You don’t have to have one of the biggest hit songs of the year to make the list of the 14 Highest Paid Musicians of 2012, as most of these musicians proved. They weren’t singing “Call Me Maybe” or dancing to “Gangnam Style,” but they did bring in a lot of bank this past year. Forbes Magazine released the singers earning the most paper. Here is the list of the 14 Highest Paid Musicians of 2012.
1 – Dr. Dre: $110 million
Dr. Dre brought home $110 million this past year, but without a release of a new album in years you can chalk that earnings up to his Beats headphones. He does have money coming in from previous album sales and production, but those headphones are the real deal for Dr. Dre.
2 – Roger Waters: $88 million
Don’t recognize this guy? He is one of the founding members of Pink Floyd and he decided to go out on tour for The Wall Live Tour. During the tour, Waters plays The Wall album straight through and apparently everyone wants to see it. From November 2011 to May 2012 he made $131 million!
3 – Elton John: $80 million
Elton John making the #3 spot? You betcha and he can do that because of 100 tour dates during the past year, including a long run in Las Vegas. He also had the movie Gnomeo & Juliet and his 30th studio album is due out soon, so expect him to remain on the list next year.
4 – U2: $78 million
U2 held the top spot last year. Despite only a few months of touring, they still made the #4 spot. After all these years, people still love them some U2.
5 – Take That: $69 million
Take That is a British boy band that made a name for themselves in the 1990’s in Britain, but then broke up. They released a new album in 2010 and went on a reunion tour this past year. The tour featured eight dates at London’s Wembley Stadium, which brought in $61 million. Add in shows around Europe and the boys made it a very successful reunion.
6 – Bon Jovi: $60 million
Bon Jovi was formed in 1983 and over 30 years later they are still going strong and bringing in more money than all the current pop acts topping the charts. They ended a world tour this past summer, which helped them land the #6 spot and earn $60 million.
7 – Britney Spears: $58 million
Britney’s Femme Fatale album went platinum and a successful tour that accompanied it helped Spears earn $58 million this past year. Throw in endorsement deals and her fragrance lines and you have a successful woman who still very much relates to the average American.
8 – Paul McCartney: $57 million
Paul McCartney may be 70 years old, but he is still rocking it out on stage. He performed 36 shows this past year which helped bring in some money, but you know he is earning some good money from the Beatles’ royalties.
8 – Taylor Swift: $57 million
In between finding time to date a new guy every other week, Swift also sold 1.2 million copies of her Red album in its debut week. She also grossed $1 million per show on her tour and is a face for CoverGirl, which all leads to $57 million in earnings.
10 – Justin Bieber: $55 million
Th youngest musician to make the list this year is Justin Bieber, who comes in tied for the tenth spot at $55 million. Most of that comes from record sales and touring and merchandise, but he now has invested in some startups, like Spotify. Being smart with his money at his young age and investing it? You go boy!
10 – Toby Keith: $55 million
Toby Keith has been a sponsor for Ford for almost two decades now and his restaurant chain, I Love This Bar and Grill, is doing very well and helped him earn $55 million last year. Add in sold out shows across the country thanks to his Clancy’s Tavern album and chalk up another successful year for Toby.
12 – Rihanna: $53 million
Rihanna seems to put out an album every Fall, so you can’t knock her for making this list. She may like to party and share it with the world, but she is also working hard to earn that party time. She made $53 million last year thanks to a heavy touring schedule and endorsement deals, including Nivea and Vita Coco coconut water.
13 – Lady Gaga: $52 million
Lady Gaga is well-overdue for a new album, but her previous album sales are still keeping her high in the ranks of musicians. To help with those earnings, Gaga added in a world tour this past year and introduced her new fragrance called Fame.
14 – Foo Fighters: $47 million
Another veteran rock band makes the list. This time it is the Foo Fighters, who 15 years after their debut album, are still going strong. They released their seventh studio album this past year and a tour to go along with the new album. That all led to $47 million in earnings and a #14 spot.