The Wealthiest Musicians of 2019
Thanks to album and song downloads, streaming and various other income streams, lots of musicians earn millions of dollars a year for their amazing talent. Of course, as a fan, you know there's nothing quite like seeing your favorite band or artist perform live in concert. The highs are higher, the lows are lower and you can literally feel the music in your bones.
When they aren’t touring or making new music, some stars even try their hand at expanding their income in other parts of the entertainment world, such as television and movies. Curious which artist took home the most in 2019 from touring, albums and other pursuits? Let’s take a look!
Romeo Santos - $14.5 Million
Romeo Santos is known as the "King of Bachata." If you don't listen to Latin music, you probably haven’t heard of him, but he's a top-earning musician in his style. He has even sold out two consecutive shows at Yankees Stadium in the Bronx. Impressed yet?
Dave Matthews Band - $15 Million
The Dave Matthews Band is still going strong, earning more than $15 million in 2019. The group puts on quite a show and draws fans back year after year. Matthews and his bandmates earned more than $12 million just for touring in 2019.
Dead & Company - $15.4 Million
Dead & Company is the most recent iteration of the Grateful Dead. Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann have been joined by "Your Body Is a Wonderland'' singer John Mayer, and the group seemed to do quite well for themselves in 2019.
J. Cole - $16 Million
J. Cole is an interesting name on this list. For starters, not a lot of people know who he is. To fill you in, he’s the first artist signed to Jay-Z's Roc Nation label, and he has been around for several years, but his music isn't very mainstream. Regardless, he has a solid fan base, and that fan base clearly makes him some money.
Travis Scott - $16.5 Million
Travis Scott is one of the highest earning musicians of 2019, and he is also one of a handful of rappers who made double-digit-millions this year. He seems to be in a class of his own, pulling in a very praiseworthy figure north of $16.5 million.
The Rolling Stones - $16.5 Million
The Rolling Stones are still earning millions after all these years. One of the most legendary rock groups in history, they earned more than $16.5 million in 2019. The guys still head out on the road to perform for fans, and that brought in more than $12 million just from doing shows.
Chris Stapleton - $17 Million
Chris Stapleton debuted his first album Traveller — no word on why he chose the British spelling — back in 2015, so he is relatively new to the country scene. His newness doesn't make him a stranger to earning money, however. In fact, Stapleton finds himself in good company on the highest earners list.
Foo Fighters - $17 Million
Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl started the Foo Fighters in 1994, and he hasn't looked back since. The well-known band earned about $17 million in 2019, collecting the majority of that total from touring. The Foo Fighters play various venues from ballparks to indoor arenas and earned more than $14.5 million in tour money alone.
Def Leppard - $17.5 Million
Def Leppard is an English rock band best known for the hit track "Pour Some Sugar on Me." The group earned more than $17.5 million in 2019, making them one of the highest earning bands in the world.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra - $17.5 Million
While you might think of Trans-Siberian Orchestra as being a holiday band — well, you would be right. The group tours for about two months out of the year, playing some of the most electrifying holiday sounds for adoring fans. In 2019, they raked in more than $17.5 million on tour.
Imagine Dragons - $18 Million
Imagine Dragons came onto the music scene in 2008, and the group has only increased their popularity since then. In 2019 alone, the band earned more than $18 million, spread out fairly evenly across various income sources.
Journey - $19 Million
"Don't stop believing" in Journey — ever! Their music has been around since the early '70s, and it just never gets old. In 2019, the group brought in an impressive $19 million, with the majority coming from their various shows. They toured through the end of the year and then took a short break before their planned return to the stage in May 2020.
Metallica - $20 Million
Metallica is one of the more diversified bands on this list. The group earned nearly $20 million in 2019 by tapping into various income streams. They made more than $4.5 million in record sales and another $3.4 million from streaming.
U2 - $21 Million
U2 has been around since the late '70s, but the band is far from washed-up has-been status. In fact, they still bring in some serious cash year after year. In 2019, in particular, the Irish rock band brought in more than $21 million, based heavily on money from their nationwide tour.
Post Malone - $22 Million
Post Malone broke onto the scene in 2015, and he isn't going away anytime soon. In 2019, he earned more than $22 million, and his songs are some of the most streamed in the world. In fact, Malone earned a solid $7 million on tour, but he actually earned the majority of his income from streaming.
Maroon 5 - $23 Million
The guys of Maroon 5 seem to have gotten a bit of a boost in their 2019 earnings, thanks to a tour that netted them about $19 million. Their catchy tunes also earned them nearly $4 million in streaming, which added to their annual earnings of more than $23 million.
Luke Bryan - $24 Million
Perhaps one of the most well-known, well-respected guys in country music, Luke Bryan is also one of the genre's highest earners. In 2019, he made nearly $24 million, with more than $19 million coming in from touring alone.
Jay-Z - $32 Million
Jay-Z is one of the highest earning musicians of 2019, and one of the highest earning rappers of all time. In 2019, he pulled down more than $32 million, which further expanded his already massive net worth, which currently sits at $1 billion. That’s right — $1 billion. Not bad for a boy with a rough start in life, right?
Bruno Mars - $32 Million
Bruno Mars is no stranger to the top of the music charts, so it’s no surprise he earned millions in 2019. He hasn’t released a new album since 2016, but he still managed to earn nearly $1 million in record sales in 2019.
Beyoncé - $33 Million
Queen Bey never disappoints. Beyoncé and her husband, Jay-Z, who is also on this list, made tons of money on their joint tour. Beyoncé herself raked in more than $27 million performing for fans all over the globe.
Pink - $35 Million
"So what, she's still a rock star!" Pink is still rocking the stage whenever she goes on tour, and she made more than $31 million in 2019 because of it. In total, the mom of two brought in more than $35 million in 2019, making her one of the elite musicians on this list.
Billy Joel - $35 Million
Billy Joel has been a staple in the music industry for as long as we can remember. His concerts sell out, no matter the venue, and he has never failed to see nice paychecks every year from various music sources. The majority of this year's $35 million came from ticket sales and concert merchandise, like T-shirts and keychains.
Elton John - $36 Million
Elton John announced his farewell tour, and his fans came out to support him in droves in 2019. He earned more than $33 million from his Yellow Brick Road Tour last year. In fact, things went so well, that he recently added 24 more shows to his plans for 2020.
The Eagles - $36 Million
The Eagles' first greatest hits album, simply titled Their Greatest Hits, has sold more than 26 million copies since its release in 1976. (That’s right — The Eagles already had a greatest hits album by 1976.) In 2019, the group earned more than $1 million in record sales and an additional $2.2 million in streaming.
Justin Timberlake - $37 Million
Justin Timberlake is one of the most successful solo artists who ever started as a member of a boy band. After leaving *NSYNC in 2002, Timberlake saw nothing but love and support from fans, and that translated to a steady stream of dollars into his bank account.
Ed Sheeran - $42 Million
Ed Sheeran had quite an amazing year in 2019. Aside from joining forces with Justin Bieber and Travis Scott, Sheeran brought in money from all different kinds of revenue streams. In 2019, he earned a cool $42 million, and he has no plans to slow down.
Kenny Chesney - $43 Million
Kenny Chesney has made quite a name for himself on the country music scene. In 2019, he earned almost $43 million, thanks largely to a tour that took over football stadiums and other large arenas all over the country. The tour earned Chesney about $38 million from ticket sales, merchandise and other non-specified, tour-related items.
Drake - $53 Million
Drake made some serious bank in 2019. Earning almost $53 million for the year, he was one of the highest earning musicians of 2019 — and beyond. Drake's bank account was nicely padded, thanks to an incredibly successful world tour that netted him somewhere in the $30 million range.
Bruce Springsteen - $53 Million
When you’re known as "The Boss," it only seems fitting that you’re one of the highest earning musicians of 2019. Bruce Springsteen’s fan base is beyond supportive, consistently buying concert tickets at sold-out venues all over the country. In fact, he earned more than $51 million touring the world in 2019 alone.
Taylor Swift - $100 Million
Taylor Swift made her triumphant return to the music scene in 2019, releasing her first album in two years — and it was a huge success. Lover earned more than $1.5 million in 2019 after its August 23 release. That was just a drop in the bucket on the earnings that landed Swift in the top spot as the highest earning musician of 2019.