We all realize that being famous has its rewards — not the least of which is financial. But the question remains: Just how rich are celebrities?
Thanks to the Internet, there are answers. Or, at the very least, educated guesses.
CelebrityNetWorth.com, founded in 2009, purports to provide “thoroughly researched, scrutinized and fact checked” information on what celebrities are worth. (There also is a disclaimer warning not to rely too strongly on its accuracy.)
And that got us thinking: What are some south Louisiana celebrities worth?
Answer: A lot.
But you might be surprised as to which area celebrity is worth the most. It’s not a star from Hollywood, the music industry or even the football field. Rather, it’s the football front office.
That would be Tom Benson, owner of the New Orleans Saints, as well as car dealerships in New Orleans and San Antonio. With a net worth of $1.1 billion, Benson isn’t likely to get much sympathy from his players or coaches the next time they renegotiate a contract. Not that Sean Payton ($12 million) or Drew Brees ($35 million) are hurting.
The entertainment field is well-represented with luminaries like actor-director-screenwriter and New Orleans native Tyler Perry ($400 million); New Orleans native, former Baton Rouge resident rap superstar Master P ($350 million) and singer Britney Spears ($200 million), of Kentwood, are among the wealthiest. So are current and former sports stars, like former LSU basketball player Shaquille O’Neal ($350 million) and New Orleans native and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning ($115 million).
It should be noted that even if virtually all celebrities are wealthy, not all wealthy people are celebrities. LSU football coach Les Miles’s contract pays him $4.3 million annually. Searching Miles’ name on the website brings a host of other people with similar names, so we’re going to go out on a limb and say that, on the Les Scale, Miles is somewhere between CBS President Les Moonves ($300 million) and Les Gold ($1.5 million), the pawn shop operator featured on the cable TV show “Hardcore Pawn.”
There are a lot of south Louisiana celebrities listed on the site. We selected 10 we thought you’d find interesting.
James Carville, political advisor, Carville native and LSU graduate — $5 million
Randy Jackson, record producer, TV personality, Baton Rouge native and Southern University graduate — $40 million
Lolo Jones, Olympic athlete, LSU graduate and Baton Rouge resident — $1.5 million
Shaquille O’Neal, former pro basketball player, played basketball at LSU — $350 million
Calvin Borel, jockey, grew up in St. Martinville — $15 million
Tom Benson, New Orleans Saints owner — $1.1 billion
Master P, rapper-entrepreneur, New Orleans native and former Baton Rouge resident — $350 million
Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints quarterback — $35 million
Harry Connick Jr., singer-actor, New Orleans native — $35 million
Ellen Degeneres, comedian-TV personality, grew up in New Orleans — $65 million