There’s no such thing as a “recession” when you’re the Material Girl: Madonna earned about $242 million last year to easily top Billboard’s Moneymakers List for 2008. Despite the fact that Hard Candy was only the 50th best-selling album last year and that her digital downloads ranked her 14th, Madonna’s record-breaking Sticky & Sweet Tour propelled her to the top of the list.
Coming in at number two, almost $100 million behind Madonna, was Bon Jovi with a $157 million take, followed by Bruce Springsteen’s $156 million. It should come as no surprise that all 20 of the Moneymakers went on tour last year, and that the five biggest tours of 2008 coincide with the top five Moneymakers. Concerts continue to be the ideal way for artists to profit off the music that no one really buys anymore. The one anomaly on the list is Taylor Swift. Even though she opened for Brad Paisley on the road last year, revenue from that gig didn’t count toward her total of $45 million, good enough to finish in 16th place.
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