Highest earning celebs of 2017 revealed – and number one is NOT who you'd expect

By Nombulelo Manyana
14 June 2017

Naturally, the list features plenty of unsurprising names – but a few of them raised some eyebrows!

Every year Forbes brings out their Celebrity 100 list, ranking the stars who raked in the most dough over the last 12 months.

Naturally, the list features plenty of unsurprising names -- but a few of them raised some eyebrows! Here's a look at the top 10.

10. LeBron James — $86 million (R1,09 billion)

The professional athlete came in 10th, largely thanks to that lifetime deal he signed with Nike.


9. James Patterson — $87 million (R1,1 billion)

The author and philanthropist has written books like Alex Cross, Women's Murder Club, Maximum Ride and Daniel X. Last year James topped Forbes's list of highest-paid authors for the third consecutive year, with an income of $95 million.

Happy Friday ? A post shared by James Patterson (@jamespattersonbooks) on

8. Coldplay — $88 million (R1,12 billion)

Coldplay has had a fantastic year with their Head Full of Dreams tour.


B-stage R42 #ColdplaySingapore #AHFODTour

A post shared by Coldplay (@coldplay) on

7. Howard Stern — $90 million (R1,15 billion)

The controversial radio and television personality managed to secure the number 7 spot with his eight-figure salary from the American radio station Sirius XM. And he apparently has other digital ventures in the pipeline too...

6. The Weeknd — $92 million (1,17 billion)

First the million-dollar mansion and now he is part of the list of richest people in the word? Clearly, the chart-topping muso is pleased with himself. He even shared a photo of the Forbes cover on Instagram with the caption "Homeless to Forbes list".


Phase 1 = Over

A post shared by The Weeknd (@theweeknd) on

5. Cristiano Ronaldo — $93 million (R1,18 billion)

Could it get any better for the soccer star? This year he was crowned the best player in the world and like LeBron, signed a lifetime sponsorship deal with Nike.

? A post shared by Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano) on

4. Drake — $94 million (R1,2 billion)

With more song streams than anyone else on the planet, Drake is one of the biggest artists in the world right now. He's also got a world tour under his belt, raking in the cash by the truckload this year.  

A post shared by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on

3. JK Rowling — $95 million (R1,2 billion)

With her Harry Potter series moving into theatres and the Fantastic Beasts film franchise underway, the queen of Twitter clap-backs is laughing all the way to the bank.

JK Rowling

2. Beyoncé Knowles — $105 million (R1,33 billion)

Bow down! The top 10 list would not be complete without Queen Bey -- whose soon to welcome twins into the world.

A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

1. Sean "Diddy" Combs — $130 million (R1,65 billion)

Not bad for a year's work. The rapper's entrepreneurial skills catapulted him from number 22 last year to 2017's top spot. Diddy's payday mostly came from the sale of a large chunk of Sean John clothing equity and his ongoing partnership with Diageo's Ciroc vodka.



A post shared by Diddy (@diddy) on

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