Sean Combs, who previously referred to himself Puff Daddy, started a fashion company called Sean John and built it into a strong international brand that does about half a billion dollars in annual sales. He sold a portion of his ownership in this fashion company to Global Brands Group, who now has a majority stake, leaving him with a 20% stake in the continued operations. He also has a lucrative partnership with the vodka company Diageo Ciroc, and is coming off of his immensely successful Bad Boy Family Reunion tour.
Sean Combs' net worth is now about $830 million (USD), making him the highest paid hip-hop artist, and the wealthiest music/fashion/entertainment mogul.
Combs' in some elite company with Beyoncé at number two on the Forbes list, earning $105 million (USD). Beyoncé rose from the number 34 position last year because of the excellent sales of her album Lemonade and the superb success of her Formation World Tour.
The number three highest paid position goes to J. K. Rowling who pulled in a cool $95 million (USD) thanks to the continuing royalties she receives from the Harry Potter series.
Drake was just one million dollars shy of matching Rowling’s earnings. He earned $94 million (USD), which let him grab the fourth spot. Drake made his money the old-fashioned way by touring non-stop for the full year on his Boy Meets World Tour.
The world-class soccer star, Cristiano Ronaldo, who plays for Real Madrid grabbed a tasty $93 million (USD) for slot number five.
The Weeknd, who earned $92 million (USD), nailed the sixth spot thanks to a surge in streaming revenues. For the music industry as a whole, streaming revenues are up to $387 million (USD) this year from the $177 million (USD) earned in 2016. The Weeknd videos generated 5.5 billion streams during the past two years, which prompted a concert touring company to pay him $75 million (USD) as a touring advance.
Howard Stern was lucky number seven with a multi-million dollar eight-figure contract for his show on SiriusXM satellite radio. He cashed in with $90 million (USD) for the past year’s earnings.
Coldplay landed the eighth spot because of their $88 million (USD) in earnings from their Head Full of Dreams Tour. Their sold-out concerts around the world captured gross revenues that averaged over $15 million (USD) per city.
Surprisingly, James Patterson captured the spot as the ninth highest paid celebrity by earning $87 million (USD). He is an author that sold over 9.5 million copies of his books during the past year. Many of his stories are set for movie adaptations including a thriller novel about former President Bill Clinton.
LeBron James adds another sports figure to the list as he landed the tenth spot. He made $86 million (USD) this past year, of which, $31 million was his salary. This past year he also signed a three-year contract for over $100 million (USD). He is only the third NBA player in history to earn over $30 million (USD) per year.
All in all, it was a pretty good year for the top paid celebrities who, as a group, did better than the year before.