Forbes Celebrity 100: JK Rowling named richest British celebrity

JK Rowling has been named the richest British celebrity in the world. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire
JK Rowling has been named the richest British celebrity in the world. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire
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JK Rowling has been named the richest British celebrity in the world upon her return to Forbes’ annual rich list following a three-year hiatus.

The author has jumped straight into third place on the top 100 list with total annual earnings of £75 million thanks to the success of the script publication of her co-written two-part stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which was last year’s best-selling book.

Rowling’s theme park earnings from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter attractions at Universal Studios have also helped her financial surge.

The novelist’s return to the list, which details the world’s highest-paid celebrities over a 12-month period, comes two weeks ahead of the 20th anniversary of her first book in the wizarding series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

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She is one of two British entries in the global top 10, as rock band Coldplay have secured eighth place with earnings of £69.5 million, after failing to make the list in 2016.

Topping the list overall is American rapper and entrepreneur Sean “Diddy” Combs, whose chart-topping earnings of £102.7 million are due to his Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour, his partnership with Diageo’s Ciroc vodka and selling a portion of his Sean John clothing label for an estimated £55.3 million.

Singer and performer Beyonce is in second place with earnings of £83 million, Canadian rapper Drake is in fourth place with £74.3 million and Real Madrid footballer Cristiano Ronaldo rounds off the top five with £74.5 million

British singer-songwriter Adele has slipped from number nine to 18th place with annual earnings of £54.5 million.

Singer Sir Elton John is in joint 26th place with TV chef Gordon Ramsay, both with estimated earnings of £47.4 million.

Other British celebrities in the top 100 list include musician Sir Paul McCartney at number 32, golfer Rory McIlroy at 37, DJ and producer Calvin Harris at 40, Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton at 46, and TV and music mogul Simon Cowell in 50th place.

US reality TV star Kylie Jenner has made her debut on the top 100 list in 59th place, having earned £32.4 million at the age of 19.

Last year’s number one, Taylor Swift, has slipped to 49 after seeing her earnings take a drop from £134.3 million to £34.8 million.

Forbes ranks talent from across the entire entertainment industry to compile the annual list, and its findings are based on numbers from Nielsen, Pollstar and IMDB, as well as interviews with industry experts and many of the stars themselves.

This year its top 100 have earned a cumulative £4 billion before tax between June 1, 2016 and June 1, 2017.