Queen B continues to rule and live up to her royal name. The songstress and husband Jay Z are this year’s highest-paid celebrity couple, meaning they’ve earned more than any other celebrity couple on the planet, damn! Ranking in a regal $107.5 million over the past year, Kimye, step aside please.
The songstress, 34, pulled in $54 million, good enough to claim the No. 34 spot on our upcoming Celebrity 100 list—the annual ranking of the world’s top-earning superstars, which will be released soon. Jay Z finished just a small amount behind, taking the No. 36 slot with a $53.5 million tally.
They both got a boost from Beyoncé’s sixth No. 1 album, Lemonade, which debuted exclusively on her husband’s Tidal streaming service (with Beyonce and several other Celebrity 100 members as co-owners). ‘But Beyoncé edged her husband in annual earnings by playing 19 shows during our June-to-June scoring period, easily topping Jay Z’s grand total of two’ Forbes. “I’ve never met anyone that works harder than me in my industry,” the songstress once told FORBES. We totally agree.
Even though Jay Z didn’t tour over the past year, he worked behind the scenes on many projects. He continues to make millions on his Armand de Brignac champagne, D’Ussé cognac and entertainment company Roc Nation. The multifaceted organization includes a record label, artist management and a sports agency that represents the likes of Kevin Durant and Robinson Cano.
Jay Z hasn’t put out a solo record in three years yet he his making millions. “There was a time in music where a hit solved everything,” he said to Steve Forbes in 2010. “That’s no longer true. I think the music business is still stuck in that place because we haven’t figured it out. One of the biggest things in business is to open yourself up for change.”
The FORBES Celebrity 100 list measures pretax earnings for front-of-camera celebrities across the globe; we do not deduct for fees paid to agents, managers or lawyers. Our numbers are determined by gathering data from the likes of Nielsen NLSN +0.77%, Pollstar and BoxOfficeMojo, as well as from interviews with industry insiders and some of the stars themselves.
Last year’s top-earning couple—Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris may have been able to keep their crown but parted ways before this year’s list launched. Another couple on this year’s Celeb 100 are Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen. The former’s Deflategate fiasco didn’t flatten his earnings—he led the NFL in merchandise sales in 2015 and signed a contract extension in March with a $28 million signing bonus—en route to a $44 million total payday and the No. 54 spot on the list.