Young Money: The Under 30 Rich & Famous…
Every year Forbes puts out a list of the top celebrity earners of the year. What’s even more fascinating about reading through these lists of millionaires, is looking at their ages! Fame favors the young, and if you doubt that, just take a look at the singers, movie stars and athletes on Forbes annual list of the Best-Paid Celebrities Under 30…
1. Lady Gaga
Born, Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, Lady Gaga has made quite a name for herself in her few years of stardom. As of this year, Gaga is the highest-paid celebrity under the age of 30, according to the latest ranking from Forbes. The 25-year-old took home $90 million this past year! Gaga grossed $170 million from 137 shows in 22 countries. Gaga is, of course, no slouch when it comes to music sales. Between May 2010 and May 2011 (before her latest album, Born This Way, dropped) she sold an estimated 15 million albums worldwide. She ranked first on Forbes Celebrity 100 list this year because of her earnings power and her ability to always attract attention, whether she’s wearing a dress made out of meat or arriving on stage in an egg.
2. Justin Bieber
Taking the youngest spot on the list, Justin Bieber proved his star power last year. In his recent rise to fame, the 17-year-old crooner has had little time to worry about who he should invite to prom. Bieber has been touring the world and starring in a hit concert documentary. Bieber ranks second on our list with $53 million in earnings over the past 12 months. Whether you are a fan or not, you have to admit that’s an impressive number for someone who can’t even see an R rated movie yet!
3. LeBron James
Miami Heat’s LeBron James might not have a championship ring yet, but at age 27, he pulled in$48 million just last year. Although his reputation took a hit last summer when he announced he was leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat on a national televised special dubbed “The Decision.” His negative Q score soared 77%. Despite the animosity, James continues to be a hot ticket. His jersey was the NBA’s bestseller this season and he has the No. 1 basketball shoe on the market. In April, James partnered with Fenway Sports Group to manage his business interests. As part of the deal James received a very small stake in the FSG-owned soccer club Liverpool.
4. Roger Federer
Tennis star Switzerland’s Roger Federer, age 29, earned $47 million in 2011. Voted Fan Favorite 9 years in a row now, Federer holds a record no one can beat. Although Roger didn’t have a spectacular year on the court, his bank account is still on the up and up.
5. Taylor Swift
Second only to Justin Bieber for the youngest celeb on this list, at age 21 Taylor Swift had a very profitable year. In 2011 Swift made $45 million. This is also not her first appearance on a Forbes tally, though; she has hit several of the magazine’s annually compiled lists, including the Celebrity 100, Highest Earning Women, Most Powerful Celebrities and Highest Earning Stars lists, in a testament to her success across music genres and formats, and her foray into films and fragrance. Her new album “Speak Now” was also certified triple-platinum barely a month after its October release. Get this… Swift’s touring brings gross ticket sales of some $750,000 per night!
6. Katy Perry
At only age 26, this pop sensation came out of 2011 $44 million richer. Perry’s album “Teenage Dream,” released in August, boasted four chart-topping singles making it one of only nine albums to accomplish that feat in the Billboard Hot 100’s 52-year history. No stranger to business, Perry shills for Proactiv, Adidas and Ubisoft, and has her own perfume line, Purr.
7. Cristiano Ronaldo
At age 26, Real Madrid soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo earned $38 million. The Real Madrid star is using social media to expand his brand, which makes him more attractive to current sponsorship partners like Nike, Castrol, Clear Shampoo and Banco Espirito. Ronaldo has racked up 25 million Facebook fans, more than twice as many as any other athlete. He also has nearly 3 million Twitter followers and allegedly dated Kim Kardashian for a short time.
The 29-year-old Houston-born diva ranks unusually low on our list because she didn’t tour or release an album over the past year. This year she pulled in $35 million, whereas last year she made #1 on the list with $87 million in earnings in 2010. But never fear, her fourth solo effort, “4,” is on it’s way there. The simple title was reportedly selected by her fans, and is also a nod to her April 4 wedding anniversary with hubby Jay-Z. In the absence of new revenue on the music side, business-focused Beyoncé cashes in on clothing line Dereon and endorsement deals with L’Oréal, DirecTV, General Mills and others.
9. Lionel Messi
This 23-year-old Barcelona soccer standout soccer star, Lionel Messi landed the number 9 spot ranking in $32 million this year. Nicknamed “The Flea” for his diminutive stature, Messi is the world’s best soccer player, having been voted player of the year the past two seasons. Messi earns $16 million annually on the pitch and he has recently built up his endorsement portfolio, which now includes Adidas, PepsiCo, Konami, Audemars Piguet, Chery and AirEuropa. Dolce & Gabbana struck a deal in October with the Barcelona forward.
Rihanna just missed making Forbes’s Celebrity 100 List, which measures a mix of wealth and fame. But the singer is still a major earner, bringing in $29 million last year, especially for someone so young (23-years-young!). Rihanna’s been churning out hits since 2005 when she released her first single “Pon de Replay ” and she’s showing no signs of slowing down. She’s just set out on tour to promote her latest album, Loud.