How Much Cash Do These Celebs Rake In? Seriously….


When an award-winning actress walks down the red carpet, you can’t help but think that this flawless creature must bring home millions of dollars to be able to be this perfect. And as one thing leads to another, you start to compare the (imaginary) wealth of your favourite celebrity to your own financial predicaments.

So, how much do these people actually make? We’ve done the dirty work for you and exposed some of the highest paying celebrities to satisfy your thirst (Whether they deserve it or not, it’s up to you to decide.)

1.  Oprah Winfrey (US$165 million a year)


Oprah Winfrey is a name that triggers joys to television networks, audience and advertisers, but at the same time strikes terror to celebrities forced to appear on her highly-rated show. She is easily the most well-known talk show host in the last two decades with celebrities appearing on her show getting publicity, whether it’s positive or negative doesn’t seem to matter (we’re looking at you Tom Cruise).

Winfrey has repeatedly made headlines with her tremendous TV ratings and her ability to rake in the cash. She may have put an end to her syndicated talk show after 25 years, but her name, through Harpo Productions (that’s her name spelled backwards) continue to blaze the showbiz industry.

According to Forbes, she’s trying to boost ratings with shows like Oprah’s Lifeclass and Oprah’s Next Chapter. All these sound like just a past time for Winfrey who was already earning an estimated income of U$165 million (RM$ 533 million) between May 2011 and May 2012.

2. Madonna  (US$125 million a year)

The one time “Material Girl” is still drawing enough dough to feed a small country.  According to Forbes, Madonna is one of the world’s wealthiest entertainers, earning US$125 million (RM404 million) between June 2012 and June 2013, thanks to her MDNA tour.

“Madge’s fortune is also bolstered by clothing and perfume lines as well as investments in art, real estate and beverage company Vita Coco,” Forbes report noted.

It’s no wonder that Madonna is not at all perturbed by the fact that her recent album tanked. Can anyone even remember the name of that album? No, it is not “Material Granny”.

3.  Dr. Dre  – US$100 million (in one deal)

Dr dre

Noted for not only being a pioneer hip-hop artiste, Andre Romelle Young, mainly known by his stage name Dr. Dre, is also a US-based well-known record producer, rapper and entrepreneur. He is the founder and current CEO of Aftermath Entertainment and Beats Electronic that featured hip-hop acts such as Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Xzibit, 50 Cent, The Game, and Kendrick Lamar.

Forbes noted that in August, smartphone maker HTC paid US$300 million for a 51% stake in Beats by Dr. Dre, the headphone company he co-founded with Interscope chief, Jimmy Iovine in 2006. Each owned about a third of the company, pocketing about US$100 million (RM355.7 million) apiece, before taxes, recently.

On top of that, Apple is looking to buy the company which would make his already substantial financial standing a greater boost.

4. Steven Spielberg – US$100 million

steven spielberg

The king of movie box-office is undoubtedly Steven Spielberg who has directed famous movies like Jaws, E.T and Jurassic Park. Spielberg may not be making box office smashing flicks these days, but the past films he directed and produced are still hits for movie lovers, young and old.

His earnings are further strengthened with annual cuts from all ticket sales at the Universal Theme Park in Hollywood where some of his films are part of the “theme”. A roundup of estimate amongst media report notes that he makes around US$100 million (RM 323.6m) currently. Chew your jaws on that.

5. Simon Cowell – US$95 million (in a year)

simon cowell

It is normal for media to label Simon Cowell, the music producer and critic as a small screen terror and party pooper when he judges talent programmes, but his signature British humor and sarcasm have been the reason for the windfall of treasure.

Being a talent promoter, he is destined to make more millions even if he declares retirement in the next few years. Though the X-Factor may not be invigorating the cash register bells, Cowell has reportedly earned US$95 million (RM 307.2 million) between June 2012 and June 2013.

6. E.L. James – US$95 million (in a year)

el james

Though the name may be unfamiliar, but you have surely heard of her published trilogy novels, 50 Shades of Grey. Though it has its fair share of criticism from the literary community, the series of erotic books has created an almost cult following, with James laughing to the bank since the book hits the bookstore.

To make the deal even sweeter, a movie is now in the works at Universal Studios. And along came the cash. Forbes reported that she earned an estimated US$95 million (RM307.2 million) between June 2012 and June 2013 – which is a plenty of greenback… or, grey-back.

7. James Patterson – US$91 million

james patterson

You may not know this name, but you know the films he was involved with, because he was the author of the epistles that inspired some of the best money-making thrillers in Hollywood last two decades. Patterson is the author of Along Came The Spider, popular novel which is also a thriller flick of the same name that apparently made US$91 million as of June last year. With some of his titles on the e-book best seller list, Forbes argue, Patterson is definitely the most successful author of all time.

8. Michael Bay – US$82 million (a year)

michael bay

If you are a fan of action flicks like Top Gun, The Rock, Armageddon, and the Transformer, you are no stranger to the explosive director, Michael Bay.

His yearly income is estimated to be around US$82 million (RM265.2 million). Transformers 4 is set to release in the next few months and while we gawk at the explosion filled robot extravaganza, Bay will be busy digging out another hectare of ground for his personal swimming pool.

9. Tiger Woods – US$78.1 million (a year)


Tiger Woods is back in the game after falling from grace (the car crash scandal) in 2009. He is once again ranked as the highest earning athlete on Forbes, with an annual income of US$78.1 million (RM 252.6 million) as reported here. In between putting on the greens, Woods has been busy signing endorsement deals, appearances and even golf course designs to boost his earnings.

10. Jackie Chan – US$20 million

Džekijs Čans

This list will not be complete without a superstar from this part of the region and no one’s as big now as Jackie Chan. Chan has been minting money over the years. He has been around ever since earlier martial art celluloid master Bruce Lee passed on to drop the fiery torch to this skillful aerobatic heir.

Chan is currently 59 years old, and his resume says that he is a martial artist, director, producer, screenwriter, action choreographer, singer, stunt director, and stunt performer. And his box-office draw noted that he is earning around the region of US$15 million (RM48.5 million) for two of his Rush Hours flick (Rush Hour 2 and Rush Hour 3) and US$ 5 million (RM16.1 million) for Shanghai Noon as per the report here, which makes him the highest paid actor in Asia.

(Images from Wikipedia)


How do celebrities manage their millions? Here are 8 money advice by celebrities that can help us manage our money (though we may not hit our millions yet).

What other professions bring in as much cash as these celebrities? These unusual jobs come close.

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