Boxer Mayweather, George Clooney lead world's highest paid entertainers
Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar Among Forbes’ Highest Paid Celebs In World

American boxer Floyd Mayweather was named the world’s highest-paid entertainer on Monday on a list that saw actor George Clooney take the No. 2 spot with the highest annual pay of his career.

Reality star Kylie Jenner, 20, came in third on the annual Forbes Celebrity 100 list, largely thanks to her booming cosmetics line that Forbes said put her on track to become the youngest self-made billionaire in the United States.

Forbes compiled its 2018 list estimating pre-tax earnings from June 2017-June 2018, before deducting fees for managers, based on data from Nielsen, touring trade publication Pollstar, movie database IMDB, and interviews with industry experts and celebrities themselves.

Mayweather pulled in some $285 million in the period, largely thanks to his August 2017 comeback fight win over mixed martial arts champion Conor McGregor. Oscar-winning star Clooney earned an estimated $239 million after selling the Casamigos tequila company he co-founded to British spirits company Diageo in June 2017. Forbes said the sale gave Clooney the best annual earnings of his 35-year career in film and television.

Forbes said entertainers on its 2018 Celebrity 100 list earned a combined $6.3 billion before tax, up 22 percent from last year’s list. Many of the highest earners came from celebrities leveraging their brands through side ventures and through their social media presence. “There’s never been a more lucrative time to be famous than now, with 11 superstars earning $100 million or more over the past year,” Zack O’Malley Greenburg, senior entertainment editor at Forbes, said in a statement.

“Entertainers have found all sorts of new ways to monetise their audiences, especially with the help of social media,” he added. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson almost doubled his earnings from the previous year to land in 5th place with estimated earnings of $124 million. Forbes said the earnings of the Jumanji and Fast & Furious star were the largest acting-related earnings it had recorded in 20 years.

The top earner on last year’s list, musician Sean Diddy Combs, dropped to No. 32 on the current list. His earnings on the 2017 list were inflated by a tour and the sale of part of his Sean John clothing line, Forbes said.

Musicians and athletes fared well, with Irish band U2, British band Coldplay and British singer Ed Sheeran appearing in the top 10. Soccer players Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo also earned more than $100 million, Forbes said.

Bollywood actors Akshay Kumar and Salman Khan are among the world’s 100 highest-paid entertainers, according to the list. Akshay is ranked 76th on the Forbes list of the World’s Highest Paid Celebrities 2018, while Salman is on the 82nd spot.

Forbes said the world’s 100 top-earning entertainers pulled in a combined $6.3 billion pre-tax over the past 12 months, up 22 per cent from last year and 11 superstars crossed the $100-million threshold, more than double the number from the last two years combined.

Akshay, 50, had earnings of $40.5 million. Forbes said “one of Bollywood’s leading men has transitioned to socially-conscious roles,” citing his films such as Toilet: Ek Prem Katha that focussed on government campaigns to improve sanitation, and Padman, about a man hoping to provide inexpensive sanitary pads to rural communities. He also mints millions from profits and endorsing about 20 brands.

Salman, 52, had earnings of $37.7 million. Forbes said he remains one of India’s top earners and the ‘Bollywood mainstay’ continues to produce and star in hits such as Tiger Zinda Hai, cashing in on backend profits.

The list has been topped by Mayweather with earnings of $285 million. Among the other highest-paid entertainers are actor George Clooney (second), reality TV star and businessperson Kylie Jenner (third), soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo (10), pop star Katy Perry (19), tennis icon Roger Federer (23), singer Beyonce (35), author JK Rowling (42) and golfer Tiger Woods (66).