Houston has been landing on so many best-of lists of late that it’s starting to become commonplace. One recent report of Houston bragging rights comes courtesy of Forbes, which has released its annual ranking of top-grossing worldwide entertainers for 2019 and finds four celebs who either live in or are from Houston on the list.
Here are the lucky and loaded four who are the sole Texans on the Forbes Celebrity 100.
Queen Bey actually ties with her hubby, Jay-Z, at No. 20 — Forbes estimates she earned a cool $81 million. Beyoncé’s and Jay-Z’s On the Run tour was a cash cow, earning $5 million a night for a total of more than $250 million. In April, Beyoncé launched a partnership with Adidas to relaunch her activewear line, Ivy Park—meaning even more green for the Ivy queen.
The H-Town rapper and unabashed Astrodome fanboy comes in at No. 39, with $58 million in earnings. Scott’s Astroworld debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 100 chart, and his Astroworld: Wish You Were Here supporting tour (which boasted a Ferris wheel and working roller coaster) grossed more than $65 million. Scott is known for spreading the love; he donated merchandise profits from his Hangout Music Festival to Planned Parenthood.
Soon-to-be Newstonian Westbrook, who was just traded to the Houston Rockets, scores at No. 52, with total earnings of $53.7 million. In 2017, Westbrook signed a five-year extension with the Oklahoma Thunder worth $205 million, the league's biggest-ever contract in terms of total value. Westbrook, who is gritty on the court and flashy off of it, is well known for his interest in fashion; his Honor the Gift clothing line benefits Los Angeles' Inner-City Arts charity.
Houston’s reigning NBA superstar and fearless beard comes in at No. 64, with a total of $47.7 million in earnings. In 2017, Harden signed a four-year extension worth $171 million; it runs through 2022-23 and will pay $47 million in its final year.
Adidas made Harden one of the faces of its NBA campaign after signing him to a 13-year deal in 2015 that can be worth as much as $200 million. He partnered with Amazon to share his workout products, which include endorsement partners like Adidas and BodyArmor.
Honorable mention: Chris Paul
Interestingly, Paul, who was just traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Westbrook, comes in at No. 72, with a total of $43.8 million in earnings. Let the records show that it pays to play for the Houston Rockets.
To calculate the big winners, the Forbes global Celebrity 100 ranks "front-of-the-camera" stars around the globe using their pretax earnings from June 1, 2018 through June 1, 2019. (That’s, of course, before deducting fees for managers, lawyers, and agents. It all goes so fast — just ask CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler.)
Forbes figures are based on numbers from Nielsen Music, Pollstar, IMDB, NPD BookScan, and ComScore, and also interviews with industry experts and many of the stars themselves.
So who’s the No. 1 grossing entertainer of 2019? That honor goes to Taylor Swift; Tay-Tay raked in a whopping $185 million in earnings.