Forbes is an American publishing and media company. Its flagship publication, the Forbes magazine, is well-known for its lists, including articles on the richest Americans (the Forbes 400) and its list of billionaires. The company has discovered that people are interested in learning about the world’s richest celebrities. The curiosity has spawned a large collection of websites that are dedicated to documenting celebrity net worth. For example, former boxing champion Mike Tyson holds an estimated net worth of $1 million, while boxing promoter Don King is worth $150 million. This article will examine ten international celebrities that are shockingly rich. I have attempted to select individuals from many different fields, including musicians, designers, actors, producers, radio personalities, authors, comedians, sports figures, models, and directors.
10. Bryan Williams (Birdman)
Estimated Net Worth: $100 Million
Bryan Williams is the co-founder of Cash Money Records. He was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and has gone multi-platinum as both an artist and a producer. His label has helped craft albums for many artists including Lil Wayne and Juvenile. In 2000 Birdman was nominated for two Grammies for his song #1 Stunna, which he released with Mannie Fresh as part of the rap duo Big Tymers. To date, Cash Money Records is the most commercially successful label in the history of hip hop music with 50 million records sold and annual revenues in excess of $100 million. By the time Birdman was 22-years-old he had already amassed a net worth of $40 million. He owns a $30 million condo in Miami.
In the music industry, a large majority of the money is made by the record executives. This is why popular rappers usually expand and create their own labels. Let’s examine the net worth of some of the biggest names in music. Jay-Z is one of three founders of Roc-A-Fella records and Roc Nation. In 2007 he sold Rocaware clothing, which he co-founded, for $204 million. Jay-Z’s official net worth is $450 million, but when you account for his many sources of income the number is closer to $1 billion.
In 1993, Sean Combs founded Bad Boy Records. He has two successful clothing lines, Sean John and Sean by Sean Combs. In 2011, Forbes estimated Sean Combs net worth at $500 million, making him the richest figure in hip hop. Russell Simmons is a very successful American entrepreneur and co-founder of Def Jam. His personal net worth is reputed to be $500 million, officially reported at $325 million. Some other wealthy rapper/executives include Master P ($350 million), 50 Cent ($250 million), Dr. Dre ($180 million), Eminem ($115 million), and Snoop Dogg ($110 million).
Birdman claims that every 6 months he buys 100 new cars and gives away all the “old” ones. At any given time he is wearing millions of dollars worth of jewelry including a 15 carat black diamond ring, matching earrings, and a $500,000 grill on his teeth. He personally lost 20 houses and 50 cars including two Maybachs and four Ferraris during Hurricane Katrina.
9. Gisele Bündchen
Gisele Bündchen is a Brazilian fashion model. In the late 1990s, Bündchen became one of the first in a wave of Brazilian models to find success. She initially intended on making a career as a professional volleyball player, but her plans changed after being discovered by a modeling agency at the age of thirteen. In 1999, Vogue magazine dubbed her “The Return of the Sexy Model.” Bündchen has been hired as the face of many multi-million dollar fashion campaigns, including Versace, Ralph Lauren, Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana, Michael Kors, Christian Dior, and Victoria’s Secret. Her non-apparel advertising campaigns include Nivea lotion, Credicard (Brazilian version of Citibank), Volkswagons do Brazil, Ebel (luxury Swiss watches), and Apple Inc.
As a model, Bündchen pioneered the “horse walk,” which is a stomping movement created when a model picks up her knees and kicks her feet out in front. Since 2004, Gisele has been the highest-paid model in the world. According to Forbes she may become the world’s first ever billionaire supermodel. For her efforts to preserve the rainforests and promote reforestation, Bündchen has been dubbed a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Environment Program. In August 2011, she ranked 60th on the Forbe’s List of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. She also ranked 3rd on the 20 Youngest Powerful Women of 2011 at age 31.
From 2000 to 2005, Bündchen was in a much-publicized relationship with American actor Leonardo DiCaprio. In 2009, she married New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Brady currently has a net worth of around $100 million.
8. Howard Stern
Howard Stern’s Estimated Net Worth: $500 Million
Howard Stern is an American radio personality best known for his radio show, which was nationally syndicated from 1986 to 2005. Stern gained wide recognition in the 1990s when he was labeled a “shock jock” for his outspoken and sometimes controversial style. In 2006, Stern signed a radio deal with Sirius XM Radio, a subscription-based satellite radio service. In the deal he was given an annual budget of $100 million for all production costs, including staff and programming. On January 9, 2006, the day of his first broadcast, Stern and his agent received 34.3 million shares of stock from the company worth $218 million for exceeding subscriber targets.
A second stock incentive was paid to Howard in 2007, with Stern receiving 22 million shares of Sirius stock worth $82.9 million. In 2011, Stern was given the estimated net worth of $500 million. He holds an annual salary of $80 million. In December 2010, Howard signed a new contract with Sirius to continue his show for five more years. Following the agreement, Howard and his agent filed a lawsuit against Sirius on March 22, 2011, for allegedly failing to pay stock bonuses promised to them from the past four years while helping the company exceed subscriber growth targets. Some other wealthy radio personalities include Rush Limbaugh ($350 million), Ryan Seacrest ($125 million), and Glenn Beck ($85 million).
Howard Stern is currently the highest-paid radio figure in the United States. In regards to television talk show hosts, Oprah Winfrey is the queen with an estimated net worth of $2.7 billion. Some other successful hosts include David Letterman ($400 million), Simon Cowell ($320 million), Dr. Phil ($200 million), Jay Leno ($150 million), Larry King ($150 million), Tyra Banks ($90 million), Regis Philbin ($90 million), and Ellen DeGeneres ($85 million).
7. Magic Johnson
Estimated Net Worth: $500 Million
Earvin “Magic” Johnson Jr. is a retired American professional basketball player who played point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers. After winning a championship in high school and college, Johnson was selected as the first overall pick in the 1979 NBA Draft by the Lakers. Magic retired abruptly in 1991 after announcing that he had contracted HIV, but returned to play in 1992 and for 32 games in 1996. Earvin Johnson’s career achievements include three NBA MVP Awards, nine NBA Finals appearances, five championships, and twelve All-Star games. Since his retirement, Johnson has been an advocate for HIV/AIDS prevention and safe sex, as well as an entrepreneur, philanthropist and motivational speaker.
Earvin Johnson currently runs Magic Johnson Enterprises, a company that has a net worth of $700 million. He has built a real estate empire that includes partnerships with AMC Theatres, Starbucks, T.G.I. Fridays, and 24 Hour Fitness. In October of 2010, Magic sold his ownership stake in the Los Angeles Lakers. Johnson averaged 11.2 assists per game and had an astounding 138 triple-doubles in his NBA career. He is also one of the tallest point guards in the history of the NBA.
Some other athletes that rival the wealth of Magic Johnson include Tiger Woods ($500 million), Michael Jordan ($500 million), Alex Rodriguez ($300), Dale Earnhardt Jr. ($300 million), Shaquille O’Neal ($250 million), Kobe Bryant ($200 million), David Beckham ($175 million), Phil Mickelson ($150 million), Roger Federer ($140 million), Cristiano Ronaldo ($130 million), Kimi Raikkonen ($130 million), and Peyton Manning ($115 million).
In 1981 Magic Johnson signed a contract with the Los Angeles Lakers for 25 years and $25 million dollars. It became the longest player contract in the history of sports. In 1996, Michael Jordan signed a contract with the Chicago Bulls worth $30 million for one year.
6. Jerry Seinfeld
Estimated Net Worth: $800 Million
Jerry Seinfeld is an American stand-up comedian, actor, writer, and television producer, known for playing a semi-fictional version of himself in the situation comedy Seinfeld (1989–1998). Jerry co-created and co-wrote the show with Larry David. The sitcom was a massive success and a large portion of Jerry Seinfeld’s income has come from the show and its years of syndication. Jerry has also made millions of dollars as a bestselling author, comedian, and public speaker. His has a collection of endorsement deals. Notably, he was paid $10 million to make a handful of ads for Microsoft in 2008. Between June 2008 and June 2009, Jerry Seinfeld earned $85 million, making him the highest-paid comedian during that 12-month period.
According to Forbes magazine, Jerry Seinfeld’s annual earnings in 1998 were $267 million, making him the highest-paid celebrity that year. The show Seinfeld still generates more revenue than most current shows through syndication and DVD sales. In 1998, Jerry reportedly turned down $5 million per episode, for 22 episodes, to continue the show for a tenth season. Co-creator Larry David is also extremely wealthy and has an estimated net worth of $800 million.
In comparison to other movie stars, Jerry Seinfeld’s net worth stands out. The estimated net worth of some A-list stars include Tom Hanks ($350 million), Johnny Depp ($350 million), Tyler Perry ($350 million), Harrison Ford ($200 million), Leonardo DiCaprio ($200 million), Will Smith ($188 million), John Travolta ($160 million), Brad Pitt ($150 million), Julia Roberts ($140 million), Robin Williams ($130 million), Ben Stiller ($120 million), Denzel Washington ($120 million), Jeff Foxworthy ($100 million), and Will Ferrell ($80 million).
Jerry Seinfeld is rumored to own one of the largest Porsche collections in the world. A current tally has Seinfeld owning 46 Porsches. Paul Bannister reported that Seinfeld’s collection includes Porsche 911s from various years, 10 Porsche Boxsters each painted a different color, and the famous 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder, the same model and pearl-grey color that actor James Dean was driving when he crashed and died. The centerpiece is a $700,000 Porsche 959, one of only 337 ever built.