Forbes has released the 2013 list of highest paid musicians where the top contenders made the list not solely for the music produced. Madonna’s fruitful year of $125 million placed her in the top spot; however, she is not necessarily the Queen of Music but more likely the Queen of Merchandise and Touring. Her annual income was a culmination of revenue from her MDNA Tour and subsequent merchandise from the tour (current estimates claim the amount is $305 million), sales from her Truth or Dare fragrance, and the rising popularity of her Material Girl clothing line.
Kevin Liles, who is the founder of KWL Enterprises, explained how capitalizing on money-making avenues beyond producing music will help place artists on this list. “With touring being the biggest revenue stream, if there’s an opportunity for an artist to go out, if there’s an opportunity for a promoter to curate a festival, people are doing it,” Liles said.
Why the medias are so surprised that Madonna is the highest-paid musician of 2013?! She is always 1st on this list after an album and a tour
— MDNASoldier (@fr_lola) November 19, 2013
Lady Gaga, the infamous rumored rival to Madonna, placed second on the list with $80 million where she had grossed $160 million through touring before cancelling due to a hip injury. Bon Jovi was third on the list thanks to annual earnings of $79 million, which was partially the result of the Because We Can tour. Toby Keith ($65 million) placed fourth barely etching out the fifth spot, where Coldplay placed due to earnings of $64 million.
Though some may wonder if an artist typically places at the top from year-to-year, the list for 2012 composed different artists where many of the performers were from the UK. However, the list for last year as well as the list for this year shows that having a top album is not the main factor for grossing the highest revenue. Most importantly, artists must maintain active tour schedules.