Music's Top 40 Money Makers 2013

Billboard ranks the highest-paid musicians of the past 12 months.

The world may be going more digital by the second, but live is still the big cash driver for the top 40 earners on our annual musician Moneymakers list.

Read More: Madonna, Springsteen Lead 2013 Money Makers

Reported and written by Keith Caulfield, Ed Christman, Alex Gale, Andrew Hampp, Gordon Murray, Mitchell Peters, Ray Rogers and Ray Waddell

2012 List of Music's Top 40 Money Makers


Blake Shelton


BLAKE SHELTONShelton has certainly benefited from the visibility he's received as a coach on NBC's "The Voice." The country star spent much of last year touring, which earned him $3.1 million. The release of his 2012 holiday album, Cheers, It's Christmas, which debuted at No. 8 on the Billboard 200, also added to his $2.2 million in revenue from album sales.


Mumford & Sons


MUMFORD AND SONSUnlike many of the artists on the Moneymakers list, Mumford & Sons earned most of its money in 2012 from album sales. As the biggest-selling rock act of that year, the band pocketed $3.7 million with the help of sales from its No. 1-debuting album Babel.


Rod Stewart


ROD STEWARTStewart's 2012 live performances ranged from solo dates to co-headlining shows with Stevie Nicks, earning him $4.3 million. His holiday album, Merry Christmas, Baby, reached No. 3 on the Billboard 200, contributing to $2.9 million in album sales revenue‹a healthy number for a veteran artist.


Zac Brown Band


ZAC BROWN BANDLast year, country group Zac Brown Band netted its second No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 with Uncaged and scored a pair of top 10 hits on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart. The band earned $2.4 million from album sales, but the bulk of its revenue came from concerts ($2.8 million).


Andrea Bocelli


ANDREA BOCELLIAhead of his most recent album, Passione, released earlier this year, Italian tenor Bocelli earned $594,000 from 322,000 albums sold in 2012. But the majority of his income ($6.1 million) came from touring arenas.




JOURNEYTouring on the strength of its catalog, Journey spent much of 2012 playing sheds on an outing with Pat Benatar featuring Neil Giraldo and Loverboy. Journey's overall touring revenue for the year was $15.3 million, of which the band pocketed $5.1 million.




JAY-ZJay-Z earned about $1.1 million from digital and physical album sales last year, but the bulk of his revenue‹$4.7 million‹came from Watch the Throne tour dates with fellow rapper Kanye West.


Maroon 5


MAROON 5Behind Taylor Swift, Maroon 5 sold the most digital tracks of 2012, with 13.3 million, earning the band $2.4 million. In addition to hitting No. 2 on the Billboard 200, Maroon 5's 2012 album, Overexposed, was its first release to generate three top 10 singles on the Billboard Hot 100.


The Black Keys


THE BLACK KEYSThe Black Keys experienced a breakthrough year in 2012, embarking on its first North American arena-headlining tour behind its seventh album, El Camino. From a tour gross of $12.7 million, the duo earned $4.2 million.




PHISHKnown for its epic live shows, Phish earned the overwhelming majority of its money in 2012 from touring. Multi-night runs across the United States last summer helped the band take home $7.2 million from live dates.

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2013 Money Makers Methodology
The data used to compile Moneymakers was supplied by Nielsen SoundScan, Nielsen BDS, YouTube and Billboard Boxscore. Artists are ranked by U.S. earnings, and Billboard calculated a variety of income streams, including touring, recorded-music sales, publishing royalties and revenue from an array of digital music and video services for downloads, as well as on-demand and noninteractive streaming. Due to a lack of sufficient data, our figures don't include revenue from sponsorships, merchandise sales or synchronization data.
For album and track sales, we assumed a royalty rate of 20% of retail, minus producers' fees. We treated all streaming revenue as derived from a licensing deal and thus split that revenue in half to calculate the artist's take. We also applied corresponding statutory mechanical rates for album and track sales and the Copyright Royalty Board-approved formulas or rates used for the various streaming channels, and further estimated the share of songs written by the artists. For all artist revenue, we subtracted a manager's fee of 10%. For box office, we credited each artist with 34% of gross receipts, typically what's left after the promoter's fee, the artist manager's cut and other costs are subtracted.