You Won’t Believe Who the World’s Highest-Paid Celebrity Is

It may be frowned upon to ask someone about their salary at the office, but as humans, we have a natural curiosity to know how much someone else makes. When it comes to celebrities, fans want to know just how much it takes Kylie Jenner to maintain her fabulous lifestyle or just how much Ed Sheeran makes from touring the globe. 

As it does every year, Forbes magazine has gathered a list of the highest-paid celebrities. There are a few newcomers to the list and a few who seem to have a permanent home in the top 10. Who comes in at number one? The answer may surprise you. 

Who is 2019’s highest-paid celebrity?

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift | Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

Taylor Swift, former country singer and massively successful pop star, has topped the Forbes list for highest-paid celebrities in 2019. The Pennsylvania native brought in $185 million over the past 365 days (pre-tax) topping her 2016 earnings (which also earned her the top spot) by $25 million. 

Swift failed to make the top 10 in 2018, bringing in just $80 million for the year. This year, a large portion of her earnings came from her Reputation Stadium Tour. The tour brought in $266 million domestically. Swift also partnered with Netflix this year to share footage of her tour with fans. 

The singer continues to be one of the most bankable singers in music. With 10 Grammy awards, 119 million Instagram followers, and an estimated net worth of over $320 million, the 29-year-old doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon. 

This year’s list saw a few newcomers

Swift wasn’t the only new person to join the top ten: Kanye West also landed a spot in the top 10, coming in at number three, right behind sister-in-law Kylie Jenner. West made approximately $150 million last year with Forbes reporting that the bulk of it came from his Yeezy brand. The brand brought in an estimated $1 billion in sales last year. 

Jenner came in just behind Swift, earning $170 million, about $3 million more than she made the year before. Jenner’s income from her highly successful Kylie Cosmetics brand, which she owns 100%.

Ed Sheeran jumped up from number nine to number five and professional soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo came in at number six with $109, hopping up four spots from number 10 in 2018. But the rest of the list is filled with newcomers to the top ten. Talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw came in at number nine making $95 million and The Eagles came in at number eight with $100 million. George Clooney who came in at number two in 2018 failed to make the top ten, as did Floyd Mayweather who topped last year’s list. 

Taylor Swift’s top spot comes amid drama 

Swift has been in the headlines lately, not for her new music, but her older work. In accordance with contractual agreements that Swift made when she was just 15, the singer doesn’t own a lot of her earlier work

Swift took to Tumblr to post her disappointment in the recent sale of Big Machine Records, her former record label. Swift said she made the choice to leave the label after she learned that the only way she would be able to gain ownership of her master recordings would be to make new recordings and earn one old album for every new album. 

The master recordings have since been purchased by music executive Scooter Braun, whom Swift blames for many of the issues that have plagued her throughout her career. The singer wrote on Tumblr that she is sick and disgusted that a man who has caused her so much pain now holds ownership of much of her earlier work. Swift hopes to gain ownership of these original recordings in the future, but for now, she is thankful that she works with a label who allows her to own all of her current and future master recordings.