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How 10 Major Songwriters Make Big Money

Calculating song royalties is a tricky business, but it's clear that these rights holders are raking it in
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Adele
Fred Hayes/Kevin Mazur/Getty

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Dan Wilson, Co-Writer, Adele's 'Someone Like You'

TRACK SALES: 3.9 million
ALBUM SALES: 5.8 million
TOTAL SONGWRITING ROYALTIES: $882,700

"When I heard that song, I knew that was the best song she'd ever written," Adele's manager, Jonathan Dickins, recently told Rolling Stone. "But I don't think I was thinking we were going to sell 14.5 million albums [worldwide] in 10 months." Adele had help from Dan Wilson, who wrote "Closing Time," the 1998 alt-rock smash by his band Semisonic. Wilson continues to make albums, but he's freakin' rich for writing on Josh Groban's Illuminations, Keith Urban's Get Closer, Weezer's Hurley and others.

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