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Taylor Swift Is Rich Beyond Her ‘Wildest Dreams'


Taylor Swift arrives at the iHeartRadio Music Awards at The Forum on April 3, 2016, in Inglewood, Calif.

Taylor Swift arrives at the iHeartRadio Music Awards at The Forum on April 3, 2016, in Inglewood, Calif.


Pop music star Taylor Swift is rich, likely beyond her “Wildest Dreams.”

Forbes magazine lists the highest-paid celebrities each year. It puts the singer-songwriter at the top of its 2016 list. It says Swift earned an estimated $170 million in the last twelve months.

Swift beat out British group One Direction this year by about $60 million, says the magazine. The boy band is in the number two position.

Other singer-songwriters on the list included Adele, who placed 9th with $80.5 million.

Madonna came in at 12 with $76.5 million.

Rihanna was next with $75 million.

Katy Perry’s $41 million was only enough to get her to the 63rd place. She was number three in the 2015 Forbes list.

Reality television star Kim Kardashian, who is on the cover of the magazine, rated 42nd with $51 million. Fourty percent of her earnings came from her mobile game, “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood.”

Taylor Swift is expected to launch a mobile game of her own next year.

A couple of athletes were among the top ten highest paid celebrities. Can you guess which sport they represent?

Yes…soccer players both. Real Madrid player Cristiano Ronaldo is tied for fourth place with $88 earned.

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo after Portugal defeats France in the Euro 2016 championship in France on July 10, 2016.

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo after Portugal defeats France in the Euro 2016 championship in France on July 10, 2016.

Coming in at number eight is Lionel Messi with $81 million. Messi, who plays for Barcelona, was sentenced in July to a 21-month prison term in Spain. The Argentinian had been found guilty of cheating on his taxes.

Messi is not expected to serve any of the time in prison, however, as the sentence was suspended. He did have to pay fines.

Several broadcast media stars were also in the top ten of Forbes richest celebrities list. The entertainer who ties with Ronaldo for fourth place is television star, Phil McGraw. McGraw hosts the wildly popular “Dr. Phil,” a mental health talk show.

Radio and television star Howard Stern is number eight and political commentator Rush Limbaugh closes the list out at number 10.

The other two places in the top ten belong to a book writer and a comedian. James Patterson’s many fictions have sold hundreds of millions of copies around the world. Forbes says the author made $95 million over the last 12 months. He is number three on the richest celebrities list.​

Kevin Hart, left, and Ken Jeong at the Golden Globe Awards January 10, 2016, in Los Angeles, California.

Kevin Hart, left, and Ken Jeong at the Golden Globe Awards January 10, 2016, in Los Angeles, California.

Funnyman Kevin Hart is number six. Forbes says he is the first comedian to earn more than his colleague, Jerry Seinfeld. The magazine reports Hart’s earnings at $87.5 million.

Now, that is some serious funny money.

I’m Caty Weaver.

Caty Weaver wrote this report for VOA Learning English. VOANews provided additional reporting. Hai Do was the editor.

Were you surprised about any of the entertainers who made the top ten of Forbes list? Let us know! Share your thoughts in the Comments Section below or on our Facebook page.

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Words in This Story

celebrity - n. a person who is famous​

host -​ v. to lead on-air a television or radio show

comedian -​ n. a person who performs in front of an audience and makes people laugh by telling jokes or funny stories or by acting in a way that is funny : an actor who plays roles that make people laugh​

fiction -​ n. written stories about people and events that are not real : literature that tells stories which are imagined by the writer​

colleague -​ n. a person who works with you, or in the same business

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