The Forbes list of the highest-earning musicians of 2014 has been announced. The Top 10 has a few surprises in it. Not least, this guy, the richest musician you’ve never heard of. Country singer Toby Keith made $65 million in 2014. How? As well as selling millions of albums and concert tickets, Keith also has a clothing line, restaurant chain and record label.
Calvin Harris is the 9th highest earning musician in the world in 2014. EDM’s king of cashola and the top-earning DJ world-wide brought in £42m. The Forbes list covers the period June 2013 to June 2014 and collates revenue from record sales, publishing royalties, merchandise, endorsements and business ventures.
Sir Paul McCartney pocketed a cool £45m in 2014. The Beatles legend has been on a world tour, despite illness, following the release of 2013 album ‘New’, which peaked at number 3 on the UK Albums Chart.
One Direction are the only act in the Top 10 highest-earning musicians under the age of 30, apart from Justin Bieber. The five-piece boy band will have split the £48m between them following a huge world tour to promote ‘Four’.
Justin Bieber may have had a turbulent year or so but he took home £51m big ones in 2014. The Canadian badboy – still only 20 years old – is still making money from the tail-end of his last world tour.
In at number five is Bruce Springsteen. In January the Boss released ‘High Hopes’ and played major stadiums across the world. The album went to number on in the US and the UK and Springsteen made professional recordings of all of his live shows available following each performance on his upcoming tour via download to a special USB wristband. He made £51m/$81m.
Jon Bon Jovi’s another arena act who’s done well this year. He’s in at number 4 with £52m. “I think it’s just wise to be efficient,” Bon Jovi told FORBES. “I know big bands where each of them has personal assistants on the road, each of them has a security guard. We don’t have a security guard. Take your own friggin’ bags!”
And the highest-earning band in the world in 2014 is… The Eagles. The band kicked off a tour to support the History of the Eagles documentary. Don Henley said it could be the band’s final live outing. The band – current line-up Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Timothy B Schmit and Joe Walsh – have earned £63 million in 2014.
In at number two, it’s Beyoncé who pulled in £73m this year. Earnings came from the Mrs. Carter Show tour – she played over 92 shows – the success of her surprise album ‘Beyoncé’ and endorsements with Pepsi and H&M.
At number one is Dr Dre. The rapper-producer-turned-businessman is not only 2014’s highest-paid musician, he has scored the biggest one-year windfall of any musician in history. His wealth was boosted by the sale of his company Beats Electronics, purveyor of headphones and speakers, to Apple in a £1.9 billion ($3bn) deal. Ker-ching.