|Taylor Swift. Image from Billboard.com|
The “Wildest Dreams” singer pulled in $170 million during our scoring period, making her the highest-paid musician—and the highest-paid celebrity of any stripe—on the planet.
“She not only delivers with solid music and great live concert performance experiences, but she is also young, poised, beautiful and—so far—relatively non-controversial,” says attorney Lori Landew of Fox Rothschild. “Brands … see her as a safe and reliable spokesperson who is very aware of her brand equity and is strategic about protecting its value.”
Taylor Swift is followed on our list by One Direction boy band ($110 million), the top-earning boyband of all time; the group is currently on hiatus but grossed $200 million-plus for its recent On The Road Again Tour. Adele ($80.5 million) ranks third, one of the few acts still making more on recorded music than anything else.
Madonna ($76.5 million) takes the fourth spot thanks to the tail end of her Rebel Heart Tour, which grossed $170 million, and captures additional millions on perfume and clothing deals. Rihanna ($75 million) rounds out the top five, padding hefty live music totals by shilling Dior, Puma, Samsung and Stance.
Our list measures pretax income from June 1, 2015, to June 1, 2016 before deducting management fees. Numbers are based on data from Pollstar, Nielsen and the RIAA, as well as interviews with managers, agents, lawyers—and some stars themselves. There are plenty of big names from a wide range of genres deeper down on the list. Aging rockers did well, as usual, thanks to massive stadium tours. Among them: AC/DC (No. 7, $67.5 million), the Rolling Stones (No. 8, $66.5 million) and Bruce Springsteen (No. 11, $60.5 million). Younger acts cleaned up, too, including 26-year-old The Weeknd (No. 15, $55 million) and 22-year-old Justin Bieber (No. 13, $56 million), both of whom lit up the charts over the past year.
“You have humans, and you have aliens,” veteran hitmaker Timothy “Timbaland” Mosley, once told FORBES of Bieber. “I think he’s half-human and half-alien.”
In 2010, Jay Z spoke to FORBES about ”the maturation of hip-hop,” and that remains on display this year. Diddy (No. 10, $62 million) continued to cash in on his Ciroc vodka deal; Jay Z (No. 18, $53.5 million) did the same with spirits Armand de Brignac, D’Ussé and Roc Nation; Dr. Dre (No. 25, $41 million) released his first album in over a decade and collected additional dollars from Apple’s Beats buyout.
Jay Z’s wife, Beyoncé (No. 17, $54 million), could end up near the top of next year’s list: her Formation World Tour grossed nearly $5 million per city, but most of its dates fell outside of our scoring period and will be counted next time around.
Beyoncé is one of the few female acts deeper down on the list. Though four of music’s top five earners are women, the rest of the list reveals lamentable under-representation: there are only seven women among the top 30.
“When it comes to the relative earning power of these artists, we have a way to go until we see the gender gap eliminated,” says Landew. As for Taylor Swift? “She appears to be particularly well-suited to handling the pressures that her lifestyle presents. When you put this all together, you have a recipe for enormous success.”
Source : FORBES