Fortune magazine just released its list of Top-Earning Celebrities Under 30. The list is essentially a who’s who of young sex symbols and American idols (and I mean idols in the literal sense of the word).
Despite her hip injury, Lady Gaga topped the list, earning $80 million between June 2012 and June 2013. Justin Bieber, who has been making as many headlines for his offstage antics as for his onstage performances, came in second at $58 million a year. Taylor Swift, another pop star, was third with $55 million. Meanwhile, Rihanna raked in $43 million.
The rest of the top 10 includes disc jockey and producer Calvin Harris at $46 million; Katy Perry at $39 million; Jennifer Lawrence (Hunger Games) at $26 million; Adele at $25 million; Kristin Stewart (Twilight) at $22 million; and Taylor Lautner (Twilight) at $22 million.
Lady Gaga would have made even more if she hadn’t undergone hip surgery that caused her to cancel some performances on her Born This Way tour. But apparently the lost paychecks didn't curb her spending much. Gaga’s stylist commissioned the design of a 24-karat-gold-plated wheelchair for her to roll around in while she healed from her injuries. Wow!
I’m no mathematician, but my calculator assures me the 10 top-earning celebrities under 30 collectively brought home $416 million in a single year. And those are just the 10 top-earning celebrities under 30. And that's just a single year. Imagine the staggering cost to pay sex symbols, pop divas, Hollywood actors, comedians, fashion models and other worldly entertainers—and then consider the waste.
Beyond Gaga’s 24-karat-gold-plated wheelchair, Diddy once spent $16,000 to rent a second plane because all of his luggage wouldn’t fit in the first private jet. John Travolta has five private planes and a private runway. Actress Kim Bassinger once bought an entire town in Georgia for $20 million. Paris Hilton built a mini replica of her Los Angeles mansion in her back yard garden for her doggies. Supermodel Naomi Campbell spent £1.8 million on her 36th birthday party. And rapper Kanye West spent £2,775 having Indian takeout delivered to his New York apartment from Wales.
The list of wasteful indulgences goes on and on and on—and I won’t even get into how prosperity preachers waste the tithes and offerings that many sowed into kingdom work. (You can watch the reality show Preachers of LA to get a glimpse of Southern California megapastors with Ferraris, Bentleys and lavish mansions.) When I see the wasted money in the Body of Christ, it reminds me of the 800 false prophets on Jezebel’s payroll eating from Jezebel’s table. But I digress.
Think about it for a minute: What if the money spent on the private planes, gold-plated wheelchairs, takeout food from India, mini mansions for dogs and multimillion-dollar birthday parties was spent spreading the gospel? What if the wealth of Gaga was laid up for the righteous? Ultimately, I believe it is.
“The wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous” (Prov. 13:22). God sees this foolish waste of money—all of it. Although I am for prosperity, I am not for waste, and I am not for laying up treasures for ourselves on earth, “where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal” (Matt. 6:19).
I believe those who are kingdom-minded, gospel-driven and faithful stewards of what God has put into their hand will see a great wealth transfer in the end times as God shakes the nations. But it won’t be so we can build bigger barns (Luke 12:15-21). It will be so we can invite the masses into the true riches of Christ.
So let’s pray for Lady Gaga and the rest who are making—and wasting—money hand over fist. If Gaga started going gaga over Jesus and used her celebrity for His glory, millions would stop buying immoral filfth and start singing songs to God.