Posted in industry | music on February 12, 2009

AC/DC @ The Izod Center (more by Ryan Muir)
AC DC

If anyone had any doubt that touring is where the money is in the music business, a quick look at the top Moneymakers for 2008 should hammer the point home.

Regardless of genre, retail sales or radio play, each of the 20 acts on Billboard's Moneymakers list toured in 2008. (Taylor Swift mostly opened for Brad Paisley but doesn't get credit for that revenue). For almost all of them, touring generated the most revenue. And in a year when recorded-music sales declined yet again, many earned more at the box office than ever before. [Billboard]

I hope Kanye West can handle being below The Jonas Brothers (and Lil Wayne). The whole list below...

1. Madonna: $242,176,466
2. Bon Jovi: $157,177,766
3. Bruce Springsteen: $156,327,964
4. The Police: $109,976,894
5. Celine Dion: $99,171,237
6. Kenny Chesney: $90,823,990
7. Neil Diamond: $82,174,000
8. Rascall Flatts: $63,522,160
9. Jonas Brothers: $62,638,814
10. Coldplay: $62,175,555
11. The Eagles: $61,132,213
12. Lil Wayne: $57,441,334
13. AC/DC: $56,505,296
14. Michael Buble: $50,257,364
15. Miley Cyrus: $48,920,806
16. Taylor Swift: $45,588,730
17. Journey: $44,787,328
18. Billy Joel: $44,581,010
19. Mary J. Blige: $43,472,850
20. Kanye West: $42,552,402

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Comments (71)

Journey???????????

Posted by Anonymous | February 12, 2009 6:27 PM

Mary J Blige, but no Jay-Z?

Posted by Anonymous | February 12, 2009 6:28 PM

Kanye West made 42 million dollars in 2008. THAT. IS. INSANE.

Posted by Anonymous | February 12, 2009 6:29 PM

How are these amounts calculated?

Posted by Anonymous | February 12, 2009 6:30 PM

Madonna made a most a quarter of a billion last year
that is nuts

Posted by t | February 12, 2009 6:32 PM

Wonder how many of them invested with Madoff

Posted by Anonymous | February 12, 2009 6:38 PM

who the fuck is michael buble?

Posted by Anonymous | February 12, 2009 6:41 PM

in terms of "dollars made per times having sex with Mandy Moore," I'd say Ryan Adams outgrossed them all.

Posted by Anonymous | February 12, 2009 6:45 PM

Kanyes Sucks

Posted by Anonymous | February 12, 2009 6:46 PM

ITALIANS DO IT BETTER

look at that top 3! Michael, we're bigger than US Steel.

Posted by Anonymous | February 12, 2009 6:49 PM

If you made $42,552,402 last year, you shouldn't complain so much. Anyone who makes $42,552,402 in a year should not be allowed to type on their blog in all capital letters.

Posted by Anonymous | February 12, 2009 7:13 PM

Fuck! Vivian Girls were #21. I thought they would have edged out Kanye this year for the top 20 :(

Posted by Anonymous | February 12, 2009 7:28 PM

when does daft punk go on

Posted by Anonymous | February 12, 2009 7:38 PM

speaking of money and daft punk, you can get daft punk's greatest hits mp3 album for 2 bucks from amazon

Posted by Anonymous | February 12, 2009 7:44 PM

Billy Joel actually made $44,581,008.65 last year, but he rounded it up because Mama Leone found some change under the cushions on the bus.

what about songwriting royalties? I suspect Paul McCartney and Elton John make more money sleeping all day than the JoBros make working their asses off.

Posted by Anonymous | February 12, 2009 8:04 PM

these are gross figures, so not actually what the artist took home

Posted by Anonymous | February 12, 2009 8:17 PM

go buy some more gay shirts johnathan cain

Posted by Anonymous | February 12, 2009 8:21 PM

I don't understand where these numbers came from. As Anon 8:17 says, they are definitely gross figures, so subtract 10% for agents, 15% for manager, 30-40% for taxes, then all travel, flights, staging, personnel, many promotional costs, and who knows what else. Also, these might even not include venue rentals, promoter fees, etc. It is still have an absurdly huge amount of money, but not as absurd as these figures would lead you to believe.

Posted by Anonymous | February 12, 2009 8:21 PM

How did lil Wayne make more than anybody below him???????

Posted by Anonymous | February 12, 2009 8:24 PM

Girl Talk isn't on the list?

Posted by Anonymous | February 12, 2009 8:27 PM

mad niggaz luv lil wayne

Posted by Anonymous | February 12, 2009 8:33 PM

Yeah, I'd love to know how much of that quarter billion Madonna actually took home. Actually, I might be more interested to see how much the Jonas Brothers get in their bank accounts at the end of the day.

Posted by Bronze Medals | February 12, 2009 8:39 PM

hey, where is my piece of the pie?

Posted by Anonymous | February 12, 2009 9:02 PM

i am proud to say the only act i saw on the list was bruce springsteen. and i only paid $5 to a scalper to see the last hour. that is about all the bruce i can stomach.

Posted by gay twang | February 12, 2009 9:12 PM

wha about will.i.am? mad you tube plays yo

Posted by dan deacon | February 12, 2009 9:14 PM

why does this site hate on Kanye all the time?

Posted by Anonymous | February 12, 2009 9:21 PM

becuz kanye a pole smoker

Posted by Anonymous | February 12, 2009 9:29 PM

I still havent heard a jonas brothers song

Posted by Anonymous | February 12, 2009 9:40 PM

Neil Young clearly didn't charge enough for his shows.

Posted by drewo | February 12, 2009 9:56 PM

Rascal Flatts?

Posted by Anonymous | February 12, 2009 10:18 PM

Gross figures is right...man people have poor taste...the only act on that list worth a plugged nickel is AC/DC.

Posted by Anonymous | February 13, 2009 12:16 AM

Right, Bruce Springsteen is huckster

Posted by Anonymous | February 13, 2009 12:59 AM

Springsteen > Animal Collective

Posted by Anonymous | February 13, 2009 7:49 AM

>Yeah, I'd love to know how much of that quarter billion Madonna actually took home.

probably only half. (aka chump change)

Posted by Anonymous | February 13, 2009 8:03 AM

Wow that is one depressing list. Nobody I would pay to see though I did see Bruce play for free for Obama in October. It's quite a sad statement on what's popular.

Posted by Deb | February 13, 2009 8:09 AM

beastie boys got a 10.0

Posted by Anonymous | February 13, 2009 8:36 AM

The fact that Madonna made nearly $100,000,000.00 more than the next highest "grosser" is sort of mind blowing.

Then again, WGAF?

Posted by Anonymous | February 13, 2009 8:38 AM

"Journey???????????"

'Tis exactly what I said, and that's with the Filipino guy singing!

Definitely a mind blower that Madonna grossed Nearly A QUARTER OF A BIILLLIIOONN DOLLARS!

That's more than the operating budgets of several states COMBINED!

Posted by Freepster | February 13, 2009 8:44 AM

8:36: hahaha

Posted by Anonymous | February 13, 2009 8:49 AM

This place is a fire hazard!
I'm calling 311!
Party's over!

Posted by Sacred Absolute Hipster Cow | February 13, 2009 9:31 AM

love all of em!

Posted by Anonymous | February 13, 2009 9:38 AM

Madonna's patent on the queef ensures that she takes home a tonne of money each year.

Posted by Anonymous | February 13, 2009 10:19 AM

I can't believe they didn't include the $5,000,000,000 Tom Yaps pulled in for just being himself.

Posted by Anonymous | February 13, 2009 10:23 AM

My thoughts this year are the same as last. Rascall Flatts?!
Aside from this list on this website I've never heard or read a single mention of this group.

Posted by Anonymous | February 13, 2009 10:57 AM

and the most depressing thing about this - of the 30 or so bands that i paid to see in 2008, their combined income probably wouldn't get them in the top 100 on this list ...

Posted by giselle | February 13, 2009 11:01 AM

becuz kanye a pole smoker

Posted by A*ROX | February 13, 2009 11:33 AM

a lot of the madonna total has to be that advance she got from Live Nation for the next 10 years of her life.

Posted by Anonymous | February 13, 2009 11:50 AM

I find it hard to believe that Radiohead didn't bring in more than $42 million in 08?? With the album on their own label, the tour and royalites from their "greatest hits", c'mon. They must be witholding some of their income.

Posted by Anonymous | February 13, 2009 12:43 PM

i'm curious how they calculate these numbers. do artists routinely post for public consumption the total gross of their royalties, ticket sales, merch sales, etc... if anything, radiohead would be #21 on this list, but since they're indie now, there is even less reason to think they release these statistics.

yes, the madonna number has to include that huge advance she got from live nation. but on that token, where is jay z on the list??

Posted by Anonymous | February 13, 2009 1:14 PM

A-rod is a wise man to hang out with Madonna.

Posted by rod munch | February 13, 2009 1:18 PM

radiohead only made likd 5 mill off the records and they played mostly festivals. they booked MSG for september though (shhhhhh)

Posted by Anonymous | February 13, 2009 1:55 PM

can anyone clarify if this is only touring revenue or total revenue? touring gross rev is easy to find out. total rev would required artists disclosing tax statements i would guess. anyone?

Posted by Anonymous | February 13, 2009 1:58 PM

i'll be at one of these shows. in terms of "dollars made per times having sex with Mandy Moore," I'd say Ryan Adams outgrossed them all.

Posted by Wholesale Lingerie | September 20, 2009 1:39 PM

man that is a lot of money made by madonna wish i as that person

Posted by timothy | November 15, 2009 9:10 PM

"i'll be at one of these shows. in terms of "dollars made per times having sex with Mandy Moore," I'd say Ryan Adams outgrossed them all."

it's too bad this spambot didn't come up with that sick burn on its own.

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2009 9:50 PM

The top musicians are certainly rich. Their albums were selling world wide. They are so popular and they have tons of fans. If you ever got their real autograph, you can even earn money with selling it. There are sure people wanting to buy.

Posted by Alan | December 10, 2009 3:19 AM

These musicians are super stars well known on the the world. Their albums are selling hot. No wonder they are making hundreds of millions dollar per year.

Posted by Earn Money | December 10, 2009 3:24 AM

taylor swift but no beyonce

Posted by Anonymous | December 10, 2009 4:07 AM

man i did not know madonna was still racking in the dough.

Posted by make money on the internet | February 2, 2010 10:26 PM

Jonas Brothers made that much! dude you cant be serious.

Posted by cash gifting | February 2, 2010 10:37 PM

love all of em!

Posted by free registry cleaner | February 4, 2010 12:53 PM

kanye is a pole smoker

Posted by anonymous | February 5, 2010 4:47 AM

What about Beyonce and Jay-Z???,,, -Confused-,, oh well!!!

Posted by dre | February 28, 2010 2:34 PM

still havent heard a jonas brothers song

Posted by lavoro a domicilio | April 4, 2010 12:50 PM

The Jonas brothers better invest that money because I can't see them lasting in the industry very long. They have ZERO talent. I still can't figure out how they got so big. These boy bands always fizzle out fast.

Posted by Woodlands TX Real Estate | April 11, 2010 6:24 PM

Music is a symbol of human civilization. Music for people to peace, harmony, happy, joy, revelry, whether happy or sad, music everywhere. We like music, we love her

Posted by jack | September 3, 2010 10:18 PM

I'm going to see Journey tonight. They are playing at the outdoor amphitheater here in The Woodlands TX. That is awesome to see Madonna at the top of the list. I had no idea that she was still cleaning up like that. I guess she makes a huge portion of that over in Europe.

Posted by Lake Conroe | September 25, 2011 10:57 AM

This is good music!! Not like those new bands that just sound "good" and that's it. Where'd the talent go people??

Posted by The Woodlands Real Estate | July 16, 2012 1:17 PM

This is good music!! Not like those new bands that just sound "good" and that's it. Where'd the talent go people??

Posted by The Woodlands Real Estate | July 16, 2012 1:38 PM

^ HUH ?

Posted by The SunnyDay Real Estate | July 16, 2012 2:05 PM

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