The end (of the year) is nigh! As 2016 draws to a close, Wonderwall.com is taking a look back at the 16 biggest celebrity money stories of the year, starting with Taylor Swift's massive payday: In November, Forbes named the pop star the top-earning celebrity of the year. She reportedly banked $170 million between mid-2015 and mid-2016 through sales of her "1989" album and its corresponding tour, plus endorsement deals with brands like Apple, Diet Coke and Keds, among others. According to Forbes, her 1989 tour grossed $200 million in North America, which demolished a record previously set by the Rolling Stones. She also sold more than 9 million copies of her "1989" album. Now keep reading for more of the year's top Hollywood money stories…
Idris Elba films earned $1.35 billion at the box office in 2016. The English actor starred in five movies this year: He voiced characters in "Zootopia," "The Jungle Book" and "Finding Dory," portrayed the villain in "Star Trek Beyond" and headlined independent film "The Take." Of those five, four are among the 11 highest-grossing movies of 2016 as of late November. "Finding Dory" is currently the year's highest-grossing film, "The Jungle Book" is the fourth highest-grossing film, "Zootopia" is the sixth and "Star Trek Beyond" is 11th.
In August, Forbes reported that Jennifer Lawrence was the highest-paid actress of the year (for the second year in a row). She reportedly made $46 million before taxes over the course of 12 months — $13 million more than Hollywood's second-highest-paid actress, Melissa McCarthy, who banked $33 million last year. J.Law reportedly pocketed a portion of the profits from the $653.4 million box office gross of late 2015's "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2" and scored a massive upfront payday for the upcoming film "Passengers," in which she stars opposite Chris Pratt.
In September, the Wall Street Journal reported that Jessica Alba was in talks to sell The Honest Company — her four-year-old brand of "green" baby products, cleaning supplies and vitamins — to Unilever (whose portfolio includes Axe, Dove, Ben & Jerry's and more) for a whopping $1 billion. It's estimated that the actress — the founder and chief creative officer of The Honest Company — could pocket around $200 million if the deal moves forward.
Dwayne Johnson topped Forbes' list of the world's highest-paid actors this year. Upfront paychecks for upcoming films like "Baywatch," "Jumanji" and "Fast 8" reportedly helped him bank $64.5 million in 2016 — more than double what he made last year.
On Oct. 3, five masked gunmen robbed Kim Kardashian West at gunpoint in her hotel apartment in Paris. They reportedly made off with more than $5.6 million in jewels, including a $4 million diamond ring.
When Australian billionaire James Packer proposed to Mariah Carey in January, he popped the question with a 35-carat rock designed by Wilfredo Rosado that's reportedly worth an estimated $7.5 million. When their relationship imploded, the diva demanded a $50 million payday from her ex: "She claims he got her to move from New York to L.A., uprooting her entire life, so he could be near his kids," TMZ reported on Oct. 28. The tabloid site added that the businessman allegedly made "financial promises" to Mariah that she intends to cash in on.
In June, Kanye West signed a deal with Adidas that could potentially net him a billion dollars. TMZ reported that under the terms of the contract, retail stores will start selling his shoes, apparel and accessories within the next few years. He'll also design athletic wear for the brand.
In April, Rihanna reportedly signed a $10 million deal to create Fenty Beauty by Rihanna. Her line with LVMH's Kendo division — the group behind Marc Jacobs Beauty, Coming Soon and Kat Von D's makeup collection — will launch in the fall of 2017.
In 2016, Amy Schumer became the first woman ever to make Forbes' list of top-earning comedians. She reportedly earned $17 million last year, which made her the fourth-highest-paid comedian in Hollywood behind Kevin Hart, Jerry Seinfeld and Terry Fator.
In November, Forbes reported that Bethenny Frankel was the top-earning reality TV star of the year outside of the Kardashian-Jenner clan. The star of "The Real Housewives of New York City" reportedly pocketed $8.5 million between June 2015 and June 2016, primarily in the form of payouts from her Skinnygirl brand, which she sold to Beam in 2011 for an estimated $100 million. Overall, she's the eighth-top-earning reality TV star behind Kim Kardashian West, Kylie Jenner, Kendall Jenner, Khloe Kardashian, Kris Jenner and Kourtney Kardashian (in that order).
In March, a Florida court awarded Hulk Hogan $141.1 million in damages as part of his sex tape lawsuit against Gawker. A jury found the website, its publisher and former editor-in-chief guilty of invading the wrestling legend's privacy by publishing two minutes of a secretly recorded tape depicting Hulk during an intimate moment with a pal's wife.
In August, the IRS slapped Nelly with a $2.4 million federal tax lien. According to TMZ, his debt is so huge that the government could start seizing the rapper's assets and property. He also reportedly owes $149,511 to the Missouri Department of Revenue in unpaid state taxes from 2013.
In November, a judge ordered Nick Gordon to pay $36 million to his late girlfriend Bobbi Kristina Brown's estate after he was found liable for her death. It's unlikely he'll ultimately fork over anywhere near that kind of cash though: According to TMZ, he's dead broke.
In October, Forbes reported that the late Michael Jackson scored the largest single-year payday by any entertainer ever — living or dead — when the executors of his estate sold his half of the Sony/ATV music publishing catalog, which owns the copyrights to the music of the Beatles, Taylor Swift, Eminem and more of the world's most popular recording artists. The pricetag? A reported $750 million, bringing the late King of Pop's total pretax payday this year to $825 million.