Earlier today, Forbes published their yearly list of the highest paid musicians and, while not entirely surprising, some of the information is interesting.
Firstly, as much as hip hop seems to dominate modern culture, rappers don’t earn the big bucks. Dre, Jay Z, and Diddy are the only hip hop artists on the top 20 list, and Jay is the only one of them that still actually raps. All of Diddy’s earnings come from Ciroc, and Dre’s from Beats. The rest of the list is dominated by pop, country, and rock stars.
Secondly, as much as youth is fetishized in modern culture, older artists are making the serious bucks. Madonna (#1), Bon Jovi (#3), Toby Keith (#4), Elton John (#8), and Roger Waters (#15) are all over 50 years old. They may not be cluttering your newsfeed/twitter stream like Miley or Ferg or Kanye, but they’re making MILLIONS of dollars, while none of the aforementioned artists are on the Forbes list.
Initially, it surprised us that Beyonce earned $11 million more than her husband. She just had a baby last year! A lot of women would be still recovering from that, focusing on motherhood, or just taking a break. With Jay earning money from new albums, Barclays, Roc Nation, and various other successful, long-running ventures, how is it that Bey earned more this year?
Turns out, her hiatus last year helped her. Both stars went on world tours this year. Jay and Kanye split about $1.4 million a night, whereas Beyonce pulled in $2 million per night all by her lonesome. Her collaborations with H&M, Pepsi and other brands, coupled with her House of Dereon clothing line collectively add up to more money than all of Jay’s various ventures, especially after he gave up his share in the Brooklyn Nets earlier this year. She’s also got significant residual income pouring in from Destiny’s Child album sales (which exploded after their Superbowl performance earlier this year) and the multiple Hollywood blockbusters she’s starred in.
As the highest paid couple in the world (they make over $90 million combined), it’s unlikely that either one of them feel too bad about this. However, we’re betting that yearly earnings are a point of contention between the couple and that as the loser, Jay is probably on Blue-Ivy-diaper-changing duty for the next month.