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Forbes’ List of Highest-Paid Musicians Is Out And Madonna Is #1, Lady Gaga #2 Respectively

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Fans can argue all day long about who’s a better artist, Madonna or Lady Gaga.  But when it comes to who’s got a bigger bank account, there’s no question: the Material Girl trumps Mother Monster.

Forbes is out with its annual list of the world’s highest-paid musicians, and Madonna comes in at #1, with earnings of $125 million over the past year, measured from June 1 of 2012 through June 1 of this year.  Gaga is #2, with $80 million in earnings, but had she not had to cancel her Born this Way Ball tour due to hip surgery she likely would have out-earned the Queen of Pop.

Bon Jovi is #3 on the list, with earnings of $79 million, thanks to their huge Because We Can tour, which takes in an estimated $3 million per city.  Country star Toby Keith is #4 on the list with $65 million, followed by Coldplay with $64 million.  Justin Bieber’s next with $58 million, followed by Taylor Swift with $55 million.  Here’s the rest of Forbes’ list:

Elton John $54 million
Beyonce/Kenny Chesney (tie) $53 million
Diddy $50 million
Paul McCartney $47 million
DJ/Producer/Artist Calvin Harris $46 million
Jennifer Lopez $45 million
Ex-Pink Floyd member Roger Waters $44 million
Rihanna/Muse (tie) $43 million
Jay Z/One Direction (tie) $42 million
Dr. Dre/Red Hot Chili Peppers (tie) $40 million
Katy Perry/Rolling Stones (tie) $39 million
Tim McGraw $33 million
Pink/Superstar DJ Tiesto (tie) $32 million

Forbes’ estimates of artists’ incomes reflect pretax amounts, before fees for agents, managers and lawyers. To make the list, an artist has to be alive; if dead ones were included, Michael Jackson would have been #1 with earnings of $160 million.


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