The COVID-19 pandemic changed all industries, including those for celebrities. Forbes says the world’s highest-paid celebrities brought in a combined $200 million less in 2020 compared to 2019.
But don’t feel too bad for them, the top 10 list earned a combined $6.1 billion this year before taxes and fees.
The top earner in 2020, according to Forbes, was Kylie Jenner, who brought in $590 million, mostly from selling a majority stake in her cosmetics firm.
Number two stays in the family; Kanye West, Jenner’s brother-in-law, brought in $170 million this year, helped by his Yeezy sneakers deal with adidas.
Pandemic-impacted sports cancellations couldn’t dent Roger Federer, Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi, apparently, Forbes has the three athletes at number 3, 4 and 5 on their list, respectively. Each brought in just over $100 million in 2020, likely helped by endorsement deals and multi-year contracts.
Other athletes in the top 10 include Neymar at number 7, who brought in $95.5 million, and LeBron James at number 9, with $88.2 million.
In September, Forbes announced Tyler Perry was officially a billionaire, owning the rights to his 20-plus movies and continuing to produce content during the pandemic. He also makes the list of top 10 highest-paid celebrities of 2020 at number 6, reportedly bringing in $97 million this year.
Howard Stern is the highest-paid radio host, thanks to his eight-figure contract with SiriusXM, and is number 9 on the list of 2020 earners with $90 million for the year.
Rounding out the top 10 is Dwayne Johnson, who brought in $87.5 million this year, mostly from payments for forthcoming movies.
Forbes observes the coronavirus pandemic has impacted celebrities in different ways. As live events, like concert tours and sports games, were cancelled and took away potential revenue, online and streaming opportunities like Netflix content deals provided new income.
For reference, Forbes reported Taylor Swift, Kylie Jenner and Kanye West as the top three highest-paid celebrities of 2019. Swift topped the list last year with $185 million in 2019. She fell to number 25 on the highest-paid list in 2020.