I Got It, Babe: Female Celebrity Breadwinners
These aren’t the old days. More and more women have headed to the work force and are commanding big paychecks. And with these celebrity couples, the women are to top breadwinners.
Nicki Minaj’s relationship with her hypeman Safaree is the worst kept secret in the hip-hop world since Sean “Diddy” Combs tried to hide his romance with Cassie. The Young Money princess and her rumored boo were together for more than a decade, long before the fame and he’s stood by her side during her rise to the top and every trip to the bank. But word on the street is the “Anaconda” rapper has kicked her longtime boyfriend to the curb recently because he’s become jealous of her success.
Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos first met on the set of “All My Children.” They played a couple on the long-running soap opera and before long they were a couple in real life. They eloped in 1996 and since then Ripa starred on the sitcom “Hope & Faith” but after landing the coveted job sitting alongside Regis Philbin back in 2000, she’s become a very rich woman. Consuelos has appeared in numerous Lifetime movies and currently stars in the Amazon TV series “Alpha House.”
When we were first introduced to NeNe Leakes on the debut season of “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” she was the homemaker and her husband Gregg was the one who worked to put a roof over their heads. But her popularity grew and not only did NeNe become the highest paid Atlanta housewife, she also started booking work outside of Bravo, such as her recurring role on “Glee.” She became the one who was bringing home the most money and it caused a rift in the couple. They ended up divorced but soon Gregg realized he made a mistake and he did everything he could to win NeNe back.
NeNe Leakes isn’t the only Atlanta housewife who’s earning more than her partner. Kandi Burruss got her first taste of fame as part of the R&B group Xscape. She stayed on the music scene behind closed doors and penned songs for other artists such as TLC’s “No Scrubs” before joining the second season of “RHOA.” Last season her mother Mama Joyce was dead set against her union with fiancée Todd Tucker because she felt he was only marrying her daughter Kandi for her money.
Jessica Simpson started out as a reality pop star who wanted to be a country singer. Along the way she’s delved into the world of acting but really came into her own as a businesswoman. The Jessica Simpson Collection offers fashionable shoes and handbags at a reasonable price and is helping Simpson to become the first celebrity to rake in a billion dollars in sales in a single year. Worth a reported $150 million, Simpson married retired NFL player Eric Johnson, who last played in 2007 and has been quite happy staying home with their two young children.
There’s no bigger couple in music than Beyonce and Jay Z. Last year the pair topped the Forbes list as the highest earning couple raking in a combined $95 million. But Jay Z was edged out by his better half just slightly. While he commanded $1.4 million per night with his solo “Magna Carta Holy Grail” tour, Bey brought in $2 million a night as part of her “Mrs. Carter” tour proving that girls really do rule the world.
There aren’t too many men in the world worth more money than Oprah Winfrey. The talk show host maven has been with her longtime partner Stedman Graham since the mid 80’s. Winfrey, who’s net worth is reportedly at a staggering $3 billion, had planned to marry Graham back in 1992 but the wedding was called off. “If I had wanted to get married, I could’ve made the time,” Winfrey said. “I’m not a traditional woman and I haven’t had a traditional life and I think that had Steadman and I gotten married, we certainly would not have stayed married.”
When Bethenny Frankel first joined the cast of “Real Housewives of New York,” she was a single woman who was struggling to get her business off of the ground. She married businessman Jason Hoppy in 2010 and a year later she founded the Skinnygirl cocktail company and was soon raking in $12 million a year, way more than her new husband. A couple years later the two were squaring off in divorce court and Hoppy’s alleged resentment towards his wife’s sudden success was reportedly a huge problem between the two.
Few people knew about Mariah Carey’s relationship with Nick Cannon until they eloped in 2008. With her older age and considerable wealth, the “America’s Got Talent” host was teased by the public and has been called “Mr. Carey” as a joke. But earlier this year, the couple surprised a lot of people yet again when they announced that they were calling it quits. While an agreement has been hashed out as far as property split and the custody of their twins Monroe and Morocco, the couple is reportedly fighting over the custody of Carey’s eight dogs.
Britney Spears made Kevin Federline the happiest baby daddy on the face of the earth. She managed to snag the backup dancer while he was in a relationship with actress Shar Jackson and the mother of his first two children. They got married in matching velour suits and had back-to-back babies but their union ended in disaster. After the pop diva had a public meltdown, he was awarded full custody of their two children and he collected a hefty child support check.
Jennifer Lopez may be Jenny from the block but her bank account says otherwise. In 2011, she split from her husband Marc Anthony but that marked her biggest earning year. La Lopez saw her bank account increase by $52 million. And she wasn’t single for long. J. Lo was soon frolicking around town with her backup dancer Jasper Smart. He worked his way up to become her choreographer but his salary still couldn’t hold a light to his famous boo’s.
Gwen Stefani started out as the frontman of the alternative rock group No Doubt. She left to pursue a solo career of her own and ended up starting her own clothing label. In addition to lending her talents to be a mentor on “The Voice,” Stefani raked in $28 million in 2012. She married Gavin Rossdale, the frontman for the English rock band Bush, in 2002.
Tom Brady is one of the highest paid quarterbacks in the NFL. But in the Brady household, his wife Gisele Bundchen is the primary breadwinner. In 2012, the Victoria Secret’s supermodel earned more than $45 million. That tops her husband’s paycheck. The New England Patriots superstar signed a four-year $72 million contract and although he brought home extra money with endorsement deals, it still paled in comparison to what his wife was bringing home.
Wendy Williams started out in radio and her penchant for getting all up in a celebrity’s personal life helped her earned a name for herself. After dominating the airwaves, the New Jersey native took her talents to television. Her husband Kevin Hunter has served as her manager and executive producer of her talk show and a lot of other projects she’s worked on. However, Williams is the primary breadwinner and the one who brings home the big paycheck in their household.
Natalie Portman has been called one of Hollywood’s most bankable actresses. But she’s not an eligible bachelorette. That’s because choreographer Benjamin Millepied scooped her up on the set of “Black Swan.” Portman and Millepied met while she was working towards her first Oscar and in no time she was pregnant with their first child. They tied the knot a year later.