Who are the biggest money makers in music? Artists who have been around awhile. Of the 50 top-earning musicians of 2017, 29 were labelled “heritage artists” by Billboard. These are musicians who have released at least 10 albums and have been in the business for at least two decades.
In addition to concert income, the list takes into account royalties from domestic sales, streaming and publishing.
Rock musicians dominated the list. They accounted for 24 of the 50 spots. Pop and coun ear concert tour in 2017 that netted him the majority of his $52.2 million in take-home pay. Metallica came in number three with $43.2 million. All members are in their 50s.
Two millennials rounded out the top five — 32-year-old Bruno Mars ($40.7 million) and 27-year-old Ed Sheeran ($31.3 million).
Nearly all 50 acts made the majority of their income from touring, reported MarketWatch. Total domestic tour earnings were $961 million for the acts, an increase of 13 percent from the previous year.
Drake, 31, and Taylor Swift, 28, were the only two who made the list without going on tour. The Toronto rapper took the 37th spot, earning most of his $8.6 million from streaming royalty. Swift, No.48, made $5 million from album sales.
Meanwhile, U2 also just topped the Billboard Dance Club Songs Chart with the third single from their latest album, Songs of Experience. Remixes of their track “Love Is Bigger Than Anything In Its Way” features Beck, Cheat Codes, Will Clarke, The Funk Hunters and Daybreakers. U2 last topped this chart in 2001 with “Beautiful Day.”
The band is in the midst of its eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE Tour.