Earning Millions Together: The World’s Highest Paid Celebrity Couples in 2012

The love affairs of the rich and famous can be extremely profitable. See which husband and wife teams cashed in this year

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Singers Beyonce and Jay-Z attend a book launch event at private residence on May 8, 2012 in New York City.

There’s a shake-up in Forbes’ annual list of richest celebrity couples. Divorces will do that—and so will growing success with endorsement deals, of course.

Gone from contention on the list are the blockbuster combos of Katie Holmes/Tom Cruise, Katy Perry/Russell Brand, Heidi Klum/Seal, Demi Moore/Ashton Kutcher and Kristen Stewart/Robert Pattinson. Their financial (and love) loss has been other couples’ gains.

A new power couple has emerged: Beyoncé Knowles and Jay-Z climbied into the top spot with total earnings from May 1, 2011, through May 1, 2012, at a hefty $78 million. Maybe you’ve heard of them already, though. Forbes used data from its Celebrity 100 list to cull the top-five couples and Beyoncé and Jay-Z were no. 16 and 38, respectively.

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Slotted in second last year behind model Gisele Bundchen and football star Tom Brady, the duo used Beyoncé’s platinum album, continual residuals from past musical success and endorsement deals and Jay-Z’s musical earnings with Kanye West and his Watch the Throne to climb into the top rankings. Just think how much they could have made had Beyoncé toured. Forbes pegs Beyoncé as the breadwinner in the family, at about $40 million to Jay-Z’s $38 million.

But Bundchen and Brady didn’t fall far, still in second on the list with a combined earnings of $72 million. Bundchen, like Beyonce, also leads her husband in money earned, raking in about $45 million per year with modeling and endorsement/licensing gigs. Brady’s $27 million includes his contract with the New England Patriots and his endorsement deals with Under Armour and UGG Boots.

Keeping athletics, fashion and music all in play, soccer star David Beckham and singer-turned-fashion-designer Victoria Beckham roll in at no paltry sum either, totaling $54 million, with $46 million coming from David’s soccer contract and wide range of endorsement deals. That total was enough to push them from fourth on the 2011 list into third for this year.

The first all-Hollywood couple to appear on the 2012 list, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, earned about $45 million last year, good enough for fourth place in 2012. With the money making of actors ebbing and flowing from year to year, the couple slipped one spot from last year by earning about $5 million less than in 2011. Pitt grabbed about $25 million, mostly from his movie roles, while Jolie earned about $20 million.

With last year’s fifth-place couple, Twighlight’s Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, no longer in the mix, stand-by earners Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith moved into fifth with a total of $40 million earned. Will had a good year in Hollywood, garnering him about $30 million, and Jada has parlayed movie roles and endorsements into another $10 million for the couple.

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