22 Richest Pop Stars of 2014
Photo Courtesy Parkwood Entertainment
Pop stars. They're so rich it makes our brain hurt. The rest of us toil day in and day out for a yearly salary that these pretty-faced bastards would spend on shoes. Still, we all want to watch these guys live the lives that we never will, which in turn funds the whole spectacle.
Oh well. Things aren't going to change today, especially considering Forbes' latest list of highest earners. Don't you want to see who has more money than God? We know you do.
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22. Pharrell Williams: $22 Million
Why is Pharrell so "Happy"? He's had an incredible year, and though he only reaches the the last slot on this list, $22 Million as of June 2014 is definitely something to smile about. His work on summer hits "Blurred Lines" and "Happy" made sure he dominated the countdown. And that funny hat? He sold it to Arby's for $44,000 -- but that was for charity.
21. Avicii: $28 Million
As Meek Mill says, there are levels to this shit, and no one knows that more than Dutch house DJ Avicii. His big-room anthem "Le7els" gets a lot of flak, but that's only because it was so good, it became the go-to track for DJs in any genre. We're all a little sick of hearing it, but Avicci is still listening to those royalty drops. This year, the release of his debut album bred a new crossover pop hit with the country-tinged "Wake Me Up," which sold in excess of 80 million units, more than any dance song in U.S. history.
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20. Kanye West: $30 Million
Yeezy's got a really big ego, but it's kind of humanizing to see he's got one of the humbler incomes on this list. (Not that $30 million is meagre compared to the average individual's annual gross.) The newlywed rapper definitely earned some stacks with his over-the-top Yeezus tour, and let's not forget about the Air Yeezys, which sell for more than $200 a pair. Of course, he's spending his money almost as fast as he's making it. Diamond teeth, y'all. Diamond teeth.
19. Lady Gaga: $33 Million Art Pop
May have been a big Art Flop, but she's still raking in milli after milli. Forbes notes she's down from her peak of $90 Million in 2011, but for a 28 year old, she's doing laps around most millennials. Only time will tell if Gaga ever gets her groove back, but those Little Monsters are sure to at least follow her career to Vegas, right?
18. Miley Cyrus: $36 Million
Now that Miley is all grown up, she's banking that grown-up money. She made more money twerking than any stripper we've ever met. Her Bangerz album was wildly successful, followed by an even wilder tour. Dancing around in a weed jumpsuit isn't a bad way to make a living. Disney must be proud.
See also: Miley Cyrus' Top Ten Fashion Freakouts
17. Jennifer Lopez: $37 Million
She used to be at the top of the Forbes' celebrity list, but considering her career spans decades, she's doing pretty well. It's hard to keep up with the insane standards pop puts on its female stars, and J. Lo is killing the game. Her eighth studio album, A.K.A., has already produced hit songs, including the FIFA World Cup anthem duet with Pitbull, "We Are One." A renewed contract with Fox's American Idol is just a cherry on top.
See also: Six Worst Pop Star Siblings to Ever Suck
16. Katy Perry:$40 Million
She's about to turn 30, but the birthday babe is cushioned by a mountain of cold, hard cash. This chick has CoverGirl and Pop Chips in her corner. She's got her own fragrance. She's currently on tour dazzling fans with hits from her Prism album, the same record that launched hit singles "Roar," "Dark Horse," and "Birthday." She also rakes in a lot of dough making private appearances. Save up, and Perry can be your own private dancer.
15. Rihanna: $48 Million
This bad gyal is making good money. She's one of the most sought-after singers in the rap game, constantly collaborating with the likes of Jay Z and Eminem, the latter of which she's opening up for on a U.S. tour. Forbes also calls her the second-most powerful social media user, only behind Justin Bieber. So next time your parents give you shit for always taking selfies ...
14. Justin Timberlake: $57 Million
So MySpace wasn't exactly a great investment, but who cares when the 20/20 Experience is still moving units? Timberlake took a break from his acting career to get back to his first love, and the fans couldn't be more excited about it. Add his fashion line, William Rast, and a huge stake in 901 Tequila and the Memphis Grizzlies, and you've got one fat bank account.
13. Jay Z: $60 Million
This proud poppa didn't make as much as his wifey, but he's got no problem taking a back seat to that independant woman. He's come a long way from his Marcy Project days. The new album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, moved a million copies before it was even released. He just opened a new 40/40 Club in the Atlanta airport. He's got his own brand of cognac to sip, and his double-headlining tour with the Mrs. is mighty fantastic. The Roc Nation king is well off, indeed.
12. Bruno Mars: $60 Million
They say the real money comes on the road, and that's the case for this Forbes-list first timer. Mars appeared on stage 118 times in a year. One of those appearances was alongside the Red Hot Chili Peppers for a very special halftime performance. Did you know that, at 28, he is the youngest halftime performer ever? Good thing too, because it helped push his record to double-platinum status.
11. Diddy: $60 Million
Cîroc is still the drink of choice among many of rap's biggest hitters, and every time you take a sip, some money slips into Diddy's pocket. He's also still pushing out Sean Jean clothes, and his new cable network Revolt is actually pretty awesome. Besides vodka, he's got his own tequila, and a marketing agency through which he brings new stars to shining glory. The rap label that made him famous, Bad Boy, is almost old enough to drink at 20 years old, and Diddy is still Bad Boy for life.
See also: Ten Softest Rappers in the Game
10. Taylor Swift: $64 Million
Forbes is fast to note that the 24-year-old country crossover pop princess is only 24 but makes her fifth appearance on the mag's highest earner lists. Her Red record won a bunch of fans and awards, though not any Grammys. This year was her richest to date, and her career shows no signs of slowing down. As long as there are cute dudes with attitude problems in the world, Swift has material.
9. Calvin Harris: $66 Million
He's the richest DJ in the world, and his chart-topping hits won't quit. He used to stock grocery stores, so it's pretty cool that he's making tracks with the likes of Rihanna. If you want a song to hit with four-to-the-floor accuracy, get at Harris. He's always headlining the biggest summer festivals, whether they're EDM focused like Electric Daisy Carnival or corss-genre like Coachella. He also secured a multi-year contract with Las Vegas' Hakkasan, the biggest club in the U.S.
See also: EDM's Five Biggest Hacks
8. Paul McCartney: $71 Million
This former Beatle is way past 64, but we still got mad love for the ultimate love-song penman. He's a knight and arguably the godfather of the entirety of modern music. Even though he contracted a virus in Japan and was forced to cancel a bunch of live performances, he still raked in more than most. We kind of hope he lives and sings forever.
7. One Direction: $75 Million
Can you believe the biggest boy band in the world was formed from a singing contest show? Yeah, you can thank (or damn) The X Factor for this well-coifed, choreographed hellspawn. The band's new album Midnight Memories debuted at pole position on Billboard. How long until the main guy breaks away and we have a new Justin Timberlake on our hands? We'll see if Harry Styles can fill those dancing shoes.
6. Justin Bieber: $80 Million
It's funny. One Direction is five guys, but they can't compare to the hearthrobbing masterwork that is baby-boy-turned-bad Bieber. His fans are literally insane. They had police working double-time at Kimye's wedding, just because it was reported he might show up. No matter how many times he gets arrested, is caught smoking weed, or spends all night throwing stacks at strippers here in Miami, his fans never waver in their mind-blowing devotion. Will his star-power ever burn out? At this rate, it seems like his body might give before his celebrity.
See also: Justin Beiber's Six Most NSFW Moments
5. Bruce Springsteen: $81 Million
America's favorite blue-jean boss reappears on Forbes after four years, thanks mostly in part to a new album of covers called High Hopes and a subsequent tour. He hit some of the biggest stadiums in the world, because where else is a superstar of this caliber going to perform? How he manages to fill giant arenas and still maintain a blue-collar image is kind of confusing, but that's his whole game, and he's still playing to win.
4. Bon Jovi: $82 Million
They say the teenage market brings the most money, but tell that to all the 40 and older moms who have pictures of Jon Bon Jovi on their bed room drawers. This cutie's mug is still moving the big bucks, helping to land the band on the Forbes list for the seventh time. Even a public battle with the group's iconic guitar player couldn't slow this brand down. Plus, Bon Jovi is a nice guy. He's got his own charity foundation that finds homes for Philly's down and out. What a sweetie-pie.
3. The Eagles: $100 Million
They've sold more records than any other rock band in the history of ever. They just wrapped up what might be their final tour, and they released their own documentary, because the History of the Easgles is a tale that must be told. Is this the end of an era? Only time will tell, but The Eagles certainly earned enough for comfortable retirement.
2. Beyonce: $115 Million
This fierce feminist is a serious role model. She's got money in the bank, a beautiful baby girl, a bangin' bod, a sick new tour, an amazing album complete with incredible music videos, and she's only 32. Apparently, if you're Beyonce,it is possible to have it all. She should probably come out with her own watermelon-flavored vodka, but she certainly doesn't have to.
1. Dr. Dre: $620 Million
By now, we've all heard about Dre's billion-dollar deal with Apple for the rights to his Beats By Dre headphone empire. Get ready for even more obnoxiously-exclusive headphone jacks in your iPhone and the like, but at least you'll get all that bass. The blogs made a big deal about Dre becoming hip hop's first billionaire, but it's even more impressive that Forbes lists his as the richest entertainer they've ever evaluated. Turns out this is the millennium of Aftermath after all.
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