Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

The top-earning celebrities on Forbes’ 2016 list are both surprising and not

forbes top earning celebrities list taylor swift 1989
Tax day is behind us, but another annual event is here to make you painfully aware of how much you do or do not make: Forbes has released its 2016 ranking of the world’s highest-paid celebrities. The list is filled with 100 people whose job titles range from actor to athlete and personality to magician, but the one thing they all have in common is that they have made a ridiculous amount of money over the past year.

When it comes to the top 10, some names were foregone conclusions (think: Taylor Swift), but the presence of others may surprise you. Half of the 10 top-earners managed to climb the ranks to snatch up the most coveted spots, including comedian Kevin Hart, who jumped all the way from No. 95 on Forbes’ 2015 list to No. 6 this year. His massive boost comes after doing over 100 arena and stadium shows that grossed an average of $1 million per stop. Not surprisingly, none of the other top 10 members made such a big leap.

Compared to last year, boxers got knocked out of the top 10. Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao pulled in $300 million and $160 million, respectively, but they fell as Taylor Swift brought in $170 million this past year. The sum — her largest to date — was helped along by her record-breaking 1989 Word Tour. Behind her, only One Direction cracked $100 million. The boy band rose to No. 2 from last year’s No. 4 spot despite of losing Zayn Malik.

Interestingly, when it comes to musicians, Adele, who jumped up from No. 25 in 2015 to 9 in 2016, is the only musician on Forbes’ list to have earned over half of her money with her music. Others padded their income with other projects and endorsements. What’s also notable is that she did this without letting streaming services have her latest album25, until recently.

With half the names falling off from 2015 to 2016, it’ll be interesting to see who can hold on into next year.

The full top 10 list appears below.

1. Taylor Swift – $170 million
2. One Direction – $110 million
3. James Patterson – $95 million
4. Dr. Phil – $88 million
4. Cristiano Ronaldo – $88 million
6. Kevin Hart – $87.5 million
7. Howard Stern – $85 million
8. Lionel Messi – $81.5 million
9. Adele – $80.5 million
10. Rush Limbaugh – $79 million

Editors' Recommendations

Stephanie Topacio Long
Stephanie Topacio Long is a writer and editor whose writing interests range from business to books. She also contributes to…
What is spatial audio? Apple’s 3D sound feature fully explained
Person listening to spatial audio using Apple AirPods Max headphones.

At WWDC 2021 (Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference), Apple officially added support for spatial audio with Dolby Atmos Music for Apple Music. It quickly became a popular format among consumers, too: Apple estimates that by February 2022, playback of spatial audio tracks had quadrupled from just a few months prior as people experimented with the format. But what exactly is spatial audio? How is it different from (or the same as) Dolby Atmos? And what kind of audio equipment do you need to listen to it?

There's a lot of ground to cover, and some of it is a bit technical, but we're going to break it all down in easy-to-understand terms. You'll be a spatial audio expert in minutes, and you'll know exactly how to access this growing trend in movie and music streaming.
What exactly is spatial audio?

Read more
The best podcasts of 2022
best podcasts

Whether you've already stored all your favorite podcasts in your app of choice, ready for listening, or are new to the world of podcasts, there's no denying their popularity. Podcasts are everywhere these days and have become some of the most beloved entertainment and education mediums worldwide. Whatever you're into, from tech and video game chat to world news and politics or true crime, there are plenty of specialized interest shows to choose from.

With so many podcasts available, there’s no way that you can listen to all of them. To help you out, no matter your interests, we've gathered a variety of shows to turn you on to your next great listen.

Read more
How to convert your vinyl to a digital format
Rebirth of cool: Is vinyl ready for a second wind, or just a fad?

It doesn't matter one bit if your vinyl collection consists of just a single milk crate or if it fills several Ikea Kallax shelves and is slowly taking over your home — we can all agree that there's just something about vinyl.

Maybe it's the warm, uncompressed sound spinning off a solid turntable, or the feel of holding a physical piece of art in your hands while the record spins — it's a special experience that has regained much of its glory in a world dominated by digital streaming. The problem is, records are fragile, and crates full of them don't fit in your back pocket.

Read more