Top Moneymakers in Music 2010

20

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson was the No. 1 earner in CD and ringtone royalties in 2009, with physical album sales pulling in $13.2 million and ringtones totaling $255,000. In addition, "This Is It" became the top-grossing concert film of all time, earning $72 million at the box office, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com.
list divider
19

Rascal Flatts

It's a safe bet that exposure through sponsorships from Hershey's and JCPenney helped Rascal Flatts sell tickets to its 2009 summer amphitheater tour. Overall, the trio pulled in $14.3 million from 55 concerts that were reported to Boxscore. Indeed, the total gross was enough to land Rascal Flatts at No. 22 on Billboard's 2009 tally of the top 25 highest-grossing tours. The band's 2009 album, "Unstoppable," was also a contributing factor to its success, with 1.1 million copies sold.
list divider
18

Andre Rieu

The Dutch violinist and PBS pledge-drive mainstay sold only 59,000 albums but was No. 6 on Billboard's list of top tours last year; his 30th-anniversary trek earned him more than $19 million and brought in nearly 500,000 people to 94 shows in Europe, Japan, North America, Australia and New Zealand in 2009. Rieu has logged 22 releases on Billboard's Top Traditional Classical Albums chart, with three of them in the top 10 last year.
list divider
17

Dave Matthews Band

No act has sold more tickets in this millennium than Dave Matthews Band, and in 2009 the group also received some serious juice from one of its best-selling albums, "Big Whiskey & the GrooGrux King." The strength of the record's performance boosted DMB back into the company of elite earners. The band's 800,000 Nielsen SoundScan units dwarf the band's 14,788 digital album sales, but it did enjoy more than 2 million track downloads.
list divider
16

Il Divo

The Armani-clad popera quartet lands at No. 16 this year thanks to a global tour promoted by Live Nation. Il Divo's 118 dates in 2009 put $20 million in their suit pockets, with an estimated value of nearly $21 million for the band. That comprises nearly all of Il Divo's take; the act's next-largest source of revenue ($809,300) was physical sales of its albums, nearly half of which came from its late-2008 release "The Promise."
list divider
15

Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus is No. 4 on the 2010 Money Makers list in terms of CD royalties with more than $4.3 million; her one new release during the year was the Walmart-exclusive EP "The Time of Our Lives." Cyrus' Wonder World tour earned her slightly more than $15 million, according to Boxscore. Not included in this tally, but still of note: Her feature-film debut, "Hannah Montana: The Movie," grossed $79.5 million at the box office, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com.
list divider
14

Elton John

As half of the most successful co-headlining tour in history with Billy Joel, as well as being very active on his own, Elton John again struck box-office gold in 2009. Even without an album of new material, John still moved a quarter of a million physical units in the United States.
list divider
13

Beyonce

The millions of YouTube views for the "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" video could mean only one thing: Beyoncé continued to reap rewards for her triple-threat artistry in 2009. The singer earned $2.3 million in CD royalties for her latest album, "I Am... Sasha Fierce," a total rivaled only by Nickelback in the top 15 of the Money Makers list. The set was just as well-received from a critical perspective--it won six 2010 Grammy Awards, the most ever for a female artist.
list divider
12

Nickelback

Nonstop touring and continued radio play were two of the factors that contributed to Nickelback's 2009 success. The band sold 1.9 million albums, the majority of which came from its most recent release, 2008's "Dark Horse," which sold 1.4 million copies. And fans didn't stop seeing Nickelback in concert, either. During the year, the group played 73 amphitheater and arena shows that earned it $18.3 million and drew more than 1 million people.
list divider
11

Fleetwood Mac

The baby boomer idols land on the list for the first time thanks to the group's $24 million take from its Unleashed tour, its first in five years. The trek grossed $71.2 million from 65 shows reported to Boxscore and landed at No. 14 on Billboard's top tours list last year. Fleetwood Mac earned less than $700,000 in the United States from its album sales, with its 1988 "Greatest Hits" moving 135,000 copies -- about half its U.S. album total for the period.
list divider

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print