Who's No. 1 on Forbes' New List of the Highest-Paid Musicians? Gaga, Bieber and Beyonce Are All in the Top 10 -- But a Veteran Topped Them All Forbes
Forbes magazine has published its list of the highest-paid people in music for 2013, and while relative newcomers such as Justin Bieber, Beyonce and Lady Gaga are all ranked high on the list, an industry veteran tops them all.
That veteran is Madonna, who comes in at No. 1 in the rankings, based on income from concert ticket sales, recorded-music royalties, publishing, merchandise sales, endorsements and other business ventures from June 1, 2012, to June 1, 2013. Madonna pulled in $125 million during that period, according to Forbes.
"The bulk of Madge’s millions came from the tail end of her MDNA Tour, which grossed $305 million. She augments her income with heady merchandise sales at concerts, as well as her Material Girl clothing line and Truth or Dare fragrance," Forbes reports.
No. 2 on the list is Madonna rival Lady Gaga, at $80 million. "Lady Gaga and Madonna have a superstar rivalry made in gossip-blog heaven," Forbes reports. "The former burst onto the scene five years ago with a provocative pop sensibility reminiscent of the latter’s. Last year, Madonna accused Gaga of ripping off one of her songs; this year, the 'Born This Way' singer insisted she doesn’t want the Material Girl’s throne."
Gaga "grossed over $160 million on her latest tour before succumbing to a hip injury," Forbes notes. "Had she been able to finish, she would have likely topped $200 million. Her 'ARTPOP' album was released after the end of our scoring period, but should give her a boost on next year’s list. She could easily reach the No. 1 spot with a successful set of concerts, the main driver for most major artists’ earnings."
Ranking third on the list is the veteran band Bon Jovi, with live performances accounting for much of its $79 million.
"Road warrior Toby Keith pulled in $65 million to land the No. 4 slot, while Coldplay parlayed seven-figure nightly grosses into a $64 million payday," Forbes reports.
Rounding out the top 10: Justin Bieber at No. 6 with $58 million; Taylor Swift at No. 7 with $55 million; Elton John at No. 8 with $54 million; and Beyonce and Kenny Chesney tied at No. 9 with $53 million apiece.