Highest paid entertainers in the world (Forbes 2022)

Forbes recently published a list of the 25 highest-paid entertainers in the world. They earned a combined $4.4 billion. Peter Jackson tops the list with a $580 million paycheck, with most of those earnings hailing from the sale of Weta Digital, a visual effects firm he owns to Unity Software for $1.6 billion. Famous names like Taylor Swift, Kanye West, Jay-Z, and Dwayne Johnson are also featured on the list. Below is the full ranking including how each one of them earned their millions.

25. Taylor Swift — $52 million

According to Forbes, Taylor Swift is the 25th best-paid entertainer this year with earnings of $52 million. This makes her the highest-paid female musician, a title she also held last year when she took home $80 million. The “Shake it Off” singer continues to make most of her millions from music; recording and re-releasing her previous recordings sold without her permission in 2020.

Last year Swift re-released the albums Red (Taylor’s Version) and Fearless (Taylor’s Version) — both of which topped the U.S Billboard 200 chart and ranked among the 10 best-selling albums of 2021. She also made quite a fortune from endorsement deals with brands such as Starbucks and Peloton.

24. Blake Shelton — $55 million

The country music singer made an estimated $55 million last year, ranking him one of the highest-paid musicians in 2022. Most of these earnings came from the sale of his music catalog while the rest came from his $13 million paycheck for being a couch on the American singing reality competition The Voice.

Blake also pocketed about $14.5 million from his Friends and Heroes Tour. Apart from music, Shelton owns Ole Red, a franchise of restaurants and entertainment complexes.

23. Beach Boys — $64 million

The Beach Boys made $64 million from the sale of a majority stake in the band’s intellectual property to Full Stop Management chairman and music executive Irving Azoff in February 2021.

22. Motley Crue — $72 million

The American heavy metal band sold the rights to recordings from some nine albums to German music rights holder BMG in November 2021. They made a cool $72 million last year, most of which came from their deal with BMG.

21. Lindsey Buckingham — $73 million

The 72-year-old was the lead singer and guitarist for the rock band, Fleetwood Mac, from 1975 to 1987 and again from 1997 to 2018. He has released seven solo albums and three live albums. The singer made an estimated $73 million last year — most of which came from the sale of his music catalog which included more than 160 tracks — to Hipgnosis in January 2021.

The deal came just weeks after Stevie Nicks, one of his bandmates at Fleetwood Mac sold her rights to Primary Wave for $100 million towards the end of 2020. Lindsey was the 7th highest paid musician of 2021 according to Rolling Stone.

20. Greg Berlanti — $75 million


Greg is an American producer and director behind films and tv shows such as Riverdale, You, Love, and Simon, among others. He holds the record for the most live-action scripted television series airing on various networks simultaneously. Greg currently has lucrative multimillion deals with Warner Bros, Netflix, and other production companies. Last year he made about $75 million, making him one of the best-paid entertainers in the world.

19. Neil Young — $80 million

The bulk of his earnings came from the sale of his music rights to Hipgnosis last year. He was a member of the rock band Buffalo Springfield from 1966 to 1968, after which he pursued a solo career.

18. Shonda Rhimes — $81 million

Rhimes is an American television producer and screenwriter. According to Forbes, she’s the third highest-paid female entertainer this year with earnings of $81 million. The producer continues to cash in on ABC’s medical drama Greys Anatomy as well as its spin-off Private Practice. She was the executive producer of the tv shows How to Get Away with Murder, Off the Map, The Catch, and Grey’s Anatomy’s second spin-off Station 19.

17. Kevin Bright, Marta Kauffman, and David Crane — $82 million

16. Howard Stern — $85 million

Howard Stern is an American radio personality best known for his radio show, The Howard Stern Show.  He signed a five-year deal with Sirius XM Satellite Radio worth $500 million in 2004 and has broadcast on Sirius since then. In December 2020 he renewed his contract with the company for five years.

15. Dick Wolf — $86 million


Wolf is best known as the creator and executive producer of the Law & Order, FBI, and Chicago franchises. He continues to cash in on television shows such as Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and FBI: Most Wanted among others.

14. Sean “Diddy” Combs — $90 million

Apart from music, the rapper owns a fashion line named Sean John, a record label, Bad Boy Records and makes quite a fortune from his Ciroc Vodka liquor brand. Considered one of the world’s richest rappers with a fortune of over $700 million, Diddy also has stakes in Aquahydrate — a maker of calorie-free beverages for athletes — as well as the television network Revolt TV. He’s one of the highest-paid entertainers in the world right now, according to Forbes.

13. Chuck Lorre — $100 million

Also called the “King of Sitcoms”, Chuck has created and produced sitcoms such as The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, Young Sheldon, and Mike & Molly.

12. Reese Witherspoon — $115 million


She’s the world’s best-paid female entertainer after selling a majority stake in her production company Hello Sunshine to Blackstone last year in a deal that valued the company at $900 million. Consequently, she became the world’s richest actress with a fortune of $400 million.

The 46-year-old is one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars pocketing at least a million bucks for a single episode. She was reportedly paid $20 million for 10 episodes of The Morning Show’s second season.

11. Red Hot Chili Peppers — $116 million

The rock band sold their back catalog to Hipgnosis Songs Fund for about $150 million in 2021, a deal that has secured them a spot on Forbes’ world’s highest-paid entertainers this year.

10. Bob Dylan — $130 million

Bob sold his recorded music and a few future recordings to Sony for about $150 million.

9. Ryan Tedder — $160 million

Ryan is the lead vocalist of OneRepublic. He’s also a songwriter and producer and has written songs for artists such as Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, and Ed Sheeran among others. He sold some of his music catalogs to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co at the beginning of this year, earning him a spot on this year’s list of the highest-paid entertainers.

8. Tyler Perry $165 million

7. Paul Simon $200 million


The pop-rock singer sold his entire music publishing catalog comprising some 400 recordings to Sony Music Publishing in March this year for a reported $250 million.

6. Trey Parker and Matt Stone $210 million

5. Kanye West $235 million

Kanye made a whopping $235 million last year, making him one of the world’s highest-paid entertainers according to the latest rankings by Forbes. The billionaire rapper makes most of his millions from his lucrative deal with Adidas to design the Yeezy sneakers. He’s the third best-paid singer this year, after Jay-Z. In 2021 the rapper signed a 10-year deal with GAP to design a Yeezy jacket and hoodie.

Also Read: Kanye West net worth

4. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson $270 million

He’s the highest-paid actor on the list, with most of his earnings coming from his tequila brand Teremana and his roles in movies like Red Notice and Jungle Cruise.

3. Jay-Z $340 million

Jay-Z is the second-highest-paid musician on the planet as of now. The bulk of his earnings came from the sale of a 50% stake in his Armand Brignac champagne brand to LVMH for about $300 million. He also sold a majority stake in the music streaming service Tidal to Square for a reported $297 million. Jay-Z owns Roc Nation Sports which in 2020 was ranked by Forbes as the 32nd most valuable sports agency in the world.

Also Read: Jay-Z net worth

2. Bruce Springsteen $435 million

He pocketed $500 million from the sale of his master recordings and publishing copyrights to Sony in December 2021. This was the largest sale of a solo catalog in history. The 72-year-old was ranked the world’s highest-paid musician by Rolling Stone last year.

1. Peter Jackson $580 million


According to Forbes, Peter Jackson is only the third person in history to become a billionaire from making movies — after George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. Jackson is the third-highest-grossing film director of all time. His films have grossed more than $6.5 billion globally. The Lord of the Rings director made most of his fortune from the sale of his visual effects company Weta Digital to Unity Software for $1.6 billion in November last year.

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