This Was the Highest Paid Judge on ‘The Voice’ Before Ariana Grande, and It’s Not Adam Levine

The Voice is adding Ariana Grande to its long list of judges. The “Positions” singer will appear as a judge alongside John Legend, Kelly Clarkson, and Blake Shelton for for season 21, which will premiere this fall. She’s replacing Nick Jonas on the competition series, and she’s getting paid a lot of money to do it. In fact, Grande’s pay for The Voice is millions of dollars more than any other coach, but who had the highest paycheck beforehand?

Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson, Adam Levine, and John Legend stand in front of a lit mirror at the 2019 NBCUniversal Upfront
Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson, Adam Levine, and John Legend | Heidi Gutman/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

Which ‘Voice’ coach has the highest net worth?

The Voice changes its judge panel frequently. The one staple has been Shelton, who has been on the show since season 1. The original judges of The Voice were Shelton, Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera, and CeeLo Green. Other judges include Gwen Stefani, Pharrell Williams, Usher, Alicia Keys, Miley Cyrus, Shakira, and Jennifer Hudson.

Of The Voice Season 21 judges, Grande has the highest net worth by far. She is worth $180 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Shelton is worth $100 million, Legend is worth $75 million, and Clarkson is worth $45 million. Shakira has the highest net worth of any of the coaches, past and present. She is worth $300 million, per Celebrity Net Worth. Williams follows behind her at $200 million.

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How much is Ariana Grande making for ‘The Voice’? How much do other ‘The Voice’ judges make?

Although Shelton is the second wealthiest coach for season 21, he has never been the highest paid celebrity on the show. He and Levine were both paid $13 million for The Voice Season 1, according to The Wrap. And when Levine left the show after season 16, he was being paid $14 million per season. It’s not known if Shelton has gotten a raise, but according to StyleCaster, he and Stefani got bonuses to stay on the show as a couple.

NBC is doling out a lot of money to get Grande on the show. On March 31, Rob Shuter said on iHeartRadio’s Naughty But Nice podcast that the “Worst Behavior” singer is being paid between $20 and $25 million.

Ariana Grande in a lavender dress at Billboard's 13th Annual Women In Music on Dec. 6, 2018
Ariana Grande | Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

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The highest paid ‘The Voice’ judges before Ariana Grande

Although Shelton and Levine were on the show the longest, other co-stars were paid more than them. Aguilera was the highest paid judge before Grande, earning $17 million for seasons 1, 2, and 3. However, she took a pay cut to $12.5 million for seasons 8 and 10.

Clarkson was the next highest paid, earning $15 million per season. Legend’s starting salary on the show was $13 million. It’s not known if he has negotiated a raise.

It’s worth noting Legend is seemingly the only Black judge on ‘The Voice’ to receive a starting salary equal to Shelton and Levine’s. According to The Wrap, Green reportedly only earned $2 million for season 1 compared to Shelton, Levine, and Aguilera. Hudson reportedly earned $10 million. Williams and Keys received a reported salary of $8 million for their first seasons. And Usher reportedly earned $7 million.