Top-Earning International Stars You've Never Heard Of
1. Zlatan Ibrahimovic :
Swedish soccer player Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who plays for French club Paris Saint-Germain, earned an estimated $39 million over the last 12 months before taxes and fees - that's more than Scarlett Johansson and David Guetta.
2. Lewis Hamilton :
British Formula One star Lewis Hamilton earned an estimated $39 million and is tied at No. 55 on the Global Celebrity 100 with Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
3. Fernando Alonso :
Fellow driver Fernando Alonso earned an estimated $500,000 more than David Letterman to pocket $35.5 million, but unlike his TV host counterpart, the Spaniard remains largely unrecognized stateside.
4. Gareth Bale :
Welsh midfielder Gareth Bale, who out-earned basketballer Derrick Rose ($35 million to Rose's $34 million) remains largely unrecognized in the U.S.
5. Amitabh Bachchan :
Bollywood is home to three huge stars who made the Global Celebrity 100 without becoming U.S. household names. Amitabh Bachchan, 72, may be India's answer to Robert DeNiro, if Robert DeNiro also hosted Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. Bachchan's version of the show, Kaun Banega Crorepati, recorded an average weekly viewership of 5.2 million in its 8th season, which aired in 2014.
6. Salman Khan :
Salman Khan, Bollywood's bad boy, earned an estimated $33.5 million in our pay range to tie him with Bachchan. One of the industry's top earners, Khan has been trailed by controversy in his 26 year career: In 2006 he was convicted of poaching an endangered gazelle on a 1998 hunting trip while in May 2015 Khan was sentenced to five years in prison for a 2002 hit-and-run car incident which killed a homeless man. These lawsuits have not dented his earnings. Khan maintains a loyal fanbase who flock to see flicks such as 2014's "Kick," while Some 4.8 people tuned in to the 2014 season of reality show "Bigg Boss," the Indian version of "Big Brother" which Khan hosts.
7. Sebastian Vettel :
Ferrari racer Sebastian Vettel banked $33 million between June 2014 and June 2015 - the same amount as Maroon 5 - without anywhere near the number of screaming fans.
8. Akshay Kumar :
Akshay Kumar may be India's Matt Damon, if Damon produced a Bourne movie four times a year. Kumar annually stars in four to five action films, such as Holiday and Gabbar is Back . The star bolsters his estimated $32.5 million earnings with product endorsements that align with his roles: Honda motorcycles, a range of white vests, and a brand of steel pipes, among others.
9. Mahendra Singh Dhoni :
India's fourth star on the Celebrity 100 is cricketer Mahendra Dhoni. The batsman made $31 million in the last 12 months - $4 million more than Peyton Manning and a full $10 million more than Usain Bolt.
10. James Rodriguez :
Colombian soccer star James Rodriguez earned $29 million from June 2014-June 2015, but the Real Madrid player receives little recognition from U.S. audiences.