Disney Channel has been launching the careers of child stars for decades. Many of Hollywood’s biggest names got their start on Disney Channel shows. In this article, we’ll look at the top 10 richest Disney Channel stars and their estimated net worths.
For young actors, starring in a hit Disney Channel show can mean huge opportunities down the road. The exposure leads to lucrative deals for music, movies, endorsements, and more. While their Disney Channel salaries aren’t too shabby either, it’s often their endeavors beyond the network that bring in the big bucks.
Let’s take a look at which Disney Channel stars are worth the most today:
Top 10 Richest Disney Channel Stars
1. Selena Gomez – $995 million
The richest Disney Channel star is Selena Gomez, with an estimated net worth of $95 million. Gomez starred on Wizards of Waverly Place from 2007-2012. The hit supernatural sitcom cemented her status as a household name.
After Wizards wrapped, Gomez focused on her music career, releasing several commercially successful albums. She also earned big paydays for starring roles in movies like Spring Breakers and The Dead Don’t Die. Her Revival Tour in 2016 grossed over $35 million.
Gomez also launched her own makeup line, Rare Beauty, in 2020. As well as lucrative endorsement deals with companies like Puma, Coca-Cola, and Coach.
2. Miley Cyrus – $660 million
Star of Hannah Montana from 2006-2011, Miley Cyrus lands at #2. Hannah Montana propelled Cyrus to become a breakout pop culture icon. Her concert film Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds even set a record for the highest-grossing musical documentary.
Cyrus went on to release several hit albums and singles outside of the Disney realm. She was a coach on The Voice and has appeared as an actress in shows like Black Mirror and movies like The Last Song.
Cyrus also brings in big bucks from sponsorship deals, like her $13 million 2-year deal with Candie’s in 2009.
3. Zendaya – $115 million
Zendaya got her breakthrough role as Rocky Blue on Shake It Up alongside Bella Thorne from 2010-2013. She went on to star in the Disney Channel original movies Frenemies and Zapped.
The former child star now 25, continues her acting career in movies like Spiderman, Euphoria, Malcolm & Marie and Dune. She also earns income from a lucrative deal with luxury fashion brand Lancôme and collaborations with brands like Bulgari, Mattel and Valentino.
4. Demi Lovato – $140 million
Demi Lovato rose to fame playing the lead role in the Disney Channel movie Camp Rock, as well as its sequel. She was later cast as Sonny Munroe in the sitcom Sonny with a Chance from 2009-2011.
Lovato embarked on a hugely successful music career starting in 2008, with hit after hit song and several popular albums. She was an X-Factor judge from 2012 to 2013.
The singer-actress continues to earn income from touring, YouTube, endorsements, and more. Lovato has deals with brands like Fabletics, Kate Spade New York, and Teami Blends.
5. Jonas Brothers – $900 million combined
The pop rock band – made up of brothers Nick, Joe and Kevin Jonas – starred in the Disney Channel original movies Camp Rock and Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam. They also had their own Disney show Jonas which ran from 2009-2010.
The Jonas Brothers rose to become a massively popular band amongst the tween and teen crowd in the late 2000s. They earn big paychecks from record sales, concerts, endorsements and appearances.
While they took a 6 year break from 2013 to 2019 to work on solo projects, the Jonas Brothers reunited with hit album Happiness Begins, which topped the Billboard 200 chart.
6. Raven-Symone – $155 million
Raven-Symone is best known for playing Raven Baxter on That’s So Raven from 2003 to 2007. She reprised her role in the spinoff Raven’s Home which started in 2017.
The actress and singer first appeared on television as a child, booking commercials and TV roles. She provided vocals for soundtracks like The Cheetah Girls and Princess Diaries 2.
Raven-Symone has released 5 studio albums and done multiple profitable tours. She’s also appeared on Broadway and hosted The View from 2015 to 2016.
7. Hilary Duff – $325 million
Hilary Duff starred in the Disney Channel series Lizzie McGuire from 2001 to 2004. It propelled Duff to teen idol status in the early 2000s.
After Lizzie McGuire wrapped, Duff pursued a lucrative music and acting career. She’s released 5 studio albums, done worldwide tours, and starred in many popular films aimed at teen audiences like A Cinderella Story, Cheaper by the Dozen, and The Lizzie McGuire Movie.
Duff also makes money from fashion collaborations, endorsement deals, investments, and her line of books.
8. Cole Sprouse – $110 million
Alongside his twin brother Dylan Sprouse, Cole Sprouse portrayed Cody Martin on the Disney Channel series The Suite Life of Zack and Cody from 2005-2008. The two later reprised their roles in the spinoff The Suite Life on Deck which aired from 2008 to 2011.
As an adult, Cole Sprouse has built his net worth back up with roles on hit shows like Riverdale. The Sprouse brothers together are estimated to be worth around $20 million.
9. Bella Thorne – $124 million
Bella Thorne co-starred with Zendaya on the Disney Channel series Shake It Up from 2010-2013. She booked a string of Disney Channel roles before and after her big break, appearing in Stuck In The Suburbs, The O.C. and K.C. Undercover.
The multi-talented star grew her wealth through a music career, poetry books, and roles in movies and shows aimed at young adult audiences like Famous in Love and Midnight Sun.
Thorne also earns from deals with brands like Biore, Benefit Cosmetics, and more.
10. Bridgit Mendler – $13 million
Bridgit Mendler starred as Teddy Duncan on Good Luck Charlie from 2009 to 2014. Like most Disney stars, she expanded her career into music during her time on the show. Bridgit released 2 albums and multiple singles that charted on the Billboard Hot 100.
After her Disney Channel days, Mendler starred in shows like Undateable and Nashville. She makes additional income from brand endorsement deals, YouTube, and touring.
Other Notable Disney Channel Stars
Here are some other major Disney Channel stars over the years, along with their estimated net worths:
- Dylan Sprouse (The Suite Life of Zack & Cody) – $10 million
- Ashley Tisdale (The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, High School Musical) – $14 million
- Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical) – $14 million
- Zac Efron (High School Musical) – $25 million
- Joe Jonas (Camp Rock, Jonas) – $25 million
- Kevin Jonas (Camp Rock, Jonas) – $25 million
- Nick Jonas (Camp Rock, Jonas) – $50 million
- Emily Osment (Hannah Montana) – $7 million
- Brenda Song (The Suite Life of Zack & Cody) – $8 million
- Miranda Cosgrove (iCarly) – $10 million
Highest Paid Disney Stars
According to Forbes, below were the top-earning Disney Channel stars:
|Jonas Brothers||$22.5 million|
|Miley Cyrus||$12 million|
|Selena Gomez||$10 million|
|Cole Sprouse||$6 million|
The Jonas Brothers brought in the most due to comeback album Happiness Begins and an accompanying tour that grossed $44.7 million.
Miley Cyrus earned through judging The Voice and releasing new music. Selena Gomez profited from her Rare Beauty makeup line and HBO cooking show Selena + Chef.
Why Disney Creates Big Stars
There are a few key reasons Disney Channel is so effective at catapulting the careers of young stars:
- Massive exposure – Starring in a hit Disney Channel show brings fame directly into millions of living rooms. Miley Cyrus reached an estimated 3.1 million viewers per episode on Hannah Montana.
- Opportunities for cross-promotion – Disney stars can easily cross-promote music, tours, or other projects to their established fanbase.
- Marketing deals through Disney – The company can coordinate major sponsorship and licensing opportunities for its stars. Miley Cyrus alone earned a reported $1 billion a year for Disney at the peak of her popularity.
- Family-friendly image – Disney stars often maintain a wholesome, family-friendly appeal that makes them seem like a safe bet for brands, talk shows, etc.
- Turnkey audience – The millions of loyal Disney Channel fans can provide a readymade audience to fuel things like music tour sales.
So in summary, Disney Channel allows stars to build widespread fame, leverage that exposure, and tap into marketing opportunities – which enables many to grow into major successes past their Disney days.
Many of today’s top-earning entertainers got their start on Disney Channel shows. While the actors earn decent salaries on Disney, their opportunities to grow into multimillionaire superstars truly open up after leaving the channel. Through recording music, doing movies, endorsements and licensing deals, and maintaining their brands – the biggest Disney stars end up making more money than ever imagined back in their early acting days.