Madonna Leads List of Top-Earning Musicians - Rolling Stone
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Madonna Leads List of Top-Earning Musicians

Lady Gaga comes in second on annual ‘Forbes’ ranking



Ian Gavan/Getty Images for Gucci

Madonna is the highest-paid musician in the world for 2013, according to a new ranking in Forbes, besting runner-up Lady Gaga by $45 million. Madonna has made an estimated $125 million over the past year, the majority of which came at the end of her MDNA tour, which grossed $305 million. Her revenue streams also included concert merchandise, her Material Girl clothing line and her Truth or Dare fragrance.

The business magazine determined its list by examining income between June 1st, 2012, and June 1st, 2013, using data from industry chart makers, managers, lawyers and artists. Its estimates reflect pre-tax income.

Where Does Madonna Rank on Our 100 Greatest Artists List?

Gaga made an estimated $80 million. Her world tour grossed $160 million, but it could have made $200 million had she not been sidelined earlier this year with a hip surgery. Her latest album, Artpop, came out too late to make a difference on the list. The magazine estimates she could claim the top spot next year if her tour is successful enough.

The next three artists on the list each made most of their money from touring. Bon Jovi brought in $79 million (his tour grossed more than $3 million at each date). Toby Keith made $65 million from concerts, along with also his 18 restaurants and mescal line. And Coldplay amassed $64 million from concerts that, like Bon Jovi’s, made them $3 million a date.

Rounding out the Top 10 are Justin Bieber ($58 million), Taylor Swift ($55 million), Elton John ($54 million), Beyoncé ($53 million) and Kenny Chesney ($53 million).

Elsewhere, Diddy was named the top-earning hip-hop artist, for bringing in $50 million from a Ciroc vodka deal, his record label, his clothing line and a marketing firm. That figure does not include subscribers to his Revolt TV network. The only other rappers to make the list are Jay Z – who ranked Number 18, thanks to $42 million from touring, alcohol deals, Magna Carta . . . Holy Grail and other ventures – and Dr. Dre – who is still making money from Beats headphones. Calvin Harris is titled the highest-paid DJ, after pulling in $46 million from performing and co-writing songs like “We Found Love” with Rihanna. Other high earners include Paul McCartney, Jennifer Lopez, Roger Waters, Muse, Rihanna, One Direction, the Rolling Stones, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Katy Perry, Tim McGraw, Pink and Tiësto.

For as much as Madonna made, though, she still can’t compete with Michael Jackson, who claimed the top spot on Forbes list of the top-earning dead celebrities. His estate made $160 million last year two Cirque du Soleil shows and music licensing deals.


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