30 highest paying celebrity endorsements
Even A-listers could use a few extra bucks now and then. For these stars, endorsement deals are the equivalent of looking between the couch cushions for enough change to buy a burrito. It’s easy money, but sometimes it’s kind of embarrassing when you get caught. Nevertheless, these stars are making a ton of money endorsing products whether they make any sense or not. We only wish we had this kind of cash hanging out in our couch! Read on to see some of the weirdest and most lucrative celebrity endorsement deals ever inked. You just might see your favorite stars on the list.
1. David Beckham
Soccer star and husband of Posh Spice, David Beckham is a shoe-in (get it?) for this multi-million dollar deal. Though the former Manchester United player has retired from the field, his lifetime endorsement deal with sneaker-maker Adidas is enough to keep Posh in her Louboutins for the rest of their lives.
In 2003, Beckham signed a $160 million lifetime deal with Adidas. Now that he’s retired from sports, his yearly payout has decreased to just $1.5 million. He has also endorsed Samsung, Burger King, and British supermarket Sainsbury’s, so we doubt his pay cut has him hurting for cash.
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2. Paris Hilton
In 2005, Paris Hilton was everywhere. Her face was splashed across the tabloids, her show The Simple Life was on TV, and her sex tape was only a Google search away. Cashing in on her notoriety, Paris appeared in her first Carl’s Jr. commercial, “sexily” eating a burger while washing a car in a bikini. You know, regular girl stuff.
She appeared again in a 2014 Carl’s Jr. spot, this time wearing a bikini and a cowboy hat to wash a muddy truck while chomping on a big messy burger. It’s not known how much she was paid to appear in the commercials, but during the same time period, she was getting paid between $250,000 and $750,000 just to go to a club.
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3. Kim Kardashian
Okay, we could write a whole list solely about the various endorsements in mobile game mogul and attention addict Kim Kardashian’s totally bonkers career. However, her 2010 appearance endorsing Charmin toilet paper is a truly bizarre standout. Kim appeared in Times Square with the Charmin bears to celebrate the opening of a public restroom.
While it’s not known how much Kim got paid to awkwardly stand around with bears, we have some numbers on her other deals. In 2018, Kim reportedly made $720,000 per sponsored post on her Instagram. The same year, her baby sister Kylie was making $1 million per post.
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4. Selena Gomez
In 2016, Selena Gomez was the most popular celebrity on Instagram, and brands were definitely taking notice. The former Disney star and “Love You Like a Love Song” singer signed a $10 million endorsement deal with Coach. To get the cash, she would design a capsule collection for the handbag company and appear in their ads.
The 26-year-old who got her start on Barney and Friends is now worth about $50 million, and she makes quite a pretty penny from endorsements. It’s been reported that she gets paid around $550,000 for every sponsored post on her Instagram.
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5. Taylor Swift
She claims to have a “reputation” but Taylor Swift’s lucrative endorsement deals with A-list brands show that she’s an all-American good girl at heart. The singer has raked in cash repping Apple, Keds, and Cover Girl, but it’s her deal with Coca-Cola that’s the most impressive.
In 2013, Swift signed a long term deal with Coca-Cola to serve as a brand ambassador for Diet Coke. The deal is reportedly worth $26 million. In a press release, she said, “I’ve said for years that Diet Coke just ‘gets me’ and my lifestyle,” which we think translates to, “I don’t really drink this weird chemical elixir but thanks for the cash.”
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6. Jennifer Aniston
She’s one of the highest paid actresses of all time thanks to the final season of Friends, where she earned $1 million per episode. Her Friends cash and movie paychecks aren’t the only way Jennifer Aniston makes money, however. Aniston has endorsed Smart Water, Aveeno, and hair product Living Proof.
Her weirdest endorsement, however, has to be Emirates Airline. Jennifer Aniston was reportedly paid $5 million to endorse the Dubai based airline. Though they do offer a very swanky first-class experience, we still can’t picture a star like Aniston flying on a regular plane like the rest of us.
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7. Gwyneth Paltrow
A-list actress Gwyneth Paltrow makes a good share of her estimated $140 million net worth from endorsements. Her most notable advertising endorsement was a $3 million deal with Estee Lauder perfume. However, some of her wackiest endorsements appear on her lifestyle brand website GOOP.
Named for Gwyneth’s initials, GOOP might actually goopify your brains if you look at it too long. The lifestyle brand is valued at a whopping $250 million and has promoted such products as a psychic vampire repellent spray to protect against emotional attacks and a jade egg meant to be inserted vaginally. You can’t make this stuff up!
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8. Sofia Vergara
Sofia Vergara has said, “I am known for my boobs which is actually bad. I also do have a great ass.” The quote perfectly sums up her self-aware appeal, and you just have to look at her to know that it’s also the truth. Vergara’s ultra-sexy, super confident persona make her a fun star to watch, but they also made her an odd choice for this endorsement deal.
Vergara appeared in commercials for the dandruff shampoo brand Head & Shoulders to the tune of $40 million. It’s hard to believe the glamorous star would ever buy shampoo from the drugstore, much less a dandruff treatment, but kudos to her for making that money.
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Known for hits like “Hot in Herre” and “Ride With Me,” rapper Nelly is no stranger to cashing in on his fame by way of endorsement deals. The Grammy winner has worked with Nike, Reebok, Got Milk, and Ford, but his very confusing Honey Nut Cheerios commercial raised the most eyebrows.
In the spot, Nelly is visited in his sterile, stainless steel kitchen by a cartoon bee. The rapper gives the bee a “swag” makeover and applies autotune to his tiny bee voice. It’s pretty awkward, but apparently, it paid off. Nelly’s paycheck for the spot is unknown, but his current net worth is estimated at $60 million.
NEXT: We’ll take a look at another rapper making an unlikely endorsement deal.
10. Snoop Dogg
At first glance, rapper Snoop Dogg and Hot Pockets seem to have nothing to do with each other. However, if you think about it, they go together like heavy marijuana use and microwaveable snack foods. For a 2012 spot, Snoop Dogg (at the time briefly known as Snoop Lion) reworked “Drop it Like it’s Hot” into an ode to the Hot Pocket, “Pocket Like it’s Hot.”
Proving his dedication to the Hot Pocket lifestyle, Snoop made a second ad in 2013. This time Snoop appeared alongside Kate Upton singing a version of Biz Markie’s 1989 “You Got What I Need” entitled “You Got What I Eat.” Snoop hasn’t disclosed his Hot Pocket paycheck, but he has a net worth of about $135 million.
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11. Robert Downey Jr.
Since getting sober, Robert Downey Jr. has been able to bring his career back to life. The Iron Man actor currently has a net worth of about $300 million, and part of that is due to his endorsement deals. Over the years, Robert Downey Jr. has endorsed companies like Apple, Kraft, and Nissan, but his wacky commercials for HTC deserve a little extra attention.
HTC is a Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer who paid Robert Downey Jr. $12 million to appear in commercials so weird that it was nearly impossible to understand what they were selling. Downey Jr. commanded a business meeting and riffed on possible meanings for HTC, leaving literally everyone confused.
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12. Ozzy Osbourne
Hard rocker Ozzy Osbourne was introduced to a new generation of fans when his reality show The Osbournes premiered in 2002. The man who once bit the head off a bat on stage had transformed into a mellow, mumbling dad who seemed genuinely confused about everything that was happening to him.
Ozzy spread the confusion to the rest of us when he appeared in a commercial for I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter. The non-dairy spread might make a bat taste better, but it was still definitely a puzzling choice. It’s unknown how much Ozzy was paid for the spot, but his net worth is estimated at $220 million.
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13. Ashton Kutcher
He’s played more than his fair share of airheads, but Ashton Kutcher just might be a secret genius. Since leaving That ‘70s Show, Kutcher has carved out a space for himself as a tech investor and used his endorsements to reinforce his new image. He even played Steve Jobs in the 2013 biopic Jobs.
Kutcher’s $10 million endorsement deal with laptop makers Lenovo certainly turned heads in Hollywood and tech. In 2013, the brand signed Kutcher as a product engineer, and he doubled as their new pitchman in commercials. Kutcher has also invested in Skype, Airbnb, and Foursquare and has a net worth of $200 million.
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The artist formerly known as Ke$ha has certainly revamped her image in the years since this endorsement deal. Initially famous for her party girl persona and lyrics like, “brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack,” Kesha has recently leaned into a more mature but still authentic persona.
However, in 2011 the singer inked an endorsement deal that would be hard to picture her doing today. Lifestyle Condoms printed 10,000 condoms with Kesha’s face on them for her to distribute at her concerts. At the time, Kesha quipped, “If it breaks, you have to name your daughter or son after me.”
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15. Justin Timberlake
*NSYNC singer and former denim-clad lover of Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake has made a number of endorsement deals in his time. The singer and actor has used his star power to promote Budweiser, Audi, and Givenchy perfume. However, his oddest and most lucrative endorsement was with McDonald’s.
In 2003, Timberlake recorded the earworm Mickey D’s jingle entitled, “I’m Lovin’ It.” If it’s in your head now, we’re sorry. The jingle was written by Pharrell and it played a part in turning the fast food giant’s image around. Timberlake made $6 million singing those nine little syllables. He’s worth an estimated $230 million.
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16. George Clooney
He’s come a long way since his stint on E.R. Thanks to his good looks, wit, and ability to wear a suit, George Clooney is kind of like a modern Cary Grant. He’s active in charity work and philanthropy, but he also keeps a hand in endorsements. Clooney signed a $5 million deal with coffee company Nespresso, but his tequila company is even more interesting.
In 2013, Clooney and a friend founded the tequila brand Casamigos on the concept of creating an affordable tequila that tastes like top shelf liquor. Clooney made good on his idea, and the company sold in 2018 for $1 billion, making him the year’s highest paid actor. We’ll drink to that!
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17. Lebron James
He’s a record-breaking player, and off the court, Lebron James is also making more from endorsements than any other NBA player. James has endorsed Sprite, Intel, Beats by Dre, and more, with a long list of impressive brands in his portfolio. One of his deals, however, stands head and shoulders above the rest.
In 2015, James signed a lifetime endorsement deal with Nike for more than $1 billion. James is the first person to ink a lifetime deal with Nike, and many speculate he is on the path to becoming the wealthiest athlete of all time. If he keeps winning games, that’s just fine by us.
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18. Serena Williams
Even the actual supreme goddess of tennis Serena Williams can’t escape the gender pay gap. She’s the highest paid female athlete, but her earnings lag far behind what sporty men make. For example, Williams’ own lucrative Nike endorsement went for a total of $40 million.
Still, in 2018 Williams took home $18.1 million, much of that due to her endorsements. In addition to Nike, Serena Williams has lent her talents to Gatorade, Intel, Chase, and others. She also made a stand for working moms and spoke out against double standards for men and women in tennis. She has a net worth of over $150 million.
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19. Justin Bieber
In 2011, teen pop star Justin Bieber was crooning and bang-swooping his way to the top of the charts. Eager to cash in on his budding fame, he signed a particularly weird endorsement deal with OPI nail polish. Named for one of his songs, the “One Less Lonely Girl” collection of nail colors seemed like a curious choice, but Bieber’s teenage fans ate it up.
The nail polish line sold 1 million bottles and made $12 million for the Biebs. Bieber has since worked with Calvin Klein, Proactiv, and Best Buy. The pop star has an estimated net worth of $265 million.
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This flawless performer is a singing, dancing, and surprise-album-dropping triple threat. Beyoncé is a megastar and one half of a power couple with hubby Jay-Z, but she remains a bit more private than some other stars at her level. Still, over the years she’s worked with an impressive collection of big name brands.
Beyoncé has endorsed American Express, L’oreal Paris, Crystal Geyser, and Toyota. Her most impressive deal so far is the $50 million contract she signed with Pepsi to appear in their commercials. And don’t get us started on the unpaid bump her single “Formation” gave Red Lobster!
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21. Kris Jenner
When she approached Ryan Seacrest with an idea for a show about her family, well-known “momager” Kris Jenner reportedly improvised her way to a deal. She’s shown off her deal-making prowess since, with countless endorsement deals and TV spin-offs. Though some of her ventures seem ill-advised, they’ve turned out quite profitably for her.
In 2011, Jenner signed a deal with Poise to help promote their bladder leakage pads. Not everyone wants their name and face associated with an embarrassing problem like bladder leakage, but Kris Jenner did it with a smile. Thanks to her shameless shilling, Jenner has a net worth of about $60 million.
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22. Brad Pitt
You’ve definitely seen Brad Pitt in ads before, but this one will surprise you. The star has made high profile deals with Chanel, Cadillac, and Heineken, but before he was famous Brad Pitt was in a 1989 commercial for Pringles. In the spot, a shirtless Pitt is driving around with his bros in a convertible, when they realize they have run out of Pringles.
The bros despair that their can of chips is empty, but luckily a car full of cute girls with plenty of Pringles come to the rescue. It’s unknown how much Pitt was paid for the commercial. Two years after his Pringles commercial popped, Pitt had his breakthrough role in Thelma and Louise. He’s now worth about $300 million.
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Every February 22, the people of Barbados celebrate Rihanna day, but we celebrate her every day. With her inclusive makeup line Fenty, Rihanna is on a mission to make makeup for all women of every shade. Fenty’s incredible array of shades is changing the beauty industry, pushing other lines to be more inclusive too. Not to mention, Fenty is expected to hit $1 billion in value any day now.
Before she was a beauty mogul, though, Rihanna made some extra cash with endorsement deals. She’s worked with Gucci, Got Milk, and Totes Umbrellas. Rihanna even signed a deal with Puma worth $1 million.
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24. George Foreman
Long before The Office’s Michael Scott famously cooked his foot on a George Foreman Grill, the famous grill actually went by another name. The grill was produced by a company called Salton and its official name was The Lean Mean Fat-Reducing Grilling Machine. However, once George Foreman appeared in their infomercials, his name became inextricably tied to the slanted, fat-reducing grill thanks to his charismatic sales pitch.
Foreman appeared in his first infomercial for the grill in 1994, and in 1999 Salton paid him an additional fee to put his name on their product. All told, Foreman has made an estimated $150 million from the grills.
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Hip hop mogul Jay-Z became America’s wealthiest musician in 2018. With a net worth of $900 million, Jay-Z made a pretty good portion of his riches by way of product endorsements. Over the years, the hip hop artist and producer has made deals with companies like Bing, Budweiser, and Reebok.
Jay-Z’s deal with Samsung marked a historic first and signaled a new way for artists to make money in our digital-dominated world. In a $20 million deal, Samsung bought 1 million advance copies of Jay-Z’s 2013 album Magna Carta Holy Grail and made them available to Samsung device users for free 72 hours before the rest of the public could download them.
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26. Catherine Zeta-Jones
Catherine Zeta-Jones (right) put her childhood dance training to good use in the 2002 smash Chicago. She picked up an Oscar for the role, and since then she’s also picked up a hefty helping of profitable endorsement deals. According to AdWeek, Catherine Zeta-Jones makes more money from endorsements than any other actress.
One of her most impressive deals is with cell service provider T-Mobile. The Zorro star signed on with T-Mobile for a series of ads that lined her pockets with an extra $20 million. She has also appeared in ads for Alfa Romeo and Elizabeth Arden. Today, she has a net worth of $45 million.
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27. Bob Dylan
When you think about Victoria’s Secret with their “angel” models and skimpy lingerie, thoughts of Bob Dylan are probably very far from your mind. Yet, in 2004 Dylan did inexplicably appear in a Victoria’s Secret commercial. In the ad, an aging Dylan growls his way through a song while making eyes at a model who looks maybe 19, tops?
It turns out, Dylan may have just been following through on a lifelong ambition. In a 1965 interview, a reporter asked him if he would ever sell out and endorse a product, and he replied that he’d only do it for “ladies undergarments.” By the way, he’s also a Nobel Prize winner.
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28. 50 Cent
The hitmaker behind “In da Club” and “Candy Shop,” 50 Cent has had his share of financial ups and downs. A deal with Vitamin Water that got the rapper to actually mention their product in some of his songs netted him $100 million. However, soon after 50 Cent found himself in some legal trouble and he lost it all.
50 has also inked endorsement deals with Pontiac and Reebok. More recently, he’s launched his own movie production company and accidentally made a small fortune in bitcoin. Apparently, he let fans pay for a 2014 album using the digital currency and let the bitcoin sit in a forgotten account. When he checked the account again in 2018, he was $8 million richer.
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29. Jessica Simpson
Pop singer and reality TV star Jessica Simpson has endorsed an incredible array of products in her time. She’s sold both Pizza Hut (for an undisclosed sum) and Weight Watchers (for $12 million). She’s sold Proactiv acne products and Macy’s. Yet her most notoriously strange endorsement remains Dessert Beauty.
If Dessert Beauty does not haunt you in your darkest hours, you should know that it was a line of edible skin care products. The sticky sweet line of lotions and creams went under in 2006, but if you’ve tasted it, it lives on in your nightmares. Please don’t eat your lotion, no matter what they tell you.
NEXT: Finally, this celebrated British actress somehow found herself endorsing a video game system.
30. Helen Mirren
Dame Helen Mirren consistently delivers stunning performances and challenges expectations for women over 60. Even so, her endorsements are rather surprising. In 2010, Mirren starred in ads for Nintendo’s Wii Fit, presumably an attempt by the company to reach older consumers that left us feeling a little lost.
Mirren has also endorsed L’Oreal, though she admitted in an interview, “I know that when I put my moisturiser on it probably does f— all, but it just makes me feel better. I’ve always said to L’Oreal as well that I will only do what makes me feel better.” Kudos to the Dame for her honesty! It’s not public how much she is paid for endorsements, but Mirren has a net worth of $50 million.