Music Business

Of the Top 10 best-paid global entertainers, how many are musicians?

From actors to classic rock bands to pop artists, here are the Top 10 highest-paid entertainers in the world. Can you guess how many are musicians?

by Bobby Owsinski of Music 3.0

Forbes compiled its annual list of the top 10 highest-paid entertainers worldwide, and while the list covers the entire entertainment community, it’s interesting to see the musical artists that made it. All told, these 10 made over $1.3 billion dollars combined last year. That’s not much comfort if you’re a musician, songwriter or artist struggling to break through, but it is some incentive for what’s on the other side of the rainbow. That said, most on the list have been around for a long time, so longevity really matters in this business. 

Here’s the list, and I promise you’ll be surprised.

#1. Genesis – $230 million

The prog rock group tops the list, but mostly because it sold it’s catalog for a pretty penny last year.

#2. Sting – $210 million

Once again, this is a result of a catalog sale. You have to wonder why the Genesis catalog was worth more than one with so many hits though.

#3. Tyler Perry – $175 million

This man works hard, producing movies, TV shows and even owning his own studio lot in Georgia. He is the only billionaire on the list.

#4. Trey Parker and Matt Stone – $160 million

South Park rolls on, as does their broadway show Book Of Mormon, but the real money came from their $900 million+ deal with Paramount last year.

#5. James L Brooks and Matt Groening – $105 million

Of course the longest running TV show ever (The Simpsons) is going to generate a lot of cash. Migrating the series to Disney+ helped too.

#6. Brad Pitt – $100 million

There are not many truly bankable stars in Hollywood these days but Brad Pitt is certainly one of them. Of course the majority sale of his Plan B production company in December brought in a huge influx of cash.

#7 – The Rolling Stones – $98 million

The show never stops for these guys and they’re a bigger draw than ever, earning an estimated $8.5 million per show. Just 15 nites last year grossed $136 million.

#8. James Cameron – $96 million

Frankly, I’m not a fan of his movies, but you can’t argue with success. He’s made three of the highest grossing films of all time. I did like his journey to Challenger Deep (the deepest part of the ocean) though.

#9. Taylor Swift – $92 million

What’s amazing is that Taylor’s money came just from physical product sales, streaming, publishing and merch. She’ll make more this year from her 52 date tour.

#10. Bad Bunny – $88 million

His tour was one of the biggest in the world last year, but he made some good dough from those Corona, Cheetos and Adidas commercials as well.

So there you go. 5 of the top 10 highest paid entertainers were musicians, but two (Genesis and Sting) saw their money come in more for their lifetime of work than anything they did during 2022. Expect this list to be turned upside down next year.

Bobby Owsinski is a producer/engineer, author and coach. He has authored 24 books on recording, music, the music business and social media.

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