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In The Money
Posted by editor_usa

Elton’s Fifth on List of Big Earners

Tuesday 14
March 2006 @ 17:52

 Rolling Stone‘s fifth-annual list of music’s biggest moneymakers proves that touring, more than ever, is where the dough is: The vast majority of artists in the Top Thirty made the bulk of their cash on the road in 2005. Album royalties pale in comparison. “The music business has changed,” says Paul McGuinness, longtime manager of U2, who came out on top last year, taking in an estimated $154.2 million after selling out more than 100 arena and stadium shows around the world. “Our recording income is not insignificant, but it’s less than we make from touring. The figures used to be closer together.” U2 make an estimated $15 million in advances for each album they release, plus additional royalties; they grossed $139 million on the road in North America in 2005 — including as much as $150,000 per night in merchandise sales.  

Two other top earners, Celine Dion and Elton, made big bucks from contracts for residencies at Las Vegas casinos. Vegas is an increasingly lucrative market for top-tier acts: The surviving Beatles have signed a deal for a Cirque du Soleil production based on the band’s music. And Elton’s pal, Rod Stewart is considering a move there in the future.

Here’s the list:

Rock’s Top Thirty Moneymakers

U2, $154.2 million
The Rolling Stones, $92.5 million
Eagles, $63.2 million
Paul McCartney, $56 million
Elton, $48.9 million
Neil Diamond, $44.7 million
Jimmy Buffett, $44 million
Rod Stewart, $40.3 million
Dave Matthews Band, $39.6 million
Celine Dion, $38.5 million
Kenny Chesney, $31.5 million
Green Day, $31 million
Coldplay, $30.1 million
Destiny’s Child, $24.8 million
Diddy, $24.3 million
Gwen Stefani, $23.9 million
Toby Keith, $22.2 million
Motley Crue, $22 million
50 Cent, $19.7 million
Bruce Springsteen, $19.6 million
Eminem, $17.8 million
Jay-Z, $17.5 million
Barry Manilow, $17.2 million
Hilary Duff, $17.1 million
Kanye West, $16.9 million
Dr. Dre, $16.9 million
Rascal Flatts, $16.3 million
Aerosmith, $16.3 million
Bon Jovi, $15.8 million
Tom Petty, $14.9 million

 Methodology:  The list was compiled using interviews with record executives, managers, lawyers and agents. It uses figures from Nielsen SoundScan, Pollstar, the Recording Industry Association of America, Amusement Business/Billboard and other sources. Net figures reflect performers’ earnings after expenses have been deducted and managers, agents and lawyers have taken their cuts. All figures should be considered estimates.

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