The Irish group raked in £42 million last year...

U2 were the highest earning music stars of 2001, raking in a massive $61.9 (£42 million) according to a new rich list.

The list, compiled by Rolling Stone magazine, puts hip-hop super-producer Dr Dre second with earnings of $51.9million while the enduring legacy of – The Beatles takes them in at third with $47.9million gross.

Much of U2‘s earnings came from their eight-month ‘Elevation’ trek, which played to two million people. The success of album ‘All That You Can’t Leave Behind’ didn’t harm their swollen coffers.

Much of Dre ‘s good fortune came from the $35m sale of a 30% stake in his Aftermath label to Universal Interscope Records. The industry giant now owns 80% of his label.

One name on the list unfamiliar to those outside of the US is Dave Matthews. His huge success in the States brought him in $43.4million last year.

The top 10 earners of 2001 were:

1. U2 – $61.9m

2. Dr Dre – $51.9m

3. The Beatles – $47.9m

4. The Dave Matthews Band – $43.4m

5. Madonna – $40.8m

6. Master P – $36m

7. Carlos Santana – $32.7m

8. *N Sync – $26.5m

9. Aerosmith – $24.2m

10. Sting – $24m