8 Secret Ways That Celebs Make Money

The world of celebrity money-making has diversified so much in recent years, that it’s barely recognisable to the old model of being on TV or in a movie, getting paid for it, then buying a house in Beverly Hills. There are all manner of ways in which the modern celebrity can coin it in. Here are just a few of the cunning methods…


Plugging Stuff On Social Media

The direct reach into the lives of fans makes celebrities enormously attractive to brands and advertisers, and if a celeb is mentioning anything by name (or tweeting pictures of a product or appliance), they’re probably getting a few quid for it. Kim Kardashian has been paid $25,000 for a single tweet about Armani. Sister Khloe costs much less, at around $13,000 for a sponsored tweet. If you want Snooki from 'Jersey Shore’ publicising your product to her six million followers, it’s $7,800. Down at the other end of the scale ‘Teen Mom’ star Farrah Abraham goes for a more modest $390 per tweet.


Having Birthdays

We literally all have birthdays. But not many of us get paid for having them. On the other side of this are the Kardashians, who have club owners falling over themselves to get them through the door. For Kim Kardashian’s 30th, a high-profile bash and no mistake, it’s said that over four parties in New York, Las Vega and Canada the family scored a cool $500,000 just for showing up. 'Jersey Shore’ stars can be paid $20,000 just to turn up for drinks, and while that’s a fair chunk less, it’s still getting paid to go out on the sauce, which can’t be bad.

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'Candid’ Camera

The myriad pictures of celebs 'just wandering about’ that fill the pages of celebrity magazines are often not as candid as they seem. Celebrities will deal directly with photographic agencies who will be informed where they’ll be at certain times, then splitting the money made by selling the pictures to magazines and newspapers 50/50. Jo Piazza, author of 'Celebrity Inc: How Famous People Make Money’ says that a celebrity selling just a handful of pictures in this way can end up earning 'what the average kindergarten teacher makes in a year’. Both A-listers and reality stars alike have long taken advantage of this.


Selling Autographs

Attending the Comic-Con-type convention events can be a MASSIVE earner if you’ve appeared in a cult sci-fi/fantasy movie or TV show. Even if you’re a bit-part character, you can make a several thousand pounds in a weekend selling your John Hancock. William Shatner can make in the region of £25,000 at an event through sales (he charges around $75 a pop), while Mark Hamill, with his Star Wars profile, can make £55,000 or more over a weekend. New York’s Comic-Con in 2013 saw Sylvester Stallone charging $395 for a single autograph. Famously, baseball legend Joe DiMaggio would sign anything, except bats. For those he'd charge up to $250,000 each, money he lived off through his retirement.


Hanging Our With Dictators

If you need a few quid – more likely, even if you don’t – why not hang out with a dictator? They’ve got loads of cash to throw around usually. Plenty of musicians have performed for dodgy regimes in return for some money. Muammar Qaddafi’s sons Hannibal and Mutassim threw a fair few parties in Italy and St Barths in the mid-2000s. Diplomatic correspondence obtained by Wikileaks reported that Beyonce, Usher, 50 Cent, Nelly Furtado and Mariah Carey were paid up to $1 million to perform for them. To their credit, all pledged their fees to charity once it emerged they’d played for the Qaddafi regime. In 2009, it emerged that Sting had played at a festival organised by Gulnara Karimova, daughter of Uzbekistan’s President Islam Karimov, the despot noted for being one of the world’s worst dictators, infamous for torturing opponents using boiling water. He was reportedly paid $2 million for the show.

Red Carpet Clothes

The right dress by the right designer on the right red carpet is a potent, career-making combination. Celebrity stylist Jessica Paster, whose clients have included the likes of Cate Blanchett, Emily Blunt and Sandra Bullock, lifted the lid on how much such things can cost while speaking at the Vulture Festival last year. “It’s prevalent across the board,” she said. “Jewellery people are paying, shoe people are paying, tampon companies are paying, everyone is paying! It could be just paying the stylist and we get anywhere between $30,000 to $50,0000. Or it’s paying the actress something between $100,000 and $250,000.” Nice work if you can get it.


Awards Show Bling

Just like the fashion world, the upscale bling business is willing to pay top dollar for their shiny things to adorn the Hollywood glitterati. And it’s a serious business too. In 2008, Charlize Theron was sued by the Raymond Weil watch company when she was spied wearing a Dior watch at SXSW, when she was supposed to be wearing one of their pieces. As such, an insight into how much such things cost was published. It emerged that on past red carpet jaunts, she’d been paid $50,000 for wearing two pieces by Chopard to the BAFTAs, and then a further $200,000 for wearing Chopard to the Oscars. She wasn’t paid for wearing Cartier to the Golden Globes, but was gifted a $35,000 ring, a $7,500 bracelet and $8000 earrings to wear at the event.


Corporate appearances

It’s not going to make the pages of Heat (mayeb that’s the point), but plenty of celebrities coin it in on the lucrative after dinner speaking circuit, not that you’d know it unless you’re part of the Carpet World sales force, or what have you. As ever, profile is all, so the bigger the name, the bigger the fee (and vice versa). Biggins or Barbara Windsor will pitch up for around £5000 a head, while the legendary Brian Blessed will blast anecdotes into your face for between £6,000 to £10,000. Ross Kemp could cost you between £11,000-£15,000, Duncan Bannatyne anywhere from £16,000 to £25,000, while Stephen Fry’s fee is in excess of £50,000. For the more limited budget, try Stavros Flatley for £2,500.

Image credits: Instagram/Rex Features/Yahoo Style