List of 2010′s Highest-Paid Musicians Is Surprising
Forbes recently released their annual list of “The World’s 25 Highest-Paid Musicians.” You’ll be surprised at some of the names that made the list.
The list was compiled of pretax income date from May 2010 to May 2011, before agent and manager fees were taken out. Forbes used data from Pollstar, RIAA, and others, in addition to heavily interviewing everyone from concert promoters and lawyers to the musicians themselves.
Most artists and bands received their largest income from touring. Additional income came from activities such as music sales, other business ventures like fashion or record labels, and endorsements.
Randy Phillips, chief of concert promoter AEG says, “It’s one thing to cut a song and get airplay, it’s another thing to convert listeners into a loyal fan base that goes through the trials and tribulations of buying tickets, paying for dinner, hiring a baby sitter.” Adding, “To motivate a fan base to go through all those hurdles, there are very few artists who can do that consistently.”
Some things to note: The list only includes 5 female performers, however the geographic diversity is pretty broad. Lady Gaga is the top earning female for 2010. Justin Bieber, at 17 years old, is the youngest top-earning musician, while Sir Paul McCartney, at 68 years old, is the oldest top-earning musician.
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1. U2 ($195 million)
2. Bon Jovi ($125 million)
3. Elton John ($100 million)
4. Lady Gaga ($90 million)
5. Michael Bublé ($70 million)
6. Paul McCartney ($67 million)
7. The Black Eyed Peas ($61 million)
8. The Eagles ($60 million)
9. Justin Bieber ($53 million)
10. Dave Matthews Band ($51 million)
11. Toby Keith ($50 million)
12. Usher ($46 million)
13. Taylor Swift ($45 million)
14. Katy Perry ($44 million)
15. Brad Paisley ($40 million)
16. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers ($38 million)
17. Jay-Z ($37 million)
18. AC/DC ($35 million, tie)
18. Sean “Diddy” Combs ($35 million, tie)
18. Tim McGraw ($35 million, tie)
18. Muse ($35 million, tie)
23. Rascal Flatts ($34 million)
24. Kenny Chesney ($30 million)
25. Rihanna ($29 million)
Is anyone else surprised that hit-maker Rihanna scored relatively low in comparison to her fellow female pop singers?
*Forbes later made an edit in which they say: “Thanks to the reader who emailed and suggested that Pink Floyd cofounder Roger Waters should be on this list. Indeed, after crunching the numbers, it appears that Waters made about $85 million last year, which would place him at No. 5 on this list. Apologies for the oversight.”