Bruce Springsteen confirmed as the highest-paid musician of 2021

The Boss brought in a stonking $590million (£431.3million)

Bruce Springsteen has been named the highest-paid musician of 2021, bringing in a reported sum of $590million (£431.3million) – most of which he earned via the landmark sale of his masters and publishing rights last month.

The figure comes from a new report shared by Rolling Stone last Friday (January 14), wherein former Forbes editor Zack O’Malley Greenburg noted that all but three of last year’s ten highest earners banked on multi-million dollar catalogue sales.

Springsteen’s record-breaking deal with Sony Music, valued at $550million (£402.1million), marked the biggest sale a musician had ever made for their discography. It gave the company ownership of The Boss’ entire back catalogue, which spans 20 studio albums, 300 songs, seven EPs, 23 live records and more.


Word of the sale first came last November, when it was said he’d set his sights on upwards of $350million (£256.5million) for both the publishing rights and recorded masters to his expansive catalogue.

It was initially reported that Springsteen pulled in $500million (£365.6million) from the sale, though Greenburg says his $550million figure was generated “by scouring public documents and interviewing individuals with direct knowledge of major deals”.

The bulk of the remaining $40million that Springsteen earned in 2021 came down to his return to Broadway last summer (where he played a sprawling 26 shows), as well as two collaborative projects with former US president Barack Obama – a book and Spotify-exclusive podcast both titled Renegades: Born In The USA.

Jay-Z tailed Springsteen in Rolling Stone’s report, racking up an approximate figure of $470million (£343.6million). The bulk of his earnings came from his $302million (£220.8million) sale of TIDAL – the divisive music streaming service he’d originally bought for for $56million (£40.9million) – to Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey.

In a five star review of Springsteen’s latest studio effort, NME wrote: “A powerful synthesis of past and present, ‘Letter To You’ shows us the strength that can be found in sorrow. The result is Springsteen’s finest album since 2002’s ‘The Rising’.”