U2’s £85m makes them world’s biggest earning band of 2010

AC/DC, Bruce Springsteen and Madonna also in Forbes list

U2‘s made an estimated £84.9 million over the past year, making them the highest earning band in the world.

The Irish band topped Forbes’ Top-Earning Musicians of 2010 list, despite being forced to pull out of a headline slot at Glastonbury and a string of US shows after frontman Bono injured his back.

The business publication noted that almost half of its top ten, which also featured Bruce Springsteen, Madonna and AC/DC, have been around more than 25 years.

Lady Gaga was the most notable name of recent time, making £40.5 million.

Coldplay, who came equal tenth with £30.3 million, were the only British group on the list.

Gary Bongiovanni of concert trade publication Pollstar told Forbes that is was surprising that the music business did so well during a recession.

“In today’s world artists have to tour to make money because they can’t just sit at home and collect their royalties and expect to make their mortgage payments,” he said.

Forbes’ Top Earning Musicians of 2010 are:

1. U2 (£84.9m)
2. AC/DC (£74.5m)
3. Beyonce Knowles (£56.8m)
4. Bruce Springsteen (£45.7m)
5. Britney Spears (£41.8m)
6. Jay-Z (£41.1m)
7. Lady Gaga (£40.5m)
8. Madonna (£37.9m)
9. Kenny Chesney (£32.6m)
= 10. Black Eyed Peas (£31.3m)
= 10. Coldplay (£31.3m)