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Kylie Jenner makes her debut on Forbes' wealthiest celebrities list

Kylie Jenner attends the 2018 MTV Video Music

Kylie Jenner attends the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall on Aug. 20 Credit: Getty Images / Jamie McCarthy

The top four names remained the same as last year's on Forbes magazine's annual list of the 10 wealthiest American celebrities, as did most of the others with one notable exception: reality-TV star and cosmetics entrepreneur Kylie Jenner, making her debut at No. 5.

The Kylie Cosmetics owner, who at 21 is by far the youngest on the list, has an estimated net worth of $900 million, tying her with rapper and music mogul Jay-Z, 49. Her 100 percent self-owned company, with only about a dozen employees, most only part-time, launched in November 2015. Jenner, who is one of E!'s "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" clan, already had reached No. 3 on Forbes' 2018 list of top-earning celebrities, collecting $166.5 million over the prior year — a significant leap from her 2017 debut on that list, where she had reached No. 59 with $41 million.

Otherwise, except for rapper and Beats Electronics chief Dr. Dre dropping off the list, the roster remains the same as last year's, with the top-four richest American celebrities repeating: "Star Wars" figurehead George Lucas, 74, with $5.4 billion, largely though his proceeds from Disney's $4.1 billion purchase of Lucasfilm in 2012; legendary filmmaker and Amblin Entertainment and DreamWorks co-founder Steven Spielberg, 72, with $3.7 billion; media mogul Oprah Winfrey, 64, with $2.8 billion; and Basketball Hall of Famer Michael Jordan, 55, with $1.4 billion from ventures primarily including his Jordan sportswear brand at Nike and his 90 percent stake in the NBA's Charlotte Hornets.

Illusionist David Copperfield, 62, dropped from No. 5 to No. 7 with an estimated net worth of $875 million, while rap legend Sean "Diddy" Combs, 49, went from No. 6 to No. 8, with $825 million. At $800 million, golf champion Tiger Woods, who turns 43 on Dec. 30, slipped a spot from No. 8 to tie for the last slot with author James Patterson, 71, who, like last year, bookends the list.

To compile its list, Forbes used information from its previously published Forbes 400, its billionaires list and its ranking of America's richest self-made women. Otherwise, the magazine examined private-company stakes and publicly traded assets, as well as real estate, art and other assets. For those without such holdings, the magazine estimated "net lifetime earnings after taxes and spending." 

In an attempt to explain why celebrity business people such as Bill Gates did not make the list, Forbes said in its article that, "Eligibility was limited to American citizens who’ve gotten rich off their fame, rather than become famous for their wealth."

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