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Diddy Tops Forbes’ Highest Paid Musicians of 2017 List

“I’m the average person,” Diddy told Forbes, rather hilariously, earlier this year. While he might have started out that way — “I started looking at business at the age of 12, [from] delivering newspapers to working in gas station bathrooms, or even doing things like being a background dancer or a stylist,” he continued — he’s anything but average today, as his status at the top of Forbes’ annual world’s highest-paid musician list shows. In the top 5, Diddy (who raked in $130 million) is followed by Beyonce, Drake, The Weeknd and Coldplay.

Interestingly, like the Grammy nominations, the list is racially diverse — four of the top five are musicians of color — but low on females (just five in the top 25). Last year, four of the top five were women: Taylor Swift ($170 million) followed by One Direction, Adele, Madonna and Rihanna.

The list is based on pretax income from June 1, 2016 through June 1, 2017, and does not subtract fees charged by agents, managers and lawyers. Data was gathered from Nielsen Music, Pollstar, the RIAA and industry insiders.

  1. Diddy ($130 M)
    (Cash cows: Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour, Ciroc vodka deal, estimated $70 million sale of one-third of Sean John fashion line)
  2. Beyoncé ($105 M)
    (Cash cow: Formation tour)
  3. Drake ($94 M)
    (Cash cows: The world’s most-streamed artist, Boy Meets World tour, deals with Apple, Sprite and Nike)
  4. The Weeknd ($92 M)
    (Cash cows: 5.5 billion streams in two years, touring)
  5. Coldplay ($88 M)
    (Cash cow: Head Full of Dreams tour)
  6. Guns N’ Roses ($84 M)
    (Cash cow: Not in This Lifetime tour)
  7. Justin Bieber ($83.5 M)
    (Cash cows: One billion-plus streams, Purpose tour, Calvin Klein endorsement)
  8. Bruce Springsteen ($75 M)
    (Cash cows: The River tour, “Born to Run” memoir)
  9. Adele ($69 M)
    (Cash cow: “25” album and tour)
  10. Metallica ($66.5 M)
    (Cash cows: WorldWired tour, “Hardwired… To Self-Destruct” album)
  11. Garth Brooks ($60 M, tie)
    (Cash cows: Touring, “The Anthology Part 1” book and boxed set)
  12. Elton John ($60 M, tie)
    (Cash cow: Touring, Las Vegas residency)
  13. Paul McCartney ($54 M, tie)
    (Cash cows: Touring, Beatles and solo catalogs)
  14. Red Hot Chili Peppers ($54 M, tie)
    (Cash cows: Touring, “Getaway” album)
  15. Jimmy Buffett ($50.5 M)
    (Cash cows: Margaritaville franchises, including hotels, restaurants, merch)
  16. Calvin Harris ($48.5 M)
    (Cash cows: Touring, “Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1” album)
  17. Taylor Swift ($44 M)
    (Cash cows: Endorsements, catalog)
  18. Kenny Chesney ($42.5 M)
    (Cash cows: Touring, “Cosmic Hallelujah” album, Corona and Apple deals)
  19. Luke Bryan ($42 M)
    (Cash cows: Touring, Outdoor Channel reality show Buck Commander, Cabela’s and Miller Lite endorsements)
  20. Celine Dion ($42 M)
    (Cash cows: Touring, Las Vegas residency)
  21. Jay-Z ($42 M)
    (Cash cows: $200 million Live Nation deal)
  22. Bruno Mars ($39 M)
    (Cash cow: Touring, “24K Magic” album)
  23. Tiësto ($39 M)
    (Cash cow: Touring)
  24. The Chainsmokers ($38 M)
    (Cash cows: Touring, “Memories… Do Not Open” album, streaming)
  25. Jennifer Lopez ($38 M)
    (Cash cows: Las Vegas residency, “World of Dance” TV show)

 

 

 

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