The World Richest Celebrities In 2016

By: iTopTopics Staff

The top paid entertainers, richest celebrities in the world

2016 is about to come to an end. It is the time to reflect the past year events and accomplishments. While we are counting down the year end, we review the year past, most notable facts of 2016. This year, the list of highest earning celebrities has been published by Forbes.

Some celebrities were on the top 10 highest paid entertainers last year but this year they are slipping off the top chart like these 2 celebrities: Katy Perry and Robert Downey Jr.

Katy Perry impressively earned $135 million in 2015. It put her right at the top 3rd highest earning celebrity last year but this year her earning is down almost 70% to $41 million.

Robert Downey Jr. who was at the 9th ranking with $80 million in earnings but this year his ranking tumbled down to 86th with a humble $33 million in earnings.

Leading the chart is singer and artist Taylor Swift. Let’s take a look at who else made it to this year top 20 richest celebrities in the entertainment industry along with Taylor Swift. Their wealth is measured merely for their 2016 earnings and not based on any other factor.

The World Highest Paid, Top Earning, Richest Celebrities in 2016,Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift

The mega-superstar song writer and performer Taylor Swift has topped of the chart of the richest, highest earning celebrity in the world  with a 70 million in earnings in 2016, mainly earned from her world tours and endorsement deals.

Taylor Swift - Highest Paid, richest celebrity in the world

Taylor Swift was born on December 13th, 1989 in Reading, Pennsylvania.

Her interest in music started when she was only 9 years old.

On April 5th, 2002, Taylor Swift got her first pubic performance, singing the National Anthem prior to the basketball game between Detroit Pistons against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Taylor Swift wrote her first song “Lucky You” at the age of 12.

Her first album “Taylor Swift” was released on October 24th, 2006 when she was only 16 year old. The album has brought her instant success and put her name on the top Billboard chart and multiple musical awards: the Nashville Songwriters Association's Songwriter/Artist of the Year in 2007 (she was the youngest person to be honored with the title); the Country Music Association's Horizon Award for Best New Artist, the Academy of Country Music Awards' Top New Female Vocalist, the American Music Awards' Favorite Country Female Artist and she even nominated for the Best New Artist at the 2008 Grammy Awards.

Her musical career has been taken off from a great start and continued flourishing over the years with the releases of “Fearless”, “Speak Now” and “Red” albums. All of these albums have been bringing in major hits, success and incomes for Taylor Swift.

In 2015, from the 8th spot in the ranking of the top earning richest celebrities, Taylor Swift has top the chart this year, more than double her income from the smashing success of her 1989 World Tour and her brand endorsements with Diet Coke, Keds and Apple.

Dr. Phil

Dr. Phil has surpassed all his colleagues as talk show host with a mega sizable $88 million in earning for 2016 and climbed from the top 15th ranking in 2015 to top 4th in overall richest celebrities and the 2nd place among the top earning entertainers.

Dr. Phil McGraw

Dr. Phil (Phil McGraw) is 66 years old (born on September 1st, 1950 in Vinita, Oklahoma).

In 1976, Dr. Phil earned his doctorate degree in clinical psychology from the University of North Texas.

In 1990, Dr. Phil co-founded Courtroom Sciences, Inc (CSI) and quit his practice of psychology.

His TV host career started out with a fortunate business encounter with Oprah Winfrey at CSI. Later Oprah invited Dr. Phil as weekly guest appearance as a relationship and life strategy expert in April 1998.

September 2002, he launched his own syndicated daily TV show “Dr. Phil”, produced by Winfrey’s Harpo Studios. There were 2 more shows spun off from “Dr. Phil”, “Dr. Phil House” in 2006 and in 2007 “Decision House”. Both of these syndicated shows didn’t bring much earnings as he would have anticipated. So in 2007, Dr. Phil produced another extension of his show, “The Doctors”, hosted by television personality and ER physician Dr. Travis Stork who was also well-known for his appearance in “The Bachelor” show. The show has proved an enormous success for McGraw’s production.

To stay up-to-date with the movement of technology, Dr. Phil and his company launched “The Doctor On Demand” app which connects patients with doctors via video chats for initial assessment, diagnosis and prescription as needed. The app has a 5-star rating on the iTunes store.

Dr. Phil also received his sizable earnings from being a spokesperson for AARP and AstraZeneca.

Kevin Hart

The 37 year-old stand-up comedian Kevin Hart climbed from the 95th spot last year to the top 3rd in the top earning, highest-paid and richest celebrities this year with $87.5 million. He even took the rein as top earning comedian from Jerry Seinfeld.

Kevin Hart

Kevin Hart was born on July 6, 1979 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

His stand-up comedian hit many bumps on the road and got many boos on the stage. It was a slow start and struggle for him. After many failures, he didn’t give up. He finally found his own comedy style by digging into his own insecurities and life experiences as the sources and inspirations for his jokes.

Kevin Hart wanted to make the comedy business big, like stadium-sized big! His shows play at stadiums and arenas. In 2016 alone, he has done more than 100 shows and managed to fill up every seat at the stadiums and arenas where his shows were at. Each show he pocketed an average of more than million.

To keep up with the technology app age, Kevin Hart also has his own game called “Little Jumpman”. On iTunes store, his app is ranked at the top 50 worldwide paid app and the top 40th in the Games category.

Kevin Hart--the first comedian to ever make more than Jerry Seinfeld--has changed the economy of the funny business by touring like a rockstar. Unlike most comedians, Hart plays stadiums and arenas--over 100 in the past year--and manages to fill them up, grossing an average of over million at each stop.

His top earning this year is also from his movie roles in “Central Intelligence” as Calvin Joyner, a retired unsuccessful athlete-turn-accountant, as the voice of the villain rabbit Snowball in “Secret Life of Pets”. Hart also shot commercials for Hyundai, Foot Locker and H&M.

Howard Stern

Howard Stern has maintained his top ranking among the highest paid celebrities with this year annual earning at $85 million.

Howard Stern

Howard Stern was born on January 12, 1954 in the neighborhood of Queens in New York City.

At age 5 Stern already showed interest in radio. While he was in college, he worked at the campus radio station.

His success in radio career started with “The Howard Stern Show” which aired in 1979. His show was known for outrageous and offensive jokes and stirring up controversy. But perhaps his bullish head-on blunt comments have set Stern aside from his colleagues with his own unique style in the broadcasting industry. His radio show gained a worldwide recognition when it was nationally syndicated on terrestrial radio from 1986 to 2005.

In January 2006, Howard Stern signed an exclusive contract with Sirius XM Radio to host his show on SiriusXM. The partnership has proven a success for both sides. When “The Howard Stern Show” broadcasted on SiriusXM the first time, satellite radio was still an unproven medium among other broadcasting companies. Since then the company merged with rival XM and now has more than 29 million subscribers.

And for Howard Stern, this contract means his earning income for the next 5 years will be ranging between $80 to $90 million annually which secures him at the top spot of the list of the highest earning, top paid and richest celebrities.


Sultry singer Adele is at the top 5th highest paid celebrity in the entertainment industry with $80.5 million in 2016.


Adele (full name: Adele Laurie Blue Adkins) was born on May 5th, 1988 in Tottenham, London, England.

Adele's passion for music started at a very early age. The young 4-year old Adele was more interested in singing than reading. She wrote and composed her first single “Hometown Glory” when she was only 16 years old. The song later was released on October 22nd, 2007 and earned her a Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 2010.

Her first album “19” marking the age when she wrote and composed most of the songs on the album was released in 2008 and topped the British chart. Adele's first album earned her many awards and sealed her recording deals with Columbia Records and XL Recordings and paved her way into the music industry of North America.

Adele’s second album “21” was released on January 24th, 2011 in the UK and a month later in US. “21” instantly hit number 1 in more than 26 countries, including the UK and the US. The album was a huge success for her. It earned her winning all six categories for which she was nominated for during 2012 Grammy Awards, all in one single evening.

Adele's third album “25” was released on November 27th, 2015. The album was top at the UK Albums Chart and became the fastest selling album in UK chart history with over 800,000 copies sold in its very first week in UK and a record-breaking 3.38 million copies in its first week in US.

Her angelic voice and soul piercing lyrics of her songs have made her a mega international musician at such a young age. Adele's worldwide tours after each of her album released have ranked up her earning to the very top earning chart of the top paid and richest celebrities in the world.

Radio host Rush Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh was born January 12, 1951 in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. He is an American entertainer, radio talk show host, writer, and conservative political commentator. His steady income has maintained him at the top highest paid celebrities with earning at $79 million.

Rush Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh’s major career break was when his national radio show debuted in New York City, just weeks before the Republican National Convention in August, 1988.

In 1992 after Bill Clinton won the presidential election, Rush Limbaugh criticized and ridiculed the Clinton family and administration, as well as the Democratic Party. This act had earned him an honorary membership in the Republican Party caucus and made Limbaugh an influential figure on the national political scene.

The Rush Limbaugh Show has been reeling in more subscribers and audience over the years. In 2016, Limbaugh signed a lucrative $400 million contract with Premiere Radio networks and iHeartMedia to continue his talk show for another 4 year.


Madonna is at the #12 highest earning entertainers in general and top 7 highest earning & richest celebrities in the entertainment industry with $76.5 million in 2016. Madonna’s earnings mainly come from her worldwide tour as well as her business ventures in perfume and fashion.


Madonna (real name: Madonna Louise Ciccone) was born August 16, 1958 in Bay City, Michigan.

Madonna started out her entertainment career as a dancer and backup singer. In 1981, Madonna and her former boyfriend Stephen Bray formed the band Emmy. They wrote songs together. Their collaboration gave Madonna her career breakthrough in the music industry. It earned her single record deal with Sire in 1982. When Madonna walks out on stage to perform, she commands full attention from her audience with her engaging, sometimes over the boundary of being sexy, provocative performances. But she has made herself a music mogul and the top performer of all time with her own controversial style. Even though there is no denial in Madonna’s success over the years, her music career has been the subject of scrutiny for lacking of outstanding talent as a musician, lack of a unique voice as a vocalist. But her talent lies with her ability to exploit demands and desire from her audience, her fans. She knows what to deliver, how to please her audience, whether it requires her to experiment new style, new moves. Her career has been going strong not only in music but also in film industry. There is no sign of her slowing down at the age of 58, she proves to be one deserving top of entertainers in the world.

In September 9th, 2015 Madonna started her 10th worldwide tour to promote her 13th and latest album “The Rebel Heart”.

Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres is an American comedian, actress, writer, producer and television host of the “Ellen Degeneres” talk show with earnings of $75 million in 2016.

Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres was born January 26, 1958 in Metairie, Louisiana.

Her stand-up career started in 1980’s with her comedy national tour. She has starred in various movies and television shows. Her biggest career breakthrough was the success and popularity of the sitcom “Ellen” (used to be “These Friends of Mine”) consisting of 109 episodes. After the sitcom was cancelled in 1989, she started her own talk show “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” in September 2003 till present. With her upbeat and down-to-earth humor, Ellen DeGeneres has led her show to the most-watched daytime talk show, with 3.6 million people watching per day. The show was nominated for 11 Daytime Emmy Awards in the first season and won 4, including Best Talk Show Award. After its first three seasons on air, the show won a total of 25 Emmy Awards.

Ellen DeGeneres’ earnings for 2016 are mostly from her daytime TV talk show and her voice as Dory in “Finding Dory”. She is also the spokesperson for the Cover Girl cosmetics. To keep up with the app and technology age, Ellen DeGeneres also released her own mobile app called “Heads Up!” It is a game to name celebrities based on the clues of your friends to read the words on the card you are holding on your head. You’ll have to act with silly accents, to sing to give clues so the person holding the card can guess who the celebrity is. The paid game has been downloaded 25.5 million times and ranked at 4.5 stars on iTunes app store.


The Barbados native artist Rihanna has made her impressive career in US with this year in the top earning celebrities with a total $75 million paycheck.


Rihanna was born February 20th, 1988 in Saint Michael, Barbados.

Her music career started when she formed a trio band with her classmates in 2003. She was discovered by American record producer Evan Rogers. Rogers’ production company Syndicated Rhythm Productions completed her demo tape and distributed to various record labels around the world in late 2004. But her career breakthrough didn’t happen a year later after her audition for Def Jam. In 2005 she signed her contract deal with Def Jam and relocated from Barbados to the United States.

Her latest album, also her #8 album “Anti” was released January 28th, 2016. After debuting at number twenty seven on the US Billboard 200, Anti jumped to the top of the chart and becoming Rihanna's second number one and the eighth top ten album on the chart. Rihanna also lent her voice in the movie “Home”, “Ocean’s Eight” - an all-female spin-off of the Ocean's Eleven franchise. Rihanna also earned humongous endorsements from Dior, Samsung, Stance and Puma beside doing her music touring and releasing her single hits.

Garth Brooks

The country music crooner Garth Brooks has continued being ranked on the top 10 of highest paid, richest celebrities for 2016 with a $70 million in total earning.

Garth Brooks

Photo by Disney | ABC Television Group, licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Garth Brooks was born February 7, 1962 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The 54-year old singer, song writer started his music career by singing and playing guitar in Oklahoma clubs and bars in 1985.

Brooks’ career breakthrough was the debut of his Garth Brooks album, released on April 12, 1989. The album put him on the top #13 on the Billboard 200 and #2 on the Top Country Albums chart. To this date, the album has sold ten million copies in the US and thirteen million copies worldwide.

In late 2014 Garth Brooks released his comeback single, "People Loving People", in promotion of his world tour and new album, Man Against Machine. A year later, he re-issued his album “No Fences” to commemorate its 25-year release anniversary. His comeback tour started in 2015 and continues to 2016. It has helped racking up his earnings to the #6 top earning in the first year of his comeback tour in 2015 and continues to bring in a substantial earnings for Brooks this year. His tour stretches well into 2017 so expecting his ranking will continue top of the chart for the year to come.

Dwayne Johnson

Dwayne Johnson was born May 2, 1972 in Hayward, California. He is a world-renown professional wrestler with his ring name “The Rock”, movie producer and well-known action hero actor with the total earning of $64.5 million in 2016.

Dwayne Johnson

Photo by David Shankbone, licensed under CC BY 2.0

2016 is a busy year for Dwayne Johnson. He co-starred with Kevin Hart in the action-comedy “Central Intelligence”. He also lent his voice in the Disney film “Moana”. Johnson has ranked up his earnings this year with a big paycheck from “The Fast and the Furious” franchise. Its #8 sequel “Fast 8” has set a release date April 14th, 2017. He also produced and starred in the remake of “Baywarch”, “Rampage” and “Jumanji” films which will be released in 2017.

David Copperfield

David Copperfield’s shows have sold over 33 million tickets and grossed over $4 billion, which is more than any solo performance by any artist in the history. He hasn’t been slowing down since, within a 12 month period, he has performed 638 shows in Vegas. His show in Las Vegas has brought him to the top earning, richest celebrities in 2016 with the total of $64 million.

David Copperfield

For years this 60 year old world-renowned illusionist has captured the world with his magical tricks and captivating stories. David Copperfield career has spanned over 40 years, started out with his lead role for the musical show “The Magic Man” in Chicago when he was only 18 years old. Since his first appearance on stage till today, he has amazed the world with his illusions and mesmerized his audience with his performances. David Copperfield has won 21 Emmy Awards out of 38 nominations and 11 Guiness World Records. David Copperfield has earned his honorable knighthood by the French government, his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was named as a Living Legend by the US Library of Congress (a research library that serves the United States Congress and the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States).

Calvin Harris

The name Calvin Harris got exploded on almost every entertainment news when he and Taylor Swift broke up in June 2016. There was rumor that Harris was intimidated by the success of his then girlfriend. Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris couldn't keep their relationship last despite the passion they had for each other at the beginning. Calvin Harris has made his top standing in his own entertainment industry. For 3 consecutive years since 2013, Calvin Harris has been crowned as the highest-earning DJ in the world with his 2016 earning income at $63 million.

Calvin Harris

Calvin Harris was born on 17 January 1984 in Dumfries, Scotland. He is a record producer, singer, songwriter and DJ. Recently, Harris has collaborated with many well-known recording artists like Rihanna and run his own record label “Fly Eye Records”. In early 2012, Harris signed an exclusive DJ residency deal with Wynn Las Vegas which included gigs at three of the luxury resort's avenues in Las Vegas. Calvin Harris is also the returning face of Emporio Armani for their brand underwear line, eyewear and watch line Fall/Winter 2015/2016.

Sean Combs - P. Diddy

The 46 year old American rapper known as P. Diddy, singer, songwriter, actor, record producer and entrepreneur was top-ranked for his earnings at $62 million in 2016 not from his music career but for his business ventures in film production, clothing line and the lucrative deal with Diageo’s Cîroc vodka brand for a 50 percent share of the profits. In summer 2016 he also kicked off his Bad Boy Reunion Tour.

Diddy Sean Combs

Jackie Chan

The 62-year old action movie star Jackie Chan has announced his retirement as action/stunt actor in 2012 at Cannes Film Festival. But since that announcement, he has continued featured and 3 other movies and continue to count. Over 30 years of his acting career, he has starred in more than 100 movies. He is the top 2nd highest paid actor and one of the richest celebrities in the world with an impressive $61 million in earnings for 2016.

Jackie Chan

Bruce Springsteen

The 67 year old “The Boss” singer, song writer and musician Bruce Springsteen raked his earning at USD 60.5 million this year majority based on his tour with his E Street Band. “The River 2016” tour has been a huge success, bringing in tens of millions. According to Billboard Box Score’s mid-year report, “The River 2016” tour has been the highest grossing world-wide tour with 1.1 million tickets sold and over USD 35 million in box office revenue. The Boss has no intention to slow down his successful touring. “The River 2016” tour dates have been ended in September 2016 but already there have been promotion images of the continuance of The River Tour 2016 for the show to go on as “Summer ’17 Tour”. Bruce Springsteen also planned for his book tour for his autobiography “Born to Run” in September and October 2016 for US, January & February 2017 for Australia & New Zealand.

Song writer, singer and musician Bruce Springsteen

Paul McCartney

The former member of the Beatles Paul McCartney has rocked his earnings to the top based on his music career for almost 60 years. McCartney has released an extensive catalogue of songs as a solo artist and has composed classical and electronic music. Paul McCartney has been collaborated with other artists to record and on touring with them, such as Kayne West, Rihanna, Paul Simon, Katy Perry and Beyonce. June 10th, 2016 McCartney released the music career collection “Pure McCartney” which includes songs from throughout his solo career and his work with Wings and the Fireman. McCartney rakes his earnings from a significant music publishing catalogue, with access to over 25,000 copyrights, including the publishing rights to the musicals Guys and Dolls, A Chorus Line, Annie and Grease. Paul McCartney's 2016 earnings reported at $56.5 million.

Former member of the Beatles Paul McCartney

Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber is a young 22-year old Canadian song writer and singer who made his name to the top of highest paid celebrities this year with $56 million in earning. His very first album “My World” released in 2009 when he was barely 15 years old and became platinum in US. Justin Bieber became the first artist to have seven songs from a debut record chart on the Billboard Hot 100.

Justin Bieber

His latest album, Purpose was released on November 13, 2015 and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. It became Bieber's sixth album to debut at the top of that chart. He promoted the album with his world-wide tour on March 9th, 2016. His musical success continues with other singles he released in 2016 like “Let Me Love You” debuted at #12th and “Cold Water” debuted at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. He also made his earnings from endorsement for Calvin Klein.

19. Kenny Chesney

Tied in the rank with Justin Bieber, 48-year old country musician Kenny Chesney raked his earning this year with $56 million from his stadium tours. He signed up with millions in endorsement deals with Corona Beer and Costa sunglasses. Kenny Chesney also owns 100% shares of Blue Chair Bay rum which he launched in 2013 and it has been tripled its annual sales since.

Kenny Chesney

Matt Damon

The 45-year old American actor, film producer and screenwriter Matt Damon raked his earnings of $55 million for 2016. He played the main character, an astronaut named Mark Watney, in Ridley Scott's The Martian released in 2015, based on Andy Weir's best-selling novel of the same name, a role that earned him the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy and his second Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. Even though Jeremy Renner played main charactor in Jason Bourne movie in the 4th sequel “The Bourne Legacy”, Matt Damon secured his role as Mark Watney again when he decided to come back with the Bourne franchise in “Jason Bourne” released July 29th, 2016, reuniting with Paul Greengrass. Matt Damon also signed to star in Alexander Payne's upcoming film Downsizing and Zhang Yimou's The Great Wall.

Matt Damon