Working in the arts is a tricky business.
While many artists struggle to stay afloat, the entertainment industry is arguably driven by the elusive promise that someday, you too could make it big. Of course, "big breaks" are largely dependent upon luck and connections. Just how much money are folks in the entertainment industry raking in?
According to Forbes, the top 10 highest paid musicians span genres and eras. 2019 saw Taylor Swift remain far and away the wealthiest musician in the world, followed closely by rival Kanye West. It also saw Beyoncé and Jay-Z amass exactly the same number of millions in the same year (some Illuminati sh*t if I've ever seen it).
- Taylor Swift: $185 Million
- Kanye West: $150 Million
- Ed Sheeran: $110 Million
- The Eagles: $100 Million
- Elton John: $84 Million
- Jay-Z: $81 Million
- Beyoncé Knowles: $81 Million
- Drake: $75 Million
- Sean Combs: $70 Million
- Metallica: $68 Million
As for actors, the top 10 list includes only men—and their salaries are significantly lower than what the top 10 highest paid musicians are raking in. Most of these stars have been in the entertainment industry for a while, and the majority have starred in at least one major franchise.
- Dwayne the Rock Johnson: $65 Million
- Robert Downey Jr.: $62 Million
- Jackie Chan: $55 Million
- Matt Damon: $55 Million
- Johnny Depp: $48 Million
- Vin Diesel: $47 Million
- Tom Cruise: $40 Million
- Leonardo DiCaprio: $39 Million
- Amitabh Bachchan: $33.5 Million
- Shahrukh Khan: $33 Million
Not all of the highest-paid entertainers are actors or musicians. Here are a few more miscellaneous super-rich stars:
- Cristiano Ronaldo, $109 Million
- Neymar, $105 Million
- Dr. Phil, $95 Million
- Canelo Alvarez, $94 Million
- Roger Federer, $93.4 Million
- J. K. Rowling, $92 Million
- Ellen DeGeneres, $80.5 Million
- Tiger Woods, $63.9 Million
- Gordon Ramsay, $63 Million
When we start talking about influencers and social media stars, things get a bit more complex, because social media stars make their living in a variety of (often unreported) manners. Still, if you're looking to make a killing on social media, becoming a YouTube gaming maestro or fitness blogger (or marrying into the Kardashian clan) might be the way to go. In no particular order, here are some of the Internet's highest paid influencers:
- Kylie Jenner: $170 million, reportedly takes home one million dollars per sponsored post
- Evan Fong, aka VanossGaming: $18 Million
- Kayla Itsines: $17 Million
- DanTDM, YouTube gaming star: $16.5 Million
- PewDiePie: $12.5 Million
- Mark Fischbach: $12.5 Million
- Jake Paul: $12 million
- Kim Kardashian: $720,000 per sponsored post
- Selena Gomez: $550,000 per sponsored post
- Lily Singh: $10.5 Million
Does this fill you with an irrational rage? Are you thinking right now that a lot of these people aren't that talented—or maybe they are talented, but you know so many people who are just as talented and hard-working as these folks and yet struggle to find their next meal or pay their rent? Does it bother you to think about how much just a fraction of these stars' wealth could do for your family, or any humanitarian cause? How, if we glorified kindness and equality rather than ostentatious wealth-hoarding, the world could be a totally different place?
The answer, my friend, is to become a democratic socialist and preferably vote Bernie in 2020, or at least support policies and organizations that tax the rich and prevent some people from literally bathing in wealth while others struggle to make it day to day. What, where did you think this was going?