This year's list is made up of an international ensemble and shows that most musicians still make a big part of their earnings from touring.
Forbes Magazine has just released its list of 2012's highest paid musicians and it shows an international cast of pop stars, hip-hop giants, and rock icons. Rap mogul Dr. Dre leads the pack of this year's top earners, followed by Pink Floyd's Roger Waters, The Rocketman Elton John, rock legendary group U2, and British boy band Take That. The list also shows that most of the artists' earnings came from their rigorous touring and live shows.
Dr. Dre did not have a new album released this year, but that did not stop the super producer from collecting dollars from his past records, concert productions, and of course his music accessory biz, headphones. Forbes reports that Dre took in $110 million from his Beats headphone line.
Meanwhile, Pink Floyd's founding member Roger Waters followed in as second top earner this year with $88 million, thanks to his successful The Wall Live tour. According to Billboard Boxscore, the 69-year-old musician grossed $131 million from November 2011 to May 2012 alone.
Another British music veteran, Elton John, made it as the third highest earner in 2012 with $80 million. Most of his income came from doing 100 shows during the scoring period, including a series of shows in Las Vegas.
Irish rockers U2 placed fourth with $78 million. The band are close to wrapping up their record-breaking 360 tour. The tour grossed $736 million over three years.
Rounding up the top five are British boy band Take That with $69 million. The group's reunion tour grossed a record $61 million for eight dates at London's Wembley Stadium. Their reunion gig was also the highest-grossing single-stadium stand put on record at that point and the band also played dozens of dates around Europe.
Forbes Highest Paid Musicians 2012:
- Dr. Dre - ($110 million)
- Roger Waters - ($88 million)
- Elton John - ($80 million)
- U2 - ($78 million)
- Take That - ($69 million)
- Bon Jovi ($60 million)
- Britney Spears ($58 million)
- Paul McCartney and Taylor Swift (tie- $57 million)
- Justin Bieber and Toby Keith (tie- $55 million)
- Rihanna ($53 million)
- Lady GaGa ($52 million)
- Foo Fighters ($47 million)
- P. Diddy and Katy Perry (tie- $45 million)
- Kenny Chesney ($44 million)
- Beyonce Knowles ($40 million)
- Red Hot Chili Peppers ($39 million)
- Jay-Z ($38 million)
- Coldplay ($37 million)
- Adele and Kanye West (tie- $35 million)
- Michael Buble ($34 million)
- Sade ($33 million)