As the youngest member of the entrepreneurial Kardashian-Jenner clan, Kylie Jenner had big shoes to fill. “I struggled for a minute with finding something to do on my own,” Jenner told Forbes.
It didn’t take her long. The 21-year-old launched Kylie Cosmetics a mere two years ago, and her lip-kit empire has made Jenner the highest-paid and wealthiest celebrity under 30 years old. She earned $166.5 million in our scoring period, June 1, 2017, to June 1, 2018, padding her $900 million fortune.
Ed Sheeran takes second place with a haul of $110 million. The British singer-songwriter, 27, made most of his millions from a worldwide arena tour but collected a hefty sum from billions of song streams.
Brazilian superstar Neymar rounds out the top three with earnings of $90 million. The 26-year-old signed a five-year contract with Paris-Saint Germain that will net him $350 million in salary through his contract, which expires in June 2022. Off the pitch, Neymar has lucrative deals with Nike, Red Bull and other brands. It’s been widely reported that Neymar has reached an agreement with Paris Saint-Germain to leave the team for a fee of €200 million.
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Most of the highest-paid celebrities under 30 are athletes. The top ten comprise one reality star (Jenner), four musicians and five athletes. The young cohort earned a combined $723 million in 12 months, before taxes and fees.
Jenner is one of only two women on the list. Though this is partly due to the number of professional athletes, the overall list of the world’s highest-paid celebrities is highly imbalanced as well with 85% male list members. This reflects a gender pay gap that is hardly limited to entertainment. In 2017, American women earned 82 cents to every dollar a man made.
The only other female entertainer under 30 to make the top ten is superstar Taylor Swift. The 28-year-old made $80 million in our scoring period thanks to the success of her bestselling Reputation album and the sold-out tour of the same name. Swift recently signed a new record deal with Universal Music Group that could be worth as much as $200 million in guarantees. She could presumably top that if she outearns her advances.
Swift isn’t the only celebrity on track whose earnings grew. Canelo Alvarez, now boxing’s biggest pay-per-view star after the retirement of Floyd Mayweather, earned $44.5 million due to his high-profile fight with Gennady Golovkin, which generated 1.3 million pay-per-view buys. But the 28-year-old Alvarez could become the world’s highest-paid athlete next year after signing a five-year deal with sports streaming service DAZN for 11 fights. The deal is worth a minimum of $365 million, an average of $33 million per fight. With two DAZN fights, his payout for the Golovkin match and several million dollars from endorsements, Alvarez will bank at least $120 million over 12 months.
Out of the 100 highest-paid celebrities in the world, only 19 were under 30 years old. But these Millennials are giving their more experienced peers a run for their money.
All earnings estimates are from June 1, 2017, through June 1, 2018. Figures are pretax; fees for agents, managers and lawyers are not deducted. Earnings estimates are based on data from Pollstar Pro, as well as interviews with industry insiders.