Meet the 20 celebrities who made the most money last year — a combined total of $1.7 billion

Drake raked in nearly $100 million — but he's not No. 1.

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Drake raked in nearly $100 million — but he’s not No. 1.
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Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

With fame comes a big, fat paycheck.

The 20 biggest earners in entertainment and sports – from Beyoncé and Howard Stern to LeBron James and Ellen DeGeneres – raked in more than $1.7 billion between June 1, 2016 to June 1, 2017.

That’s according to the most recent Forbes’ Celebrity 100 list, which ranked the world’s top-earning front-of-camera entertainers by pre-tax income during that 12-month period. Their estimates are based on figures from Nielsen, NPD Bookscan, Pollstar, Box Office Mojo, Songkick, D’Marie and IMDB, and interviews with industry insiders and some of the celebrities themselves.

Below, find out what the biggest names in film, television, music, and sports did last year to become the highest-paid celebrities in the world.


20. Mark Wahlberg

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Adam Berry/dapd

Annual earnings: $68 million

Profession: Actor

Age: 46

Mark Wahlberg had his highest-earning year to date thanks to massive paychecks for starring roles in blockbusters “Daddy’s Home 2” and “Transformers: The Last Knight.” He also appears in the A&E reality show “Wahlburgers” with his brothers about running and expanding their family restaurant business. He’s currently the highest-paid actor in Hollywood.


18 (TIE). Jerry Seinfeld

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Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

Annual earnings: $69 million

Profession: Comedian

Age: 63

Jerry Seinfeld, the world’s highest-paid comedian, struck gold with Netflix this year. The streaming giant paid him millions for a new stand-up special, two more seasons of his hit show “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” and development credits. He’s also still raking in cash from Hulu, which owns the rights to his 1990s self-titled sitcom.


18 (TIE). Adele

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Frazer Harrison/Getty

Annual earnings: $69 million

Profession: Musician

Age: 29

It was another banner year for Adele. The British singer embarked on a year-long world tour in 2016, which grossed a whopping $167.7 million at the halfway mark. In early 2017, Adele nabbed five Grammys, bringing her total to 15. Behind Beyoncé – whom she dedicated her Album of the Year Award to – Adele was the second highest-paid woman in music last year.


17. Bruce Springsteen

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Matt Kent/Getty Images

Annual earnings: $75 million

Profession: Musician

Age: 68

The legendary singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen’s 2016 worldwide tour reportedly grossed $232 million. Last year he also published a memoir, “Born to Run,” which earned him a $10 million advance, along with a compilation album, “Chapter and Verse.”


16. Ellen DeGeneres

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Kevork Djansezian/Getty

Annual earnings: $77 million

Profession: Talk show host

Age: 59

Besides earning tens of millions as the host of her eponymous talk show, Ellen DeGeneres runs Ellen Digital Ventures, which manages sponsored shows on her streaming platform Ellentube and various mobile games. Last year, DeGeneres cemented a deal with Netflix – reportedly in the ballpark of $40 million – to film her first stand-up special in 15 years.


15. Phil McGraw

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Ethan Miller / Getty Images

Annual earnings: $79 million

Profession: Talk show host

Age: 67

Edging out DeGeneres, Dr. Phil McGraw is the highest-paid talk show host on TV, according to Forbes. A sizeable portion of his earnings come from producing credits and his talk show’s ad revenue and product placement fees.


14. Lionel Messi

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David Ramos/Getty

Annual earnings: $80 million

Profession: Athlete

Age: 30

Lionel Messi, the Argentine soccer player who plays for FC Barcelona, is the highest-paid athlete in the world under 30. He renewed a lucrative endorsement deal with Adidas in December 2016, which accounted for half of the $27 million he earned from endorsements.


13. Justin Bieber

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Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Annual earnings: $83.5 million

Profession: Musician

Age: 23

Playing 100-plus live shows boosted Justin Bieber’s income last year, leading to his highest-earning year to date. The singer – who is the youngest celebrity among the top 20 highest-earners – also pulls in cash from a multi-million dollar global endorsement deal with Calvin Klein.


11 (TIE). Rush Limbaugh

Annual earnings: $84 million

Profession: Talk show host

Age: 66

Conservative radio show host Rush Limbaugh renewed his contract with iHeartMedia in 2016 to continue distributing his eponymous radio show. The deal keeps Limbaugh on the airwaves for another four years and is likely worth tens, if not hundreds, of millions. Meanwhile, he’s still collecting money from his best-selling books and widely read digital content.


11 (TIE). Guns N’ Roses

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Kevin Winter/Getty

Annual earnings: $84 million

Profession: Musicians

Age: 52-55

Tied with Limbaugh for No. 11 is a polar opposite in showmanship and craft: Guns N’ Roses. Back in 2016, original band members Axl Rose, Slash, and Duff McKagan launched a world tour spanning five continents and continuing into 2017. As of July, it had become the highest grossing tour of the year so far with over $151 million in revenue.


10. LeBron James

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Gregory Shamus/Getty

Annual earnings: $86 million

Profession: Athlete

Age: 32

Four-time MVP LeBron James re-signed a $100 million contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers after their championship win in 2016, reportedly earning him a starting salary north of $33 million for the 2017-18 NBA season – the highest single-season salary in NBA history. On top of that, James has an impressive portfolio of endorsement deals with Intel, Verizon, Nike, Coca-Cola, Beats by Dre, and Kia Motor.


9. James Patterson

Annual earnings: $87 million

Profession: Author

Age: 70

James Patterson is America’s wealthiest author. Over the course of a year, 9.5 million copies of his books were sold and several of them are being adapted into films. Showtime recently acquired the rights to his forthcoming novel written with former president Bill Clinton, “The President is Missing,” for which Patterson reportedly earned a seven-figure advance.


8. Coldplay

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REUTERS/Mike Blake

Annual earnings: $88 million

Profession: Musicians

Age: 39-40

Coldplay – the British rock band comprised of Chris Martin, Will Champion, Jonny Buckland, and Guy Berryman – kicked off its seventh concert tour in the spring of 2016, playing 122 shows around the globe, and culminating in November 2016. The band grossed over $5 million per city, according to Forbes, paving the way for the highest-earning year in the band’s 20-year history.


7. Howard Stern

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Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Annual earnings: $90 million

Profession: Talk show host

Age: 63

“Shock jock” Howard Stern renewed his contract with SiriusXM in late 2015 to continue producing his radio talk show and potentially venture into mobile apps and streaming. The terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but analysts peg Stern’s annual salary between $80 to $90 million.


6. The Weeknd

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Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Victoria’s Secret

Annual earnings: $92 million

Profession: Musician

Age: 27

After releasing his debut album in 2013, The Weeknd made a swift rise to global superstardom. His latest world tour, “Starboy: Legend of the Fall Tour” ran from February to July 2017 and grossed an estimated $1.1 million per stop, according to Forbes.


5. Cristiano Ronaldo

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Denis Doyle/Getty

Annual earnings: $93 million

Profession: Athlete

Age: 32

Real Madrid player Cristiano Ronaldo signed a new contract with the team in late 2016 securing a pre-tax annual salary of $50 million over the next four years. Around the same time, Nike scooped him up for a lifetime endorsement deal worth $1 billion. Ronaldo is the world’s highest-paid athlete.


4. Drake

Drake raked in nearly $100 million — but he's not No. 1.

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Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Annual earnings: $94 million

Profession: Musician

Age: 31

Drake embarked on two world tours over the course of the year, “Summer Sixteen” and “Boy Meets World,” raking in millions. But fans crave more than his live shows: The rapper is the most streamed artist in the world. On top of it all, lucrative endorsement deals with Apple, Sprite, and Nike make him one of the top-earning entertainers of the year.


3. J.K. Rowling

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Ben A. Pruchnie/GettyImages

Annual earnings: $95 million

Profession: Author

Age: 52

J.K. Rowling, the prolific “Harry Potter” author, is still collecting checks from her global phenomenon more than 20 years after she introduced the young wizard to the world. This year, she published another best-selling book, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” and produced the accompanying stage play in London, which is sold out through 2018. And the film “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” debuted, grossing $812 million at the global box office.


2. Beyoncé Knowles

Annual earnings: $105 million

Profession: Musician

Age: 36

Beyoncé was the highest-paid female musician of the year, unseating last year’s title-holder Taylor Swift. Her “Formation World Tour” was a smash success, grossing more than $250 million, according to Forbes. Beyoncé owns a stake in streaming service Tidal, which surged when Sprint invested $200 million in the company in early 2017.


1. Sean Combs

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David Becker/Getty

Annual earnings: $130 million

Profession: Musician

Age: 48

Close to half of rapper-producer Sean Combs’ earnings last year came from the $70 million sale of a portion of his clothing line, which does nearly $500 million in annual sales. He also raked in cash from the “Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour,” which ran through the fall of 2016, and his multi-million dollar partnership with Ciroc vodka.