Billboard ranks the highest-paid musicians of the past 12 months.
With two No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 last year, U.K. boy band One Direction earned most of its revenue from album sales. More than 2 million physical albums sold earned the group $3.8 million.
The power of John's canon of songs is best evidenced by two stats: 1.6 million digital tracks sold and $22 million in Boxscore gross. To the joy of promoters and arena managers, John very much enjoys playing live and continues to tour successfully year after year.
With or without recognition from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Rush fans are tremendously loyal, turning out en masse for tours and ponying up for records, the latter to the tune of more than 500,000 physical units in 2012. These guys are perennials.
Lambert ventured into large-venue headlining waters in 2012 and did well, grossing more than $20 million with her name atop the marquee. She makes great records, and fans have eaten them up to the tune of nearly 500,000 physical units and 3.2 million song downloads.
The Rolling Stones
American rock fans bought a robust 1.8 million digital tracks by the Rolling Stones in 2012. The Stones own rock's most beloved catalog, and that's why five shows‹yes, just five‹grossed $21.6 million as fans opened their wallets to celebrate the band's 50th anniversary.
Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Chili Peppers have entered that rarefied air where their tours become must-see events, not reliant on album sales or hit singles, but drawing fans based on reputation built from years of killer performances. The Peppers were a top 25 touring act in 2012, and this band is, remarkably, getting bigger on a global level.
Drake's Club Paradise tour was one of hip-hop's biggest live draws last year, helping the rapper/singer earn $9.5 million on the road. Meanwhile, his sophomore album, Take Care, which was released in November 2011, performed strongly throughout 2012, producing multiple singles that contributed to 8.8 million digital track sales, earning Drake $1.6 million.
With nearly 700,000 units of combined digital and physical album sales, Keith is consistently among country's biggest recording artists. Keith is also an elite touring artist, topping $25 million in Boxscore gross for 2012.
The multi-unit touring entity known as TSO has become a blockbuster holiday-season brand, annually finishing among the top-ranked tours in a short window of opportunity. That said, the band also moves product, with nearly 400,000 units sold in the United States in 2012.
Diamond's physical album sales topped 400,000 in the United States, and he registered 661,641 track downloads, but the newly crowned Billboard Legend of Live remains a touring powerhouse, selling out the big rooms in 2012.