Friday, May 18, 2012

Week In Music: Forbes Celebrity 100's Entrepreneurs… They Sing, Too

Teen Beat, meet Forbes. This month the two publications share a cover boy in Justin Bieber, whose venture capital investments cozy up to his 12 million albums sold, for a No. 3 rank on the annual Forbes Celebrity 100 list. Stranger bedfellows may never meet again.

Topping the 2012 Celebrity 100 list, released Wednesday, is Jennifer Lopez, whose $52 million in earnings over the past year add credence to the fact that she is far more than a singer and actress: JLo is a brand.

Alongside judging duties on “American Idol,” People magazine’s 2012 Most Beautiful Woman endorses her 18-scent Coty fragrance line, L’Oreal Paris, Venus and even hawks her children as the face of Gucci’s Children’s Collection.

Meanwhile, Lopez’s music career continues to flourish: “Dance Again” featuring Pitbull, is No. 17 on the Hot 100 this week, and No. 1 on Dance/Club Play Songs. It’s also top 20 on Pop Songs, Latin Songs and Digital Songs.

Following non-musician Oprah Winfrey at No. 2 on the Forbes list is No. 3 singer Biebs, whose empire includes 21 million Twitter followers, second only to Lady Gaga, the magazine reports.

His first single, 2009’s top 5 “Baby,” is the most-watched video in YouTube history, with 750 million views; while he has fostered 43 million Facebook fans. On the bling side, Forbes estimates that at least $3 million of Bieber’s 2011-2012 earnings of $55 million (from touring, his biopic film “Never Say Never” and fragrance Someday) are invested in startups Enflick, messaging playform Tinychat, social curation app Stamped, gaming outfit Sojo Studios, video sharing app Viddy, and online music platform Spotify.

Oh, and then there’s the music. Bieber’s current single “Boyfriend” peaked at No. 2 on the Hot 100 last month, while scoring formidable airplay at Hip-Hop R&B stations—hardly the norm for teen acts—along with top 10 peaks on the Pop Songs and On-Demand Songs charts and No. 1 ranks on YouTube and Digital Songs. His third album “Believe” hits June 19, three years after the 18 year old scored his first hit. And he’s hotter than ever. Celebrity, indeed.

Four more musicians round out the Forbes’ top 10—who, with Bieber, are notably all age 30 or below, and all female solo songbirds: Rihanna at No. 4 (with recent endorsements Vita Coco, Nivea and fragrance Reb’l Fleur); last year’s No. 1-ranked Lady Gaga at No. 5 (believe it or not, her primary fortune comes from music sales, touring and social media—and one endorsement, for MAC cosmetics); Britney Spears at No. 6 (touring, Candie’s and an Elizabeth Arden fragrance line); and Katy Perry at No. 8 (with five No. 1 singles from CD “Teenage Dream,” touring, a ProActive endorsement and fragrance Purr).

From 11-20, three more radio acts score amid Forbes’ Celebrity 100. At No. 11 is country crossover singer/songwriter Taylor Swift, 22, who reaped $65 million from touring, alongside record sales, LEI Jeans and an ongoing CoverGirl contract.

Beyonce, No. 16, has never met an endorsement she didn’t embrace. As the No. 1 music act on—like Lopez—her name is worth more than her music, with such tie-ins as a House of Dereon clothing line, L'Oreal, DirecTV, two fragrance lines, Pepsi, Tommy Hilfiger, Nintendo, Vizio, Emporio Armani Diamonds and Nintendo DS.

How about Elton John at No. 17 to round out musicians among the top 20? The 65-year-old pop-rocker’s Las Vegas residency sold out 100+ shows in the past year, along with his animated film “Gnomeo and Juliet,” which reaped $200 million at the box office. He also has a 34th album in the wings.

Outside the top 20, grizzled newlywed rocker Paul McCartney, who continues to actively tour, rolls in at No. 21; while Adele—who, at 24, is nearly a third the age of 69-year-old McCartney—is No. 24; and rocker Bon Jovi is No. 25.

From there, it’s interesting to note that musicians making the top 100 list are either pervasive in hip-hop or country: Dr. Dre at 26, Jay-Z 38, Diddy 42, Kanye West 45, Toby Keith 49, Kenny Chesney 53, Brad Paisley 68, and Lil Wayne 69.

Finally, rounding out the Celebrity 100 with a spin, is Dutch electronica DJ Tiesto 84, whom Forbes notes grosses $250,000 per night, with 100+ shows in the past year. He also has more than 1 million Twitter followers and 12 million Facebook fans.

The Forbes list is compiled by looking at pre-tax income from May 1, 2011 to 2012, alongside “fame”—meaning how often the celebrities appear on TV, movies and online, and their social media following. *