The world’s highest-paid actors gained a combined $6.1 billion before taxes and fees. A $200 million decline from 2019, after a worldwide pandemic that shut down arenas and silenced performances around the world. The fall was the first since 2016, the year since Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao won almost half a billion dollars from the richest fight in boxing history. But still, with Covid 19 lurking—and America on fire in every sense of the word since George Floyd’s murder—the show was already going on.
The highest paying actors were Kylie Jenner and Kanye West, who contributed $590 million and $170 million. West earned much of his profits from his Yeezy shoe contract with Adidas. At the same time, Jenner’s payday came from selling a 51 per cent interest in her cosmetics business to Coty in January. Although she’d been exaggerating over the years about the scale of her business, the money she pulled out of the deal was real—sufficient to rate as one of the biggest celebrity cashouts of all time.
Three streaming companies contributed $300 million to stars on the list, including Ryan Reynolds (No. 18, $71.5 million), Billie Eilish (No. 43, $53 million) and Jerry Seinfeld (No. 46, $51 million), with Netflix contributing more than two-thirds of it.
Career-best revenue for some of the biggest names in rock
Live shows had a career-best revenue for some of the biggest names in rock, with Ed Sheeran’s Divide Tour attracting 8.9 million followers and $776 million over two years to break U2’s all-time high for a single tour. Others will be affected next year as tours from Taylor Swift (No. 25, $63.5 million) and Paul McCartney (No. 93, $37 million) have been postponed due to a pandemic.
In athletics, Roger Federer (No. 3, $106.3 million) became the first tennis player to win the athletes’ top spot. In contrast, Cristiano Ronaldo (No. 4, $105 million) is the first team player to earn $1 billion in his lifetime. Naomi Osaka set her record at No. 90, raising $37 million in earnings, the most money a female athlete has ever earned in a single year.