He may be a relatively unassuming ginger singer-songwriter, but he’s also the highest earning solo artist in the world, according to Forbes’ list of the Highest Paid Celebrities of 2018.
Ed Sheeran, who will be performing in South Africa for the first time in 2019, takes his place alongside other celebrities such as Floyd Mayweather, ranked the richest in the world, George Clooney in second place and Kylie Jenner, the highest earning female celeb in the world at third place.
The fourth place may be a bit more surprising than the others … it’s Judy Sheindlin, a name that produced zero recognition in The Citizen newsroom until a Google search confirmed that she is better known as Judge Judy.
READ MORE: Ed Sheeran is coming to South Africa
She is followed by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, with U2 in 6th place and Coldplay in 7th the only musical acts ranking higher than Sheeran.
Football slightly outranks love ballads, with Lionel Messi coming in at 8th place, one before Sheeran. The “Shape of You” hitmaker did, however, manage to beat Christiano Ronaldo, who is ranked 10th, and may or may not be annoyed by the presence of the singer on the list between himself and his closest footballing rival.
Outside of the top 10 are other celebs such as Bruno Mars, who at number 11 is Sheeran’s closest solo musical rival.
He is followed by Conor McGregor, potentially making it to number 12 off the back of his battle with the world’s richest celebrity Mayweather.
READ MORE: How Neymar’s diving stole the World Cup
Brazil’s Neymar comes in at number 13, which may make him feel a bit better about his diving becoming the target of so many World Cup memes, followed by US radio’s Howard Stern at number 14, their most popular day-time television host Ellen Degeneres at number 15 and – in a victory for literature – author James Patterson at number 16.
King James – as Lebron’s fans call him – is ranked 17, beating conservative pundit Rush Limbaugh at 18. Katy Perry and Robert Downey Junior round off the list.
According to Forbes,”The Forbes Celebrity 100 ranks front-of-the-camera stars around the globe using their pretax earnings from June 1, 2017 through June 1, 2018, before deducting fees for managers, lawyers and agents. Forbes figures are based on numbers from Nielsen, Pollstar, IMDB, SoundScan, NPD BookScan and ComScore, as well as interviews with industry experts and many of the stars themselves. The result is the definitive index of who’s making what in the worldwide business of fame.”
So now you know.