The 10 Richest Musicians of 2016

We have already looked into the richest actors in Hollywood. Now it’s time to look into how musicians did this past year. Making money in the music industry is different because the internet has really made it harder for artists to get paid. They can no longer rely on album sales to make bank. But these artists have still been able to out earn their peers in many different ways. So who came out on top? Here are the 10 richest musicians of 2016, according to Forbes.

10. Diddy, $62 million


Puff Daddy performs on stage during the Live Nation | Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

He might not be in the limelight like he was in his rapper days, but he’s still earning money. He made it to number five on Forbes’ five wealthiest hip-hop artists of 2016. However, he’s lower on the list when it comes to musicians of all genres. His net worth is actually $750 million, and a big portion of that is due to his contract with Diageo’s Ciroc vodka. He also is still making money off his clothing line, Sean John, and alkaline water company, Aquahydrate.

In addition, Diddy has a multi-platform TV Network named REVOLT. It is part of a package available through DIRECTV and AT&T U-verse customers. “Revolt is the first network that’s being launched in the social medial age,” he told Forbes. “Multi-screen, multi platform, from mobile to digital.” The network is supposed to be somewhat similar to what MTV used to be.

“Since MTV stopped playing music videos … ” he continued, “it’s left this gaping hole and an opportunity to create not just a network or a channel but an audience company. That’s what I like to call Revolt: an audience company that specializes in Millennials. And the number one thing that Millennials like is music, and the number one thing I specialize in is music.”

9. Calvin Harris, $63 million

Calvin Harris

Calvin Harris | Tristan Fewings/Getty Umages

If you’re looking for the world’s highest paid DJ, then look no further! But that’s not his only source of income. His net worth is reportedly $110 million from tours and his annual salary. That also includes the $2.7 million in album sales, $27 million from YouTube, and $6 million from endorsements according to Money Nation.

8. The Rolling Stones, $66.5 million

Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones | Matt Cardy/Getty Images

The Rolling Stones are still going strong and are on the road and touring. They probably won’t stop, partially because of their love of music, but also because album sales just don’t bring in the money like touring sales. The band has remained in the top 10 when it comes to earnings. In the past, their Licks Tour was able to generate more than $300 million and their tour in 2013 made more than $100 million with fewer dates, according to Business Insider.

7. AC/DC, $67.5 million


AC/DC | Donald Weber/Getty Images

Here is another band who are veterans in the music business and are not giving up. They reportedly make $185,000 every day from their music, ticket sales, and merchandise according to Team Rock. It just goes to show that once you have an established fan base you can always make good money.

6. Garth Brooks, $70 million

Garth Brooks

Garth Brooks | Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images

This year the country singer came out with a single and a new album. He’s also touring, which is good money. Brooks has also been appearing in Amazon Echo commercials lately, and had an appearance on The Voice, both of which probably added some extra padding to his already big paychecks.

5. Rihanna, $75 million

Rihanna in "Work"

Rihanna in “Work” | Roc Nation

The Barbadian singer has been pretty busy and therefore earning a lot. She pulled in $55 million from YouTube, $220 million from endorsements, and $308 million from her concerts. That and her earnings from album sales makes her net worth $307 million according to Money Nation.

4. Madonna, $76.5 million


Madonna | Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images

Madonna might not be as covered by the media as she used to be, but she’s still making cash. A big portion of this is from touring on her Rebel Heart Tour which ended in March 2016. It grossed $170 million, according to Forbes. She also makes some money from her music and endorsements.

3. Adele, $80.5 million


Adele singing | Joern Pollex/Getty Images for September Management

The powerhouse made her big return to music this year with her album, 25. It became the best-selling album of 2015 and then she went back to touring. Unlike other artists, the singer doesn’t rely on endorsements for extra income. Her other source of income comes from YouTube views, which of course is a lot. “Hello” became the fastest video to break one billion views on YouTube.

2. One Direction, $110 million

One direction posting for photos

Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles, and Niall Horan of One Direction attend the BBC Music Awards | Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images

Sadly, One Direction is no more, but the boy band went out on a high note! A lot of these earnings are coming from the end of their 2015 On The Road Again tour, according to Forbes. At this point they are the top-earning boy band of all time.

1. Taylor Swift, $170 million

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift in “22” | Big Machine

Taylor Swift made it to the top of the list even though she wrapped up touring in 2015 for her album, 1989. However, she still makes bank from her endorsement deals with Keds, Diet Coke, and Apple. She also has been notoriously keeping her album sales close. This is an improvement given the fact that last year she was number four on the list with only $80 million, while Katy Perry was on top with $135 million.

Follow Nicole Weaver on Twitter @nikkibernice

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