Fame favors the young. If you doubt that, just take a look at the singers, movie stars and athletes on our annual list of the Best-Paid Celebrities Under 30.
These guys haven’t gotten rich through decades of careful, prudent investing, like some of the top members of our Forbes 400. But they have sweated and spent a lot of sleepless nights honing and promoting their talents. That hard work helped these 20 young stars bring in a total of $690 million between May 2010 and May 2011.
The youngest star on our list is Justin Bieber. In his meteoric rise to fame, the 17-year-old crooner skipped the dues-paying drudgery of touring clubs and small venues that many artists go through to work their way up. Instead, at a time when most teens are worrying about who to invite to prom, he’s been touring the world and starring in a hit concert documentary. Bieber ranks second on our list with $53 million in earnings over the past 12 months. That money, plus his incredible fame, helped him debut in third place on our annual Celebrity 100 list, which measures wealth and fame.
Bieber is one of seven musicians who make our list. A world tour of arenas can be incredibly lucrative and almost all of our music stars had big tours this year. Lady Gaga, who ranks first on our list, grossed $170 million from 137 shows in 22 countries. Gaga is, of course, no slouch when it comes to music sales. Between May 2010 and May 2011 (before her latest album, Born This Way, dropped) she sold an estimated 15 million albums worldwide. We estimate that over that time Gaga earned $90 million. She ranked first on our Celebrity 100 list this year because of her earnings power and her ability to always attract attention, whether she’s wearing a meat dress or arriving on stage in an egg.