Mayweather, George Clooney lead Forbes' list of world's highest paid entertainers

LOS ANGELES, July 16 (Reuters) - American boxer Floyd Mayweather was named the world's highest-paid entertainer on Monday on a list that saw actor George Clooney take the No. 2 spot with the highest annual pay of his career.

Reality star Kylie Jenner, 20, came in third on the annual Forbes Celebrity 100 list, largely thanks to her booming cosmetics line that Forbes said put her on track to become the youngest self-made billionaire in the United States.

Forbes compiled its 2018 list estimating pre-tax earnings from June 2017-June 2018, before deducting fees for managers, based on data from Nielsen, touring trade publication Pollstar, movie database IMDB, and interviews with industry experts and celebrities themselves.

Mayweather pulled in some $285 million in the period, largely thanks to his August 2017 comeback fight win over mixed martial arts champion Conor McGregor.

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Forbes 2018 'World's Highest-Paid Entertainers' list
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Forbes 2018 'World's Highest-Paid Entertainers' list

1. Floyd Mayweather Jr.

American boxer

Earnings: $285 million

(Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)

2. George Clooney 

American actor

Earnings: $239 million

(REUTERS/Mark Blinch)

3. Kylie Jenner

American personality and business owner

Earnings: $166.5 million

(Photo by Kevin Tachman/Getty Images for Vogue)

4. Judge Judy Sheindlin

American personality

Earnings: $147 million

(Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

5. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

American actor 

Earnings: $124 million

(REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni)

6. U2
Featured in photo: Bono (L) and The Edge of U2 

Musicians 

Earnings: $118 million

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for NARAS)

7. Coldplay
Featured in photo: Chris Martin of Co

Musicians

Earnings: $115 million

(Photo by Santiago Bluguermann/Getty Images)

8. Lionel Messi 

Athlete

Earnings: $111 million

(Photo: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

9. Ed Sheeran

Musician

Earnings: $110 million

(REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

10. Cristiano Ronaldo

Athlete

Earnings: $108 million

(REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado)

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Oscar-winning star Clooney earned an estimated $239 million after selling the Casamigos tequila company he co-founded to British spirits company Diageo in June 2017. Forbes said the sale gave Clooney the best annual earnings of his 35-year career in film and television.

Forbes said entertainers on its 2018 Celebrity 100 list earned a combined $6.3 billion before tax, up 22 percent from last year's list. Many of the highest earners came from celebrities leveraging their brands through side ventures and through their social media presence.

"There’s never been a more lucrative time to be famous than now, with 11 superstars earning $100 million or more over the past year," Zack O’Malley Greenburg, senior entertainment editor at Forbes, said in a statement.

"Entertainers have found all sorts of new ways to monetize their audiences, especially with the help of social media," he added.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson almost doubled his earnings from the previous year to land in 5th place with estimated earnings of $124 million. Forbes said the earnings of the "Jumanji" and "Fast & Furious" star were the largest acting-related earnings it had recorded in 20 years.

The top earner on last year's list, musician Sean Diddy Combs, dropped to No. 32 on the current list. His earnings on the 2017 list were inflated by a tour and the sale of part of his Sean John clothing line, Forbes said.

Musicians and athletes fared well, with Irish band U2, British band Coldplay and British singer Ed Sheeran appearing in the top 10. Soccer players Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo also earned more than $100 million, Forbes said.

The full list can be seen on Forbes.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant Editing by Frances Kerry)

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