From a public relations standpoint, Justin Bieber is having a terrible year. Search for news about the young singer and you’ll find that he recently agreed to pay $80,000 to a former neighbor after egging his house; he’s almost done with his anger management classes; and he appears to have punched a paparazzo in Paris.
But from a financial point of view, Bieber is still going strong. His fans follow him religiously on Twitter, where he has 56.6 million followers, and his live shows sell out in minutes. Bieber tops our list of the Highest-Earning Celebrities Under 30 with an estimated $80 million over the 12-month span we evaluated, mostly thanks to the tail end of his world tour. With a new album reportedly in the works, the 20-year-old star has a chance to let his music speak louder than his latest shenanigans. Bieber recently released 15 seconds each of 11 songs using his Instagram account but there’s no solid word on when the album will be finished.
Musicians dominate our annual list of the youngest celebrity money makers, filling nine of the top 10 positions. The list is based on research for our annual Celebrity 100 rundown, which looks at entertainment-related earnings between June 2013 and June 2014. The Celebrity 100 is based on earnings and metrics that quantify fame; on that list, Bieber ranked 33rd. Here, we’re just looking at earnings and the under-30 crowd. Our estimates are based on entertainment-related income and we do not deduct for taxes, management fees or the other costs of being a celebrity.
Ranking second is a group of young men who, unlike Bieber, have yet to tarnish their reputations. One Direction (average age, 21) earned an estimated $75 million between June 2013 and June 2014. Formed from a group of contestants on the British version of The X Factor, One Direction’s latest album, Midnight Memories, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and the song “Story Of My Life” went multi-platinum.
Taylor Swift is the top-ranked woman on our list in third place with $64 million. The 24-year-old has another huge hit record on her hands with 1989, which dropped in October. It’s hard to escape from her single, “Shake It Off,” which has already gone multi-platinum. The singer expertly used social media to hype her fans up for 1989 by posting photos of them buying her album on her Twitter feed and using a new Tumblr account to reblog them while adding her own quippy comments.
At 29, Bruno Mars just squeezes onto our list in fourth place with $60 million. After he turns 30, expect the crooner to keep going strong on the Celebrity 100, where he ranked 13th this year in his list debut. His album Unorthodox Jukebox went double platinum and last year he earned the title of the youngest musician ever to play the Super Bowl halftime show.
Rihanna rounds our our top five with an estimated $48 million. The 26-year-old singer earns big from her music but also has a line of fragrances and is becoming a part of the fashion scene. She gets as much attention for her fashion style as she does for her pop songs.
Jennifer Lawrence is the only actor who ranks on our under-30 list. The 24-year-old comes in seventh with estimated earnings of $34 million over our 12-month time span. Her latest film, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, hit theaters Friday. The Hunger Games franchise has already earned $1.5 billion at the global box office and is on track to double that with the next two movies. Expect Lawrence’s earnings to stay strong as she continues to balance giant franchise films like Hunger Games and X-Menwith smaller movies like the upcoming Serena.