Music makes the world go round. The best musicians are the ones who are demanded by the fans. That demand is turned over into fortune and now these musicians are some of the richest people in the world.
The musicians on this list are some of the top musicians in the industry, but how much are they really worth? Between sold out world tours, top charting albums and numerous endorsement deals, these musicians are swimming in cash. Even if you think you know who may be the richest in the world, after things like taxes and high expenses, you may be shocked at who is left with the most. With musicians that have performed in several different decades, it's clear that being a musician is not a newly lucrative position.
Check out this list to see 15 of the richest musicians in 2016. Did your favorite artist make the cut?
15 Miley Cyrus - Net Worth: $165 Million
Miley Cyrus' net worth is estimated to be a very respectable $165 million.
Miley began growing her fortune at a young age, acting on the Disney show Hannah Montana. She later shed her good girl image and became an international pop star touring all over the world.
Miley’s first studio album, Meet Miley Cyrus, in 2007 sold one million records and earned her over $7 million—the album included her first hit single, “See You Again.”
Cyrus has become a celebrated musical artist for making songs like “Party in the USA,” “Can’t Be Tamed,” “We Can’t Stop” and the chart-topping hit “Wrecking Ball.”
In 2010, Forbes ranked Miley Cyrus in the 13th spot on their list of the highest-paid celebrities. She made her way back on the list in 2014, this time in the 17th spot.
Since her days on Hannah Montana, Cyrus has continued to further her acting career in films like The Last Song and Bolt.
14 Rihanna - Net Worth: $175 Million
Rihanna's net worth is estimated to be about $175 million as of September 2016.
Rihanna was just 16 years old when she was signed to Def Jam Records. At the time, rapper Jay Z was the CEO of Def Jam. Rihanna's first album, Music of the Sun, debuted in 2005 and featured the sounds of reggae-pop beats with R&B grooves. The album sold over a million copies.
The singer's second album, A Girl Like Me, was released a year later in 2006 and included her hit single "S.O.S."
With over 25 million albums sold and 60 million singles worldwide as of 2012, Billboard named Rihanna Digital Song Artist of the last decade.
She has also endorsed well-known brands like Puma, Clinique, Reebok, Vita Coco, Nivea and Secret deodorant.
Rihanna also has her own fragrance line, Reb'l Fleur, which adds millions more to her annual revenue. While she is originally from the island of Barbados, it's clear she has the money to live wherever she wants.
13 Katy Perry - Net Worth: $210 Million
Katy Perry has an estimated total net worth of $210 million.
Perry's net worth comes from music sales, concerts, acting, endorsement deals, and investments. Since entering the music scene with her hit single "I Kissed A Girl" in 2008, Perry has easily become one of the world's biggest pop stars. Her breakthrough album, One of the Boys, followed later in 2008. Perry's second album, Teenage Dream, was released in 2010, debuting at number one on the Billboard 200.
Her net worth saw two big spikes in earnings from both her California Dreams and Prismatic concert tours. The first tour took in $59 million at the box office and the second pulled a staggering $204 million and saw her perform in over 124 shows, in over 27 countries.
Single artists often get most of the revenue from their concerts, meaning Perry most likely earned 85% or more of each show’s revenue.
12 Taylor Swift - Net Worth: $250 Million
Taylor Swift has an estimated net worth of $250 million.
Swift brought in a huge haul of money from her massive 1989 World Tour, which grossed $200 million in North America.
When Swift first signed with Big Machine Records, she released her first single "Tim McGraw" which preceded her first self-titled studio album release.
Among Swift's many accolades are eight American Music Awards, eight Grammies, and six CMT Music Awards.
YouTube revenue has added $62,529,938 to the Taylor Swift net worth sum.
Taylor Swift also has endorsement deals with top brands like Diet Coke and Apple.
Swift has also made endorsement deals with L.E.I. Jeans, CoverGirl, Keds, American Greetings, Sony, NHL, Elizabeth Arden and Air Asia. Swift has taken in about $111 million in endorsement income since 2006.
Additionally, Swift has appeared in many popular publications including Seventeen, Teen Vogue, Rolling Stones and she is the current image of L.E.I. Jeans.
11 Beyonce - Net Worth: $265 Million
Beyonce Knowles-Carter has an estimated net worth of $265 million as of June 2016.
Beyonce is an American R&B recording artist, actress, activist, and fashion designer.
Beyonce is probably one of the most popular female musicians of her generation. After going solo from her band Destiny's Child, Beyonce has earned a great deal of popularity.
The singer has produced six successful studio albums, the last two being complete visual albums. Beyonce dropped her self-titled album, Beyonce, and her most recent album, Lemonade, without any warning to fans or promotion.
Beyonce's romance and marriage with hip-hop mogul, rapper and CEO Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter helped to elevate Beyonce to the high-level performer in the entertainment world that she is today.
Together, the hip-hop couple has dominated the industry and have been a huge influence on music.
Throughout her 17-year career, she has sold more than 75 million records as a solo artist and another 60 million records with Destiny’s Child.
10 Lady Gaga - Net Worth: $280 Million
Since 2008, when Lady Gaga released her first album The Fame, the singer's net worth has grown from next to nothing to an estimated $280 million.
Lady Gaga was just 22 years old when her debut album earned her $18 million.
Gaga has remained one of the biggest names in the music industry, pushing limits with her over-the-top performances and fashion choices.
She has also won a ton of awards, including six Grammy Awards, 13 MTV Music Video Awards and even 12 Guinness World Records.
Lady Gaga’s net worth benefited from $47 million in music sales. That includes $33 million from sales of albums and $14 million from singles.
Another part of the Lady Gaga net worth story is $23 million in YouTube earnings. Music stars like Gaga make money by putting music videos on YouTube and then selling ad space on them.
9 Gene Simmons - Net Worth: $300 Million
Gene Simmons is a singer, songwriter, and producer often known by his stage name, The Demon and his time in the rock band Kiss.
The band is notorious for its members' black and white face paint and theatrical stage outfits. It clearly worked out for him, because Gene Simmons net worth is currently estimated at $300 million.
In the beginning of Simmons' music career, he joined a band named Wicked Lester. Gene later left that band and formed Kiss. The band rose to prominence after they released their first live recorded album entitled Alive! The album became an instant success and was certified Gold by the Recording Industries Association of America.
The album also featured the band’s first single that managed to enter top 40 charts, "Rock and Roll All Night."
Kiss has sold over 100 million records. The revenues from these sales are responsible for the bulk of Gene Simmons' net worth.
8 Mick Jagger - Net Worth: $360 Million
Sir Michael Philip "Mick" Jagger has an estimated net worth of $360 million in 2016. The English singer and songwriter is best known as the lead vocalist of the rock band The Rolling Stones.
Together, The Rolling Stones have generated almost $2 billion from touring since 1989. The Stones' most recent tour held the highest grossing record for three years at $558.2 million.
The Rolling Stones, headed by Mick Jagger, were seen as the founding fathers of the “darker arts” of rock. Jagger has made his millions singing about sex, drugs and rock and roll.
The musician has also dabbled in a few other realms like acting and producing films.
Mick Jagger released his first solo album in 1985 titled She's The Boss.
Not much is known about Mick Jagger's current estate holdings, but he does own a Japanese-themed island villa, so I mean that's pretty cool.
7 Jay Z - Net Worth: $550 Million
American rapper, hip hop mogul, and businessman Shawn "Jay Z" Carter is currently worth an estimated $550 million.
Jay Z’s first album Reasonable Doubt went platinum, immediately establishing his influence and grip on the world of hip-hop. From there, each album represented a gain in sales.
Jay has worked with other big name musicians like Kanye West, Just Blaze, and The Neptunes.
Married to a fellow musician, Beyonce, he and his wife are one of the most influential couples in the music industry. As a combo, the pair is worth well over $800 million.
It can be hard to keep track of all the different money-making schemes that Jay Z has his hands in, but his most consistent money-maker has been his music.
Jay Z's music streaming service, Tidal, has also seen a huge growth in download numbers.
The rest of his earnings have come in the form of endorsement deals and business deals.
6 Madonna - Net Worth: $560 Million
Madonna has an estimated net worth of $560 million in 2016, proving that The Material Girl is one of the richest girls in the industry.
At the age of 57, Madonna is still going as strong as ever. She is known for her reinvention on the stage and a genre-spanning back catalog of music, beginning in the 1980s and remaining popular to this day.
Madonna's recently wrapped Rebel Heart Tour grossed $170 million. Her career total is currently estimated to be around $1.4 billion.
Madonna has also created a high-value real estate portfolio for herself, which includes an enormous townhouse in New York City.
The singer has also invested in some fine art featuring the likes of Pablo Picasso, Frida Kahlo, and Man Ray.
Her business ventures outside of music include a wide variety of branded merchandise, clothes, books, makeup, fragrances, you name it she sells it. She owns a chain of fitness stores called Hard Candy Fitness and founded the entertainment company, Maverick.
5 Bono - Net Worth: $600 Million
Sir Paul Hewson, aka Bono, is the lead singer of the famous rock band, U2.
Bono hails from Ireland and is also a businessman and active humanitarian. The rocker's current estimated net worth is around $600 million, making him one of the wealthiest Irish singers in the music industry.
Bono and U2 first got together in 1976 when Bono was just 16 years old. The band first played under the name "Feedback." The name was later changed to "The Hype," before the group landed on the name U2.
To this date, U2 is one of the most successful rock bands in the world, selling more than 150 million records worldwide.
Bono has also proven himself to be a savvy businessman by being the director of Elevation Partners and co-owning The Clarence Hotel in Dublin.
Bono has been married to his high school sweetheart for nearly thirty years. The couple has raised four children together. The entire family lives in a luxurious mansion in Ireland.
4 Dr. Dre - Net Worth: $700 Million
Dr. Dre is one of the wealthiest players in the hip hop game. His net worth is estimated to be at $700 million.
Dre started his career in 1984 with the World Class Wreckin' Cru. Dre has pulled in over $24 million in album sales, $2 million in single sales and $5.2 million from YouTube ads.
Endorsement deals have had a huge influence over Dre's growing fortune, adding a cool $46 million.
Dr. Dre is a man of many talents. He has made over $6 million producing music and has even dabbled in some acting, earning $10 million for his film career.
The super producer’s Beats By Dr. Dre headphones sale got him the largest one-off payday of any living musician in history. The line brought $955 million in business deal income.
Last year’s biopic Straight Outta Compton padded his coffers, too. Now he’s sitting on a nine-figure cash stash—and a jaw-dropping portfolio of southern California real estate that even a billionaire would envy.
3 Diddy - Net Worth: $750 Million
Sean "Diddy" Combs is a musician, producer, actor, fashion designer and businessman. His current estimated net worth is $750 million.
Diddy owns his own music production company, Bad Boy Records, his own fashion label, Sean John, and he manages multiple other business ventures.
Diddy started out his career interning for Uptown Records. After getting fired from that job, he formed Bad Boy Records in 1993 with the late rapper, Notorious B.I.G.
Some of Diddy's first artists signed to his label included Faith Evans, 112, and Total.
He began his career as a rapper under the moniker Puff Daddy, producing his first album No Way Out and releasing his first single, “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down” in 1997.
Aside from being a rapper and producer, he also tried himself to appear in several films and TV shows such as Made, Draft Day, Hawaii Five O, CSI: Miami, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Combs also produced the hit reality show Making the Band from 2002-2009.
2 Andrew Lloyd Webber - Net Worth: $1.2 Billion
Webber has composed 13 musicals, many of which have run for over a decade in both the West End and on Broadway.
Several songs from Webber's musicals have gone on to become hit songs outside of their parent musicals like "The Music Of The Night" from The Phantom of the Opera, "I Don't Know How To Love Him" from Jesus Christ Superstar and "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" and "You Must Love Me" from Evita.
Andrew Lloyd Webber has an estimated net worth of $1.2 billion in 2016.
Along with musicals, the English composer also wrote a set of variations, a couple of film scores and a Latin Requiem Mass.
Webber owns his own theater operations company in the UK called the Really Useful Group. The musician is also the President of the Arts Educational Schools in London.
1 Paul McCartney - Net Worth: $1.24 Billion
Sir Paul McCartney was a member of a little band you may have heard of called The Beatles. Now, more than 50 years after he reached global fame with the band, McCartney is still putting out music and staying relevant in pop culture. As a result, he is number one on this list with an estimated net worth of $1.24 billion in 2016.
No musician has ever made as much money as McCartney has.
The Beatles broke up in 1970, but that did not slow down McCartney. He has put out dozens of records and sold tens of millions of copies.
Paul's songwriting style has never really gone out of style. His work appeals to millions of people across many different generations.
Sir Paul McCartney has won 21 Grammy Awards and is considered one of the greatest pop songwriters that ever lived, so are you really surprised he's the richest musician in the world?
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