Celebs That Make A Lot Of Money For Doing Almost Nothing

There's no one-size-fits-all journey to fame and fortune. As a society, we have become obsessed with celebrities who get paid millions of dollars to upload a single social media post. In today's culture, where we arguably spend more time on our phones than we do with each other, it's easy to understand how some celebrities have become famous without the need to sing, dance, act, or be an athlete. Sometimes, all it takes is being attractive and signing your life away to reality television to launch to fame. Other times, a celebrity doing a single appearance can make more money in a single night than many individuals expect to earn over several years.

Some A-listers have become so sought-after that they are able to rake in millions for doing next to nothing. Their name alone comes with a ticket price and Hollywood is often more than happy to pay it. Whether certain celebrities have real talent or not is constantly up for debate, as getting rich by doing almost nothing can be considered a talent all on its own. Some superstars, like soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo, have achieved immense success with their skills, but make bank on the side simply by clicking "post." The Brazilian is said to be able to earn $1.6 million for a single sponsored post on Instagram. Whether their name demands a hefty paycheck, or they simply know how to entertain, we're taking a look at all the celebs that make a lot of money for doing almost nothing.

The Kardashians built an empire on reality television

It's long been said that the Kardashian family is famous for being famous. While one could argue that their billion-dollar empire had to require a certain amount of talent and business savvy to achieve, there's no question that Kim Kardashian's infamous 2007 sex tape sweetened the deal. The first season of "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" premiered just eight months after the intimate tape was leaked, and the hit show ran for 14 years and 20 seasons. After their final season in 2021, the Kardashian-Jenner clan then landed a contract with Hulu for their show "Kardashians." 

They have gone on to be entrepreneurs, launching successful skincare, fragrance, makeup, and clothing lines that have made them a fortune. Regardless, during a 2011 interview, Barbara Walters famously called out the family (per HuffPost) saying, "You don't have any ... talent," to which Khloe Kardashian responded, "But we're still entertaining people." Kim also chimed in, adding, "I think it's more of a challenge for you to go on a reality show and get people to fall in love with you for being you, so there is definitely a lot more pressure, I think for being famous for being ourselves."

Perhaps unsurprisingly, they also earn millions at the click of a button. In 2022, the family was amongst the highest earners on Instagram with Kendall Jenner estimated to be able to demand $1,053,000 per post, Kim a sizeable $1,419,000 per post, and Kylie Jenner a whopping $1,494,000 per post.

Scott Disick makes a lot of money for club appearances

Most know Scott Disick is Kourtney Kardashian's ex-boyfriend, and father to their three children. The reality star was featured on "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" for over a decade and appears on their Hulu series "Kardashians" which premiered in 2022. Despite his split from Kourtney in 2015, he has remained good friends with the Kardashian-Jenner family.

Disick has garnered quite a following since he debuted on reality television, as his self-deprecating personality and antics on the show made him entertaining to watch. The television personality even famously dubbed himself "Lord Disick" after purchasing the title online and participating in a knighting ceremony in London. The reality star has gone on to champion his non-talents, even founding his clothing brand Talentless, a luxury casual wear brand, in 2018.

While reality television and fashion are a part of Disick's cash flow, fans may be surprised to know just how much the star earns for club appearances. After "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" put him on the map, Disick was estimated to be making up to $80,000 a night in 2016 to appear in select United States clubs. The reality star also once reportedly landed $250,000 for a series of club appearances in the U.K. Speaking to GQ on the topic, Disick's former manager, David Weintraub highlighted how Kim's sex tape with Ray J had bolstered the careers of the extended Kardashian clan. "I'm being really real. Without Ray J's d*ck, there's no Scott Disick," he said.

Addison Rae became a millionaire off of TikTok

As of 2023, Addison Rae was the fourth-most followed TikTok user on the platform with nearly 90 million followers. The star skyrocketed to fame in 2019 with videos that included her dancing alongside her mom, lip-syncing, and doing comedy skits. But Rae's dancing skills didn't just come naturally, as the social media star had been a competitive dancer since she was a child, even receiving professional training in Los Angeles. The TikTok star was even featured giving Kim Kardashian a dance lesson in an episode of "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" in 2021.

With her popular TikTok videos, Rae raked in $5 million dollars in 2020 alone. Since rising to pop culture relevance in 2019, Rae was estimated to have earned an impressive $20 million within just four years. In fact, she is rumored to make anywhere between $50,000 to $80,000 per TikTok post. However, her success isn't only on TikTok, as Rae has gone on to gain a huge Instagram following as well. As of 2022, the star was reportedly making $219,000 per Instagram post.

While some may say she gets paid to simply amass views and likes, Rae is proud of what she's achieved. "Everything I've done so far in my career is because of choices I've made, and staying true to myself and my intuition. So why would I listen to what anyone else has to say? I got here all on my own," she told Elle in 2022.

Lisa Rinna was a spokesperson for an adult diaper company

Lisa Rinna rose to fame in the '90s with her starring roles on popular soap operas like "Melrose Place" and "Days of Our Lives." However, she is undoubtedly better known for her time as an alum of the "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," where she was beloved for her over-the-top antics, being the first to dish on her co-stars' drama, and for giving us the iconic catchphrase "Own It!" Sadly, she announced her departure from the show in January 2023, after eight seasons. 

While she's no longer a Housewife, the mother of two is in no way strapped for cash — the former "RHOBH" star put the massive platform that Bravo gave her to good use. In 2012, Rinna became the face of the adult diaper brand Depend in a deal worth $2 million dollars, according to Radar. While her cast mates and the rest of the world may have judged her, Rinna wasn't worse for wear. "I'll do anything to make a buck," she joked during her first season of "RHOBH." "I don't say no very much, I say 'yes,'" 

Rinna reportedly made around $500,000 per season while starring as a Housewife, but it was chump change compared to her diaper ad. "That Depends job saved our bacon," she said during another episode of "RHOBH." I got paid more money to do that than I got paid to do anything ever in my life. And I was just winking all the way to the bank."

Paris Hilton gets paid massive sums to DJ

Paris Hilton is a pop culture icon. As the great-granddaughter of Barron Hilton, she was born into a rich legacy complete with a Hilton Hotels trust fund in her name. Still, her fortune is much smaller than what many may believe. When Barron passed away in 2019, he donated 97% of his fortune to charity, leaving only 3% (amounting to $135 million) between 24 family members.

Her last name gave her notoriety, and Hilton made sure to milk it. In the early 2000s, she starred in "The Simple Life" alongside Nicole Richie. Her dumb blonde persona, which went hand in hand with her taste for the finer things in life, reportedly earned her $5 million dollars per season. Since then, Hilton has remained in the spotlight — and made exorbitant amounts of money with her DJ gigs. 

In 2014, Hilton was paid nearly $3 million dollars for a four-night contract with an Ibiza nightclub, totaling out to $347,000 an hour, according to reports. The "Simple Life" star seemingly confirmed the details when she retweeted a since-deleted post about her getting paid a total of $2.7 million dollars for the gig. But EDM fans had their reservations. Writing for HuffPost in 2014, former music critic Aaron Ellis claimed that Hilton used pre-programmed mixes for her sets — the equivalent of miming a song over singing it live. Speaking to Billboard three years later, Hilton understood the criticism, but claimed she was the real deal, stating, "I'm more talent than name."

Mariah Carey earned millions for a party appearance

Mariah Carey may be known for being a diva, but when you're earning millions for one night of work — the title fits. In 2015, TMZ reported that the "Always Be My Baby" singer signed a deal for a one-night performance in Brazil which paid her between $2 and $5 million. Her Brazilian gig wasn't the only one that earned her an exorbitant amount of cash for a single performance. 

Seven years earlier, Carey was criticized for earning $1 million dollars to perform four songs for Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and his family at a 2009 New Year's bash. Per BBC, Gaddafi was notorious for his often brutal, totalitarian regime. He was later killed in 2011. In a statement published by MTV News that same year, Carey said, "I was naive and unaware of who I was booked to perform for. I feel horrible and embarrassed to have participated in this mess."

It's not just controversial dictators that Carey has a history of racking in millions from in an impressively short time. In 2018, she earned a reported $3.5 million for a 10-minute performance during Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve with Ryan Seacrest. The "Emotions" singer also rests easy during the holidays, especially knowing that her hit Christmas track "All I Want For Christmas You" brings home a reported $3 million each season. "How did I know that that was going to become a thing every year? I couldn't have known it," she told Billboard in 2020.

Lil Wayne earns $100,000 to perform for 15 minutes

Rapper Lil Wayne, whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr., is an icon in the music industry — and what he charges for appearances justifies it. In 2015, TMZ reported that the "Lollipop" artist reportedly charged upwards of $115,000 for a 15-minute performance that included five songs. But it's not just cash the rapper seeks, sources claimed to the outlet that he wanted a space comfortable enough to fit his 20-person-deep entourage. He required that it be fit for a king — complete with 10 bottles of Dom Perignon and five bottles of Ciroc.

Impressively for the rapper, it seems as if Lil Wayne's booking price may have gone up since 2015, with Celebrity Talent International listing his appearance fee for events in the United States as ranging between $300,000 to $499,000, in 2023. But beware — whoever may be keen on booking the artist might also have to be prepared to pay the big bucks in cash. Lil Wayne has previously demanded 50% of his appearance fees be paid upfront in cash on the day of the booked event, per MTV News.

Nicki Minaj got paid over $200,000 for a 30-minute club appearance

It's Nicki Minaj's world — and the rest of us are just living in it. Given the insane amounts of cash the singer receives for short pop-up appearances at a nightclub, that certainly seems to be the case, anyway. According to TMZ, the "Barbie Tingz" singer fulfilled her Barbie dreams by landing a $236,000 paycheck for a 2015 appearance at Chateau Nightclub in Vegas. The only problem was that the artist only stayed for 34 minutes of her gig, and she was later sued for being late to her performance.

According to court documents obtained by TMZ, Minaj showed up over an hour late to the event for which she was pre-paid. This caused problems for the $25,000 VIP tables the club was selling for her appearance, and the nightclub subsequently demanded that the rapper's booking company refund its fee. According to The Jasmine Brand, Minaj signed a settlement deal in 2016 in agreement to dismiss the case. 

Minaj is also making bank on her vocals, and according to her, a single verse makes for a decent payday. In fact, during her guest bars on YG's 2014 track, "My Ni**a (Remix)," she even brags, "I just got $250,000 for a verse." However, that fee may have gone up since. In 2020, Davido — a musician who featured Minaj on his track, "Holy Ground" — claimed in an interview with W magazine, "Nicki be charging people $500,000 for verses. And she did ["Holy Ground"] for me for free."

Julia Roberts got paid $5 million for six minutes screen time

Julia Roberts is without a doubt a Hollywood legend. The Oscar-winning actor is best known for her starring roles in "Pretty Woman," "Erin Brockovich," "My Best Friend's Wedding," and dozens of films and television series throughout her lengthy career. Her star power is undeniable, which is the same reason why she is among the top-earning actors in her industry. Roberts was paid $3 million dollars for a cameo in the 2010 film "Valentine's Day" directed by Garry Marshall. The actor earned a whopping $3 million dollars for just six minutes on screen in the movie. 

While that's a fat check for a small role, Roberts made $20 million for playing the lead character in "Erin Brockovich" in 2000. The film fared well at the box office, raking in over $100 million in profit, but the same couldn't be said about the 2016 film "Mother's Day," also directed by Marshall. Roberts earned another $3 million dollars for her role, which required just four days of filming. Her pay rate worked out to be a staggering $750,000 a day while filming. Ultimately, "Mother's Day" was a flop, met with bad reviews and not grossing nearly as much as "Valentine's Day." But hey, at least all of these films landed Roberts a huge payday, regardless. 

Robert Downey Jr. was paid $50 million to play Tony Stark for 40 minutes

Robert Downey Jr. is one of Hollywood's biggest stars. The actor is best known for his role as Tony Stark in the "Iron Man" franchise. After the first installment premiered in 2008, it was clear that Marvel had produced a worldwide phenomenon. The film grossed $585 million worldwide, proving Downey was still a knockout performer with star power. He reprised the role in nine other Marvel films, before returning to non-superhero fare with films like "Dolittle" in 2020 and Chris Nolan's "Oppenheimer" in 2023.

With his impressive acting chops, there's no question the Oscar-winning star is a sought-after actor. Following his role in "Iron Man 2," the Marvel franchise had to pay a steep price to secure Downey for the 2012 film "The Avengers," which would have the biggest Marvel characters together on screen for the first time. For just 37 minutes of screen time, the actor was paid to the tune of $50 million. Years later, sources told The Hollywood Reporter that Downey also receives backend profits from the "Avengers" films, meaning he likely pocketed around $75 million for "Infinity War." As noted by the outlet, he also received $5 million a day for three days' work on "Spider-Man: Homecoming." In 2013, he addressed his high payment for "The Avengers" with GQ, stating, "Isn't that crazy? They're so p*ssed. I can't believe it. I'm what's known as 'a strategic cost.'"