Bette Midler has long been a successful touring artist, but her 90-date sitdown at Las Vegas’ Colosseum at Caesars Palace accounted for all her box-office revenue in 2009, as well as the overwhelming bulk of her income for the year. Even so, she did better than many artists with her digital tracks, presumably with lots of “Wind Beneath My Wings” downloads.
Leonard Cohen played his first U.S. concert in 15 years in February 2009. The show kicked off a successful year on the road that earned him $9.2 million in box-office share, dwarfing his $236,200 in CD royalties and $34,748 in digital album royalties.
He may be one of America’s most prolific songwriters and recording artists, but Bob Dylan is raking it in these days with his 20-plus-year Never Ending Tour. His box-office share in 2009 was $7.4 million, compared with $1.5 million in CD royalties, $154,592 in digital album royalties, $121,955 in digital track royalties and $350,514 in songwriter mechanical royalties.
The jam band reunited in 2009, and while new album “Joy” didn’t exactly fly off the shelves, it did provide new material to play on a sold-out tour that included a high-grossing two-night stand at Bonnaroo and the band’s own Halloween Phish-fest in Indio, Calif.
Cher hasn’t released a studio album since 2002’s “Living Proof,” but she’s been a live blockbuster ever since. The singer took Celine Dion’s place at Caesars Palace in 2008, and her successful Cher at the Colosseum residency earned her $11.2 million.
Kiss spent 2009 on the road promoting its highest-charting album, the Walmart exclusive “Sonic Boom,” which debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and sold 238,000 copies. The new set helped Kiss earn $10.6 million in touring revenue and $879,000 in album sales.
Stateside fans weren’t the only ones treated to Toby Keith’s Ford-sponsored tour in 2009–the artist also played his first European trek in support of his latest album, “American Ride,” which sold 295,000 copies and debuted at No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart. Touring revenue totaled slightly more than $10 million.
Green Day had two major highlights in 2009: the release of its second No. 1 album, “21st Century Breakdown,” and a sellout run in Berkeley, Calif., of the musical stage show adaptation of 2004 set “American Idiot.” All of the buzz helped the band earn nearly $1.9 million in album sales and pull in $8.8 million from touring arenas.
Although his Beatles take isn’t factored into his Money Makers earnings, Paul McCartney did just fine on his own last year, making most of his money ($11.4 million) from playing arenas, stadiums and a headlining slot at Coachella. His latest release, “Good Evening New York City,” sold 234,000 copies, contributing to the $609,000 he earned from album sales.