They say that the life of a celebrity isn’t all it’s cracked up to be — but after going through this list, that may be hard to believe. These are some of the wealthiest stars in the world, and fans continue to adore them. But which celebrity holds the crown for having the highest net worth? The answer may surprise you.
25. Kaley Cuoco – $55 million
Fans first got introduced to Kaley Cuoco as Penny, the blonde roommate-turned-friend on the extraordinarily successful CBS comedy sitcom The Big Bang Theory. By the time the show’s 12-season run had ended, Cuoco had become one of the most famous television actresses in Hollywood, with an impressive net worth of $55 million.
Considering the fact that Cuoco, like her character on the show, was a struggling actress for years beforehand, it was certainly a major financial turnaround in her life. However, though she does appear in the occasional movie here and there (The Wedding Ringer), she’s been mostly under the radar since the show aired.
24. Emma Watson – $80 million
The actress formerly known as Hermione Granger will always be revered by Harry Potter fans the world over. But unlike some of her co-stars from J.K. Rowling’s iconic fantasy franchise, she was able to spread her wings into Hollywood quite easily afterwards. Emma Watson found another niche in the 2012 teen drama The Perks Of Being A Wallflower.
A few years later, she dipped her toes back into the fantasy pool when she became Belle in the 2017 live-action remake of Disney’s Beauty And The Beast. Outside of Hollywood, Watson has also become a huge voice for women’s rights in the modern era. Finance website Celebrity Net Worth has assessed that she has a net worth of $80 million — but considering her young age, that could skyrocket pretty quickly.
23. Jon Stewart – $80 million
If there’s one thing we can learn from the success of Jon Stewart, it’s that sometimes all you need is a million dollar idea. Starting off as a comedian in the ’80s, he found minor success, but nothing compared to the wealth he would eventually earn the following decade.
Stewart eventually launched The Jon Stewart Show, a political talk show that discussed current events while mocking them at the same time. It turns out that this was exactly what a certain demographic of Americans wanted — to find a way to laugh at heavy issues that are normally hard to take lightly. He later started the currently popular program The Daily Show, and this helped him garner the estimated $80 million net worth he holds today.
22. Jim Carrey – $150 million
Some people are just given a gift, and Jim Carrey is one of those people. In the ’90s, he was the prototypical go-to actor if you wanted a night of endless laughter. He’ll always be remembered for side-splitting comedies like Ace Ventura, The Mask, Dumb and Dumber, and many others.
But later on in his career’s trajectory, he proved that he also had the capability to express real emotion on screen, in heavier, more philosophical films like The Truman Show and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Recently, finance websites have estimated his net worth to be $150 million — and with him continuing to make movies, that could continue to grow.
21. Scarlett Johansson – $165 million
Movie-buffs first met Scarlett Johansson as a young teen, when she appeared in 1998’s The Horse Whisperer. Unlike other child stars who faded away, however, Johansson’s success only blossomed as time went on. She continued to impress critics with more serious roles in films like Lost In Translation and Girl With a Pearl Earring — and that was still only the beginning.
More recently, she’s cracked into the superhero genre, gaining even more popularity as Black Widow in the MCU franchise. Indeed, she’s quite a fan favorite in the eyes of men and women alike, which makes it no surprise to us that multiple finance websites have estimated her net worth to be around $165 million.
20. Ed Sheeran – $196 million
Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran has managed to make a fortune doing what he loves. Like many others on this list, he’s found a way to rake in millions of dollars with his talent, from blushing brides walking down the aisle to his songs, to nightclubs blasting his tunes for young dancers.
Interestingly enough, not many people know that Sheeran actually used to have a stutter when he was young, and that he was quite self-conscious about it. Considering where he is today, with a net worth of $196 million, it just goes to show that you never know what kind of hidden talents we may possess deep down.
19. Carrie Underwood – $200 million
In the early days of the popular reality singing competition American Idol, the fan-beloved stars who graced its stage rarely achieved consistent A-list celebrity status. One big exception came in 2005, when the show introduced us to country singer Carrie Underwood. When she won the show, her future in the music business looked promising, but it’s probably safe to say that no one expected how high she would eventually fly.
Basking in the success of songs like “Jesus Take The Wheel” and “Before He Cheats”, Underwood grew to become a household name in modern country music. It’s crazy to think that she now holds an estimated net worth of $200 million, when it all started from her simply being a talented contestant on a singing show.
18. Samuel L. Jackson – $250 million
Not only has Samuel L. Jackson been part of numerous fan-favorite films, he pretty much always steals the scene. Known for his bark and not taking any flak from anyone, Jackson’s characters have an aesthetic rawness to them. From his multiple Tarantino film appearances (Pulp Fiction, Django Unchained), to more sentimental roles (Coach Carter), to sci-fi blockbusters (Star Wars, The Avengers), Jackson’s Hollywood presence is all across the map.
One of the most sought-after actors in Hollywood today, it’s speculated that his net worth is around $250 million. We can’t wait to see what he appears in next, and what new words of wisdom his character will bequeath to us.
17. Mark Wahlberg – $300 million
Not many people today remember that acting wasn’t Mark Wahlberg’s first introduction to the entertainment industry. In fact, he was once known as “Marky Mark,” the frontman for his early-’90s rap group Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. Eventually, however, he merged his way into the world of film, and that suited him pretty well.
In the late ‘90s, he appeared alongside a star-studded cast in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights, and in later years would make a name for himself in action films like The Italian Job and The Departed. Given his secured place as one of Hollywood’s leading men, his $300 million estimated net worth doesn’t surprise us at all.
16. Taylor Swift – $360 million
When Tay-Tay started out, she was just a teen country idol showing tribute to her predecessors with Southern bangers like “Tim McGraw” and “Our Song.” But soon enough, her sound began to evolve into more pop-oriented territories, and her fan base expanded as a result.
From tunes like “Love Story” and “I Knew You Were Trouble” to more electro-based hits like “Shake It Off” and “The Man,” Swift is undoubtedly one of the most popular artists in music today. Finance website Business Insider believes her net worth to be in the ballpark of $360 million, and we expect that given her current momentum, that number is far from slowing down.
15. Beyoncé – $400 million
There’s a certain reverence that gets saved for celebrities who are called by one name alone. Take, for example, Madonna, Cher, Bono, Seal…and Beyoncé. All you have to do is say her name (pun intended), and millions the world over instantly gush with admiration. She started her music career out strong as part of the girl group Destiny’s Child, but eventually it became clear that she was planning on going solo.
14. Tom Hanks – $400 million
It’s hard to meet a person who doesn’t love Tom Hanks. Go ahead, try to find one…we’ll wait. He just has this uncanny ability to inhabit his characters in such a real way that fans can’t help but identify with him. From feeling lost and desolate in Cast Away, to running marathons as Forrest Gump, to realizing the voice of Sheriff Woody in Toy Story, Hanks’ impact is felt in endless blockbuster classics.
He’s undoubtedly made multiple production companies millions of dollars, which is why he himself now has a net worth of $400 million, according to finance website Celebrity Net Worth. Indeed, life is definitely a box of chocolates — and pretty expensive ones too.
13. Adam Sandler – $420 million
Another giant in the comedy film world, Adam Sandler made an entire generation of teenage goofballs laugh. Whether he was seeing make-believe swans as the titular lead in Billy Madison, or making us cry in Big Daddy, millions of viewers were entertained by his talent.
Since the ’90s, Sandler has continued to make films, even starring in a recently-released Netflix thriller called Uncut Gems. That said, many diehard fans still look back on his early days as his “golden era.” Nevertheless, he’s always been one of the top money-makers in Hollywood, and has a current net worth estimated to be around $420 million.
12. Mariah Carey – $520 million
It’s not enough to just have a set of iron pipes in show business — in addition, you’ve got to have that “it” quality. Whatever it is, Mariah Carey has always had it, and today she’s still one of the first names that comes to mind when you think of the word “singer.” Back in 1991, she wowed the world with a debut album that sold 15 million copies in the first year alone.
A few more platinum albums later, and Carey was already being spoken of as one of the greatest singers to ever sweep the charts. She was also a money-making machine, earning $60 million in 1994 from the release of just one song, “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” Finance website Business Insider has estimated her current net worth to be an impressive $520 million.
11. Tom Cruise – $570 million
Ever since his early Top Gun days, Tom Cruise has been one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood, and one of the highest-paid actors of all time. This is certainly why he possesses an estimated net worth of $570 million, according to various finance websites. Known primarily as a typecast for action heroes, he’s appeared in countless films of the genre, including the popular Mission Impossible film series.
But what some people don’t know about Cruise is his great approach towards improving his craft. On the topic of failure, he said, “I disagree with people who think you learn more from getting beat up than you do from winning.”
10. Madonna – $570 million
When you think about pop divas like Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Shakira, or Christina Aguilera, the influence of Madonna is unmistakable. During an ’80s music period where experimentation with synths and electronic beats was all the rage, a new style of pop emerged and Madonna was the face of it all.
Throughout her illustrious career in entertainment, she’s been one savvy businesswoman. In 1990 she was actually the first woman to ever appear on the cover of Forbes. In 2019, the esteemed finance assessment company evaluated her net worth to be around $570 million, showing us just how much the “Material Girl” is worth in this material world.
9. Simon Cowell – $600 million
While most people think of Simon Cowell as the hard-nosed, sassy judge on reality talent competitions American Idol and the X-Factor, that’s not all he’s known for. He’s consistently displayed a keen eye for talent, like when he signed smashing hit artists like One Direction and Leona Lewis, catapulting them into a world of success.
With all of these ventures, and his strong reputation as a hilarious television personality, his net worth is estimated to be around $600 million. On the topic of his success, Cowell has been known to offer words of wisdom to his fans, such as: “Learn how to take criticism. Follow your gut instincts and don’t compromise.”
8. Dolly Parton – $600 million
When you think about influential female country singers, let alone leading women in music in general, it’s hard not to think of Dolly Parton. Nowadays there are some truly talented ladies in the industry, but how many of them can conjure up a storm of emotions like Dolly can?
With a voice like a canary, she’s given us her soul with heart-melters like “I Will Always Love You” and “9 to 5”, “Jolene”, and countless others. Over the years her impact can’t be touched — and neither can her bank account. Thanks to her music success as well as her theme park, Dolly’s estimated net worth of $600 million (according to finance website Celebrity Net Worth) certainly matches her presence in the industry.
7. Howard Stern – $650 million
Every generation needs a person to tell it like it is, and Howard Stern is definitely one of those people. A radio host who’s been called controversial to say the least, he’s also managed to rake up some serious dollar bills in the process.
Given the fact that his creative platform, The Howard Stern Show, ran successfully from 1986 all the way to 2005, it’s safe to say he had a rather loyal fanbase. In addition, he would later get various gigs like a three-year stint as a judge for the reality show America’s Got Talent. Multiple finance websites have evaluated his net worth to be around $650 million, an impressive feat for a radio host.
6. Bono – $700 million
First consider the fact that U2 was ranked #22 by Rolling Stone on their list of “Greatest Artists of All Time.” Then consider the fact that Bono is certainly the most famous person in the band, with a voice that cuts through stadiums, belting anthems that people are still singing to this day.
Known for songs like “With Or Without You,” “Vertigo,” and countless others, Bono has retained a golden seat in the halls of alternative rock. But apparently his net worth of $700 million isn’t just because of his rock legend status. He also made some wise investments, including a little social media website called Facebook. Yeah, that’s right: Bono reportedly owns 2.3% of the social media company, adding a substantial amount to his wealth.
5. Dr. Dre – $770 million
Try to think about any hip-hop song you’ve ever loved, and there’s a good chance Dr. Dre influenced it in some way. Named originally Andre Young, he’s considered one of the most important people not just in the history of the rap and hip-hop genres, but music itself in the last 30 years. He originally got his start in Compton, California, as a founding member of the pioneering rap group N.W.A.
In the ’90s, he branched out on his own, producing not just his own music, but that of Eminem, Snoop Dogg, and countless other big names. As his career continued to sparkle, he founded the lucrative electronics company, Beats By Dre, and in 2019 Forbes estimated his net worth to be around $770 million.
4. Jerry Seinfeld – $950 million
Looking back on Jerry Seinfeld’s entire career, it’s pretty incredible to take into account what he’s managed to accomplish. Starting off as a comedian in the New York scene back in the early ’80s, he made his first big splash doing a stand-up gig on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
This led to a handful of other nationally-televised talk show appearances, but it was Seinfeld that catapulted his legacy into the stratosphere. Teaming up with writer Larry David, Seinfeld pioneered a sitcom about nothing, balancing his wry sense of humor with a steady stream of clever plotlines. To this day the show is still a classic, and the comedian is said to have an astounding net worth of $950 million.
3. Jay-Z – $1 billion
Even though Jay-Z is considered to be one of the most influential rappers of his era, some might argue that wife Beyoncé has enjoyed a more successful music career when it comes to chart-topping singles. With that being said, fans might be shocked to learn that Jay-Z is miles beyond his spouse as far as net worth goes.
According to Business Insider, Jay-Z has a net worth of a billion dollars, which would make him the first hip-hop billionaire in history. But how did he manage to pull that off? Well, it’s mainly because in addition to his music ventures, the “Empire State of Mind” rapper is a huge entrepreneur. He’s managed to find massive success in lucrative businesses that include the music streaming service Tidal, a clothing line, and even a high-end sports club.
2. Kylie Jenner – $1 billion
Who would’ve ever predicted that the youngest out of the entire Kardashian-Jenner clan would also end up being the wealthiest? She was only 22 when Forbes dubbed her the youngest self-made billionaire ever, but Jenner is actually relatively modest about the whole thing.
Telling the New York Times, “I can’t say I’ve done it by myself,” she continued by stating that although she hadn’t inherited any money, she started off with a built-in platform that most starting entrepreneurs don’t have access to. That said, her lip cosmetics brand did so well that she eventually sold it for $600 million. How many of her sisters can say that?
1. Paul McCartney – $1.2 billion
How do you put a price on a living, breathing Beatle? It sure isn’t easy, but various finance publications have estimated that the singer’s net worth is currently around $1.2 billion. Considering the fact that McCartney is responsible for delivering tunes to us like “Yesterday,” “I Wanna Hold Your Hand,” and oh so many more, this level of wealth can’t be too surprising.
Together with his late bandmates, John Lennon and George Harrison — and of course living legend drummer Ringo Starr — McCartney is one of the most iconic figures in the history of music. No Paul, money can’t buy you love, but it can sure buy you a spot on this esteemed list.