10 Billion Dollar Empires Owned By Celebrities

It should come as no surprise that with the worldwide influence and popularity of celebrities these days, fame benefits them in unimaginable ways. Many stars who become famous in the entertainment field for one thing, later and very wisely branch off into entrepreneurship.

With a legion of adoring fans and a wide audience in general at their disposal, their side businesses commonly take off to astronomical heights, usually raking in much more profit on the side than they do for their day jobs. Those in the music industry would be wise to take notes, what with the ailing state of record sales and the rumoured lack of money to be found in the music business these days, thanks to piracy and the evolution of music streaming, people simply aren't paying for music any more.

Thankfully they're still investing in brands in the form of celebrity. Which is precisely why those of entertainment fame will usually create side businesses such as clothing lines, perfumes, shoes, food and beverages etc. For many stars, their side businesses can generate tens or even hundreds of millions. For a rare few, they can even generate billions. Here are 10 billion dollar side businesses owned by celebrities.

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10 Jennifer Lopez - Glow by Jlo


9 Olsen Twins - Dualstar Entertainment Group

8 Paris Hilton - Paris Hilton Perfumes and Handbags


7 Jessica Simpson - The Jessica Simpson Collection


6 Britney Spears - Perfume Collection


5 Jessica Alba - Honest Company


4 Oprah - Harpo Productions


She started out as a news anchor, then became world renown as a talk show host for a show she would eventually own. Former queen of daytime TV, Oprah Winfrey today has a personal net worth of $3 billion and counting. Harpo Productions, which is Oprah's multimedia production company (and spells her name backwards) publishes O magazine, employs over 12,000 people, holds 50% of the OWN network, and earns Oprah an annual average salary of $150 million. Oprah Winfrey reportedly went to University for Communications and Performing Arts Degrees, never obtaining a business degree, she never once expected to become the businesswoman she is today. The television icon reportedly owns 100% of Harpo Productions. While Oprah no longer appears regularly on daytime television, the former talk show host frequently interviews celebrities on television programs broadcast on OWN. Oprah Winfrey's astounding self made net worth is a direct reflection of her worldwide influence among multiple generations.

3 Dr. Dre - Beats By Dre


Record producer Dr. Dre and Record executive Jimmy Iovine collaborated to create Beats Electronics in 2006. The audio company, which produces the highly popular Beats by Dr. Dre headphones, was valued at and sold for $3 billion to Apple Inc. in 2014. Dr. Dre, who owned a 25% stake in the company, netted a reported $502 million after Apple's acquisition. It's unclear what percentage Jimmy Iovine held in Beats Electronics but after the company was sold, the record executive's net worth reportedly increased to $950 million. The acquisition agreement was made up of $2.6 billion in cash, and $400 million in Apple stock. Just to be greedy, Dr. Dre could have earned even more, had he negotiated a royalty deal in perpetuity for his name's continued use in selling the headphones.

2 Michael Jordan - Air Jordan


Just last summer it was announced that retired basketball player, Michael Jordan's personal net worth has grown to an approximate $1 billion. Correspondingly, the Nike owned brand Air Jordan for which Michael still receives hefty annual royalties, continues to draw in sales upwards of $2 billion each year for Nike. Air Jordan makes for Nike's most lucrative celebrity endorsement, even two decades after Michael Jordan's retirement. 30 years ago when Nike landed what would become their most profitable endorsement deal for years to come, they were in need of a miracle after experiencing unexpected losses in the millions. Michael was disappointed when his initial choice Adidas, wouldn't match Nike's offer due to poor timing. It's probably safe to say that the billionaire wasn't disappointed for very long.

1 Kathy Ireland - Kathy Ireland World


The world originally came to know Kathy Ireland as a supermodel and actress during the late 80's. In 1993, the former model and actress endorsed a sock-line for K-mart that became a best seller. The success led to her own clothing line in partnership with K-mart, which led Kathy to found what was initially a brand marketing firm, Kathy Ireland Worldwide. Now recognized as a product licensing company, Kathy Ireland Worldwide draws in $1.5 billion - $2 billion in annual sales. Kathy, who owns a 10% stake in her company and is described by Forbes magazine as the "Prototype for model-turned-mogul," is recognized as the richest model in the world, worth $350 million. Wealthier than the current highest paid supermodel Gisele Bundchen by $40 million.

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