As you might expect, the top tiers of Billboard magazine’s “Music’s Top 40 Money Makers” list was lousy with some of the usual, north of 50 players.
The list, compiled by measuring touring revenue, music sales, publishing royalties and other streaming and on-demand figures, was topped by Madonna with $34.5 million. Like many of the acts on the list, her gaudy figures were goosed by concert revenues, in her case the blockbuster MDNA tour, which was 2012’s biggest outing with $305 million in grosses.
Madge earned a hefty $32 million of that cash, combined with $1.5 million from album sales. Bruce Springsteen ($33.4 million), Roger Waters ($21.1 million), Van Halen ($20.1 million), Kenny Chesney ($19.1 million), the Dave Matthews Band ($18.9 million), Tim McGraw ($18.3 million) and Jason Aldean ($17.5 million) rounded out the rest of the top eight.
Thanks to their massive Mylo Xyloto tour and strong album and singles sales, Coldplay cracked the top 10 at #9 with $17.3 million and Bieber snuck in at #10 with $15.9 million. JB racked up $2.6 million in physical album sales, along with another $806,000 in digital album sales and $1.8 million in digital track sales as well as $10 million from his sold-out Believe arena tour.
One artist who didn’t rely on touring to bank big bucks was Adele, who hit #11 with $13.9 million thanks to physical album sales of more than four million in 2012 and more than 1.2 million digital sales. Swift came in behind Lady Antebellum ($12.9 million), Celine Dion ($12.9 million) and Brad Paisley ($12.8 million) at #15 with more than $12.6 million in earnings from the sales of more than four million physical and digital albums and a mind-blowing 15.6 million digital tracks as well as tour revenue.
Underwood was hard on her heels at #16 with $11.9 million, also with a combination of strong digital sales and live dates. Drake’s Club Paradise tour helped him nab the #24 slot ($9.5 million), earning him the majority of his haul, along with the 8.8 million digital track sales from Take Care, which brought in another $1.6 million.
Making their debut at #30 were One Direction, who banked $7.9 million thanks to sales of two million copies of their two #1 albums. Grammy winners the Black Keys came in at #32 with $7.3 million on the back of their first headlining arena tour, which grossed them $4.2 million.
Maroon 5 were just behind at #33 with $7.1 million, mostly thanks to sales of 13.3 million digital tracks, which banked them $2.4 million, as well as album sales for Overexposed.
Jay-Z drifted in at #34 with $7 million, most of which ($4.7 million) came from his Watch The Throne tour dates with Kanye West. Helping to round out the list were Album of the Year Grammy winners Mumford & Sons, who hit #39 with $6.1 million, mostly from the $3.7 million they earned off sales of Babel.
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