Annual income of highest-paid musicians as of June 2016 (in million U.S. dollars)

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Income in million U.S. dollars
Taylor Swift170
One Direction110
Garth Brooks70
Rolling Stones66.5
Calvin Harris63
Bruce Springsteen60.5
Paul McCartney56.5
Justin Bieber56
Kenny Chesney56
The Weeknd55
Jay Z53.5
Luke Bryan53
Foo Fighters48.5
Toby Keith47.5
Elton John42
Dr. Dre41
Katy Perry41
Jimmy Buffett40.5
Mumford & Sons40
Jennifer Lopez39.5

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Description Source More information
This graph shows a ranking of best-paid musicians worldwide between June 2015 and June 2016. Taylor Swift came first with an income of 170 million US dollars. Here you can find a Billboard ranking of highest-paid musicians in the United States (ranked by their U.S. earnings only).

Music industry celebrities in the United States - additional information

Although the music industry elite consists of a relatively small circle of individuals, there are many ways in which to rank the best, the most popular, the richest or the highest paid musical artist in the United States, according to different criteria. If one is to look at yearly income, according to Forbes, Dr. Dre was by far the clear winner, with an estimated 620 million U.S. dollars (pre –tax) earned in 2014, almost six times more than the second performer in the ranking, and highest earning female musician - Beyoncé. However, most of Dre's earnings do not come from sales of music he interprets himself, but rather from his many other endeavors. Among other things, Dr. Dre, born Andre Romelle Young, is CEO of the Aftermath Entertainment record label, with current acts such as Eminem and Kendrick Lamar and with former artists such as 50 Cent, Busta Rhymes and Eve. He is also a founder and CEO of Beats Electronic, the division of Apple which produces audio products such as headphones and speakers.

Another way in which to test popularity is to look at sales of concert tickets, where the British pop sensation, One Direction, has been most successful in 2014, with some 1.5 million tickets sold in North America alone. In the top five of most successful tours the group was joined by Katy Perry and no less than three country music acts, namely Luke Brian, Jason Aldean and Zac Brown Band. The latter were also mentioned among the highest earning country musicians of 2014, led by Toby Keith, with 65 million U.S. dollars earned in 2014.

It is also worth touching on the subject of how much the stars of the music industry value themselves, where Justin Timberlake, Madonna, Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen and Justin Bieber all request a minimal booking fee of one million U.S. dollars, about eight times more than Bruno Mars. And last but not least, artists net worth could serve as a viable criterion for evaluating their success. In such case, Madonna Louise Ciccone, with approximately 35 years in the business under her belt, is the clear winner. After selling hundreds of millions records worldwide, touring, acting and conducting profitable businesses, the queen of pop was worth 800 million U.S. dollars as of 2014.

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Release date
November 2016
Survey time period
June 2015 to June 2016
Supplementary notes
The source explains that the income of each of the celebrities is an estimate, including ticket sales, royalties for recorded music and publishing, merchandise sales, endorsement deals and other business ventures and reflects pretax income before deducting fees for agents, managers and lawyers. The totals were compiled with the help of data from Pollstar, RIAA, Nielsen SoundScan, managers, lawyers and many of the artists themselves.

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