Pop Stars Make Bank, But Still Not As Much As Grizzled Rock Guys

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Posted on 06/17/2011 at 11:42 AM

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The Popdust Files: black eyed peas, justin bieber, lady gaga, list

Finally done being agape at Christina Aguilera making $225,000 per episode of The Voice, while if you’re making any money during the same timeslot, it’s from digging pennies from beneath the couch? Why not take a peek at Forbes’ list of how much musicians make per year?

Specifically, Forbes tallied up all musicians’ income (before taxes) from May 2010-11, then took out agent/manager fees. Any list like this is gonna be a bit nebulous, but generally speaking, much of this money comes from touring arenas. And, as you’ll see, a lot of these guys are probably more at home on classic rock radio. Lady Gaga ($90 million), the Black Eyed Peas ($61 million) and Justin Bieber ($53 million) appear in the top ten, but they’re flanked by the likes of Bon Jovi and Elton John and the top earner, U2 ($195 million). It’s not entirely surprising–again, they make the list largely because of big arena tours attended by people who can buy tickets–but you’ve got to feel a bit bad for Beyonce, for once in her life languishing (if making $35M can be called “languishing”) down at No. 18.

So you don’t have to go to Forbes’ website and click through a 25-page slideshow of linkbait, here’s the full list.

1. U2 ($195 million)
2. Bon Jovi ($125 million)
3. Elton John ($100 million)
4. Lady Gaga ($90 million)
5. Michael Buble ($70 million)
6. Paul McCartney ($67 million)
7. Black Eyed Peas ($61 million)
8. Eagles ($60 million)
9. Justin Bieber ($53 million)
10. Dave Matthews Band ($51 million)
11. Toby Keith ($50 million)
12. Usher ($46 million)
13. Taylor Swift $45 million)
14. Katy Perry ($44 million)
15. Brad Paisley ($40 million)
16. Tom Petty & the Heartbreaks ($38 million)
17. Jay-Z ($38 million)
18. AC/DC ($35 million)
18. Sean “Diddy” Combs ($35 million)
18. Beyonce ($35 million)
18. Tim McGraw ($35 million)
18. Muse ($35 million)
23. Rascal Flatts ($34 million)
24. Kenny Chesney ($30 million)
25. Rihanna ($29 million)

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