LAST year’s runners-up on the list of the world’s highest-paid celebrity couples, Beyoncé Knowles and Jay-Z, have now climbed one spot to top this year’s ranking.
Knowles, who took a break from her hectic touring schedule in 2011 to give birth to daughter Blue Ivy Carter, still collects big pay cheques from old hits.
Besides, the singer’s new album went platinum in the US, not to mention her non-musical ventures and endorsement deals, which all helped to bring her total earnings between May 1, 2011 and May 1, 2012 to US$40 million, according to data from the latest Celebrity 100 list.
And as the male half of music’s first couple, Jay-Z isn’t far behind his wife. The hip-hop mogul made millions from Watch the Throne, his musical collaboration with pal Kanye West, and even more from the tour that followed.
Add to that a bevy of non-musical enterprises and the result is a staggering US$38 million he has brought home in 12 months, putting the couple’s annual income at US$78 million.
Keeping athletics, fashion and music all in play, soccer star David Beckham and singer-turned-fashion-designer Victoria Beckham roll in at no paltry sum either, totaling US$54 million, with US$46 million coming from Beckham’s soccer contract and wide range of endorsement deals. That total was enough to push them from fourth on the 2011 list into third for this year.
The first all-Hollywood couple to appear on the 2012 list, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, earned about US$45 million last year, good enough for fourth place in 2012.
With the money-making of actors ebbing and flowing from year to year, the couple slipped one spot from last year by earning about US$5 million less than in 2011. Pitt grabbed about US$25 million, mostly from his movie roles, while Jolie earned about US$20 million.
Last but certainly not least are superstar Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett-Smith. After taking a short break from the big screen, Smith came back in a big way. The star of Men in Black 3 with a box office raking of US$619 million worldwide and counting and After Earth, an upcoming science-fiction thriller film which co-stars his son Jaden, Smith is one of Hollywood’s most bankable actors, earning US$30 million between May 2011 and May 2012.
Jada also had a good year, thanks mostly to her part on the movie Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, which grossed over US$500 million worldwide.
Her earnings have totalled US$10 million this year, making hers and Smith’s combined annual salary US$40 million.