Forbes Top 10 Earning Music Artists

on 2 August 2010 in Slideshows


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It’s a long way to the top if you want to rock n’ roll as AC/DC so infamously said, but once you’re up there rolling around in cash and snorting cocaine off lithe groupies whilebuying mansions, some might say the view from the top is pretty good. Forbes Magazine has released their list of the top 10 earning artists in music during the last financial year. Interestingly, most of them are earning their squillions by touring their arses off rather than selling lots of records, showing how much the music biz has changed in the last decade. Here Tone Deaf explains how you can also be a squillionaire.

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    It’s a long way to the top if you want to rock n’ roll as AC/DC so infamously said, but once you’re up there rolling around in cash and snorting cocaine off lithe groupies whilebuying mansions, some might say the view from the top is pretty good. Forbes Magazine has released their list of the top 10 earning artists in music during the last financial year. Interestingly, most of them are earning their squillions by touring their arses off rather than selling lots of records, showing how much the music biz has changed in the last decade. Here Tone Deaf explains how you can also be a squillionaire.

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    10. Black Eyed Peas/Coldplay Tying for tenth spot are proof that turning from rap to radio friendly hip hop flavoured pop can sit nicely on the bank balance, while Coldplay have perfected the art of writing superficial rock ballads that speak to millions of bored secretaries and housewives on a really, really deep level.

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    9. Kenny Chesney - $50 million Yeah, we had no idea who he was too. Proof that a career in country music in the USA doesn’t have to cross the Tone Deaf radar and can be a nice money spinner if you get a big enough cowboy following.

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    8. Madonna - $58 million The original fame whore, who proved that a pretty average voice and non-existent song writing skills was no match for a ruthless blonde ambition for fame and fortune.

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    7. Lady Gaga - $62 million Unless you’re in a lost Amazonian tribe or from another planet there’s no chance you’ve never heard of her. Dress like a hooker in an Amsterdam window brothel, apply a Bowie-esque hyper-real personality to your average songs and dancing while worshiping at Andy Warhol’s altar of fame, and watch the dollars roll in.

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    6. Jay-Z - $63 million Take a fairly average rapper and throw in awesome production and sampling and presto! You’ve got a stadium superstar.

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    5. Britney Spears - $64 million Release some jailbait themed, well produced dance pop hits. Embrace your inner slut then have a very public tabloid breakdown. Go out on tour showing off your collection of stripper outfits and cesarean scar where – wait for it – you don’t even have to sing live!

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    4. Bruce Springsteen - $70 million He’s The Boss okay? Write songs about the American heartland, know how to get under your fellow countrymen and womens skin and take the nation’s pulse in a way politicians wish they could, then sell out stadiums year in year out. Works for us.

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    3. Beyonce Knowles - $87 million If you’re going to make the crossover from urban soul tinged diva to stadium filling queen, this is how you do it.

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    2. AC/DC - $114 million Tour the world constantly, write dumb arse rock songs with innuendo filled lyrics about sex and booze. Spend another few years thinking up more smutty euphemisms for sex and set them to music. Repeat and tour it every few years.

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    1. U2 - $130 million You may have heard of this little band from Dublin, Ireland. Apparently they’ve had a few hits.

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