality television isn’t the same as it was 20 years ago. Many people that have walked off reality shows to become stars of their own with endorsement deals, a legion of fans, and a plethora of cash. Some celebrities that already came from fame in their respective field try to expose their brand to a wider audience with their reality show stints. With so many popular reality stars out there, it’s hard to tell who’s actually making a legit living. We take a look at 12 reality stars that have made it big when it comes to their bank account.
#12 Snooki – $4 million
“Jersey Shore” star Nicole Elizabeth “Snooki” LaValle has been quite busy since the popular MTV reality show ended in 2012. Aside from appearing in her own reality show with “Jersey Shore” co-star Jennifer Farley “Snooki & Jwoww,” the New Jersey resident turn to wrestling for a moment with appearances on “WWE Raw” and “Wrestlemania 27.” She has two children with her husband Jionni LaValle. She has made over $4 million from her two MTV shows.
#11 NeNe Leakes – $12 million
“The Real Housewives of Atlanta” star NeNe Leakes stepped out of the reality TV world and made acting appearances in “Glee” and “The New Normal.” In 2014, she put on her dancing shoes and competed in “Dancing with the Stars,” which found her finishing in seventh place with her partner Tony Dovolani. From her seven seasons on “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” she has made $12 million.
#10 Willie Robertson – $20 million
“Duck Dynasty” star Willie Robertson, who is also known as “Boss Hog,” managed to turn his duck call business into a national business with the popular reality show. The CEO of Duck Commander has made guest appearances on “Whose Line Is It Anyway?,” “Last Man Standing,” and “God’s Not Dead.” The Louisiana native is estimated to be worth over $20 million.
#9 Susan Boyle – $23 million
Susan Boyle became an overnight sensation on “Britain’s Got Talent” in 2009, and she has since become one of the biggest singers in the U.K. with a net worth of $35 million. Her 2009 debut album I Dreamed a Dream would debut at number one on the U.S. and U.K. album charts, and it would go on to sell over 10 million copies worldwide. Overall, her six studio albums would sell over 23 million copies worldwide.
#8 Blake Shelton – $60 million
Aside from being a judge on the highly popular singing competition “The Voice,” Blake Shelton is also one of the biggest country artists in the world with 10 million albums sold worldwide and consistent sold out shows. With a salary of $6 million per year on “The Voice,” the Oklahoma native has earned over $60 million. Annually, he makes around $30 million per year.
#7 Tyra Banks – $90 million
Supermodel Tyra Banks is one of the most influential women in the world. The California native won two Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Talk Show with “The Tyra Banks Show,” and she is the creative mind behind the long-running model reality show “America’s Next Top Model.” With her cosmetic brand Tyra Beauty and her production company Bankable Productions, she has a net worth of $90 million.
#6 Gordon Ramsay – $120 million
Chef Gordon Ramsay has been delivering wisecracks and motivation on his cooking reality series “Hell’s Kitchen,” “Kitchen Nightmares,” “MasterChef,” “MasterChef Junior,” and “Hotel Hell.” He also owns several restaurants in North America, Europe, and Asia. He has a net worth of $120 million. In 2015, he earned $60 million, which made him the 21st highest earning celebrity that year.
#5 Judith Sheindlin – $47 million
Judith Sheindlin has been handling cases in the courtroom on the reality show “Judge Judy.” Since debuting in 1996, the show has become one of the highest rating programs on daytime television. In 2015, she received the Guinness World Record for being the longest serving judge on a courtroom-themed programming. Sheindlin has a net worth of $200 million. She makes $47 million yearly for 52 episodes.
#4 Ryan Seacrest – $330 million
Ryan Seacrest has become one of the biggest hosts in television and radio with his 14-year stint on “American Idol” and his current stint as the host of “American Top 40,” which he started in 2004. Aside from hosting, the Atlanta native has also produced the hit reality shows “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” and “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.” He is worth $330 million.
#3 Howard Stern – $95 million
Howard Stern has been America’s biggest shock jock since 1986, but the New York City native was displayed in a different light as the judge in the popular reality competition “America’s Got Talent” from 2012 to 2015. His net worth is around $500 million. In 2015, he earned the title of highest paid media personality with a salary of $95 million from his radio show on SiriusXM.
#2 Simon Cowell – $95 million
Simon Cowell has easily ended more music careers than started as the judge on “American Idol,” “The X Factor,” and “America’s Got Talent.” Aside from judging the future of music, Cowell has also been a part of several charities over the years, including Together for Short Lives. He has a net worth of $550 million. He currently makes $95 million per year.
#1 Jennifer Lopez – $400 million
Platinum-selling singer Jennifer Lopez has become one of the most successful women in the world with her various clothing lines and fragrances. She received around $20 million per season while being a judge on “American Idol.” Lopez also gained the Guinness World Records for first remix album to hit number one with 2003’s “J to tha L-O! The Remixes” and the highest viewed female music video of all time with “On The Floor.” She has a net worth of $400 million.
With so many rich reality stars coming up, it will be interesting to see how things will change over the next year. Will the same folks reign supreme? Which new star will rise up and become one of the wealthiest people out there? Whatever happens, it’s safe to say that the price tag for being on a reality television show is even higher than ever, and there will be plenty of people ready to do what they can to earn as much as they can. Be sure to comment below with your list of favorite reality stars and your thoughts on this list.