25 Richest Musicians of 2013
Some people feel bad for the music industry, but we don't.
There may be more illegal downloads than ever. But there are still plenty of super-rich musicians sitting on golden thrones, dining on the hopes and dreams of others and little sandwiches with no crust.
OK, just because they're wealthy, that doesn't mean they're evil, but we can't help throwin' a little bit of shade when we see Forbes' gross earning stats.
Take a look for yourself. Here are the 25 richest musicians of 2013
See also: 20 Richest Rappers of 2013
26. Tiesto: $32 Million (tie)
Last night, we watched this documentary called Dutch Influence, and it taught us how to appreciate Tiesto. We always figured he was a giant douche, but now we know he's an alright guy who just dresses like a dick. In any case, he has been doing the DJ thing for a long time. He fought for years so DJs to have the chance to earn so much they make Forbes lists. I guess we have to respect him for that.
26. Pink: $32 Million (tei)
Did you know Pink is the biggest rock star in Australia? She's literally their favorite performer. She sells out multiple dates in single venues. It's insane. Her tour grossed more than $2 million per city, Australian or not, so she's sleeping soundly and raking in the dough.
25. Tim McGraw: $33 Million
We don't really listen to country music that often, but it turns out Quick Draw McGraw (as we have just appointed him) had a killer on his hands with latest record Two Lanes of Freedom. If that's not the most country-sounding country album title we've ever heard... It debuted at no. 2 on the Billboard charts, making him one of the richest country singers - and overall musicians - in the whole world.
See also: 13 Richest DJs of 2013
23. Katy Perry: $39 Million (tie)
Perry's latest record sales for Prism weren't even included in the metrics of this list, but she still whooped up on everyone behind her with nothing but private gig earnings, perfume sales, her freakin' Popchips snacks, and that insane biopic Part of Me.
23. Rolling Stones: $39 Million (tie)
These British lads are in their 70s and still rockin'. Most bands would kill for the lasting tour legacy of the Stones. They're kind of the only band that gets away with this crap. And they say it's the reason they're still alive, so why not just let them keep going? Steady back catalogue sales top off their millions.
21. Red Hot Chili Peppers: $40 Million (tie)
Not quite as old as the Stones, but these wild and crazy guys have been around the block more than a few times. They used to do a lot of drugs, but obviously, they've turned in their tourniquets for good old-fashioned greenbacks. This is a much healthier lifestyle. It's been a while since they put out an album, but they haven't taken much break from the road in a few years.
See also: Katy Perry's "Roar": Why This Song Sucks
21. Dr. Dre: $40 Million (tie)
Dr. Dre doesn't release albums and he doesn't tour. He hardly leaves his dungeon, or so it seems. But he does sell a lot of freakin' bass-heavy headphones, and he does produce a lot of records for others. He's also gearing up to donate $70 Million to establish an academy of the arts and technology at University of Southern California.
19. One Direction: $42 Million (tie)
How does a fabricated boy band beat out one of the greatest hip-hop producers of all time? Easy. Little girls love spending their parents money. These bros grossed more than $1 million per city on their recent tour, that's 82 cities, btw. Not to mention, boy bands are one of the only forms of music still pushing mad CDs. Get it while it lasts, boys.
19. Jay Z: $42 Million (tie)
Jay Z lost a hyphen this year, but he also picked up as much money as that boy band, only he did it all by himself and without catering to a pre-teen audience. Alright, pre-teens probably still like Magna Carta Holy Grail. We're still upset he didn't name the album Magna Carter, HOVA Grail, but that's just us.
See also: Five Signs You Might Be a Shitty Rapper
17. Rihanna: $43 Million (tie)
Bad Gal RiRi answers to Jay, but she takes the lead in this list. The twerkaholic, ganja-smokin' hot toddy has been big ballin' on tour capital, record sales and Vita Coco endorsements. Big ups to the Barbadian princess for taking local boys GTA on tour with her. She's got good taste.
17. Muse: $43 Million (tie)
Did you have any idea Muse was such a popular band? Forbes didn't, because they literally referred to them as "the least famous name" on the list. But clearly, they have a dedicated fan base, because they too earned about $1 Million per city on their 70-show tour. Sorry you're so out of the loop, Forbes.
16. Roger Waters $44 Million
Unlike the Stones, Waters broke away from his band Pink Floyd years ago, but it's definitely still the Floyd catalogue that earns him all this money. Dude recently revived the famed The Wall tour and made a shit-ton off that. The band also continues to sell insane amounts of albums, because it's a rite of passage for suburban white kids to listen to everything Pink Floyd ever made in high school, as it shall always be, ad infinitum.
15. Jennifer Lopez $45 Million
Remember when J. Lo was dating P. Diddy and she was all up in music videos like "the last thing I need is another bracelet?" Bitch can afford her own bracelets now. She can dive into a pool of self-purchased bracelets if she really wanted to. American Idol got this diva mad paid, and she's got a huge stack of dollars from her world tour. Plus, she's on a whole different song competition show for Spanish speakers called Q'Viva.
14. Calvin Harris: $46 Million
TIL that Calvin Harris was discovered on Myspace as a singer-songwriter eight years ago. Now, he's the highest grossing DJ in the entire world. He has a monthly at LIV, and who could forget that awesome moment when he had that dumb bitch kicked out for telling him to "play something original." It's not his fault he wrote all the megahits and you don't know what you're talking about. Go home Brazil, you're drunk.
13. Paul McCartney: $47 Million
Do we even have to explain why Sir McCartney is filthy rich? He was a Beatle, which is really enough said. Then he formed Wings, and now he continues to have a profitable and influential solo career. We just hope he lives forever.
12. Diddy: $50 Million
Fuck J. Lo. Diddy be buying bracelets for whoever the fuhk he wants. He just started that awesome music and culture channel Revolt, and he had a life-changing experience at Burning Man. He still runs Bad Boy (4 lyfe), he still be merchin' with Sean John, and he's got a marketing firm called Blue Flame. One day, we will be invited to one of his parties and successfully attend.
10. Kenny Chesney: $53 Million (tie)
More country singers making the list for reasons we only partially understand. This guy is obviously a big deal because he made more than everyone else we already named. His album Life on a Rock has a funny name but a big draw. He has a home in the Virgin Islands, apparently, and he has his own rum, Blue Chair Bay. Sounds delicious.
10. Beyonce: $53 Million (tie)
Beyonce is married to Jay Z, which makes them the greatest power couple in all of media, but it looks like this independent woman is still the big bread winner. Baby Blue Ivy is way set for life, she doesn't even know.
9. Elton John: $54 Million
Sir Elton John had a serious health scare this year, but he made it out alive and kickin', and now he makes it into the top 10 of this music money makers who's-who. As like others on the list, he averaged more than $1 million per stop on his most recent tour. His new album Diving Board, the first in seven years, came out after the scoring period, but we're sure it's selling like hot cakes.
8. Taylor Swift: $55 Million
Who needs a boyfriend when you can buy whatever the hell you want? Apparently, Taylor Swift. But whatever. She better pray her relationships keep going sour, because we're starting to think she'd have nothing else to bank on. Well, maybe she'll always have Diet Coke, Sony and Covergirl, but whatever.
7. Justin Bieber: $58 Million
Justin Bieber is our favorite teen-hunk turned bad-boy of all time. No one pees in a bucket like this little bugger. We don't really want him to clean up his act anytime soon, but we do hope he manages to stay famous forever. Plus, his fans are like, the easiest to troll.
See also: Justin Beiber's Six Most NSFW Moments
6. Bruce Sprinsteen: $62 Million
This guy has done something truly amazing. He manages to remain the patron saint of blue-collar workers while simultaneously earning more money than any of those people's families will see in literal generations of saving. His tours continue to make more than $1 million per city, and somehow, the boss stays grounded.
5. Coldplay: $64 Million
So, up until now, $1 million per city on your tour has been pretty impressive. But nay, Coldplay shat on that cereal and earned on average more than $3 million per city on their most recent tour. Apparently, there is a lot of money out there for a band that sounds like U2, but isn't U2. Frontman Chris Martin and his wife Gwenyth Paltrow are so fancy, they get to hang with Beyonce and Jay Z, and sometimes the former couple appears on stage with Coldplay. Insane.
4. Toby Keith: $65 Million
Country music doesn't have much of a market outside of the U.S., so that means us red-blooded Americans threw so much money at Keith, he landed in the top four highest grossing musicians around the world for the entire year. That is a lot of beer-drinking, god-fearin' good old boys and girls. It doesn't hurt that he manages his own label, 18 restaurants and does hundreds of shows.
3. Bon Jovi: $79 Million
They may be trying to kick out their legendary guitarist, but that doesn't mean they can't still make enough money to make you sick to your stomach. Is it just us, or does it really seem like the music industry is run by tweens and aging rocker types? Us inbetweeners don't have the money to spend on crazy arena tours.
2. Lady Gaga: $80 Million
Or perhaps we spoke too soon. The gay community clearly has a lot of money, because Lady Gaga took the longest sabbatical ever for a pop star and still managed to come in at number two. Her Art Pop album is questionable in sales, although critically interesting, and though she was forced to stop touring early last year, it had already earned $168 million. Forbes speculates that, should she have been able to finish it out, it would have earned at least $200 million.
1. Madonna: $125 Million
Alright. The gays have it. Madonna just merked everyone. She made the rest of this list look stupid. We can't even imagine a pile of money so lush. This bitch sells mad tickets even when her album flops, and then she sells an insane load of merchandise. She is truly the queen of pop, now and forever more.
Follow Kat Bein on Twitter @KatSaysKill.
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