Kylie Jenner tops Forbes’ highest-paid celeb list despite being stripped of billionaire title

Technically, makeup mogul and reality star Kylie Jenner isn’t considered a billionaire anymore, but she still raking in the cash.

Last week, Forbes placed Jenner — who earned $590 million over the past 12 months — at the top of its annual highest-paid celebrity ranking. Forbes’ data analyzed pretax earnings from June 2019 through May 2020 before deducting fees for managers, lawyers and agents.

Jenner’s award comes in spite of a raging controversy that saw the magazine revoke her billionaire title just days prior. Forbes also accused her and mother Kris Jenner of exaggerating the size of her company, Kylie Cosmetics.

Kylie Jenner is the highest-paid celebrity in the world, according to Forbes

Regardless, Jenner did end up selling a majority stake of her business to beauty conglomerate Coty (COTY) for $600 million earlier this year, a move that significantly contributed to her earnings.

Rapper Kanye West (and Jenner’s brother-in-law) came in second place with $170 million, largely driven by his lucrative Yeezy sneakers deal with Adidas.

Tennis star Roger Federer ($106.3 million), along with soccer standouts Cristiano Ronaldo ($105 million) and Lionel Messi ($104 million) rounded out the top five.

This year’s list also highlighted the impact of the coronavirus — which bit into the bottom lines of many entertainers and athletes.

“Though the world’s highest-paid stars aren’t exactly hurting, their earnings have still taken a hit as sports, entertainment and music industries have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak,” Forbes senior editor, Zack O’Malley Greenburg, said in a statement.

“Prior to the global health crisis, live entertainment was the engine for growth in this business. Now empty stadiums across the world are driving multimillion-dollar cuts from sports to music,” he added.

The power of streaming

Additionally, Forbes’ report analyzed the impact of streaming as Netflix (NFLX), along with Apple (AAPL) and Amazon (AMZN) shelled out a whopping $300 million to stars on the list, including Ryan Reynolds ($71.5 million) and Billie Eilish ($53 million.)

Since 2016, Netflix has doled out $540 million to Celebrity 100 performers, emphasizing the importance for streamers to invest in top-level talent in order to produce the best possible content — now more important than ever with new movie releases not scheduled until later in the summer, at the earliest.

According to a new poll, conducted between May 22-26, over 3 out of 10 Americans added a subscription service in March, April or May — right during the height of the pandemic.


Additionally, 54% of those who use streaming services upped their usage during that time, compared to January and February.

However, all five platforms experienced a decrease in average household minutes during the month of May, according to data from 7Park — largely unsurprising as more states begin to reopen and outdoor weather improves.

Apple TV+ had the sharpest decline — dropping nearly 19% compared to April.  

Alexandra is a Producer & Entertainment Correspondent at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alliecanal8193

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