Live & Touring

Who Are The 25 Richest Musicians In 2012? [LIST]

11925336-largeWe’ve shown you who the richest drummers are, the richest
, and the richest hip-hop stars. Now, a new list has emerged detailing
the top-paid musicians overall in 2012. While several of the names on the list may not come as a surprise, it’s
worth noting that many of them also earn the bulk of their income outside of
their music. But for all, it is in the leveraging of their own personal brands
that causes them to rake in such huge sums of dough.

Forbes magazines ran estimates that are based on total earnings
from May 2011 to May 2012. Factored in are the amount of money one makes from
record sales, touring, endorsements, merchandise sales and other ventures before subtracting management fees,
legal costs and taxes. Keep that in mind as you take in the numbers, as a great
deal of money is subtracted from the fees, costs and taxes. Still though, these
numbers are testament to how valuable a personal brand can be in today’s modern
music business.

Topping Fobres’ list is none other than hip-hop legend and
mega-producer Dr. Dre with $110 million, thanks largely to his Beats headphone
line. Dre collected $100 million pretax when HTC paid $300 million for a 51%
stake in the company last year, and Dre and his partners later bought back half
of what they sold.

While many of “usual suspects” on a list like this – people
like Jay-Z or Diddy – owe a large part of their income to outside business
ventures like Dre’s, the majority of this year’s top 25 made the list due to
their touring figures.

The Top-Paid
Musicians in 2012

  1. Dr. Dre @ $110 million
  2. Roger Waters (Pink Floyd) @ $88 million
  3. Elton John @ $80 million
  4. U2 @ $78 million
  5. Take That @ $69 million
  6. Bon Jovi @ $60 million
  7. Britney Spears @ $58 million
  8. Paul McCartney @ $57 million (tie)
  9. Taylor Swift @ $57 million (tie)
  10. Justin Bieber @ $55 million (tie)
  11. Toby Keith @ 55 million (tie)
  12. Rihanna
    @ $53 million
  13. Lady
    Gaga @ $52 million
  14. Foo
    Fighters @ $47 million
  15. Diddy
    @ $45 million (tie)
  16. Katy
    Perry @ $45 million (tie)
  17. Kenny
    Chesney @ $44 million
  18. Beyoncé
    @ $40 million
  19. Red
    Hot Chili Peppers @ $39 million
  20. Jay-Z
    @ $38 million
  21. Coldplay
    @ $37 million
  22. Adele
    @ $35 million (tie)
  23. Kayne
    West @ $35 million (tie)
  24. Michael
    Bublé @ $34 million
  25. Sade
    @ $33 million

Hisham Dahud is a Senior Analyst for Additionally, he is a digital strategist for Fame House and an independent musician. Follow him on Twitter: @HishamDahud

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  1. Is “musician” really the right word? I love how the #1 spot doesn’t even make half of his money off music …

  2. Who actually cares about this ranking? Who is it for? Banks who want to know who is the most creditable of these? They probably know anyway.
    Record labels who want to boast with how much their acts earned this year? That’s probably more like it.

  3. I would be interested to know Frankie Beverly’s worth. We attempted to produce a concert on behalf of people affected by Sandy and was told $100,000.00 dollars which was complete with back line, and that no benefits were accepted.
    With a management team of Joe, Reve’ and Malcolm, they are not giving anything back to the Country.
    This was the second attempt, got the same cold shoulder after Kitrina, and the Southern part of the Country was their fan base.

  4. Hi KJ,
    Can I ask, what’s the issue with anyone being signed to a Major record label? If you were (are) mega talented and were offered a major record label deal, I bet the shirt on your back you won’t turn it down.
    With Major record label backing you still control your own creativity and use your position to get yourself to your own goal.
    Personally I don’t have issues with Majors or Independants, it all depends on your personal goals.

  5. There’s many of this list that I feel belong! Bon Jovi for one.I would love to be on this A list and also pray to get a Grammy or 2,along with my husband Cornelius Neal.We are both ASCAP members.

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