Axl Rose and Slash of Guns N' Roses

Axl Rose and Slash of Guns N' Roses perform on April 16, 2016 in Indio, Calif.  

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella

Whether through festivals, arena tours or soft ticket events and appearances, the artists on Billboard's list of 2016's top earners found new ways to make money on the road in the last year (take-home pay for the artists on the list totaled $682.7 million -- the majority of Money Makers income). Below, see five artists with game-changing touring strategies who found unique ways to make concerts contribute to their bank accounts in 2016.


Beyoncé announced her 49-date Formation World Tour after her Super Bowl performance, just days after her single of the same name was released and two months before Lemonade dropped. But that didn't stop the tour from selling a staggering 2.2 million tickets and bringing in $256 million, making it the highest-grossing tour by a female solo artist in 2016. 

Twenty One Pilots

The Ohio duo is one of the most in demand bands in alternative rock, but, knowing they needed to build a long-term fan base, kept tickets prices low as they established themselves as a touring act. After playing smaller arenas in 2016 and clocking about $6 million in touring revenues for their six-month Emotional Roadshow World Tour run through the United States, Twenty One Pilots returned for a much more extensive arena outing in North America, Europe and Australia; now, the band is on track to triple its year-over-year earnings.


It’s hard to believe that Coldplay is only halfway into its A Head Full of Dreams Tour, which launched in La Plata, Argentina, in March of 2016 and will end there in November. Chris Martin and crew earned roughly $26 million from touring in 2016, playing historic venues like the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., and the AT&T Stadium (formerly Cowboys Stadium) in Dallas, along with a headlining slot at Glastonbury. A Head Full of Dreams was one of the most elaborate tours ever built, split over three stages and divided into seven different legs that visited far flung locales like Abu Dhabi and Bangkok. "I think we’re just about at the point in our career where we can get through a concert without playing anything shit,” Chris Martin told Australian News Day in 2016, drawing on his band’s seven albums. "If we put all our amazing songs together that covers about 20 minutes. Then fill the rest with just pretty good ones."

Bruce Springsteen

Released in 1980, Springsteen’s The River was his fifth studio album and one of his most commercially successful, spending four weeks atop the Billboard 200 chart. In honor of the album’s 35th anniversary, Springsteen embarked on an 89-date trek that grossed $293.67 million through a combination of stadium shows in Europe and Australia and arena shows in North America. On his final night of a three-show run at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., he played a four-hour set, one of his longest ever.

Guns N' Roses

For a band that hasn't had a new album since 2008, hasn't played together in over a decade and has a lead singer with a busted foot, Guns N’ Roses did incredible business in 2016, showing demand for the Sunset Strip rockers has not waned. The band’s first official reunion show was at the Troubadour in Los Angeles (where Axl broke said foot), before going on to help open the T-Mobile Arena, headline both weekends of Coachella and embark on a Live Nation-backed stadium tour that netted $40 million for the group.