Forbes recently released its annual "The World's Highest-Paid Celebrities" list for 2015 and, as expected, it's a Scrooge McDuck money bin of surprises. We had to go for a swim.
The calculations, based on Forbes own reporting, are a mix of obvious winners – author James Patterson continues to demand airport attention – and a few payday twists. We live in a world where Fleetwood Mac made more in a year than the Rolling Stones. Believe it. Here are a few of the unexpected highlights.
1 | Floyd Mayweather (#1) made a whopping $300 million.
Mayweather made an estimated $180 million in prize money off his recent fight with Manny Pacquiao. That's before pay-per-view tallies. No wonder he can spend $1000 per meal and can drop $500,000 on jewelry in a single afternoon. (Oh, and don't feel bad for Pacquiao – he's number two on Forbes' list, having earned around $160 million in the last year.)
2 | Howard Stern (#5) raked in $95 million.
Looks like Stern is half the reason SiriusXM is still in business. OK, not exactly half; the company earned around $1.4 billion in 2014. Stern's contract is estimated at about $80 million a year. Take that and shove it up your [BLEEP].
3 | At a combined $146 million, Taylor Swift (#8) and her man Calvin Harris (#17) out-power couple Beyoncé (#29) and Jay-Z (#28).
BeyJey only made a meager $110.5 million. That's what they get for sticking to Tidal. Meanwhile, Katy Perry (#3) made more than either couple combined, bringing in $135 million a year. Left Shark just missed the list at #101.
4 | Garth Brooks (#6) is still a money factory with a $90 million take.
But keep in mind that Chris Gaines brings in half that total.
5 | Robert Downey Jr. (#8) a.k.a. Iron Man is still the king of Hollywood, bringing in $80 million.
He's lucky that the failure of The Judge didn't cost him money.
6 | Kim Kardashian (#33) bests Jennifer Lawrence (#34).
Kim reaped an extra half million a year over the Oscar-winning actress' $52 million. Our famous people are not paid based on cultural impact.
7 | Rush Limbaugh (#11), conservative idol, made $79 million this year.
Sean Hannity (#89) admired from below, holding off the War on Christmas with only $29 million.
8 | Someone paid Dr. Phil (#15) $70 million this year?
Someone paid Dr. Phil $70 million this year. Where's Oprah? We're calling every 1-900 number for emotional support.
9 | Judge Judy (#43) tied Vin Diesel (#43).
The Fast and Furious actor is the biggest movie star to ever hit Facebook. Judy Sheindlin just forced a guy who defecated on his ex-wife's car to pay her for damages. They both make $47 million a year.
10 | Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan (#71) makes more than The Rock (#81), Johnny Depp (#87), Channing Tatum (#89), or his Great Gatsby co-star Leonardo DiCaprio (#89).
Welcome to 2015.
11 | The Eagles (#14) are still the biggest act around.
Never underestimate dadrock. $73.5 million!
To see the full list, head to Forbes.
This article was originally published on Esquire.com.