There was once a time when reality TV was pretty low-rent, like when MTV’s The Real World first arrived on the scene. Nowadays, it’s big money and there’s a legion of wealthy folks who are insanely rich due to their television presence, but also people who got on television because they are rich. So, who are the 25 richest reality stars of 2018?
You can bet that there are a few Real Housewives on our list and it is not a question of whether the stars of Keeping Up With The Kardashians are among the richest reality stars of 2018, it is a question of how many Kardashians make the top 25 richest reality stars of 2018.
Who is number one? Well, that might surprise you. It’s a fascinating list comprised of a Shark Tank member or two, an American Idol host who parlayed his fame into a fortune, a celebrity chef with dozens of TV shows (yes, dozens!) and a daytime court judge whose name should be as synonymous with wealth as it is justice.
Let the countdown begin…
25. Kendall Jenner
Net worth: $18 million
How she made her money: Kendall Jenner made cash modeling, the hit E! show that has us keeping up with her family, and she’s the brand ambassador for Estee Lauder. She’s also only 21—many more years to rack up that net worth total.
Most lavish purchase: A $52,000 couch! Yup, she dropped more than most people make in a year for a single couch from Edra.
24. Willie Robertson
Net worth: $20 million
How he made his money: Duck Dynasty is literally what it is, really. Willie Robertson inherited the duck calling business from his father, Phil, and turned it into a money printing machine. That reality TV show certainly added to Willie’s bottom line. He was smart when negotiating the deal for the show, he insisted that he not only appear in the program, but also score the title of producer—which significantly increases the profit for anyone.
Most lavish purchase: Willie has many cars, but we like the story about how he once left waitstaff a $5,000 tip at a steak house. That’s a luxurious expenditure there needs to be more of!
23. Khloe Kardashian
Net worth: $20 million
How she made her money: Keeping Up With The Kardashians makes her a pretty penny. Khloe Kardashian also has a hit book, Revenge Body With Khloe Kardashian, which was also turned into a reality TV program. She has reportedly earned close to $5 million in endorsement deals and those $75,000 per appearance fee for red carpets will certainly add up.
Most lavish purchase: For most new moms, getting the best baby bed for their blissful gift from heaven does not involve a price tag that is more than $500. Khloe is not your average mom as she scored a baby bed from luxury mattress maker Snoo. The reality TV star spent $1,1000 on her baby bed and from the sounds of it—totally worth it! It rocks your little one to sleep. Priceless. Also, Khloe spent more than $4,000 on baby travel items… also a wise move given the fact that she is traveling constantly.
22. DJ Pauly D
Net worth: $24 million
How he made his money: Of course, salary and residuals from the first run of Jersey Shore fills his bank account. And now that MTV has brought back the gang, their price tag went up significantly from their first go-around on the network. Pauly D also scored a three-album record deal in 2012 with 50 Cent’s G-Note records. He is a highly sought-after club DJ (playing more than 150 shows a year) and his appearance fees have certainly helped his bottom line.
Most lavish purchase: His Las Vegas mansion is pretty swank, what with everything he “needed” to be in it. He told People that “I wanted my house to be a home for me and have everything that I needed in it. So, it has a basketball court, a gym, tanning beds, laundry, an arcade, a garage for my cars and bikes and mini golf. You know, the essentials.” That “tricked out” $450,000 Lamborghini Aventador Roadster is a pretty lavish acquisition as well.
21. Tom Bergeron
Net worth: $24 million
How he made his money: After “languishing” as a host of a myriad of shows over the years, Tom Bergeron hit pay dirt with Dancing With The Stars. As of 2012, Tom was banking $150,000 an episode for the hit show. It is probably safe to say that that figure has gone up. Also adding cash to his till was his role as producer of the show America’s Funniest Home Videos. That program reruns all the time—and residuals are nothing to laugh at.
Most lavish purchase: His Calabasas home that he bought with his wife in 2005 cost almost $2 million. They also purchased a home in Greenwich, Connecticut.
20. Bethenny Frankel
Net worth: $25 million
How she made her money: Bethenny Frankel is the founder of Skinnygirl Cocktails, Skinnygirl jeans, four self-help books, her own talk show generated some cheddar, and then there’s that reality TV juggernaut, RHONY. Making this list will give her more ammo when she's throwing financial shade at her RHONY co-stars!
Most lavish purchase: Traveling! Bethenny loves to play as hard as she works and for those who follow her Instagram account know, she goes all over the world… and in style.
19. Lauren Conrad
Net worth: $25 million
How she made her money: The Hills was merely the beginning as Lauren Conrad became a lifestyle icon, authored the trilogy LA Candy, became a fashion designer with her LC Lauren Conrad line at Kohl’s and another line, Paper Crown.
Most lavish purchase: When it comes to her son, price is no object. Lauren has said repeatedly that what drives her now is being able to spend whatever she wants on her little one.
18. Kourtney Kardashian
Net worth: $35 million
How she made her money: The iconic show brings in some change, the clothing store known as DASH certainly made her some scratch... then there are the fragrances and that 2010 book Kardashian Konfidential. Oh, and lest we forget the deal Kourtney Kardashian struck in 2013 that paid her $15,000 for every Tweet she delivered to her 8.8 million followers. Getting $125,000 for every red carpet appearance will certainly add up as well.
Most lavish purchase: Proving she’s one cool aunt—and mom—Kourtney took daughter Penelope and her niece North West to Tiffany & Co. on a trip to NYC. It might not be the most outrageous thing she’s ever purchased but buying diamond jewelry for your child and niece is pretty lavish!
17. Camille Grammer
Net worth: $50 million
How she made her money: Of course, she’s on The Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills pays pretty well, but the key to the Camille Grammer fortune came in her share of Grammet Productions, which she worked on with ex-husband Kelsey Grammer. As part of their divorce deal, she scored a $50 million payout.
Most lavish purchase: That ski house in Beaver Creek, Colorado that ran over $6 million.
16. Kris Jenner
Net worth: $60 million
How she made the money: Kris Jenner is the owner of Jenner Communications, which produces a slew of programming. Kris is not only a manager to her Kim, but also all of her children. That means she’s continually getting 10% of everything each one of those souls brings in. She also has a slew of endorsement deals for beauty products.
Most lavish purchase: That cool $12 million she dropped on a getaway home in the Coachella Valley.
15. Lea Black
Net worth: $65 million
How she made the money: The Real Housewives Of Miami star made her cash selling high-end beauty products, a chain of gyms.
Most lavish purchase: The $1.6 million Lea Black dropped for a Hollywood hills home, when she already has several other abodes across the world.
14. Lisa Vanderpump
Net worth: $65 million
How she made the money: When Lisa Vamderpump isn't getting along with her RHOBH co-stars, she has her 26 restaurants to bring in all that cash and produce some serious smiles!
Most lavish purchase: Besides Lisa's lavish homes, her most out-there purchase had to be a $60,000 Valentino dress she bought. She joked on a Bravo reunion show that she “practically mortgaged the house” for that gown.
13. Heidi Klum
Net worth: $90 million
How she made her money: Heidi Klum had a career as a supermodel for years, and that certainly paid well. But, so too does longevity—which is what she scored with her career as a host and producer of Project Runway. Her summer gig on America’s Got Talent does nothing but increase her fortune as well. She has fashion lines, endorsement deals and now that she and Project Runway alum Tim Gunn have jumped ship to Amazon, look for that wealthy bottom line to increase with a huge pay spike when their Amazon show premieres in 2019.
Most lavish purchase: As her fashion show shoots in New York City and America’s Got Talent shows tape in Los Angeles, she needs two homes. Her mansion in Bel Air and her $5.1 million Soho Penthouse have her literally living in luxury.
12. Adam Levine
Net worth: $90 Million
How he made his money: The Voice pays well, Adam Levine banks $8 million per season for the reality TV hit. And touring with his band Maroon 5 is extremely lucrative. They have sold more than 10 million albums since they burst onto the scene. He also has his own fragrance line, and now he owns his own record label, 222 Records.
Most lavish purchase: A passion of his has been old Mercedes and Adam scored big when he was finally able to afford his dream car—a 1971 Mercedes 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet. Also, those courtside Los Angeles Lakers tickets aren’t cheap.
11. Tyra Banks
Net worth: $90 million
How she made her money: Tyra Banks had the most successful of modeling careers and hosting America’s Next Top Model brought her $18 million per.
Most lavish purchase: Besides being one of the most successful models and television hosts in history, Tyra also is known as one of the most frugal! In an interview with Money, Tyra stated that, “I was always more interested in experiences over things. I saved, saved, saved. But I saved to a fault. About 15 years ago, my accountants pulled me aside, and they were like 'Tyra. You're not spending money. Nothing. You're just giving it away to the government. You need to spend some damn money!'" Hey, have to get those deductibles up there… you know, for the sake of your taxes! One of those things she purchased was luxurious, but practical given her lifestyle… a private plane.
10. Caitlyn Jenner
Net worth: $100 million
How she made the money: Keeping Up With The Kardashians certainly paid her well, but that is merely the tip of the financial iceberg for Caitlyn Jenner. Years of shrewd investing helps. Caitlyn was one of the first big name Olympic athletes to cash in, from Wheaties boxes to national broadcast ads. She also charges $100,000 per appearance for her motivational speaking. She scored $5 million for her show I Am Cait.
Most lavish purchase: One could say that her Lamborghini Aventador that cost $400,000 was the most extravagant purchase. Others might point to the $4 million it cost to become a woman. Most trans people don’t have that kind of money.
9. Gordon Ramsey
Net worth: $160 million total
How he made his money: Sure, TV reality shows are big bucks—Gordon Ramsey has several on Fox alone—but let’s not forget that this guy is a sensational chef and business owner whose restaurants rake in the cash because they’re that good (he has won 16 Michelin stars). He’s been a part of 16 TV shows in his pop culture career alone.
Most lavish purchase: It might be tempting to say that his not one, but three luxury properties in the uber-elite area of Cornwall were a big spend… but that is not the case. His car collection takes the cake in this department, led by Ferraris and other assorted luxury vehicles. The most expensive car in his driveway? Why, it’s his $180,000 Bentley Continental GT.
8. Judge Judy
Net worth: $200 million total
How she made her money: Courtroom drama pays well! Judge Judy has a yearly salary that is now said to be $45 million. There are many imitators in the reality TV courtroom world, but few have had the staying power of Judge Judy. That kind of success costs cash.
Most lavish purchase: Mansions in Newport, Rhode Island are a big deal. From the Vanderbilts to other famous last names, the New England city is famous for its enormous houses. Judge Judy scored a lifetime dream of owning a home on the famous mansion row and it only set her back $9 million. Hey, she scored big-time! That was $3.5 million below asking price.
7. Sharon Osbourne
Net worth: $220 million
How she made her money: Managing her on-and-off-again-husband, Oz Fest and a slew of other bands brought in the bucks. Her family’s reality show, her salary for appearing on The X-Factor as a judge, salary from The Talk and her series of books, including a couple of autobiographies and a children’s storybook (believe it or not) have all contributed to her luxe life.
Most lavish purchase: Sharon Osbourne spends more than $298,000 a year so her dogs Bella and Rocky can fly first class—the dogs even have their own passports.
6. Daymond John
Net worth: $250 million
How he made his money: President, founder of clothier FUBU, also star of Shark Tank and a slew of inspirational self-help books.
Most lavish purchase: Daymond’s most lavish purchase could also be strewn and seen as his most successful investment. He sunk $300,000 into Bubba’s Q barbeque business on his Shark Tank show and according to a recent report by CNBC, the company’s sales have gone from $154,000 to $16 million! We should all make such lavish purchases!
5. Kim Kardashian
Net worth: $350 million
How she made her money: Sure, Keeping Up With The Kardashians literally prints money for Kim Kardashian and her family. But the thing that really sends her earnings skyrocketing is that her name alone has become such a brand. That brand itself represents luxury at this point, such as her KKW Beauty line, which banks serious cash. It’s hard to believe all this success, given her humble (sex tape) beginnings. Heck, her momager, Kris Jenner, orchestrated a deal where she scored a financial payout for what most people would have been embarrassed by, you know—a sex tape!
Most lavish purchase: Bought an almost $1 million Lamborghini for her husband’s 35th birthday. That’s OK, he bought her the same car earlier!
4. Jennifer Lopez
Net worth: $380 million
How she made her money: Record sales and touring will certainly ring the cash register for Jennifer Lopez, as does that Las Vegas residency she scored. Those legendary movie roles she inhabited will also add up over the years as she’s been in the business for decades at this point. She also has a clothing line that is quite successful. Is there anything she touches that doesn’t turn to gold? The World of Dance judge and former American Idol judge certainly sings the truth when she belts out “My Love Don’t Cost a Thing.” After all, with her loot, she can always get the check.
Most lavish purchase: Her home in the Hamptons that cost $18 million is up there. Jennifer also owns a Rolls Royce Ghost, Aston Martin DB7 (something James Bond would adore) and travels extensively all over the world living the good life (which is never cheap).
3. Ryan Seacrest
Net worth: $385 million
How he made his money: Ryan Seacrest Productions is behind some of the biggest reality hits on TV, including Keeping Up With The Kardashians. He’s also one of the hardest working people in showbiz, what with Live With Kelly And Ryan, hosting American Top 40, his syndicated radio show, red carpet reporting, and of course, American Idol. He even has a menswear line, Ryan Seacrest Distinction.
Most lavish purchase: His twin opposite coasts abodes. That $75,000 a month apartment in New York City… that is nearby his colleague Kelly Ripa is certainly swanky. But it is his $37 million home in Los Angeles that takes the real estate cake. He bought it for the “friend” price from Ellen DeGeneres, below what she was asking—$49 million! Such a deal…
2. Simon Cowell
Net worth: $550 million
How he made his money: By this point, everyone knows Simon Cowell is a successful television producer—from the UK’s X Factor to launching American Idol in this country. He also has an ear for music success and has ushered in the lucrative careers of everyone from Leona Lewis to One Direction.
Most lavish purchase: His $10 million Los Angeles home is certainly up there, hey, you got to have a place to lay your head. Simon’s car collection is one of the most expensive collection of four-wheeled vehicles. It includes a Bentley and Lamborghini, as well as countless classics. He also spends tons of cash on the apple of his eye… his son Eric. That $13,000 dinosaur-themed third birthday party was pretty awesome.
1. Kylie Jenner
Net worth: $900 million
How she made her money: Kylie Jenner is the youngest of the Kardashian clan, and she is the wealthiest. Sure, she makes serious bank appearing on Keeping Up With The Kardashians, but the real dough rains down on Kylie with her lip kit cosmetic business—said to be worth about $800 million. That’s a lot of lip love! Hey, they say do what you love, and success will follow and if you notice anything about Kylie, she has always paid enormous attention to her kissers.
Most lavish purchase: It is hard to narrow it down. That Ferrari 458 Spider costs a pretty penny, as does her $6 million home. But, the luxury item that screams “wealth” has to be that she only travels by private plane. Each time she flies to London, for example, that puppy costs $160,000 in fuel and fees. New York City to LA? Well, that’s a bit cheaper—$38K!