Beyonce performs onstage on her "Mrs. Carter Show World Tour 2014"
Who runs the world? In entertainment, it's Beyoncé. The singer has
climbed to the No. 1 spot on the Forbes Celebrity 100 after an amazing
year featuring a massive tour.
Queen B played 95 shows, bringing in an average $2.4 million per stop,
according to Pollstar. She also dropped her most innovative album.
Titled simply Beyoncé, the album hit iTunes with barely any publicity
and was billed as a "visual album" becausejay there was already a
music video for each of the 14 songs. The single "Drunk in Love" has
gone platinum, selling more than 1 million copies.
The 2014 Celebrity 100
The biggest year of Queen B's career comes courtesy of a massive tour.
The superstar singer played 95 shows, bringing in an average $2.4
million per city, according to Pollstar. She also dropped her most
innovative album. Titled simply "Beyoncé," the record hit iTunes in
December with barely any publicity; the single "Drunk in Love" has
already sold more than 1 million copies.
But Beyoncé doesn't stop with music — she's built a small business
empire. She earns millions endorsing companies like H&M and Pepsi. She
has a line of fragrances with names like Heat, Rise and Pulse, and
then there's her clothing company House of Dereon, which features
jeans, shoes and accessories. All together we estimate that Beyoncé
earned $115 million between June 1, 2013 and June 1, 2014.
The singer is embarking on another big year highlighted by her first
world tour with her husband, Jay Z. Their On The Run tour, which
kicked off June 25 in Miami, will be short (only 20 dates are set) but
lucrative for the pair, who can claim the crown as the most powerful
celebrity couple in the world.
Full Coverage: The 100 Most Powerful Celebrities
Jay Z also places high on the Celebrity 100 this year, in sixth place
with an estimated $60 million in earnings. That comes from a variety
of sources, including his latest album, Magna Carta … Holy Grail;
dozens of live shows; his growing Roc Nation empire and business
ventures ranging from his 40/40 nightclub chain to his D'Ussé cognac.
FORBES' annual Celebrity 100 list ranks the top stars from the worlds
of movies, TV, music, sports, books and modelling based on money and
We estimate earnings by talking to lawyers, producers, agents and
other in-the-know folks to figure out how much over 200 celebrities
earned from entertainment-related business in the past year. That
includes things like music sales, upfront pay on movies and
endorsement work. Our time frame for earnings this year is June 1,
2013 to June 1 2014. We don't deduct for things like taxes, agent fees
or the other expenses associated with being a celebrity.
We measure fame in a variety of ways. We count how many times each
celebrity was mentioned in print, on TV and radio. We factor in a
score from StarCount for social media power over 11 platforms
including Twitter TWTR +0.1%, Facebook and YouTube. This year we've
also added an impact score, similar to the one we use for our Power
Womenlist. Based on reporting by our editorial staff, the number
measures the impact each celebrity has on the entertainment industry
and our culture overall. We put all of those numbers into an algorithm
to come up with our final list. Justin Bieber had the highest ranking
for social networking power but because of his low impact this year,
he only ranked 33rd on our list, down from ninth last year.
In second place on our list is LeBron James. We estimate that the
basketball player earned $72 million last year. James recently
announced that he's opting out of his contract with the Miami Heat to
become a free agent. That could mean an even richer payday for James,
who earns big endorsing companies like Coke and McDonald's — or not if
he decides to sacrifice salary to build a stronger roster around him.
In third place is Dr. Dre, who earned more in the past 12 months than
anyone in the history of the Celebrity 100. We peg Dre's earnings at
$620 million thanks to Apple's purchase of his Beats by Dre for $3
billion. The entrepreneur continues to be influential in the music
business, mentoring Kendrick Lamar, who earned seven Grammy Award
nominations this year.
Last year's No. 1 celebrity, Oprah Winfrey, falls to fourth place this
year with an estimated $82 million in earnings. The talk show host's
eponymous cable network, OWN, is finally turning around (it became
cash-flow positive in 2013) and Winfrey helped make Lee Daniel's The
Butler a hit. But the three celebrities ranked above her just have
more influence and power at this moment.
Rounding out the top five is another talk show host, Ellen DeGeneres,
who we estimate earned $70 million in the last 12 months. The new
queen of daytime TV broke the Internet this year when she posted what
has become the most famous "selfie" of all time. Aside from the
ratings success of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the 56-year-old CoverGirl
is beefing up her producing roster. Her production company is working
on pilots for the CW and NBC, and cable network HGTV will air a
DeGeneres-produced design competition series next year.