The Highest-Paid Entertainers 2022 (2023)


There has never been a better time to be a sellout–especially if you’re a superstar holding the rights to decades of hits. Almost half of the top 25 earners, including Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson and rocker Bruce Springsteen, secured their spots in the ranks by unloading all or pieces of their studios or music catalogs.

In December, Bruce Springsteen sold the masters and publishing rights to all his recorded music and songwriting—including 11 multi-platinum albums and five gold singles—for what sources say was almost $500 million. The buyer was Sony Music, parent company of his longtime label, Columbia Records. The blockbuster deal lands the 20-time Grammy winner at No. 2 on the Forbes list of Highest-Paid Entertainers of 2021, behind Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson, who collected $600 million in cash after selling part of his visual-effects company for $1.6 billion in November. That deal made Jackson a billionaire.

The Boss isn’t the only rocker on a financial roll. Other classic acts to sell their lucrative music catalogs in the past year include Bob Dylan, Paul Simon and Neil Young, who hauled in a combined $500 million before fees, enough for each to earn a spot in this year’s rankings. “These deals haven’t been hand-to-hand combat,” says Jon Landau, Springsteen’s manager of nearly half a century. “Everybody is getting what is in their interest.”

Music libraries aren’t the only pieces of content selling for far more than a song. In the past two years, major streaming services have spent some $3.7 billion to secure the rights to TV hits such as Friends and Law & Order, helping land the creators of both shows on this year’s entertainers list. A world crazy for content nabbed South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker a spot on this year’s list and a $900 million deal with Viacom, who wanted the 25-year-old hit for its streaming service. The top earning woman in entertainment last year, No. 12 Reese Witherspoon, makes the cut after selling a piece of her production company Hello Sunshine to private equity firm Blackstone BX at a $900 million valuation in August.

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(Video) The Highest-Paid Entertainers Of 2022 | Forbes

Jay-Z, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Kanye West all grabbed spots among the top five with their own 9-figure sums, most of it earned not from rapping, producing or acting, but from selling champagne, tequila and sneakers. Even the comparatively fresh-faced Taylor Swift, No. 25 with $52 million, made most of her money re-recording albums she first released a decade ago.

Altogether the 25 Highest-Paid Entertainers earned a combined $4.4 billion before taxes and fees in 2021, the vast majority of whom did it without creating anything new. (This is double the $2.2 billion that the top 25 celebrities earned in 2020.) Says Tom Freston, the former Viacom executive who greenlit South Park back when VHS tapes were still circulating: “There is so much choice these days. People gravitate to what they know.”

| 1 |

Peter Jackson • $580 million

The Lord of the Rings director sold part of his visual effects firm Weta Digital to Unity Software for $1.6 billion in November, making him only the third person in history to become a billionaire (after Steven Spielberg and George Lucas) by making movies.

| 2 |

Bruce Springsteen • $435 million

The Boss unloaded his entire body of work to his longtime label home Sony Music Group in December. The sale, estimated at nearly $500 million, included five decades of iconic songs, recordings and songwriting credits from 20 studio albums, multiple box sets and live recordings.

| 3 |

Jay-Z • $340 million

Hip-hop’s first billionaire showed his business chops in 2021 when he cashed out stakes in music streamer Tidal and the Armand de Brignac champagne brand.

| 4 |

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson • $270 million

One of the few actors to make the ranking this year, The Rock got only about a quarter of his earnings from roles in films like Jungle Cruise and Red Notice, with most of his Jumanji-sized payday coming from his buzzy tequila brand Teremana.

(Video) Forbes Reveal List Of Highest-Paid Entertainers Of 2022

| 5 |

Kanye West • $235 million

The billionaire rapper-producer now earns most of his money from a multi-year deal to design Yeezy sneakers for Adidas. His first Yeezys designed for the Gap—a hoodie and jacket— arrived last year, quickly selling out. But the 52-year-old brand wants more and is reportedly frustrated by the slow rollout.

| 6 |

Trey Parker and Matt Stone • $210 million

Shocking. Hilarious. And cheap to make. The creators of South Park–and its offshoots–oversee a cottage industry that now nets more than $80 million a year and, in August, they signed a six-year, $900 million deal with Paramount+.

| 7 |

Paul Simon • $200 million

The folk rock musician sold hundreds of song compositions, including “Mrs. Robinson,” "59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)" and “The Sound of Silence” to Sony Music Publishing for some $250 million in March.

| 8 |

Tyler Perry • $165 million

The billionaire do-it-all creator and actor is bringing back the Madea franchise that made him famous – but everything he built around it is what brings in most of his earnings, from a multi-year production deal with BET to the 330-acre production studio he works out of in Atlanta.

| 9 |

Ryan Tedder • $160 million

In addition to the 500-plus songs he has written for his own band, the OneRepublic frontman has penned hits for Beyoncé, Adele and Ed Sheeran. He sold a chunk of the catalog to investment firm KKR KKR in January.

| 10 |

Bob Dylan • $130 million

The 80-year-old Nobel laureate transferred his recorded music and a few future recordings to Sony in July for $150 million. That was on the heels of a reported $400 million megadeal in 2020 to sell his publishing catalog to Universal.

| 11 |

Red Hot Chili Peppers • $116 million

London music investment fund Hipgnosis snapped up the California rockers’ catalog including such hit songs as “Californication” in May.

(Video) Highest Paid Celebrities

| 12 |

Reese Witherspoon • $115 million

The Big Little Lies star sold her female-focused production company Hello Sunshine to private equity firm Blackstone at a $900 million valuation in August; she still has a stake. The actress also got a reported $20 million collected from 10 episodes of The Morning Show’s second season.

| 13 |

Chuck Lorre • $100 million

The go-to guy at Warner Bros. TV is still collecting tens of millions a year from the syndication of such hits as Two And A Half Men and The Big Bang Theory, but he’s not been idle. The showrunner has four sitcoms currently airing as well as Netflix NFLX series The Kominsky Method.

| 14 |

Sean “Diddy” Combs • $90 million

“I ain’t foolin’ around I’m building assets,” the young impresario told Forbes in 1999–and he wasn’t kidding. He still owns the brands he was building back then, including Bad Boy Records and the newly re-acquired Sean Jean fashion label, but most of his earnings these days comes from his Cîroc vodka liquor brand.

| 15 |

Dick Wolf • $86 million

Dun-dun! Even after 32 years, Wolf’s Law & Order franchise continues to hook crime junkies with a combo of new shows (Organized Crime) and syndicated older ones (Special Victims Unit)–while making money on it all from a profit-share deal with Universal Television that most creators would kill for.

| 16 |

Howard Stern • $85 million

The self-proclaimed “king of all media” moved from radio to SiriusXM satellite 15 years ago. In 2020, the one-time radio shock-jock re-upped with SiriusXM on a five-year, $500 million deal.

| 17 |

Kevin Bright, Marta Kauffman, David Crane • $82 million

Friends forever: The show runners responsible for the quintessential 90s sitcom resurfaced for a moment when they brought back the cast for a reunion show on HBO Max. The trio continues to cash in with a deal on the streamer that locked up the laughs for $425 million.

| 18 |

Shonda Rhimes • $81 million

The Bridgerton producer made a bet on herself when she signed with Netflix in 2017 and wowed executives there with one of the streamer’s most talked about pandemic releases. She re-upped with Netflix in July and continues to receive hefty residuals from ABC for Grey’s Anatomy.

(Video) The World’s 10 Highest-Paid Entertainers | Forbes

| 19 |

Neil Young • $80 million

In January, a year after he sold his music rights to investment fund Hipgnosis, Young told Spotify to pick between him and Joe Rogan, who allegedly spread Covid misinformation. The streaming service removed his music.

| 20 |

Greg Berlanti • $75 million

The showrunner is known for his bevy of CW hits like Riverdale, but most of his income comes from a six-year production deal with Netflix for shows like the psychological thriller You.

| 21 |

Lindsey Buckingham • $73 million

Fleetwood Mac’s renowned guitarist offloaded his publishing catalog to London’s Hipgnosis in January 2021, collecting on a lifetime of hits including “Go Your Own Way,” “The Chain” and “Tusk.”

| 22 |

Mötley Crüe • $72 million

The 1980s heavy metal band, known as much for their hedonism and crazy hair as perhaps their music, sold the rights to songs including “Kickstart My Heart,” “Dr. Feelgood” and “Girls, Girls, Girls” from their nine studio albums to music rights holder BMG.”

| 23 |

Beach Boys • $64 million

The godfathers of surf rock sold a controlling interest in their intellectual property to legendary music executive Irving Azoff in February 2021.

| 24 |

Blake Shelton • $55 million

The country star sold his music catalog in 2021 but another big payday was in television–where he gets paid a reported $13 million from his coaching gig on The Voice–and from $14.5 million made in a 15-city tour.

| 25 |

Taylor Swift • $52 million

The 32-year-old songwriter turned anger into profit by remaking and releasing recordings sold by Scooter Braun without her consent in 2020; she also brought in earnings thanks to lucrative Peloton and Starbucks SBUX endorsement deals.

(Video) TOP 25 The Highest Paid Entertainers 2022


Figures represent 2021 pretax earnings, minus fees for representation – managers, lawyers, agents – and/or business operating costs. Sources include data from Nielsen BookScan, MRC Data, Pollstar, IMDBPro and Variety Insight, as well as interviews with agents, lawyers, managers, executives and industry experts.


MORE FROM FORBESHow Rockers Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, Bob Dylan And Paul Simon Made $1 Billion In 2021By Lisette Voytko


Who is the highest paid female entertainer 2022? ›

Taylor Swift is NOT playing around! Taylor made Forbes' annual list of the highest-earning entertainers, making her the only female performer on this list. Throughout 2022, Taylor managed to rake in an estimated $92 million.

Who is the highest paid singer in 2022? ›

Rihanna. Rihanna is the richest female singer of 2022 thanks to her hit music and successful business ventures. ...

What entertainer has the most money? ›

Movie director Steven Spielberg leads the top 10 list, followed by George Lucas, Oprah Winfrey and Michael Jordan. Billionaires lost a lot of money in 2022.

Who is the highest paid singer of all time? ›

Michael Jackson has become the annual highest-earning male solo artist a record 7 times throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

Is Oprah the highest paid entertainer? ›

Oprah Winfrey Tops Our List Of The Highest-Paid Celebrities.

Who is the best selling female performer of all time? ›

Madonna is recognized by Guinness World Records as the "Best-selling female recording artist of all time".

Which song has made the most money? ›

According to Guinness World Records, Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" (1942) as performed by Bing Crosby is the best-selling single worldwide, with estimated sales of over 50 million copies.

Who is the richest female singer in the world? ›

Who is the richest female singer? Rihanna is the richest female artist in the world as of 2022. Robyn Rihanna Fenty, popularly known as Rihanna, is a Barbadian singer.

How much does Beyonce make per show? ›

According to a 2019 report by The Blast, Beyoncé was paid a total of $8 million—$4 million for each weekend—for her 2018 Coachella performance, which was the same amount Ariana Grande was paid for her 2019 performance at the music festival.

Who is No 1 richest actor in the world? ›

1. Jerry Seinfeld
  • Net Worth- $950 million.
  • Date of Birth- 29th April 1954.
  • Age- 67 Years.
  • Awards- Shorty Award for Best Web Series, Honorary Clio Award, Golden Globe Award for Best Actor, and many more.
  • Best Movies- It Could Happen to You, The Hangover, Dumb and Dumber, and many more.
2 days ago

Who is the highest paid male entertainer? ›

One of the only actors on the list is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who comes in fourth place with an estimated $270 million in 2021 pre-tax earnings.
The Highest-Paid Celebrities in 2021.
NamePeter Jackson
Nationality​ New Zealander
2021 pre-tax earnings$580 million
9 more columns
Jul 31, 2022

Who is the No 1 celebrity in the world? ›

1Oprah WinfreyTelevision personality
3James CameronFilmmaker
4Lady GagaMusician
6 more rows

Which singer became a billionaire? ›

Robyn Rihanna Fenty—better known by fans around the world as Rihanna—may have started off her career as a singer, but in just under two decades, the superstar has added CEO, businesswoman, and billionaire to her list of accolades.

Which singer is a millionaire? ›

Go To Section
RankNameNet Worth
1Madonna$580 Million
2Mariah Carey$535 Million
3Dolly Parton$500 Million
4Gloria Estefan$500 Million
21 more rows

Who is the richest singer in America? ›

Rihanna is the richest musician with a whopping net worth of $1.7 billion. She also holds the title of richest female musician in the world. The money she makes comes mostly from her cosmetics brand Fenty Beauty and her lingerie brand Savage x Fenty.

Who is richer Rihanna or Oprah? ›

Rihanna has a net worth of $1.4 billion, making her the richest musician and the second wealthiest female entertainer, after Oprah, who is worth $2.5 billion, according to Forbes magazine. Rihanna set to light up Super Bowl LVII.

Who is the youngest female billionaire? ›

Rihanna becomes youngest woman billionaire after hitting $1.4B net worth.

Who has more money Kanye West or Oprah Winfrey? ›

That leaves plenty of famous faces behind. Oprah Winfrey (estimated net worth, $2.5 billion) was close but missed the cut. Kanye West ($2 billion) doesn't have enough.

Who are the 3 biggest female artist? ›

Best selling female artists like Beyonce, Madonna, Rihanna, and others have ruled the billboard top list. Madonna is on the top with 300 million record sales till now.

What female singer has the most number one hits? ›

Mariah Carey (USA) has topped the US Billboard Hot 100 singles chart on 19 different occasions.

Who has the best female voice? ›

Best Female Singers Of All Time: 20 Trailblazing Music Icons
  • 8: Dionne Warwick. ...
  • 7: Adele. ...
  • 6: Madonna. ...
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  • 3: Ella Fitzgerald. ...
  • 2: Amy Winehouse. ...
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Jan 12, 2022

What is the #1 song of all time? ›

Blinding Lights

Who has the most #1 songs of all time? ›

Though unclear for how long, the Beatles still reign supreme as the artist with the most No. 1 songs of all time.

What singer has sold the most songs? ›

Perhaps unsurprisingly, British rock band The Beatles are top of the list for best-selling artists worldwide, with 183 million units certified sales. Second is Garth Brooks with over 157 million units sales, followed by Elvis Presley with 139 million units.

How many female singers are billionaires? ›

12 richest pop divas of 2022 – net worths, ranked: from Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and Celine Dion, to Mariah Carey, Madonna, Jennifer Lopez and Cher – but Rihanna is the only billionaire, thanks to Fenty.

How much is Jay-Z paid per show? ›

According to Capital Xtra, to get the rapper to show up to an event, he needs to be paid up to $1 million dollars.

How much does Taylor Swift make per show? ›

How much does Taylor Swift make per show? Swift reportedly makes an estimated $9 million per concert, but that sum is likely spread amongst Swift, her team, promoters, venues and touring production expenses.

How much does Justin Bieber make per concert? ›

Like many artists today, most of Bieber's income from his music career comes from live performances and concert tours. According to Forbes, Bieber makes an estimated $1 million per night when he's on tour.

Which actor is billionaire? ›

Jerry Seinfeld is an American actor, comedian, and producer. He is popular for starring in the popular sitcom "Seinfeld,” in which he played a fictionalized version of himself. Seinfeld, the sitcom, is one of the most profitable shows on the small screen. With a net worth of $1 bn, he is the richest actor in the world.

What actor has the highest income? ›

Best-paid actors worldwide 2021, by income. As of August 2021, Daniel Craig was the best-paid actor worldwide with an estimated income of 100 million U.S. dollars after, earlier that year, Netflix bought the rights for two sequels of "Knives Out" (2019).

Which actor gets paid the most per movie? ›

Tom Cruise

With a worldwide gross of over USD 1.3 billion, Top Gun: Maverick is the highest-grossing film of 2022. With this one film, Tom Cruise sits at the very top of the list of highest-paid actors in the world with a stratospheric earning of over USD 100 million reportedly.

Who is the second richest entertainer? ›

SRK 2nd richest actor in the world. With a net worth of $600 million, superstar Shah Rukh Khan is the second richest actor in the world, as per Wealth-X's Hollywood and Bollywood Rich List released on Wednesday. The list puts 60-year-old comedian Jerry Seinfeld, having a net worth of $820 million, at the top.

Who is the most recognizable face in the world? ›

Queen Elizabeth II, the most famous face in the world: See her many portraits, depictions. The statue of Queen Elizabeth II on the façade of York Minster cathedral, unveiled by King Charles III during a visit to Yorkshire on Nov. 9, 2022.

Who is most powerful celebrity? ›

Who is the strongest Celebrity in Hollywood? The strongest celebrity in Hollywood is former WWE superstar John Cena, who can benchpress 210kg, squat 287kg, and deadlift nearly 300kg.

Which celebrity has the most fans in the world ever? ›

As of 4 January 2023 the most-followed person is Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo with over 535 million followers, and the most-followed woman is American reality television personality Kylie Jenner with over 378 million followers.

Who is the first female billionaire? ›

2020 list
No.NameBirth date
1Alice Walton10 July 1949
2Françoise Bettencourt Meyers10 July 1953
3MacKenzie Scott7 April 1970
4Julia Koch12 April 1962
6 more rows

Who is America's first female billionaire? ›

Madam C.J. Walker

Who is the wealthiest woman in the United States? ›

America's richest self-made woman grew up on a dairy farm—now she has a net worth of $11.6 billion. Diane Hendricks enters the room where Blackwater founder Erik Prince was supposed to speak before the event was disrupted by protesting students Wednesday, March 27, 2019, at Beloit College in Beloit, Wis.

Who is the No 1 singer in USA? ›

Justin Bieber has spent 163 weeks at number one on the Billboard Social 50. Taylor Swift have spent 28 weeks at number one, the most by any female artist. Rihanna and Miley Cyrus have each spent 21 weeks at number one on the Billboard Social 50. Ariana Grande has spent 18 weeks at number one on the Billboard Social 50.

Who is the biggest band ever? ›

1. The Beatles — 183 million units.

Who is the most successful singer in America? ›

Michael Jackson

He has sold over 400 million records and is nicknamed the King of Pop. His career began in childhood when he was a member of the pop band The Jackson 5 along with his four brothers.

Who is the youngest person to win entertainer of the year? ›

Taylor Swift (USA, b. 13 December 1989) is the youngest winner of Entertainer of the Year at both the Country Music Association (CMA) and the Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards.

What is Taylor Swift's net worth? ›

Taylor Swift has an estimated net worth of $450 Million in the year 2023. She has built her million-dollar empire through music records and singing tours.

What actress is married to a billionaire? ›

Earlier this year, actress Salma Hayek received criticism over her marriage to billionaire businessman François-Henri Pinault. Haters accused her of marrying for money, but the Like A Boss star shut down the nasty comments about her and her husband.

Who is No 1 actress in world? ›

1. Angelina Jolie. Angelina Jolie is an acclaimed actress, influential humanitarian, fashion icon, and a special representative for the UNHCR.

Who is the best Entertainer of the Year? ›

2019Garth BrooksEric Church Chris Stapleton Carrie Underwood Keith Urban
2018Keith UrbanJason Aldean Luke Bryan Kenny Chesney Chris Stapleton
2017Garth BrooksLuke Bryan Eric Church Chris Stapleton Keith Urban
2016Garth BrooksLuke Bryan Chris Stapleton Carrie Underwood Keith Urban
52 more rows

Has a female ever won Entertainer of the Year? ›

Since the Country Music Association Awards first aired in 1967, there have only been seven women to win the coveted title of Entertainer of the Year.

Who is the youngest number one hit singer? ›

She was 16-years and one month old at the time. The youngest person ever to top the US charts is Stevie Wonder, who was 13 when he hit Number One with 'Fingertips Pt 2' in 1963. Lorde releases her debut full-length LP, 'Pure Heroine', on October 28.

What is Ariana Grande salary? ›

How much does Ariana Grande make a day? Going by the figure of a $20 million annual salary, that means Grande makes a whopping $54,794.50 every single day.

What is Elton John's net worth? ›

Elton John, a British singer holds British nationality and according to news, Elton John's Net Worth as of 2023 is around $550 Million.

Who is richer Beyonce or Taylor Swift? ›

Who is richer, Beyoncé or Taylor Swift? As of January 2023, Taylor Swift is estimated to be wealthier than Beyoncé.


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