Show me the money! Considering they rake in millions of dollars each year, we've already established that stars are nothing like us. But what they do with their stacks of cash never ceases to amaze us. From sky-high paydays to pricey legal settlements, Wonderwall.com rounded up the most outrageous celeb money moments of 2019, starting with Taylor Swift's huge haul. The pop star was named Forbes' highest earning celebrity of the year thanks to an estimated $185 million income, which included huge checks from her sold-out "Reputation" world tour and early earnings from her newest album, "Lover." Taylor also scored big when she parted ways with her old label, Big Machine, and signed a nine-figure deal with Universal's Republic Records (though she was enraged to learn that music manager Scooter Braun shelled out $300 million to purchase her entire music back catalog after she left). Keep reading for more of the biggest celeb money moments of the year…
Dwayne Johnson named Forbes' highest paid actor of 2019
2019 was Dwayne Johnson's year! Forbes named The Rock the highest earning actor in Hollywood with an impressive $89.4 million income between June 2018 and May 2019. Aside from the $700K he rakes in per episode for HBO's "Ballers," he signed a deal that pays him up to $23.5 million for the 2019 blockbuster sequel "Jumanji: The Next Level." The former wrestler beat out "Thor" star Chris Hemsworth, who took the second spot with $76.4 million, and "Avengers: Endgame" actor Robert Downey Jr., who earned a cool $66 million.
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Scarlett Johansson reigns supreme as highest-paid actress of 2019
Scarlett Johansson should be prouder than ever to be named Forbes' highest paid actress of the year during a time that women are finally standing up to get the equal pay they deserve. The "Avengers: Endgame" star, who got engaged to Colin Jost in May, topped the list with $56 million in income from June 2018 to May 2019, which includes her eight-figure payday for her leading role in Marvel's 2020 "Black Widow" film. Scarlett came in first ahead of "Modern Family" actress Sofia Vergara, in the second spot with $44.1 million, Reese Witherspoon with $35 million, Nicole Kidman with $34 million and Jennifer Aniston with $28 million.
RELATED: Stars who got engaged in 2019
Kylie Jenner becomes a billionaire, sells share of beauty company for $600M
In March 2019, Forbes named reality TV star and makeup mogul Kylie Jenner the "youngest ever self-made billionaire." At 21 — less than four years after she launched her Kylie Cosmetics makeup line with a series of lip kits — she became a billionaire at a younger age than even Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, who was 23 when he reached the money milestone. Then in November, Kylie made headlines again for another major financial move: She sold a 51 percent stake in Kylie Cosmetics and Kylie Skin to beauty conglomerate Coty. The price for that slice of her biz? A cool $600 million.
Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin named in big-money college admissions cheating scandal
Stars might not be anything like us, but that definitely doesn't make them above the law. "Desperate Housewives" alum Felicity Huffman and "Full House" actress Lori Loughlin couldn't use their celebrity cards to get them out of trouble when they were named in a college admissions cheating scandal in March. The women, along with dozens of other parents, were accused of paying so-called college consultant William Singer to cheat the system and get their children into prestigious schools. Felicity admitted she paid $15K to boost her eldest daughter's SAT scores and was sentenced to 14 days behind bars and a $30,000 fine. Lori is fighting prosecutors' claims that she and her husband forked over $500K to get their two girls into the University of Southern California by falsely designating them as crew team recruits even though they hadn't rowed a day in their lives.
Katy Perry, collaborators liable for $2.78 million in damages in "Dark Horse" plagiarism case
Katy Perry's 2013 single "Dark Horse" got her into hot water with rapper Flame, who took her to court over claims that she plagiarized the beat from his 2008 Christian rap song "Joyful Noise." In July, a Los Angeles federal court deemed Katy, along with her co-songwriters and Capitol Records, liable for $2.78 million in damages. They're appealing the verdict. In other Katy-related money news… In February, Orlando Bloom got down one one knee and proposed to the pop star with a flower-inspired pink jewel ring estimated to be worth between $300K and $6 million, depending on what its center stone is made of — Katy hasn't said if she's rocking a pink diamond, a pink sapphire or another stone.
JAY-Z becomes first hip-hop artist to reach billionaire status
In June, Forbes named JAY-Z the first hip-hop artist to amass a $1 billion fortune thanks to his musical talents and savvy business sense. With 14 No. 1 records to date, Jay's music catalog alone is worth a reported $75 million, and that's not accounting for the entertainment company he founded, Roc Nation. He's also invested in cash cows like Uber and launched the music streaming service Tidal, along with his own brand of cognac and gold-bottle Ace of Spades champagne. Jay and his superstar wife, Beyonce, round out their net worth with $50 million in property and a $70 million art collection. Bey, by the way, reportedly raked in a cool $25 million just to lend her voice to the character of Nala in this year's remake of "The Lion King."
Alex Rodriguez dropped $1.8 million on Jennifer Lopez's engagement ring
Don't be fooled by the rocks that Jennifer Lopez's got — even if they're worth mega-millions — because she's still Jenny from the block! In March, Alex Rodriguez popped the question to his girlfriend of two years during a romantic getaway in the Bahamas with a stunning 16-carat diamond ring that took him a whole seven months to pick out. J.Lo's massive emerald-cut stone is reportedly worth $1.8 million.
Gwen Stefani sells marital home with Gavin Rossdale for $21.65 million
After two years on the market, Gwen Stefani finally sold the Beverly Hills mansion she once shared with former husband Gavin Rossdale. In October, the "The Voice" coach, who's currently dating country singer Blake Shelton, accepted a $21.65 million offer on her 15,018 square-foot home, which was listed for $25 million following a $10 million price reduction. She'll have to fork over half to Gavin, whom she divorced in 2015, but her cut isn't too shabby seeing that they purchased the seven-bedroom estate (that once belonged to Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony) for $13.25 million back in 2006.
"Avengers: Endgame" breaks all the box office records
"Avengers: Endgame" — the culmination of Marvel's 22-film cinematic universe — made a jaw-dropping $1.2 billion worldwide in its first weekend of release in April, destroying the previous record ($640 million by "Avengers: Infinity War") for the biggest box office opening ever. By July, it had bested "Avatar" to become the highest earning movie of all time thanks to its $2.79 billion haul.
Rihanna named richest female musician in the world
In June, Forbes reported that Rihanna is now the richest female musician in the world thanks to a $600 million fortune comprised of not only earnings from her music career but from her latest business ventures (including Fenty Beauty, her Savage X Fenty lingerie line and her LVMH luxury fashion house, Fenty). Rihanna is ahead of even Madonna (with $570 million), Celine Dion (with $450 million) and Beyonce (with $400 million), Forbes reported. At the end of the year, Rihanna enjoyed another big money moment: On Dec. 12, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that Amazon had purchased a documentary about RiRi directed by Peter Berg for $25 million. The news came days after another streaming service, Apple TV+, made a documentary deal for a Billie Eilish film for the same amount.
Leonardo DiCaprio's Earth Alliance pledges $5 million to Amazon fires
Not all celebs burn through wads of cash buying things on their own personal shopping lists. Leonardo DiCaprio donated $5 million from his 2019 earnings to support the Amazon following the recent surge in Brazilian wildfires. "The largest rainforest in the world is a critical piece of the global climate solution," Leo, who made the pledge through a new environmental initiative called Earth Alliance, wrote on Instagram. "Without the Amazon, we cannot keep the Earth's warming in check."
Kim Kardashian's shapewear sold $2 million within minutes of launching
Everything Kim Kardashian West touches turns to millions! When the reality TV star launched her new line of SKIMS Solutionwear in September, she sold a whopping $2 million worth of products online within the first few minutes of going live. To put her earnings into perspective, shapewear competitor Spanx made $4 million over the course of its entire first year in business. But Kim is no stranger to raking in the big bucks quickly — she made a cool $5 million within 5 minutes of releasing three new fragrances in 2018 and $14.4 million after her KKW Beauty products sold out in 3 hours post-launch in 2017.
Kylie Jenner earns $1.266 million per Instagram post
Kylie Jenner beat out her famous sister, Kim Kardashian West, by a couple hundred thousand to top the list of highest paid stars on Instagram this year. The cosmetics mogul reportedly earns a whopping $1.266 million per post on social media, while Kim rakes in $910K per post. So essentially, it only took one post for Kylie to pay off the super-yacht she chartered in Italy to celebrate her 22nd birthday in October (it had a price tag of $1.2 million per week). Ariana Grande came in a close second to Kylie on the list with an estimated $996K per post, followed by soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo at $975K. (Big sister Kendall Jenner also had a headline-making money moment this year: In April, the supermodel received upwards of $500K just to make a quick stop at the opening of Sydney's new Tiffany and Co. store.)
"Frozen II" helps Disney set new records
In mid-December, "Frozen II" became the sixth Disney movie of 2019 to cross the $1 billion mark at the worldwide box office. (The other five were "Avengers: Endgame," "Captain Marvel," "Aladdin," "Toy Story 4" and "The Lion King.") "Frozen II" is now also the seventh-biggest animated film ever and the eighth-highest grossing movie of 2019. Also major for Disney and its stars? In early December, the studio became the first in history to cross the $10 billion global box office earnings mark — and that's not counting the release of sure-to-be-juggernaut "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" later in December.
Oprah Winfrey donated millions to support education across the globe
You get a million, and you get a million, and you get a million! Oprah Winfrey gave wads of money to educational organizations this year, starting in July when she pledged $22.5 million worth of company stock to support her Leadership Academy for young girls in South Africa. Then in October, the former talk show host wrote a $13 million check to Atlanta's Morehouse College for African American men, making her total contribution to the liberal school $25 million. On top of that, billionaire Robert F. Smith surprised Morehouse's 2019 graduating class by offering to pay off each and every one of their student loans.
Ariana Grande banks $8 million to headline Coachella
Ariana Grande received $8 million to headline the Coachella music festival this year, which breaks down to $4 million for each of her two sets. The "7 Rings" singer, who made history as the youngest headliner ever at the two-weekend event, reportedly made the same amount of dough as superstar Beyonce did when she commanded the stage in 2018.
Drake gifted private jet worth $200 million… for free
It must be nice to be able to afford a private jet and end up getting one for free anyway. In May, Canadian airline Cargojet gifted Drake with his very own 767 Boeing airplane custom designed with his OVO owl logo on the body of the aircraft. Since he saved so much moolah on the aircraft — which E! estimates is worth $80-$100 million, while TMZ believes it's worth $200 million — the rapper made some other big purchases this year, including a custom iPhone X case for a mere $400K. The pricey phone accessory is made from 18K white gold and encrusted with diamonds. It also features Drake's owl, natch.
Millie Bobby Brown scores $6.1 million payday for "Enola Holmes" plus perks
Millie Bobby Brown might still be just a kid, but the "Stranger Things" actress scored a huge payday for her next movie role. In November, TMZ obtained a copy of the 15-year-old Brit's minor contract for 2020's "Enola Holmes" — she stars as Sherlock Holmes' little sister, who's a talented detective just like her big bro (played by Henry Cavill) — and learned that Millie's making $6.1 million in salary plus an additional $800,000 bonus if the movie performs well at the box office as well as a $500K payment tied to her producing credit on the flick and a private jet travel perk. If there's a sequel to the film, which is based on a YA book series, her payday for that will go up to a minimum of $7.5 million.
Madonna spent $5 million of her own money for Billboard Music Awards performance
In order to make her creative vision a reality, Madonna reportedly forked over $5 million of her own money to fund the cost of her grand performance at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards in May. The music legend, who released new album "Madame X" this year, took the stage with Columbian artist Maluma for an ambitious seven-minute production that included holograms and CGI.
Matt Lauer's ex-wife gets more than $20 million in divorce
Disgraced former "Today" anchor Matt Lauer is paying up big-time in his divorce from his wife of more than 20 years, Dutch former model Annette Roque. The couple, who share three teenage children, reached a multi-million-dollar agreement that leaves Annette with a reported $20 million in assets as well as their horse-training facility in New York. Matt is also reportedly trying to sell their Hamptons estate, ironically dubbed Strongheart Manor, for $44 million. Their divorce, which came on the heels of Matt's firing from NBC in 2017 following allegations of sexual misconduct, was finalized in September.
Cardi B spent half a million bucks on daughter Kulture's 1st birthday
Cardi B pulled out all the stops when it came to daughter Kulture's 1st birthday in July, dropping half a million big ones on the celebration. The "Drip" rapper spent $400K on an elaborate bash themed after Netflix's animal cartoon "Word Party" for her and Offset's baby girl. Then she shelled out another $100K on Kulture's gift — a diamond and white gold necklace with a pendant featuring the adorable characters from "Word Party."
Matt Damon bought the most expensive condo in Brooklyn
In January, Matt Damon helped set a new real estate record by purchasing a $16.75 million condo in Brooklyn — the highest sale price for an apartment in that New York City neighborhood ever. The "Jason Bourne" star got a lot of bang for his buck on the six-bedroom penthouse unit, which is located in the former Standish Arms Hotel building and features expensive finishes like white oak floors and Italian Carrara marble countertops.
Tekashi 6ix9ine offered $10 million record deal in prison
Tekashi 6ix9ine has been behind bars since his arrest on racketeering charges in 2018, but that hasn't stopped the rapper-turned-witness from making money moves. In October, his former label, 10K Projects, reportedly offered him a record deal worth a whopping $10 million for an English and Spanish album. Execs allegedly promised to fork over the dough once Tekashi was released from prison and the music was completed, which could be an issue since he's facing a minimum 47-year sentence unless prosecutors and a judge agree to cut down his time in exchange for his testimony against others.
Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo buy Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck's marital home for $32 million
New year, new mansion! In January, Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo signed a $32 million agreement to purchase Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner's marital estate in the affluent Pacific Palisades neighborhood of Los Angeles. The 3.1-acre compound features a main five-bedroom home, two guests houses, a pool, a basketball court, a gym and a screening room, which should provide more than enough space for the Maroon 5 singer's supermodel wife and two daughters.
Jerry Seinfeld, Larry David and more score millions for streaming deals
Streamers are digging deeper into their pockets than ever before to buy the rights to air reruns of old sitcoms. In September, for example, Netflix inked a massive $500 million deal with Sony to stream the entire catalog of "Seinfeld" episodes. Former star Jerry Seinfeld and creator Larry David reportedly walked away with $100 million each as part of the agreement. Similarly, HBO Max paid a reported $600 million this year to secure the streaming rights to "The Big Bang Theory."
50 Cent donated $3 million to G-Unity Foundation from mansion sale
In April, 50 Cent sold his 50,000-square-foot mansion in Connecticut for $3 million and decided to donate all of the cash from the sale to charity. His former estate boasts 21 bedrooms, nine kitchens, outdoor and indoor pools, a casino, a nightclub, a basketball court and a helicopter pad. The rapper handed over a check from his real-estate earnings to his G-Unity Foundation, which supports low-income and underserved communities.
Ed Sheeran spent $5 million on neighboring property to quell noise complaints
Instead of simply quieting down, Ed Sheeran tried something else to avoid noise complaints from his London neighbors: He decided to buy them out. In July, the "Shape of You" singer allegedly dropped $5 million to purchase two houses next door to his $24.7 million pad (which is just one of the many properties he owns). What an expensive way to avoid grouchy neighbors!
"Bones" stars, creators score $51 million in lawsuit against 21st Century Fox
Back in 2017, the creators and cast of "Bones" filed a lawsuit against 21st Century Fox claiming that the company fraudulently sold streaming rights to the hit procedural drama below market value. At first, an arbitrator decided to pay out the show's team and stars, including David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel, $179 million in damages. But in May, a Los Angeles judge made a final decision in the case, settling at $51 million total (which is still not too shabby).
Victoria's Secret model Erin Heatherton files for bankruptcy
Erin Heatherton went from commanding the runway as a Victoria's Secret model and dating Leonardo DiCaprio to filing for bankruptcy. In April, news broke of the model's financial woes after she was forced to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Erin claimed to be in debt for more than half a million bucks — $560,242.13 to be exact — stemming from unpaid lines of credit and a lawsuit over a failed sportswear line. She also listed a mere $1,089.91 a month in income with $6,464.57 in total assets.
Jeff Bezos' ex-wife got $35 million worth of Amazon stock in divorce
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and author MacKenzie Bezos had one of the most expensive divorces of the year… and of all time. After 25 years of marriage, the couple announced their split in January (which was swiftly followed by reports that Jeff had been cheating with former TV host Lauren Sanchez). Jeff and MacKenzie didn't have a prenuptial agreement at the time of their vows because Amazon had yet to take off. Still, instead of taking half, MacKenzie agreed to walk away with 25 percent of her and Jeff's stake in Amazon, which was worth an estimated $35 billion at the time their divorce was finalized. She later pledged to give away half of her fortune to charity over her lifetime.
"The Bachelor" star Chris Soules ordered to pay $2.5 million in wrongful death case
In May, former "The Bachelor" star Chris Soules agreed to pay a $2.5 million settlement to the family of Kenneth Mosher in a headline-making wrongful death case. In August, Chris was given a two-year suspended sentence for his role in the fatal 2017 vehicle accident in which the Iowa farmer died after Chris hit the tractor Kenneth was driving, sending it into a ditch.