This is one of those stories where you start asking yourself, what have I done with my life?

Forbes is out with another list of the wealthiest people. This time it's the top-earning YouTube stars, and the number-1 guy on the list is a Swedish 25-year-old who made $12 million last year "all for providing expletive-heavy commentary as he plays video games," the magazine said. (Because like, advertising and stuff.)

To put that number in perspective, future Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady, who won last year's Super Bowl with the New England Patriots, has a three-year contract worth $27 million--so, $9 million a year.

It's quite impressive; a decade ago there was almost no way that people like the ones on this list could have achieved this level of fame and fortune. (Even if they were talented, it would have been impossible to build a following like theirs--to say nothing of monetizing it.) Here are the top 10 according to Forbes:

1. Felix Kjellberg (aka PewDiePie): $12 million

Plays video games, swears a lot, makes videos. He's "notoriously private, rarely granting interviews, doing conferences or visiting the Los Angeles YouTube studios," Forbes reports.

2. (2-way tie) Benny and Rafi Fine (aka Fine Brothers): Fine Brothers: $8.5 million

Among other things, their first success was a video series in which they "film[ed] people watching over-the-top videos from the likes of PewDiePie."

2. (2-way tie) Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla (aka Smosh): $8.5 million

Childhood friends and comedians,  Hecox and Padilla "got famous for live-action skits based on Pokémon games. ... Their first full-length movie [with the creative title, "Smosh: The Movie"], came out in July."

4. Lindsey Stirling: $6 million

And now for something completely different: Stirling dances, plays the violin, and shoots music videos. Record labels turned her down back in 2007. Explains Forbes: "Now they are begging to sign her, but too late--she doesn't need them anymore."

5. (2-way tie) Olajide Olatunji (aka KSI): $4.5 million

He's British, he's a YouTube star with 11 million followers, he's a "videogame commentator," according to Forbes, and he released a hip-hop single in the UK earlier this year.

5. (2-way tie) Rhett McLaughlin and Charles Lincoln Neal III (Rhett & Link): $4.5 million

College classmates at North Carolina State University, they're also veterans of corporate America. Says Forbes: "Nearly half of their earnings come from sponsored deals--they've shot sponsored clips for their channels for such brands as Gillette, Wendy's and Toyota."

7. Michelle Phan: $3 million

A makeup artist with a giant following, Phan is seeking to evolve past YouTube and "reinvests most of the money from her projects-- including her cosmetics line and ipsy, a monthly makeup-subscription service-- right back into her business."

8 (3-way tie) Rosanna Pansino: $2.5 million

A bubbly chef and baker, her first cookbook, The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook, is coming out next month.

8. (3-way tie) Roman Atwood: $2.5 million

He does prank videos, like a recent one in which he supposedly tricked his girlfriend into thinking he'd accidentally killed their 3-year-old son.

8. (3-way tie) Lilly Singh (aka IISuperwomanII): $2.5 million

Singh is a singer and comedian "who leans heavily on her ethnic background (her parents immigrated to Canada from India)."

Published on: Oct 15, 2015
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