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Akshay Kumar is only Indian to make Forbes list of 100 highest paid celebrities

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The actor has been ranked 52, above MMA star Conor McGregor and the NBA's most valuable player, James Harden.

Our Correspondent

The global economy might be on the downslide because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but there are still enough celebrities to make up the Forbes 100 list of wealthiest.

Hindi film star Akshay Kumar, however, remains the only Indian in the top 100. The actor has been ranked 52, above UFC champion Conor McGregor, basketball star James Harden, and Hollywood star Will Smith.

Based on a survey done between June 2019 and May 2020, the Forbes list of 100 wealthiest celebrities is led by reality show star and cosmetics magnate Kylie Jenner ($590 million), followed by rapper and composer Kanye West ($170 million) and tennis star Roger Federer ($106.5 million). The top five are rounded off by footballers Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi with $105 million and $104 million, respectively.

Akshay Kumar, the only Indian on the list, is quoted by Forbes as having earned $48.5 million this year, roughly equivalent to Rs366 crore. This is the actor's third successive year on the list. In 2019, his earnings were pegged at $65 million (about Rs466 crore). Interestingly, there is no sign of previous participants like Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan or Deepika Padukone in the list.

The actor had his first major release of 2020, Rohit Shetty's Sooryavanshi, halted by the two-month-long countrywide lockdown to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. He also has a number of other films in the pipeline, including Laxmmi Bomb (2020), which is likely to be released digitally. The actor also has Bachchan Pandey and Bell Bottom lined up for release next year.

Akshay Kumar is currently using his influence on social media to educate people about the need for physical distancing to stave off the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Apart from his contributions to help daily-wage workers in the film industry and to the PM CARES Fund, he was part of the first PSA (public service advertisement) for the post-lockdown economy, which was shot in the last week of May.