Last month Forbes announced the top 100 earners in the entertainment business for 2016. While there were not many surprises amongst the the wealthy elite, top ranking DJ Calvin Harris saw his pretax income plummet by $3 million. Leaving him with a measly $63 million to swim around in like Scrooge McDuck. So how does that compare to other entertainers and athletes you might wonder? Well we have selected 10 notable stars who find themselves languishing behind the EDM headliner.
1. Bruce Springsteen $60.5 Million
The Boss has been packing stadiums with “The River Tour” which according to Billboard Mid-Year report has been the highest grossing tour selling 1.1 million ticket sand raking in #135 million in revenue. Perhaps Bruce would be better off switching to EDM although an upcoming compilation and Autobiography coupled with continuing tour revenue should push him above Harris for the year.
2. Gordon Ramsey $54 Million
Gordon may or may not be the greatest chef in the world but he’s unquestionably the top cooking celebrity known to man. With an absurd amount of Prime Time Network TV shows the foul mouthed Scott is never off the telly and while it can be hard seeing him rip lesser chefs apart there’s no denying he knows what he’s talking about having earned 12 Michelin Stars across a multitude of restaurants and gastro pubs. Tag onto that
20 plus books and god knows what other business ventures. Certainly there’s no question Ramsay was better off working in a kitchen than playing in goal for Glasgow Rangers. His earnings are nothing to be scoffed at but not enough to make him the highest earning Scottish entertainer.
3. Novak Djokovic $56
Being the number 1 ranked mens tennis player in the world winning the French Open to become only the third player in history to hold all four Grand Slam titles at the same time is some feat. Sadly it doesn’t earn as well as dropping the bass.
4. Beyoncé $54 Million
While Calvin’s old flame Taylor Swift has blown everyone else away in the 2016 earnings spare a thought for Beyoncé. Her album Lemonade debut at number 1 in the Billboard chart making her the first artist in history to have their first 6 records capture the top spot on release. Also making bank on her “Formation” tour and appearing at the SuperBowl make this a busy year for Mrs Jay Z. Obviously she hasn’t been working quite as hard as her fellow Tidal co-owner Harris.
5. Tom Cruise $53 Million
As of last year films starring Tom Cruise have grossed an astonishing $8.2 billion and he continues to churn them out with a new Jack Reacher action-fest coming out in October. Despite peoples dislike of all his Scientology weirdness he continues to be the most bankable Hollywood star but it just isn’t enough to match the earning power of a Scottish DJ.
6. Jordan Spieth $53 Million
Not since Tiger Woods burst onto the scene has American golf had such an exciting young star. Speith not only won the 2015 Masters but added the US Open and FedEx Cup to his trophy cabinet. Companies have been clamoring over each other to offer him very lucrative sponsorship contracts but even the $1.8 million prize purse seems trivial when Calvin Harris can make as much spinning a couple of weekends at XS in Vegas.
7. Cam Newton $53 Million
The number 1 rated player in the NFL got to the SuperBowl this year and then threw his toys out of the pram when the game was lost. Love him or hate him you cannot deny his talent. The NFL MVP set numerous records during the season and is now tied with Steve Young for having the most rushing touchdowns by any Quarterback in history. At 27 years old he has the potential to be one of the greatest football players history. However when you consider how much money he makes putting his body on the line every week perhaps he would have been better off learning how to beat match.
8. Kobe Bryant $50 Million
Scoring a season high (for any player) 60 points in his final NBA game,Kobe Bryant brought his glittering basketball career to a close in 2016. 20 years at the LA Lakers brought unprecedented success for a man many regard to be the player of his generation. Even in the twilight of his career there was not a brand in the world who wouldn’t want to be associated with brand Kobe. Playing 66 games in his final season would have taken an incredible physical effort perhaps now that he retired he can start making real money in the DJ booth.
9. Lewis Hamilton $46 Million
Harris has performed at a number of Grand Prix parties most likely at events that were won by fellow Brit and current World Champion Lewis Hamilton. As the king of Motorsport Hamilton is the face of Mercedes along with a countless number of other high end brands. While Harris does well enough with endorsements from the likes of Emporio Armani surely the current undisputed king of Formula 1 can match his earnings? No even close, the wheels of an F1 car might spin faster than a turntable but they don’t seem to be able to churn out as much hard cash in this day and age.
10. Tiesto $38 Million
Last word goes to the second highest earning DJ of 2016, Tiesto. Despite so many years of success the Dutchman’s drawing power has been usurped by the younger DJ from Dumfries. Not that I think Tiesto minds the size of his pay packet which must seem outlandish compared to what the top Dance acts were making when he entered the limelight 15 odd years ago.
This article isn’t an attack on Harris or the earning power of big name DJ’s, they make what they make and fair play to them but you have to wonder is it really worth the exorbitant ticket prices to see the likes of Harris perform? Surely the bubble will have to burst sooner rather than later on the EDM cash cow and spare a thought for those artists working their arses off to barely cover their own expenses while playing second fiddle to the headline acts.