Everything about the entertainment industry can look larger than life and be completely impossible to relate to most of the people who are looking at it from the outside. And while it’s certainly a business that seems to operate in extremes, that doesn’t mean that majorly successful celebs don’t deal with the same kinds of ups and downs that most average people have to deal with in their lives, even if the ups and downs of the rich and famous might be a super magnified version of what average Joes and Janes have to deal with. But for most regular people, the idea that celebrities could make millions upon millions of dollars over the course of their careers is almost unfathomable, and the idea that some of those celebrities might lose their massive fortune or multiply that fortune a few times over is even harder to wrap your mind around.
However, plenty of celebrities do manage to burn through more money than most people will ever see in their lifetimes, while others manage to squeeze every penny out of their employment, endorsements, and investments. So, when it comes to hitting the highest financial highs or sinking to the lowest lows, which famous faces have managed to distinguish themselves as the most extreme successes and failures in their industry? Which celebs have more money than they know what to do with, and which celebs are such out of control spenders that they’ve managed to nearly go broke after earning millions?
20. Broke: Johnny Depp Spends $30,000 A Month
Film superstar Johnny Depp has reportedly earned more than half a billion dollars during the course of his acting career, so it’s astounding to hear that he may have blown through his entire fortune and is currently in some serious financial trouble. And the source of that trouble is up for debate. Depp himself claims that the professionals he enlisted to help him manage his finances completely and utterly failed him, and that he was almost entirely unaware that he was even having any financial issues until he left his money management firm and hired a new group to help him. His former management firm claims that Depp has an absurd, outrageous spending problem and doesn’t keep track of his money that comes in or goes out. And it’s not too hard to believe that he might have managed to buy himself into some financial troubles, considering that among other things he reportedly spends $30,000 a month on wine and spent $3,000,000 to fire Hunter S. Thompson’s ashes out of a cannon.
19. Ballin’: Jessica Alba Started Her Own Successful Business
Jessica Alba might be most recognizable to the world as an actress in film and television whose career has waned a bit in the recent years, but Alba is actually absurdly rich, and her wealth has almost nothing to do with her success in the entertainment industry. Alba has been front and center promoting The Honest Company, a company that she founded and invested in that sells natural and healthier home products of all kinds. It took Jessica a few years to collect a few other partners to get the business going and to launch it off from the ground level, but the company has become massively successful since its creation in 2011, and as of 2015 the alleged value of the company sat at upwards of $1.7 billion dollars. Obviously all of that money doesn’t go solely to Alba, but as of now her business has reportedly made her at least $340 million dollars.
18. Broke: Nicolas Cage Blew Through $100 Million
Nicolas Cage might be one of the most recognizable faces in the film industry, but despite having decades of massive success he has apparently come very close to bankruptcy more than once. Much like Johnny Depp’s situation, Cage claimed that the loss of most of his fortune was because his financial adviser mismanaged his money and didn’t keep him in the loop with his financial situation, but his financial manager claimed that Cage spent his money more quickly than he earned it and that he in fact had done as much as possible to curb the megastar’s spending. Cage hit his financial low in 2009 and engaged in a heavy hitting court battle with his former financial manager, but once his spending habits were revealed it wasn’t difficult to imagine how he might have blown through over $100 million dollars. He has bought upwards of 15 homes for himself, an island in the Bahamas, and a Gulfstream jet, among other things.
17. Ballin’: Rowan Atkinson Is Accumulating A Ton Of Cash Under The Radar
Mr. Bean is definitely a permanently iconic comic figure in English culture and in the entertainment industry in general, but when most people think about the biggest moneymakers in the entertainment industry it’s unlikely that British actor Rowan Atkinson is the first person who comes to mind. But it would appear that the old adage “slow and steady wins the race” really rings true in certain circumstances, because while Atkinson hasn’t had any high profile smash hits as of late, just based on his status as a comedic legend he has managed to pull in some seriously impressive salaries and score very steady work that shows no signs of slowing down in Atkinson’s later years. The actor, writer, and comedian is currently working on the third installment of his Johnny English film franchise, and with a few different franchise-spawning characters under his belt it’s safe to say that the English superstar will have work as long as he wants it.
16. Broke: Lindsay Lohan Is Living Lavishly And Earning Very Little
Occasional actress and permanent tabloid fixture Lindsay Lohan started to hit the skids when she was in her early 20s, and she has really never stopped stumbling since then. Lindsay has so far avoided having a total financial and professional collapse so far, but she also seems like she is always on the verge of that collapse too. She doesn’t get much work in the entertainment industry anymore, and while she obviously must have dialled down her spending a bit since she hit her career peak she still seems to have some pretty extravagant taste without the actual money to back it up. Lohan has been rumored to be working as a “yacht girl” for quite a long time now, and seeing as she has been able to stay afloat when she doesn’t appear to actually be working that seems like a reasonable explanation. But eventually the novelty of being able to buy a date with LiLo is going to wear off, and once that money well has dried up she’ll be in serious trouble.
15. Ballin’: LeBron James Is Extremely Frugal With His Millions
Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James is easily one of the most recognizable names in sports today, and at this point in his nearly 15 year career he’s the second highest earning athlete in the country. After scoring a 2016-2017 salary of $31 million dollars, James can count himself in the incredibly rarefied club of NBA players who have made more than $30 million dollars in one season (Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant are the only other players who can say the same). And when you factor in the half dozen endorsement deals that LeBron is currently being paid for his overall earnings for the 2017 year sit at an incredible $86 million dollars. However, James hilariously claims that he is actually one of the biggest cheapskates in the NBA, admitting that he is so thrifty that he won’t even use his cell phone without wifi. Clearly he plans to hold on to the massive pile of cash he has managed to accumulate.
14. Broke: 50 Cent Went From A Net Worth Of $140 Million To Being $36 Million In Debt
When it comes to earning and losing millions of dollars, very few celebrities illustrate that earning a ton of money doesn’t mean that you’ll keep that ton of money more than rapper 50 Cent. 50 Cent is still one of the most successful hip hop artists of all time, with his net worth at one point being estimated at over $140 million dollars, but he somehow managed to lose it all and then some in just a few years. Eventually 50 Cent wound up declaring bankruptcy, claiming that he was $36 million dollars in debt, and his meteoric rise and even more shocking fall were so extreme that Reelz actually filmed a documentary about his insane financial situation. The money-obsessed rapper filed for bankruptcy in 2015 and appears to have rebounded a little bit since, but anyone who managed to blow through anywhere from $200 million to half a billion dollars in less than a decade doesn’t seem to have very reliable money management skills.
13. Ballin’: The Weeknd Is Changing The Music Industry (And Profiting From It)
When most people think of the biggest names in the music industry, the Weeknd probably wouldn’t stick out as someone who’d be hovering towards the top of the list. However the Weeknd has managed to make his income skyrocket in the past year, so much so that he was one of the top earning entertainers of the year according to Forbes magazine. The Canadian musician seems to have been able to squeeze so much cash out of his success simply by predicting where trends are going to go and following them. Instead of resisting things that some musicians believe are ruining the music industry like streaming radio or YouTube, the Weeknd tried to get his material out to as many people as possible and parlayed that ubiquity into a pretty hefty windfall from on demand listening for his music as well as a really sizeable paycheck for his latest tour.
12. Broke: Don Johnson Can’t Manage His Money
Actor Don Johnson has had a long and successful career working in the entertainment industry, and is probably best known for his leading roles on the TV shows Miami Vice and Nash Bridges. But apparently Dakota Johnson’s dad isn’t that great at managing his money well, because a few years ago he had to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in order to prevent a foreclosure and auction of his Colorado estate. His publicist claimed that the actor was not in financial trouble and was just making the move out of some “restructuring” nonsense. However, Johnson was also sued for thousands of dollars in unpaid bills from his local grocery store that he apparently hadn’t paid in months. Other local businesses in Aspen have also sued Johnson for his unpaid bills, and at one point a local bar was even soliciting donations to help bail him out, which is more than a little embarrassing.
11. Ballin’: Drake Is The Second Highest Earning Hip Hop Star Of The Year
Well, he has certainly come a long way from Degrassi. Hip hop and R&B star Drake has done very well for himself ever since he began working as a professional musician, but 2017 was a truly spectacular financial year for Aubrey Graham. Drake scored just shy of $100 million dollars last year, pulling in $94 million in revenue from his music, endorsements, and business investments. Drake has the noted honor of being the most streamed musical artist of 2017, and as a result he made the majority of his fortune for the year off of his tour earnings. He also made a very solid chunk of change with some high profile endorsement deals, which included doing promotions for companies like Sprite, Apple, and Nike. Impressively, the 30-year-old rapper managed to be the second highest earning hip hop star of the year, only coming behind Sean Combs’ $130 million dollars of earnings for 2017.
10. Broke: Lena Headey Is Somehow Broke Despite Being On The Biggest Show On Television
Lena Headey might be one of the most recognizable leading ladies on one of the most successful shows in the past decade, but that doesn’t mean that the Game of Thrones star hasn’t experienced her fair share of financial troubles. You’d think that getting a fat paycheck for a smash hit HBO show would guarantee some financial security, but while the star was going through a particularly brutal divorce she claimed that she had only $5 dollars in her bank account and was living completely off of her credit cards. Headey sold her home in California in order to cover some of her expenses, and while her ex-husband claims that Lena pulls in over a million dollars per episode of Game of Thrones he appears to be doing whatever he can to get the biggest piece of her salary pie for himself. Hopefully she’ll be able to stay afloat, but that has yet to be seen.
9. Ballin’: Adele Made $69 Million In 2017 Alone
Pop superstar Adele has an incredibly simple recipe for her success, which is just to continue to create great music that sells albums really well and make some serious bank off of her regular tours. Most successful musicians in this day and age don’t have the luxury of simply making millions of dollars off of their musical success, but Adele is definitely a rare bird who has managed to make a fortune even though she has turned down every endorsement deal she has ever been offered. And 2017 was an exceptionally spectacular year for the English singer. Her overall net worth sits at an impressive $135 million dollars, but $69 million of that was made in 2017 alone. Adele has been breaking musical success records since her musical career began, and it looks like her success and money making abilities will only slow down if the singer decides that she wants it to.
8. Broke: Toni Braxton Didn’t Make Bank Off Her Royalties
Singer Toni Braxton might be one of the most memorable musicians of the 1990s, but unfortunately Braxton has run into more than her fair share of financial problems over the course of her career. She has actually filed for bankruptcy twice despite making millions off of her music. Toni admitted that she had problems managing her money and had pretty expensive taste. However, she says that a lot of her financial issues stemmed from the fact that she simply wasn’t making very much money off of her success because the royalties she was getting from her album sales were surprisingly low. Braxton made a bit of an entertainment industry comeback with a reality show focusing on her and her family called Braxton Family Values, and she recently announced that she’s planning a new album and tour for the first time in a long time, but it’s not clear that her earlier financial woes are totally behind her.
7. Ballin’: Steph Curry’s Current Contract Will Earn Him $200 Million In The Next Five Years
Golden State Warriors player Steph Curry has really raised his profile in the past few years and had a nearly flawless basketball track record as well as winning over the hearts of most sports fans with his charming personality and even more charming family. After making a nearly miraculous rebound from some serious injuries Steph became one of the most visible players in basketball, and after breaking a few records and bringing the Golden State Warriors a championship for the 2016-2017 season he signed a contract extension with his current team that will earn him more than $200 million dollars in the next five years. And aside from having one of the most lucrative contracts in the NBA, Curry’s recent success and added visibility as well as his extremely wholesome image has made him a very attractive prospect for endorsement deals, and in 2017 alone Curry made $35 million dollars from his variety of endorsements.
6. Broke: Courtney Love Has Burned Through Most Of Her Inheritance
Courtney Love has never seemed like the most stable or reliable person working in the entertainment industry. However, as Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain’s widow as well as an established and successful musician in her own right you’d think that money wouldn’t be much of a concern for Miss Love. However, Courtney herself admits that she has lost nearly $30 million dollars of the money that she inherited from Nirvana payouts, which she claimed was mostly spent on settling lawsuits. In a bizarre and nearly unbelievable admission, though, Courtney said that she abused illegal substances because she believed that they made her better at managing her money, which would probably be a first for substance abusing stars. But regardless of the reason, it’s still really not a good sign that a middle-aged woman still has so little control over her money output that she could burn through the majority of her own inheritance.
5. Ballin’: Kylie Jenner Is Building A Multi-Million Dollar Brand
Kylie Jenner might be the youngest sibling in the Kardashian-Jenner clan, and the 20-year-old may have just spent months hiding from the public eye to conceal her pregnancy, but shockingly, Kylie is now one of the richest members of her family. The Kardashians have their hands in every business under the sun, but Kylie has managed to channel her passion for makeup into the multi-million dollar industry that is Kylie Cosmetics. The highly priced makeup line has proven to be a hit with her young fans, and even though the company has only been around for the last few years it has become one of the most valuable properties in the entire Kardashian empire. In 2017 alone Kylie managed to rack up $41 million dollars in profits, making her yearly earnings just a few million dollars behind older sister and most successful member of the Kardashian family, Kim Kardashian West.
4. Broke: Pamela Anderson’s Life Was In Shambles
Iconic Baywatch star Pamela Anderson isn’t exactly in dire financial straits at this moment since her net worth still sits at a respectable $5 million dollars. However, considering how much money the icon has made over the course of her career you’ve got to wonder where exactly all of that income has gone. Rumor has it that Pam likes to spend more money than she makes, and like quite a few of her fellow entertainment industry stars who have run into money problems, she incurred some really significant financial losses because she didn’t pay her taxes. And after sinking a significant chunk of change into remodelling her Malibu home, Pamela decided to unload the house that was quickly becoming a money pit. And while Anderson will presumably be making residuals off of Baywatch for the rest of her life, it’s clear that her biggest money-making days are behind her.
3. Ballin’: Ed Sheeran Is Leading The Pop Music Game
English singer and songwriter Ed Sheeran has done very well for himself ever since he began his career in music. However, 2017 was easily his best year yet. The hit maker is sitting pretty with an overall net worth of $68 million dollars, yet in this smashingly successful year he managed to make $37 million dollars, more than half of the money he’s made for his entire career. After taking a brief break, Ed came back to the music scene with a vengeance when he released his latest album, Divide. And in an astounding accomplishment, all 16 of the songs on his latest album managed to make it on to the UK top 20 charts at the same time in March of 2017. It will be hard for the ginger to top this banner year, but seeing as he’s only 26 years old and already slaying it on the charts it’s safe to say he won’t have to worry about his income anytime soon.
2. Broke: O.J. Simpson Is Trying To Make A Quick Buck
Considering that O.J. Simpson was just recently released from prison after being convicted of armed robbery, it’s no great shock that the former athlete and suspected criminal is in financial dire straits now that he’s back out in the world. When O.J. was busted trying to steal some of his own sports memorabilia at a casino in Las Vegas it was suspected that he was looking to make a buck by stealing back his old possessions, but obviously that didn’t work out very well and the Juice wound up serving 9 years in prison for the crime. Obviously, Simpson doesn’t have a spectacular resumé at this point in his life, and O.J. still owes the Brown and Goldman families millions of dollars in damages for the passing of their family members, but shockingly O.J. has already gotten a job. Shock comic Sacha Baron Cohen reportedly paid O.J. $20,000 to appear in his new film, but the media reaction to the news was quick and harsh, so O.J. might not be able to count on more gigs like that in the future.
1. Ballin’: Conor McGregor Is On The Up And Up
UFC fighter and native of Ireland Conor McGregor certainly wasn’t doing too badly for himself before 2017, but McGregor’s transition to a larger fighting stage and his debut boxing match with boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather really put him over the top. Not only did Conor manage to score a $30 million dollar payday for a fight that lasted only 28 minutes (and it was a fight he wound up losing), Conor reportedly earned more for that single fight than he earned in his entire career in the UFC so far. And that’s not even including the endorsement paychecks that came his way after the fight. McGregor also let most of his earlier endorsement deals lapse before the big boxing match so he could capitalize on his newfound fame as much as possible. It’s a strategy that definitely seems to have paid off too. McGregor certainly created a great career in MMA for himself but after such a major fighting match he’s on nearly everyone’s radar now.
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