The 20 Top-Earning Young Superstars
1. LeBron James
How much ? $27 million. Born on December 30th 1984. King James led the Cleveland Cavaliers to their first conference title ever this year. When not on the court, James oversees construction of his 35,000-square-foot home outside of Cleveland, which includes a bowling alley, casino and barber shop. This year the cycling aficionado also acquired a minority stake in Cannondale, manufacturer of high-performance bicycles.
2. Reggie Bush
How much ? $24 million. Born on March 2nd 1985. Bush entered the NFL last year with a Heisman Trophy and a scintillating game that had companies lining up to have him sponsor their products. Deals with Adidas, Subway, Pepsi and EA Sports net Bush $5 million annually. His big money comes from his contract with the New Orleans Saints, spanning six years and worth as much as $62 million. Last year Bush earned $19 million in base salary and bonuses from the deal.
3. Maria Sharapova
How much ? $23 million. Born on April 19th 1987. Tennis’ “It” girl struggled with injuries in 2007, winning only one tournament and banking $1.7 million on the court. That’s down from five tourney wins and $3.8 million in prize money the previous year. Not to worry, Sharapova’s endorsement portfolio is one of the strongest in sports. This year she added Pepsi as a sponsor to an already impressive roster that includes Nike, Canon, Colgate-Palmolive and Motorola.
4. Michelle Wie
How much ? $19 million. Born on October 11th 1989. Wie showed incredible promise in 2006, finishing in the top five in three of the four Grand Slam events. The only other golfer to do that: Tiger Woods. But this year injuries often kept the 17-year-old wunderkind off the course. In the fall, she enrolled at Stanford where she is not eligible to play on the golf team because of her professional status. With endorsement deals worth $16 million a year, she shouldn’t have a problem with the university’s $33,000 annual tuition.
5. Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen
How much ? $17 million each. Born on June 13th 1986. The petite twins lord over Dualstar, the largest star-driven ‘tween merchandising empire on the planet outside of Disney. Mary-Kate and Ashley merchandise retails at Wal-Mart; their new high-end Elizabeth & James sportswear is available at Neiman Marcus. Not that the twins have given up acting. Mary-Kate has an extended role on Showtime’s Weeds, and generated headlines for her on-camera kiss with Ben Kingsley in the Sundance film The Wackness. Ashley is filming The Informers with Winona Ryder.
6. Daniel Radcliffe
How much ? $15 million. Born on July 23rd 1989. Better known as the title character of the Harry Potter film franchise, Radcliffe generated a media frenzy this year after he appeared onstage nude in a West End revival of Equus. The fifth Potter film, this summer’s The Order of the Phoenix, grossed $938 million worldwide, making it the second highest-grossing film of the year. Since his 2001 foray into wizardry at age 12, both Radcliffe and his paycheck have matured remarkably. The actor was offered a reported $145,000 for The Sorcerer’s Stone six years ago. His most recent role earned an estimated $14 million.
7. Hilary Duff
How much ? $12 million. Born on September 28th 1987. The pop star-actress-‘tween merchandise mogul has replaced the Olsen Twins as your teenage daughter’s favorite. Her Stuff by Hilary Duff line of apparel and accessories is sold at Kohl’s, Target and Claire’s. Duff also licenses her name to footwear company Candie’s and Electronic Arts, which made her a character in the Sims videogame franchise. In April, she released her sixth studio album, Dignity, which debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard pop charts. Look for her in next spring’s action flick War, Inc., opposite John Cusack.
8. Avril Lavigne
How much ? $12 million. Born on September 27th 1984. The decidedly less-sullen Canadian songstress released her third album, The Best Damn Thing, in April; to date the Billboard-topping album has sold over 5 million copies worldwide. And in a nod to the value of the international music market, “Girlfriend,” the album’s catchy first single, was recorded in seven additional languages, including Mandarin and German. The video for that song is the second most-watched video in history on YouTube.com.
9. Carmelo Anthony
How much ? $10 million. Born on May 29th 1984. Anthony took his game to a new level last season as he finished second in the NBA in scoring to Kobe Bryant. He averaged career highs in points, assists, rebounds and steals. This year Anthony kicked off a five-year, $80 million contract with the Denver Nuggets that he signed in the summer of 2006. His biggest endorsement deal is a six-year contract he signed with Nike when he entered the league in 2003, worth $3 million annually.
10. Keira Knightley
How much ? $9 million. Born on March 26th 1985. Knightley became a bona fide star as a result of her role in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, though she wasn’t paid like one. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer locked her in to the first two films at scale; Knightley finally finagled a raise, to $5 million, for this summer’s At World’s End. The new face of Chanel, Knightley recently wrapped filming on The Edge of Love, about poet Dylan Thomas’ lovers, with Sienna Miller. In May Knightley won a $6,000 libel award against The Daily Mail after the British paper insinuated the reed-thin actress was anorexic.
Well, I’ve just only listed up the Top 10 here on my blog. If you want to know the rest, go to the link here. You can roughly get the picture already on how much these youngsters are earning. All the 20 of them are way younger than I am but they are earning like millions and millions of dollars already at such an age. Looking at the sum makes me wonder what the heck am I doing not earning a single penny yet ? But, of course, I do realize all the many differences I have when comparing with these 20 young kids. First of all, the talents these world icons have that I don’t. Many of them are professionals in the areas of sports or perhaps in the area of entertainment. Celebrities, ranging from singers to the popular faces of Hollywood.
Next, looks that they have that I don’t. Well, we all have to agree that we prefer seeing beauty and more beauty only on TV. I am not going to comment much on my looks. *hmph* Last of all, the environment they are blessed with that I am not. All of them have something in common, they were born in the right environment at the right time with the right conditions that allowed them to walk up the money ladder even life is filled with randomness. Oh well, I guess I just need to do with what I have now and also with what I can do and start earning when I do start working from next year onwards. Thanks to the government and SATO, I am currently living quite an easy life without having much to worry, especially about my tuition fees and daily expenses for my higher education here in Japan. I guess I should be thankful enough with what I am given and work on towards the next phase. Will I able to earn millions of dollars ? Well, that we will have to see from now on.
P.S. My junior, Ben, added that the job that these people is “high risk – high return” for they are always in the limelight, the center of attraction. Anyway, for sportsmen, if they get some real serious injury, that would end their career and perhaps at the same time, they have to suffer for the rest of their lives. As for celebrities, we can learn a lot from the Princess Diana incident where paparazzis are always swarming trying to get valuable shots of you wherever you go. This equals to no privacy at all in return of the big lump sum of money you get. Anyway, we are not sure whether that Diana actually passed away in an accident or somebody big in the palace just wanted her to go for her so-called “unforgivable deeds”. Anyway, she was a great lady and may her soul rest in peace. If you have any say regarding this, I welcome all of them. Peace.