WE LIVE IN A WORLD where, despite rampant wealth inequality, it’s also statistically easier to become a billionaire than ever before. We’ve seen crypto-bros and savvy traders emerge from nowhere to generate ten and eleven-figure fortunes, joining the 141 others who this year hit Forbes’ annual index of billionaires – a list that’s now larger, and richer, than it’s ever been before. If you’re lucky enough to be a multi-millionaire, you too could one day become a billionaire – if, of course, you make the right moves.

As such, for those who have made their millions either in entertainment or through their sporting prowess, there are more avenues than ever before to turn fame not just into fortune, but a full-blown empire – as evidenced by the ever-growing list of celebrity billionaires that, as of this year, now includes names like Taylor Swift and Magic Johnson. 

But exactly what moves did these A-listers make to join a club so rarefied that, as of this year, only 14 celebrities have ever managed to enter? Read on below to find out.

Note: figures converted to AUD as of 03/04/24 unless otherwise stated.

The world’s celebrity billionaires for 2024

INSTAGRAM | @taylorswift

13. Taylor Swift

Net Worth: $1.68 billion

Outside of footballing icons like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, Taylor Swift might be the most famous person in the world right now, and despite being a debutant on the list, is unique in the fact that she’s done so almost entirely through ticket and music sales – something no other musician – even those further down this list – has ever been able to claim. Still causing chaos in every city it visits, her Eras tour is on course to go down as one of the most profitable tours in history, netting her an estimated $190 million in 2023 alone.

INSTAGRAM | @magicjohnson

12. Magic Johnson

Net Worth: $1.83 billion

He already has a resume that’s the envy of 99% of players to ever grace the league, but Earnest ‘Magic’ Johnson has also proven a spellbindingly good investor in the decades since he last exited the court. One of sport’s most shrewd early investors, he made most of his now-sizeable fortune investing his salary and endorsement earnings into life insurance company EquiTrust. He’s since turned the proceeds from that deal into a small sports empire, teaming up with some of sport’s most famous billionaires to acquire chunks of  the LA Dodgers, the NFL’s Washington Commanders, the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA’s and Major League Soccer’s LAFC.

LeBron James

11. LeBron James

Net Worth: $1.83 billion

The NBA’s wealthiest active athlete is, of course, King James, who has never been shy about investing the historically huge contract and endorsement earnings he’s amassed over 20 years in the league. James turned his attention to sports investment before it was cool, acquiring a small chunk of Liverpool FC and the Boston Red Sox through buying a stake in the Fenway Sports Group, and also owns a size able real estate portfolio alongside his entertainment company, SpringHill.

Tiger Woods

10. Tiger Woods

Net Worth: $1.98 billion

While Michael Jordan will likely go down as sport’s richest-ever athlete, Tiger Woods could well be its most bankable, having pulled in more than any other through sheer career earnings and endorsements alone. Almost all of woods’ 10-figure fortune has come through sizeable endorsement deals with Nike, Monster Energy and Rolex – although the $150 million in career earnings he amassed as golf’s arguable GOAT didn’t hurt either. Now he’s split with the Swoosh and launched his own line, Sun Day Red, meaning that number below his name could grow even further.

Rihanna Fenty Beauty

9. Rihanna

Net Worth: $2.13 billion

A pioneer both in modern pop music and the art of turning a small fortune into a large one, Ri Ri was one of the first celebs to harness her name in a bid to conquer the worlds of beauty and lingerie, and remains to this day the path’s greatest success story. Fenty Beauty, which is co-owned by LVMH, remains the template for celebrity-owned beauty brands that a wave of copycats is still yet to best, while Savage x Fenty, the lingerie line she owns a 30% stake in, is valued at over a billion dollars.

INSTAGRAM | @tylerperry

8. Tyler Perry

Net Worth: $2.13 billion

A titan of black entertainment, Perry isn’t the most famous face outside of the States, but remains one of Hollywood’s greatest success stories all the same, generating over a billion dollars in a 30-year career across stage and screen and, at one point, being named as the highest-paid man in entertainment.


7. Peter Jackson

Net Worth: $2.28 billion

The residual checks from the Lord of the Rings franchise alone would set up Peter Jackson better than most directors to come before (or after him) but it’s in the film series’ still-iconic visual effects that Jackson has made most of his money. Kiwi VFX company Weta FX, which Jackson founded and made famous through his Tolkien trilogies, sold a portion of its assets to game studio Unity Software in 2021, sending the director into the billionaire’s club for the first time.

Kim Kardashian
INSTAGRAM | @kimkardashian

6. Kim Kardashian

Net Worth: $2.59 billion

Say what you like about how, or why, Kim Kardashian got and continues to be famous – she’s proven beyond doubt that she’s also one of Hollywood’s savviest businesspeople. Kardashian has earned hundreds of millions both through TV and the sale of her beauty lines over the years, but it’s in shapewear company Skims, which continues to go from strength to strength after a $4 billion USD valuation, that her true fortune lies.

Jay-Z Tottenham Sale

5. Jay-Z

Net Worth: $3.81 billion

One half of music’s greatest power couple, Jay-Z remains the original hip-hop mogul and, with the possible former exception of Kanye West, it’s shrewdest investor. Hov boasts a laundry list of savvy investments as long as his discography, having sold a 50% stake in his champagne brand, Armand de Brignac, to LVMH in 2021 for at least $300 million, and a majority stake in cognac label D’Usse in 2023 for a reported $750 million to Bacardi. He also owns holdings in Uber and Block (the holding company that owns fintech brands like Square, CashApp and Australia’s own Afterpay).

INSTAGRAM | @oprah

4. Oprah Winfrey

Net Worth: $4.26 billion

Oprah leveraged her success as one of the defining pop culture figures of the last 40 years to become a true trailblazer, attaining her status as perhaps the 20th century’s richest African-American on the way to becoming the first black female billionaire ever in 2003. Her media, business and real estate empire has grown at pace ever since.

Michael Jordan Charlotte Hornets

3. Michael Jordan

Net Worth: $4.87 billion

The world’s most famous, and prolific, billionaire athlete has earned, and still earns, more than any actor or sportsman before him. A good portion of this comes from the now-famously large royalties he collects from sales of Nike’s Air Jordan sneaker line, which stands to this day as probably the greatest deal ever done in sport for both parties. He’s also sport’s most successful athlete-turned-team owner, turning a $175 million USD investment in what was then the NBA’s fledgling Charlotte Bobcats into $3 billion USD as franchise values exploded over the last decade.


2. Steven Spielberg

Net Worth: $7.3 billion

The man who invented (and, indeed directed) the summer blockbuster, Spielberg’s filmography of hit popcorn flicks, which includes Jaws, the Jurassic Park franchise and Indiana Jones, as well as oscar winners like Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan, remains perhaps Hollywood’s greatest. Shrewdly, he’s leveraged this fact in negotiations for a percentage of gross sales for his movies, earning him hundreds of millions of dollars, and cuts in franchise spin-offs, games, books and theme park rides.


1. George Lucas

Net Worth: $8.37 billion

No man has turned the success of a single franchise into a fortune like George Lucas, whose Star Wars saga remains a defining force in modern popular culture. Lucasfilm, the production and visual effects company Lucas founded to create his epic space western (alongside the Indiana Jones series) became one of Hollywood’s most sought-after acquisitions as a result, eventually selling to Disney for over $4 billion in 2012 and cementing Lucas as Hollywood’s richest movie maker.


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