When us mere mortals think about the bundles of cash celebs earn from acting, singing, endorsement deals and even guest appearances, the amount can be unsettling. Some celebrities can earn half a million dollars to show their face at a club for a few hours. When you think about all the items you could purchase for $500 thousand, the imagination does start to run wild. But for celebrities, this amount doesn't even seem to phase them, most of them are already earning so much money that this is considered a nice bonus.
In this list, we are showing you ten different celebs who have had some pretty incredulous paydays. We have a few rappers on the list, a media giant with her own cable network, a larger than life boxer and one of the most popular radio personalities of all time. When you learn about these insane paydays, you'll swear to yourself that you are definitely in the wrong profession. Read on below ...
10 Laurence Fishburne
In 2009, the producers of the popular show CSI were caught in a little bit of a crisis. They were losing their main star William Petersen and they needed someone with just as much star power and pull to fill that spot. They ended up going with Matrix star Laurence Fishburne. However, it wasn’t so easy to pull him away from the world of blockbuster movies into the realm of television. To sweeten the deal, they offered him $14 million for just one season, and it was a deal he couldn’t refuse.
9 Kendrick Lamar
Earlier this spring, Kendrick Lamar dropped the highly-anticipated follow-up to his genius debut album. To the surprise of many critics, the new album To Pimp a Butterfly was just as good or maybe even better than his first. When the album was released for streaming on Spotify, it broke a record by receiving 9.6 million streams in one day. By the next day, that number had reached 9.8 million. When all was said and done, with royalty rules that Spotify has in place, the West Coast rapper probably made between $921,600 and $1,290,240 in 24 hours. We can all tip our hats to that.
Live Nation is one of the biggest Live Event companies in the world, and they are not afraid to flex their muscle when it comes to signing the biggest talent out there. That’s what they did in 2007 when they offered Madonna a humongous $120 million dollar deal. The amount involved a general advance of $17.5 million and another $60 million which was an upfront payment for 3 new albums. We guess when you’re Madonna, people will pay anything to hear new music and see you perform live.
7 Gareth Bale
At the age of 25, the Welsh soccer player Gareth Bale is one of the best and highest paid soccer players in the world. He played for English Club Tottenham from 2007 to 2013, and that’s where he really blossomed and became a force to be reckoned with. He was later lured away by the Spanish club Real Madrid, and the two teams agreed on a whopping $118 million transfer fee to move the player. He made $3 million from that 6-year deal, and if you were interested to know how much he earns per week; that amount is a colossal $456,000 according to Forbes. That must be really nice.
6 50 Cent
The rapper 50 Cent definitely has a nose for money and you could already tell how serious he was about making cash when he named his debut album, Get Rich or Die Tryin'. In 2007, 50 Cent got one of the biggest paydays of his life. At that point in time, he was an equity owner in the popular energy beverage, Vitamin Water. When Vitamin Water’s parent company Glaceau was bought by Coca-Cola for $4.1 billion, 50 walked away with a cool $200 million, approximately $100 million after taxes.
5 Howard Stern
When you are compiling a list of the top shock jocks on radio, you definitely have to mention the king of them all, Howard Stern. He’s currently under contract with Sirius XM radio, and when he was renegotiating his new contract, the number agreed upon was staggering indeed. Stern signed a five year deal that was estimated at $400 million, translating into $80 million a year. That contract ends this year, and he’s currently in negotiations to renew it.
The Hip-Hop clothing company Rocawear was founded in 1999 by partners Damon Dash and Jay-Z. As the company grew, fueled by Jay-Z’s success in the music industry, Rocawear would go on to have annual sales of $700 million. Eventually Dash left the company and Jay-Z and a third business partner sold the brand to a global clothing giant, Iconix in 2007. In probably the biggest payday of his life, Jay-Z made $204 million in cash from the transaction.
3 Dr. Dre
In 2014, former gangster rapper/producer and music industry mogul Dr. Dre landed one of the most gigantic paydays ever in the world of music. His headphone company that he co-founded with Jimmy Iovine was bought by Apple for a little over $3 billion. When it was all said and done and the dust had settled, Dre took home a whopping amount of $620 million (before tax) in 2014. The majority of this amount was his earnings from this historic deal. Suffice it to say, he doesn’t need to make one more song and several generations of his family will still be filthy rich.
2 Oprah Winfrey
In 2007, NBC Universal was looking to add to its portfolio of media properties catering to women, and they found their answer in the cable channel, Oxygen. Oxygen was founded in 2000 by Geraldine Laybourne, Oprah Winfrey and a few other partners. The price agreed on for the purchase was $925 million and when it was all said and done, Oprah made a neat and tidy $72 million for her early investment.
1 Floyd Mayweather
There is a reason that his crew is called The Money Team. Floyd “Money” Mayweather is quite literally rolling in cash. For his “Fight of the Century” matchup this past Saturday with Manny Pacquiao, he made $180 million for trading punches with his opponent over the duration of 12 3-minute rounds. That’s a huge payday indeed, and to put that into perspective, think about it this way: In one night, he made more than Barcelona soccer star Lionel Messi makes in two complete calendar years. That’s a hefty achievement indeed. One more thing to think about, that amount doesn't include his cut of ticket sales and Pay Per View earnings.