The World’s Highest-Paid Celebrities of 2015

Sometimes it seems like every celebrity with any bit of renown simply floats through life without any need for cash, pelted with luxury gifts at every turn. But these people make real money, and it’s often a surprising amount. While they’re not on the level of monsters like hedge fund managers and bank executives, some of our favorite actors, musicians, and athletes do make a relative boatload of money.

We gathered a list of 100 of the world’s highest paid celebrities, counting down to the very richest among them. We’re pretty confident that you’ll be surprised by a lot of this list, especially the top five, so read ’em and weep, as they say!

100. Sofía Vergara ( Television Actress – $28.5 M )sofia1-jpg

The Modern Family star has been acting for a while, but only recently became a household name with her ABC sitcom. Born in Colombia, she became the host of two talk shows on Spanish-language channel Univision in the 1990s before entering the world of American film. As of 2012-13, she was the highest paid actress on television!

99. Blake Shelton ( Musician – $28.5 M )Blake

Famed country sensation Blake Shelton, who recently divorced fellow singing star Miranda Lambert, is one of the highest paid entertainers in his field. That might be due to the fact that he is one of the hosts of TV phenomenon The Voice, helping bring new talent into the spotlight.

98. Jennifer Lopez ( Musician – $28.5 M )jen

While she may not be at the same peak level of pop culture saturation as she once was, Jennifer Lopez is doing a-ok, you guys. Along with her clothing line and film roles, she’s still making music and is busy being, well, a fashion icon. Not many people are icons!


97. Miranda Lambert ( Musician – $28.5 M )miranda

She rose to fame after becoming a finalist on Nashville Star in 2003 (think American Idol for the cowboy set) and dropped a series of increasingly hit records over the next decade, getting married to Blake Shelton in 2011 and divorced this past year. Best of all, she won a Grammy last year. That kind of attention demands a high pay grade.

96. Kevin Hart ( Comedian – $28.5 M )kevin

We just love Kevin Hart! He’s hilarious, humble, and always willing to crack a joke about his shorter-than-average stature. He’s finally making it big with a string of Hollywood films and successful standup specials after winning amateur comedy competitions in the late 90s. As one of the real good guys, we’re glad to see he makes some serious bank.

95. Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting ( Television Actress – $28.5 M )kaley

Recognized worldwide for her starring role in the biggest sitcom on earth, The Big Bang Theory, Kaley Cuoco is the dream girl of geeks and non-geeks all over. One of the best perks of starring on a megahit TV show is the astronomical pay, so we’re not surprised to report her number!

94. Channing Tatum ( Actor – $29 M )channing

Aside being the fantasy guy for your sister, your mom, and even your girlfriend, Channing Tatum is supposedly a super nice dude. More than that, though, he’s coupled his action movie good looks with a classic sense of humor and relatability to become one of the biggest stars in Hollywood today.

93. James Rodriguez ( Athlete – $29 M )james

Rodriguez, for those not well versed in international sports, is a Colombian national footballer who now plays for Real Madrid, one of the top FIFA teams on earth. When he was traded to the team, it was for a fee higher than any Colombian player in history!

92. Jim Parsons ( Television Actor – $29 M )jim

So we’re already back at The Big Bang Theory, with another star from the show: Jim Parsons. While a lot of us first saw him as the bumbling Medieval Times knight in Garden State over a decade ago, it wasn’t until that show rocketed into the stratosphere that Parsons became a household name with a salary to match.


91. Carson Palmer ( Athlete – $29 M )carson

After winning the Heisman trophy in 2002 and being chosen in the first round of the 2003 draft by the Bengals, he’s now quarterback for the Cardinals. He’s one of the most visible players in the game, and one of the most successful as well. That kind of recognition makes for a pretty pay scale, to the surprise of no one.

90. Sean Hannity ( Personality – $29 M )sean

As divisive as he is, ill-informed as he is, and often loathsome as he is, nobody can deny that Hannity attracts a TON of eyeballs with his show on Fox News. The guy’s got personality to spare and has verbally sparred with the top of the top when it comes to politics. That kind of magnetic attraction warrants some serious pay.

89. Leonardo DiCaprio ( Actor – $29 M )leonardo

Would you just look at him? He brings that smoldering charm literally everywhere he goes. Even better than most marquee actors, DiCaprio can truly act, as his numerous awards and nominations show. Even though he’s yet to win an Oscar (we’re pulling for him!) he’s got enough recognition and wealth to tide him over.

88. Maria Sharapova ( Athlete – $29.5 M )maria

While it must be a little disappointing to know that she’s more famous for her radiant looks than for her considerable skill on the tennis court, Maria Sharapova is still one of the top paid players in the game. Whether she’s flying across the clay or gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated, she’s certainly earning her pay.

87. Johnny Depp ( Actor – $30 M )johnny

For years known as a quirky, sensitive, and daring actor in weird dramas and out-there indies, Johnny Depp struck figurative gold when he signed on to play Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. In the decade-plus since, he’s become one of the most bankable actors on earth, all while retaining his strange charm.

86. Carmelo Anthony ( Athlete – $30.5 M )carmelo

Here’s another pro baller you may not be familiar with if you’re not a fan of professional basketball, but to the folks who follow the game, he’s a very welcome, familiar face who’s easily proven his value as a star player for the New York Knicks.

85. Britney Spears ( Musician – $31 M )britney

Oops, she did it again? While she might not be the extreme mega-star she once was, and that brief period of instability a decade ago gave way to memes and umbrella attack jokes, the fact remains that Spears is still one of the biggest stage draws on earth. Her live tours sell out across the globe, and her name recognition alone demands some serious pay. When you’re a superstar like Britney, the money is worth it.

84. Neymar ( Athlete – $31 M )neymar

This guy is another international football star who Americans may be less than familiar with, but he’s well known enough that he goes by a mononym – that’s some rarified air only known to the likes of Madonna, Prince, and Mario! The FC Barcelona player’s full name is Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, so we can understand the shortening!

83. Eminem ( Hip-hop star – $31 M )eminem

Would the real Slim Shady please stand up? That’s him right there, looking fit and healthy after a string of dark years. His comeback has not only won him a new generation of fans, but cemented his legacy in hip-hop history. Above and beyond that, he’s become one of the highest paid artists in the game. After all that he’s been through and worked for, we think that’s well warranted!

82. Mahendra Singh Dhoni ( Athlete – $31 M )mahendra

Cricket may not be a lauded sport like football or baseball, but Mahendra Singh Dhoni seems to have made enough of an impression in the sport to earn big bucks. As an Indian cricketer and the current captain of the Indian national cricket team in limited-overs formats, he is also regarded as one of the greatest finishers in the sport.

81. Dwayne Johnson ( Actor – $31.5 M )dwayne

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson – a big time actor, producer, and wrestler – has proved time and again that he is a true action hero! After leaving the ring for the silver screen, he did well for himself in films like San Andreas, the Fast and Furious franchise, and Hercules. He’s moved back to the ring in part-time appearances and to the small screen where he produces and hosts the show, The Hero.

80. Pharrell Williams ( Musician – $32 M )pharrel

American singer, songwriter, rapper, music producer, and fashion designer are just a few of the titles that Pharrell can lay claim to. The ten-time Grammy winning artist has made quite a name for himself in the music industry over the years, making him fully deserving of his place on our list.

79. Mark Wahlberg ( Actor – $32 M )mark

Actor-producer Mark Wahlberg made bank off his 2015 film Ted 2 as well as his slew of other big name film like The Departed, Planet of the Apes, and The Italian Job, just to name a few. He also claims the title of executive producer of such HBO hits as Entourage (loosely based on his own experiences in Hollywood), Boardwalk Empire, and Ballers starring Dwayne Johnson.

78. Zac Brown Band ( Musician – $32 M )zac

Country music sensation Zac Brown Band earned a third consecutive number one album this year with Jekyll + Hyde. Since 2009, the band has earned 55 award nominations and won 8, clearly cementing their place in this list.

77. Rafael Nadal ( Athlete – $32.5 M )rafael

This Spanish professional tennis player is currently ranks 7th in the world and is considered to be one of the greatest clay court players in the history of the sport. So much so that he has been given the title “The King of Clay.” He also holds the 2008 olympic gold medal in singles tennis and has won countless titles over the course of his career. He’s clearly worth his weight.

76. Akshay Kumar ( Actor – $32.5 M )akshay

An Indian actor, producer, and martial artist, Akshay Kumar has appeared in over 100 Hindi films and is one of the most successful actors in the history of Indian cinema. In 2007 he was crowned the King of Bollywood, an apt title for this Indian mega-star, and is one of the highest-paid actors in the world. As he performs his own stunts in his movies, he’s earned the nickname of the “Indian Jackie Chan”.

75. Sebastian Vettel ( Athlete – $33 M )sebastian

This German driver dominated the F1 racing sport between 2010 and 2013, winning the World Championship each year and going on to fulfill his dream of driving for Ferrari starting in 2014. He is one of only four drivers to have ever won four or more driver’s titles. Depending on his performance he could earn bonuses giving him a total payout of more than $40 million.

74. Dr. Dre ( Musician – $33 M )

Source: Music Times

Producer, rapper, and entrepreneur, Dr. Dre is also the founder and current CEO of Aftermath Entertainment and Beats Electronics. Sales of Beats headphones alone brought in over $620 million in the last year and his extensive production catalogue earns him a spot on this list.

73. Maroon 5 ( Musician – $33 M )maroon 5

American pop-rock supergroup, Maroon 5 just keep hitting all the right notes (pun intended). The ticket prices for their current tour are one of the highest, second only to Fleetwood Mac. With hit song after hit song, it’s no wonder that they’ve made it onto the list.

72. Salman Khan ( Actor – $33.5 M )salman

One of the most influential personalities to come out of Indian cinema, actor Salman Khan is also a stage performer, TV celebrity, and humanitarian. In the media he is often referred to as “The Tiger of Bollywood”, “Blockbuster Khan”, and “Box-office King” with over 80 films under his belt. This Bollywood bad boy’s off-screen life is marred with controversy; he was convicted of poaching in 2006, and sentenced to five years in prison this past May for a 2002 hit-and-run car incident resulting in one death.

71. Amitabh Bachchan ( Actor – $33.5 M )amitabh

Titled “India’s first angry young man” in the 70’s, he has since appeared in over 180 Indian films in a career spanning more than four decades. Bachchan bolsters his earnings as the longstanding host of India’s version of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” (“Kaun Banega Crorepati”), which aired its eighth season in 2014. He also made his Hollywood debut in 2013 with The Great Gatsby, in which he played a non-Indian Jewish character, Meyer Wolfsheim.