From foreign celebrity endorsement deals and guest appearances to overseas book sales and concert tours, some of the world’s biggest stars make some serious cash beyond America’s shores.
Athletes, authors, actors and executives are members of the global economy, whether they know it or not — and the smart ones not only know it but bank on it. Click through to see which stars shine the brightest overseas.
Guns N’ Roses
The biggest touring act in the world by far, according to Forbes, is 1980s hard-rock icons Guns N’ Roses. By the midpoint of 2017, Axl Rose, Slash and company had rocked their way to $151.5 million in ticket sales from their current tour, which includes plenty of overseas dates.
GNR will not slow down in 2018, with shows scheduled in Spain, France, Germany, Russia, Poland, Denmark and beyond. Frontman Axl Rose alone has a net worth of $150 million.
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Just 20 acts have sold more albums than the 52 million U2 has moved over the decades. Bono, who has a net worth of $700 million, and the rest of the group, however, are far from just a studio success.
The band’s touring schedule had pulled in $118.1 million by the halfway point of 2017, with only Guns N’ Roses earning more on the road. For U2, road stops include Dublin, Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam.
In July 2017, Justin Bieber announced he was canceling the remainder of his tour dates for the year, leaving fans in Hong Kong, Japan, the Philippines and Singapore high and dry.
Even still, the man who built a multimillion-dollar net worth was able to gross $93.2 million from the concerts he had performed to that point. Just two acts in the world had earned more.
Metallica so thoroughly embodied 1980s metal that the word “metal” is in their name. Fast forward to 2017, and James Hetfield is still touring with his iconic band — and adding to his $300 million net worth — with upcoming dates in countries such as Italy, Germany, Denmark and the Czech Republic. The band’s relentless touring schedule helped it to rake in $88 million in the first half of 2017.
With a net worth of $110 million, superstar Bruno Mars could afford to slow down — but he apparently isn’t. In 2017, the musician launched his 24K Magic Tour, a massive concert series with 85 dates in places such as Liverpool, London, Glasgow, Copenhagen and Hamburg. His concerts grossed $52.7 million in the first half of 2017.
In July 2017, Adele wrapped up a 15-month, 123-show tour with a note to fans thanking them and hinting that they might have just witnessed her final road trip. The tour took her to New Zealand, Ireland, the U.K. and Australia. By the time 2017 was halfway over, Adele’s concerts had grossed $59 million, contributing to the superstar’s hefty $185 million net worth.
Australia. New Zealand. Ireland. Belgium. Sweden. Switzerland. Poland. These are just some of the countries that Ed Sheeran plans to visit during his 2018 tour.
Sheeran has a $65 million net worth and a schedule so lucrative that he earned the title of the world’s No. 8 touring act in 2017, pulling in $57.2 million in the first half of the year.
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Joining the list of legendary 1980s bands that are still filling seats is the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Anthony Kiedis, Flea — the latter of whom alone has a net worth of $150 million — and the rest of the California-based supergroup grossed $60.5 million in the first half of 2017. Just five bands earned more.
In 2018, the Lollapalooza Festival circuit will take them to countries such as Chile and Argentina — and the Peppers are no strangers to overseas earnings. In 2016, the band performed in countries such as Austria, the U.K., Germany, Denmark, Japan and Finland.
Referred to by GQ as “the runt of the Kardashian litter” and “the one without any skills in a family of people who are famous for not really having any skills,” Scott Disick makes big bucks just by showing up to places.
“Keeping Up with the Kardashians” gave him enough clout — and a good chunk of his $16 million net worth — to command paydays in the high five figures per night just to make appearances at nightclubs in the U.S. Recently, however, he took the party overseas when he landed appearances in the United Kingdom worth a combined $250,000.
Marshmello, a superstar anonymous DJ who performs wearing a big white mask, earned $21 million from August 2016 to August 2017, making him the No. 8 highest-paid DJ in the world, according to Forbes.
The in-demand electronic musician pulls in six figures a night as part of a relentless touring schedule. That schedule includes stops in Singapore, Malaysia, Nepal, Indonesia and Hong Kong. His net worth is unknown.
Although Deadmau5 didn’t make the 2017 Forbes list of the world’s highest-paid DJs, he’s made plenty of appearances on the list in recent years.
Known for his immersive electronic stage shows, Deadmau5 — who has a net worth of $35 million — is making big bucks overseas, possibly to the tune of “double-digit millions,” according to Forbes. He recently has had stops in the Netherlands, the U.K., Spain and Greece.
In 2017, Forbes named Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson the No. 2 highest-paid actor in the world after he earned $65 million in 12 months. That was a demotion from 2016, when he took the No. 1 spot with a nearly identical haul, all of which added to the former WWE superstar’s $220 million net worth.
Part of the reason for his success? The Rock is huge overseas. 2017’s “The Fate of the Furious,” which Johnson starred in, earned more than $1 billion — and more than 80 percent of those dollars came from foreign theaters. But, some of The Rock’s movies have been flops.
Perennial A-lister George Clooney is the star of a high-budget ad campaign for the Nespresso coffee maker in the U.S. — but America can’t have the heartthrob actor to itself.
Clooney recently starred in a bevy of commercials overseas, which ad industry publication Campaign US reports pay $10 million per contract for the right star. Clooney has lent his celebrity to marketers overseas for DNB Bank in Norway, a Japanese beer maker and, of course, a coffee company. Clooney has an estimated net worth of $500 million.
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In 2015, former UFC bantamweight champion Holly Holm shocked the world when she knocked out Ronda Rousey, the sport’s first female superstar, at UFC 193. That fight, which catapulted Holm to MMA celebrity status, took place in Melbourne, Australia — but that’s not the only debt of gratitude the fighter owes to overseas audiences.
In 2017, Holm — who has a net worth of $4 million — reportedly earned $115,000 when she fought in front of 8,414 fans at UFC Fight Night in Singapore.
Golf superstar Rory McIlroy is well known in the U.S. for his dominance in the major tournaments. But in the offseason, he makes big bucks on the European Tour — and he also cashes in by lending his celebrity to lesser tournaments in faraway lands, such as the Abu Dhabi Championship.
As early as 2012, Business Insider reported that McIlroy, who has a net worth of $110 million, increased his “appearance fee” from $1 million to $2 million to show his face — and skills — at these kinds of tournaments.
According to Forbes, tennis great Serena Williams is not just “the greatest player of the Open era,” but the highest-paid female athlete on Earth — and her favorite place on Earth just might be Australia.
When she won the Australian Open in 2017, it represented her record 23rd Grand Slam singles title. She earned 2.24 million pounds, which is about $3 million. And, she later announced she did it while eight weeks’ pregnant. Williams has a net worth of $180 million.
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Musician Avril Lavigne had a monster decade-long run between 2002 and 2011, but then her celebrity waned — in the U.S., at least.
In the world’s second-largest music market — Japan — Lavigne continues to strike gold. In 2014, she released an album that reached No. 2 on the country’s Billboard charts, and it topped the charts in Taiwan and China. As recently as 2015, Business Insider reported she was selling out stadiums in Japan, adding to her $50 million net worth.
When author Stephen King’s classic horror story “It” was released in 2017, it debuted at No. 1. The movie quickly toppled “The Exorcist” –which had held the title of highest-grossing R-rated horror movie for nearly 44 years — and then dethroned “The Sixth Sense” as the most successful horror movie in the supernatural genre.
In the end, “It” earned more than $694 million. More than half of that — $366.8 million — came from foreign theaters. King has a net worth of $400 million.
Apple CEO Tim Cook holds the distinction of being the boss of America’s most profitable business and the largest company in the world in terms of market capitalization.
In the first quarter of 2017, the company had countries outside the U.S. to thank for 64 percent of its revenue. More controversially, Apple has, according to CNBC, stashed the bulk of its massive cash reserves overseas. Either way, Cook, a leader in the global economy, has a net worth of $800 million.
WNBA most-valuable player Nneka Ogwumike earns a base salary of just $109,000 playing for the Los Angeles Sparks, which is the league maximum.
Like more than 60 other WNBA players, however, she makes her real money in the offseason outside the U.S. Ogwumike plays for Dynamo Kursk in Russia, where Newsday estimates she could make 15 times her WNBA salary. Her net worth is unknown.
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In 2017, comedian Chris Rock announced he was embarking on his first tour in nine years. The Total Blackout Tour will take him beyond the shores of his familiar U.S. fan base to make the rest of the world laugh. His overseas dates include stops in Israel, the U.K. and the United Arab Emirates.
Although there’s no word on how much he will earn from the current tour, Rock’s humor has earned him a net worth of $100 million. In 2016, he earned a massive payday when he signed a record-breaking $40 million deal with Netflix for just two stand-up specials — and he has the whole world to thank. Those specials are available to and consumed by fans in 190 countries.
Thanks to the success of 2017’s “Wonder Woman,” Patty Jenkins holds the distinction of directing the highest-grossing live-action movie of any female director in history.
“Wonder Woman” has grossed nearly $822 million worldwide — nearly half of which ($409.2 million) has come from theaters outside the United States, providing a nice boost to Jenkins’ $10 million net worth.
With a net worth of $900 million, rapper, producer and mogul Jay-Z is $100 million short of joining the billionaires’ club. When you include the $500 million fortune claimed by his wife Beyonce, they’re a billion-dollar family with plenty to spare.
His most recent album, 4:44, is his 14th No. 1 album — a record for any solo act in history and second only to the Beatles. The tour to support that album will keep Jay-Z on the road for 10 years. Although the tour is currently limited to North America, the album itself sold an amazing 1 million copies in five days, thanks to a global fan base that recognizes no international boundaries.
Formula One racing superstar Valtteri Bottas is one of the highest-paid drivers in the sport. According to Business Insider, he has earned $8.5 million in 2017.
Many of his victories and much of his fortune are claimed overseas. The Team Mercedes-AMG Petronas speed demon earned big wins in both Russia and Austria.
Taylor Swift is by any measurable standard a superstar. She has a net worth of $380 million, has sold more than 33.1 million albums and grossed more than $423 million in concert ticket sales — all before her most recent album, “Reputation,” became one of four albums released in 2017 to spend three weeks or more at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 charts.
Swift is launching a supporting tour of the same name, which has upcoming dates all over the world, including in Australia, New Zealand, the U.K. and Ireland.
Just 25 acts have sold more albums than Neil Diamond, who has moved a confirmed 66.5 million units during a career that spans a half-century — and he’s not done.
The multi-platinum, Grammy-winning icon spent much of 2017 on an international 50-year anniversary tour that took him through the U.K., Germany, Switzerland, Northern Ireland, Belgium and beyond. Diamond’s previous tour, in 2008, took him to the U.K., Germany, Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands.
World Wrestling Entertainment king Vince McMahon has a net worth of $1 billion, but he’s drop-kicking his way to even more with a WWE tour Down Under. In September 2017, the organization promoted several shows in Australia and New Zealand.
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It seems that heavy-metal god Ozzy Osbourne, who has a net worth of $220 million, is hanging up his leather. The former Black Sabbath frontman is embarking on what Rolling Stone recently referred to as a “farewell world tour.” The trek will take the controversial rocker-turned-reality TV star across Europe, into Russia and throughout South America.
Pop star Pink plans to add to her sizable $150 million net worth when she heads out on her upcoming 40-date Beautiful Trauma World Tour in 2018, which includes a stop in Australia. According to The New York Times, she wisely included concert tickets with her album of the same name to reach No. 1 in streaming sales.
The most recent NHL contract signed by Minnesota-born hockey player Brandon Bochenski was for two years with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2009 for $1.05 million. For years, he spent part of a 200-plus crop of Americans earning big bucks and serious ice time overseas.
Although his contract details were undisclosed, players in foreign leagues can make salaries in the millions. Bochenski retired in June as the all-time scoring leader among members of the Kontinental Hockey League’s Foreign Language, where he played 399 games for Barys Astana in Kazakhstan.