Bow down to the Queen. Beyonce slayed the competition as 2016’s top Money Maker with a mammoth $62.1 million -- $20 million more than the No. 2 act. The bulk of that payday stemmed from her Formation World Tour, in support of her sixth album, Lemonade, an all-stadium trek that boasted DJ Khaled and Rae Sremmurd as opening acts, not to mention Kendrick Lamar and husband JAY-Z as surprise guests at the MetLife Stadium finale in East Rutherford, N.J. That tour sold 1.2 million tickets and grossed an industry-leading $161 million across 32 North American dates, but Bey didn’t stop there. Finishing in the top 15 in every category we measured, she was one of only six artists to earn more than $1 million in each category and ranked sixth in total artist royalties ($6.2 million). And while Lemonade may have lost the Grammy for album of the year, it earned 2.2 million equivalent album units in 2016, according to Nielsen Music (and added 260,000 more this year). LAST YEAR: N/A
What began with a secret show at the ...
What began with a secret show at the tiny Troubadour in Los Angeles last April became GNR’s highest-grossing tour to date. Despite Axl Rose’s doubts, the tour is still ongoing, accounting for most of the group’s $42 million in earnings in 2016. LAST YEAR: N/A
The Boss had 2016’s second-high...
The Boss had 2016’s second-highest-grossing tour, yielding over $40 million for himself. He banked $1.4 million in recording royalties, helped by sales of both his catalog and a late-2015 box set celebrating the 35th anniversary of The River. LAST YEAR: N/A
After dominating the charts last year...
After dominating the charts last year, Drake led all acts in on-demand audio and video streams (6.8 billion), plus royalties with $23.7 million. Adding nearly $14 million for his summer tour with Future, Drake danced away with over $37 million in 2016. LAST YEAR: 32
The “Rolling in the Deep”...
The “Rolling in the Deep” singer is rolling in the dough. Adele’s tour was 2016’s fourth-highest grossing, and she moved 2.2 million albums in the United States, more than any other artist except Prince; she also clocked nearly 1.3 million radio spins. LAST YEAR: 9
Sparked by the band’s performan...
Sparked by the band’s performance at the Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show, Coldplay ranked No. 5 at the box office and raked in $26 million on the road in 2016, selling 323,000 copies of its Head Full of Dreams album in the United States in the process. LAST YEAR: N/A
Even in light of Bieber’s impre...
Even in light of Bieber’s impressive touring income, his streaming power shines, as he racked up nearly as many on-demand video streams (1.2 billion) as audio streams (1.5 billion). He was also No. 3 in terrestrial radio spins. LAST YEAR: N/A
Bryan can thank his fan club, the Nut...
Bryan can thank his fan club, the Nut House, for fueling ticket sales that generated the country star’s take-home pay of $23 million. The ninth-most-played act on the airwaves (with 1.1 million spins) added $4.1 million in artist and songwriter royalties. LAST YEAR: 7
A no-show on 2015’s list, West ...
A no-show on 2015’s list, West ranks as the second-highest-grossing rapper behind Drake, thanks in part to his $15 million take from the blockbuster Saint Pablo Tour ($45 million). He’s second only to Drake in audio on-demand streams, too (2 billion). LAST YEAR: N/A
Chesney’s haul included $23.5 m...
Chesney’s haul included $23.5 million in take-home pay from $69 million in ticket sales, making him the seventh-largest touring act in the United States in 2016. He was also No. 15 in radio airplay (886,000 spins) and tallied nearly $2 million from recording. LAST YEAR: 2
The Piano Man played his way to $23.6...
The Piano Man played his way to $23.6 million in 2016, primarily on the strength of his New York Madison Square Garden residency. Just as impressive: $1.2 million in artist and publishing royalties, plus a respectable 192 million audio on-demand streams. LAST YEAR: 4
Rihanna put in plenty of work on the ...
Rihanna put in plenty of work on the road in 2016, but her streaming success was huge, too: She came in third in on-demand audio (2 billion) and first in on-demand video (1.3 billion), and earned $10.1 million in master recording royalties, ranking fourth. LAST YEAR: N/A
The alt-rockers’ recorded-music...
The alt-rockers’ recorded-music and publishing royalties alone (at $15 million) would have ensured them a place in this year’s rankings. For publishing, the “Stressed Out” hitmakers rank No. 1; they were also 2016’s third-most-streamed act. LAST YEAR: N/A
The superstar crisscrossed the countr...
The superstar crisscrossed the country in 2016 on a $52.3 million-grossing tour, snaring the last spot on the top 10 list of live U.S. acts. That translated to $17.8 million for Underwood, whose recorded music netted her another $2.1 million in royalties. LAST YEAR: N/A
Metallica had a light touring year, b...
Metallica had a light touring year, but its Hardwired… to Self-Destruct (the band’s sixth No. 1 on the Billboard 200) helped yield 2.7 million album and track sales, making the group, which owns its own masters, No. 1 in total royalties ($14.7 million). LAST YEAR: N/A
Road warrior Sir Paul pocketed over $...
Road warrior Sir Paul pocketed over $16 million from his $48 million-grossing 2016 One on One Tour. And despite no new releases, McCartney, who owns his masters and wrote many of his hits, nabbed $1.3 million in artist and songwriting royalties. LAST YEAR: 33
The first artist with back-to-back Bi...
The first artist with back-to-back Billboard 200 No. 1 debuts in successive weeks, Future earned nearly $14 million as Drake’s Summer Sixteen Tour co-headliner and ranked in the top 10 in on-demand audio (1.5 billion) and video (1.1 billion) streams. LAST YEAR: N/A
The country legend is a sales and tou...
The country legend is a sales and touring giant. Despite a strong initial opposition to streaming, including for 2016’s comeback LP, Gunslinger, he still managed to ring up $75,000 in streaming royalties via an exclusive fourth-quarter deal with Amazon Music. LAST YEAR: N/A
The perennial Christmas touring titan...
The perennial Christmas touring titans grossed nearly $45 million at the box office, taking home $15.1 million themselves. And with 2016’s The Ghosts of Christmas Eve release, it also earned over $500,000 in album sale royalties alone. LAST YEAR: N/A
Streisand hit No 1. on the Billboard ...
Streisand hit No 1. on the Billboard 200 with Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway and generated nearly $900,000 in artist royalties. But the bulk of the EGOT legend’s revenue came from the stage: $14.9 million from a $44 million box-office total. LAST YEAR: N/A
A touring behemoth, the band netted $...
A touring behemoth, the band netted $27.2 million in 2016 from ticket sales, nabbing a take of $9.2 million. But because the rockers also own their recorded masters, they enjoy much higher royalties than their peers, bringing in another $5.8 million. LAST YEAR: 24
They haven’t released a new alb...
They haven’t released a new album in over a decade, so combined artist and publishing royalties barely cleared half a million. But the Chicks remain a top touring act: 2016’s globe-spanning DCX MMXVI trek earned them $14.2 million in the United States. LAST YEAR: N/A
Newcomers to the list caused the duo&...
Newcomers to the list caused the duo’s ranking to slip, but it still posted stronger numbers across the board than in 2015, including $1.5 million in sales royalties, higher than fellow country powerhouses Luke Bryan and Carrie Underwood. LAST YEAR: 19
A mainstay on this list thanks to its...
A mainstay on this list thanks to its devoted live following, DMB bettered its 2015 touring total by nearly half a million with its 25th-anniversary summer tour. Though it was a stronger year for live acts, the band still slipped nine spots overall. LAST YEAR: 13
The country star’s touring numb...
The country star’s touring numbers sagged by over $5 million in 2016, thanks to fewer dates on his We Were Here Tour than on 2015’s Burn It Down trek. But his streaming numbers tripled, likely due to his catalog returning to Spotify in late 2015. LAST YEAR: 11
Phish released its 13th album in 2016...
Phish released its 13th album in 2016, but that wasn’t what moved the needle. Selling 647,000 tickets across 40 shows brought in 98.5 percent of the band’s revenue, more than enough to keep Trey Anastasio’s crew bouncing along the road. LAST YEAR: N/A
Maroon 5 fell from its top 10 spot in...
Maroon 5 fell from its top 10 spot in 2015 with lower touring, publishing and sales numbers, down nearly $2 million in the lattermost category. But the band’s streaming numbers saw a bump thanks to the Kendrick Lamar-featuring “Don’t Wanna Know.” LAST YEAR: 10
As they prepped a new album, 2017&rsq...
As they prepped a new album, 2017’s Welcome Home, the Atlantan country crew made money on the road, between a handful of dates wrapping 2015’s Jekyll and Hyde Tour and then another 45 North American shows on the 2016 Black Out the Sun outing. LAST YEAR: N/A
Black Sabbath’s touring prowess...
Black Sabbath’s touring prowess accounted for its presence here: The band grossed $33 million, bringing home over $11 million from its The End Tour. But as the name of Sabbath’s most recent outing suggests, that 2016 tour was its last. LAST YEAR: N/A
After replacing Tom DeLonge in 2015, ...
After replacing Tom DeLonge in 2015, blink-182 staged a 2016 comeback with California, its first album since 2011. The LP, plus the band’s catalog, netted nearly 544 million combined on-demand streams, spurring the band’s earnings. LAST YEAR: N/A
Lopez’s lion’s share come...
Lopez’s lion’s share comes from her residency at the Axis at Planet Hollywood -- the most successful Las Vegas residency of 2016, with a gross of $34.6 million. That earned Lopez $11.8 million and a spot on this year’s list without releasing an album. LAST YEAR: N/A
While Sir Elton’s record sales ...
While Sir Elton’s record sales were sluggish in 2016 -- his entire discography topped out around 300,000 units -- he made his strongest gain on the road. The year netted him $12.1 million, $1.5 million of that from artist and songwriter royalties. LAST YEAR: 15
This act is all about the road, with ...
This act is all about the road, with a $32 million U.S. box-office gross translating into $11 million in take-home pay. Its catalog still produces album sales (280,000 units), but track sales (238,000 downloads) and streaming (118 million) are meager. LAST YEAR: 6
After Bowie’s death in January ...
After Bowie’s death in January 2016, his estate saw a boom in business, with nearly 1.3 million album sales and 387 million on-demand streams. His artist and songwriting royalties for the year rang in at $11.5 million, due to the estate owning his catalog. LAST YEAR: N/A
Urban’s eighth studio album, Ri...
Urban’s eighth studio album, Ripcord, accounted for 412,000 of his 493,000 album sales in 2016, while track sales hit 2 million and combined on-demand streams were just shy of 362 million. Nearly $9 million from touring rounded out his take. LAST YEAR: N/A
The Stones almost matched their box-o...
The Stones almost matched their box-office booty with sales-derived royalties, up from $1.4 million in sales in 2015. The band’s first album since 2005, Blue & Lonesome, debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200, a record-setting 37th top 10 effort. LAST YEAR: 3
Dion, who lost both her husband and b...
Dion, who lost both her husband and brother within two days in 2016, released a new album, and her Las Vegas residency at Caesars Palace boosted her live income to $10.2 million. She added $647,000 from artist royalties. LAST YEAR: 25
The rockers released their 11th album...
The rockers released their 11th album in 2015, though their catalog earned just 48 million on-demand streams and 14,000 digital album sales. But 172,000 physical units and a box-office gross of $29.7 million made all the difference in 2016. LAST YEAR: N/A
Spears’ Las Vegas residency hel...
Spears’ Las Vegas residency helped push her live take-home pay to $9.5 million, while new album Glory contributed to $1.2 million in royalties, with 529 million combined on-demand streams and 250,000 album sales total across her catalog. LAST YEAR: 22
The only mostly Spanish-language act ...
The only mostly Spanish-language act on the list, Anthony’s robust touring schedule earned him his spot. In the United States alone, he sold 221,000 tickets, grossing $28 million and keeping a hefty $9.5 million, a $3 million jump over 2015. LAST YEAR: 37
Honesty appears to be the best policy...
Honesty appears to be the best policy for Shelton, whose 2016 LP, If I’m Honest, scored him his fifth No. 1 on Top Country Albums. A total of 931,000 album sales and 582 million on-demand streams largely fed his $3.1 million in artist royalties. LAST YEAR: N/A
The Weeknd didn’t play a U.S. s...
The Weeknd didn’t play a U.S. show in 2016, yet he still racked up 1.9 billion on-demand audio streams, the fourth-most of the year. He also made the top 10 in track sales (3.8 million) and terrestrial radio spins (1.2 million) as his Starboy album kicked in. LAST YEAR: 28
A quarter century after the band&rsqu...
A quarter century after the band’s debut, Ten, Pearl Jam’s catalog racked up 562,000 track sales and 216 million streams to the tune of $1 million in royalties. Selling 351,000 tickets across just 16 U.S. shows proved the act remains in demand. LAST YEAR: N/A
The ’70s hitmakers hit paydirt ...
The ’70s hitmakers hit paydirt touring with The Doobie Brothers and selling over 500,000 tickets in the United States. Sales royalties helped: The band’s Greatest Hits stayed on the Billboard 200 for 450 nonconsecutive weeks, the fifth-most of all time. LAST YEAR: N/A
While his album sales totaled 200,000...
While his album sales totaled 200,000 units, largely from 2016’s ’Tis the Season, a sluggish switch to streaming could mean storm clouds ahead for Buffett’s revenue. But a $25 million gross across 24 shows means there’s no reason to pack up the tequila yet. LAST YEAR: N/A
The Australian songstress was No. 15 ...
The Australian songstress was No. 15 in publishing royalties, buoyed by her 2016 set, This Is Acting. “Cheap Thrills” was her first Hot 100 No. 1, but the bulk of her earnings, $5.5 million, came from her 23-date arena tour. LAST YEAR: N/A
Gomez’s sales and streaming roy...
Gomez’s sales and streaming royalties remained strong last year, even though her last album, Revival, came out in October 2015. Her 2016 arena tour made up the bulk of her revenue, with 248,000 U.S. ticket sales generating a $17 million gross. LAST YEAR: N/A
Taylor’s revenue is largely der...
Taylor’s revenue is largely derived from live income -- his recorded-music earnings only account for 10 percent of his $8.3 million total. Taylor’s bottom line still got a boost from nearly 170,000 album sales, though streaming royalties were low. LAST YEAR: N/A
With streaming royalties under $100,0...
With streaming royalties under $100,000, Nicks’ return to the stage secured her spot on this list. Her 24 Karat Tour earned $23 million at the box office with $7.8 million in take-home pay, and she pocketed $66,000 from Fleetwood Mac. LAST YEAR: N/A
Even though Pentatonix grossed $12.8 ...
Even though Pentatonix grossed $12.8 million at the box office, the a cappella group needed a boost from recorded music to make the list. With $2.9 million in total artist royalties from sales, Pentatonix sold the fifth-most albums of any artist in 2016. LAST YEAR: N/A