Top 10 artists of 2012

Billboard has released their top 40 money making artists for 2012. Interestingly concerts made up close to 70% of the revenue for the 40 artists on Billboard’s Moneymakers list. There were only two exception of the list, Adele and Taylor Swift, neither earned any income from concerts.

Madonna tops the list, in large part that’s because of her wildly successful MDNA tour which made up 93.5% of her total revenue. Runner-up Bruce Springsteen earned 92% of his revenue from live shows.

Justin Bieber made it into the top 10 this year, but live shows only accounted for 60% of his income.

According to Billboard estimates artists pocketed $373 million from concerts after paying agents, managers and expenses, up from $329 million in 2011.

The most popular touring artists are well past their peak, but continue to command large audiences due to their loyal fan base. Their aging fan base can afford to attend their concerts, but generally are not well versed in online access, impacting the artists sales in streaming music and digital download.

As Billboard points out with the aging rock band Rush, they earned 77% from their live shows, but only brought in 16% of their revenue in digital sales and only .04% from streaming.


Island Records


10. Justin Bieber


Justin Bieber kicked off 2013 by becoming the first artist to score five Billboard No. 1 albums before the age of 19. In 2012 he released his fourth album, Believe. The 18-year-old kicked off a tour in support of his new album which included hits, “Girlfriend” and “As Long As You Love Me.”

The pop-star accumulated $2.6 million in physical album sales, with another $806,000 in digital album sales, and a whopping $1.8 million in digital track sales. Add $10 million from his sold-out Believe tour and the Biebs comes in at No. 10






Capital Records



9. Coldplay


The bulk of Coldplay’s cold hard cash comes from touring in support of their album “Mylo Xyloto.” The tour made it’s way through North America, Europe and Australia, bringing the band a total of $13.9 million in revenue.

Single sales accounted for $954,000 in revenue, while albums at physical and digital retailers brought in another $1.3 million.





Broken Bow records



8. Jason Aldean


Jason Aldean’s  ‘My Kinda Party’ tour was No. 13 on -Billboard’s list of 2012’s top 25 tours with a gross of nearly $40 million for 59 shows. Each and every show was a sellout. He had strong record sales with “Night Train” selling more than one million records in 2012 and “My Kinda Party” sold over 590,000 records.









7. Tim McGraw


Curb Records


Tim McGraw‘s ‘Brothers of the Sun’ tour with Kenny Chesney landed him in seventh place and tied for the sixth-best concert-earner of the year. Overall, the tour was No. 7 on Billboard’s Top 25 Tours tally, grossing over $96 million with a total attendance of 1.1 million in only 23 shows.

Only 7% of McGraw’s revenue came from CD royalties, while 3.7% came from digital track royalties and 1.4% was from digital album royalties.








6. Dave Matthews Band


Dave Matthews Band remains one of the most consistent earners in the music business, Dave Matthews Band earned $41 million from just 41 shows. They are said to be one of the most efficiently run touring operations in the industry. They also take advantage of their own in-house Bama Rags merchandising business.

DMB’s revenue included the selling of 1.4 million digital tracks and 367,000 physical albums. These figures do not include Dave Matthews’ financial interest in the ATO Record label.





BNA Entertainment


5. Kenny Chesney


Kenny Chesney is the most successful touring act in country music history, building his shows into lifestyle events enjoyed by more than 1 million fans every year. Adding to his success Chesney invited country superstar Tim McGraw along for the ride increasing his gross concert sales to nearly $100 million

Chesney adds to his revenue with the sale of 64,142 ringtones and downloads of 4.6 million digital tracks.







Interscope Records



4. Van Halen


Van Halen’s tour ended sooner than expected with a total of 32 canceled shows, but that didn’t stop them from grossing $54 million from 46 shows. The tour was in support of “A Different Kind of Truth” and the fact that David Lee Roth was brought back to front the band. The tour was cut short due to exhaustion.

Van Halen sold 621,614 physical records and 213,524 digital albums in the United States, spiking non-touring earnings of an estimated $1.2 million for the band.






Island Records



3. Roger Waters


Roger Waters made it to No. 3 with “The Wall Live” tour, a song-for-song rendering of the landmark 1980 Floyd album, featuring stunning  visual elements wowing fans worldwide.

The tour finished as the fifth-highest-grossing of all time, with a total gross of $377,895,537 and total attendance of 3.3 million from 192 shows worldwide.







Columbia Records


2. Bruce Springsteen


Bruce Springsteen reunited with the E Street Band in 1999, Springsteen’s tours have been the most financially successful of his career. His latest tour “Wrecking Ball” in support of the album helped him capture the top draw award, based on Boxscore attendance, at the 2012 Billboard Touring Awards.

Springsteen finished close to $200 million gross, second only to Madonna among all tours. His shows have topped the 2 million mark as they continued on into 2013.

Springsteen sold 600,000 physical albums in 2012, and 1.6 million digital track downloads, more than any other artist on this chart that broke in the ’70s.



Madonna MDNA standard edition album cover

Boy Toys, Inc.


10. Madonna


Madonna scored in a big way with her, at times, controversial ‘MDNA’ tour. The Material Girl achieved the No. 1 spot on the Moneymakers list for a second time, with her tour bringing in $305 million gross.

Madonna generated $1.5 million in physical and digital album sales for her “MDNA” album.


Boy Toy, Inc. Protection Status

Pandora goes to the Grammys

Pandora, Pepsi and The Recording Academy® Provide Music Fans with Inside Look at Best New Artist GRAMMY® Nominees, via Video Series and Genre Stations

Pandora, PepsiCo Inc. and The Recording Academy announced an original content video series showcasing the 54th GRAMMY Best New Artist nominees.

The video series can be found at the GRAMMY genre stations are accessible at

The Best New Artist video series includes exclusive interviews with the Band Perry, Bon Iver, J. Cole, Nicki Minaj, and Skrillex. During the interviews, the artists discuss the evolution of their careers, share their excitement surrounding their Best New Artist nomination and describe their anticipation for the awards show.

“To commemorate the excitement for Music’s Biggest Night with the launch of a dozen GRAMMY genre stations and the first-ever Best New Artist video series is exciting,” said Evan Greene, Chief Marketing Officer, The Recording Academy. “We were pleased to extend this innovative program to Pandora users through our partnership with Pepsi.”

The partnership also offers music fans a GRAMMY mixtape, which can be found at includes songs from nominees and newcomers in various 54th GRAMMY Awards categories.

Pandora GRAMMY genre stations (see below) have been created in conjunction with the series, designed to help music fans celebrate and capture the excitement around the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards.

The 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards will be held Sunday, Feb. 12 at Staples Center in Los Angeles and will be broadcast live on the CBS Television Network at 8 p.m. (ET/PT).

The GRAMMY genre stations are based on official GRAMMY categories, ranging from country to comedy, and spotlight current and past GRAMMY-nominated artists. The new GRAMMY genre stations include:

GRAMMY(®) Country: featuring artists such as Lady Antebellum, Toby
Keith, Blake Shelton, and Carrie Underwood.

GRAMMY(®) Pop and Dance: featuring artists such as Adele, Black Eyed
Peas, Coldplay, and Maroon 5.

GRAMMY(®) Rock and Alternative: featuring artists such as the Black
Keys, Paul McCartney, Mumford & Sons, and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

GRAMMY(®) Rap: featuring artists such as Drake, Nicki Minaj, Kanye
West, and 50 Cent.

GRAMMY(®) R&B: featuring artists such as Beyonce, Chris Brown, Jennifer
Hudson, and John Legend.

GRAMMY(®) Gospel and Contemporary Christian Music: featuring artists
such as Kirk Franklin, Brandon Heath, Mary Mary, and Matthew West.

GRAMMY(®) Latin: featuring artists such as Calle 13, Intocable, Los
Tigres Del Norte, and Wisin Y Yandel.

GRAMMY(®) Jazz: featuring artists such as Karrin Allyson, Herbie
Hancock, Sonny Rollins, and Yellowjackets.

GRAMMY(®) World and Reggae: featuring artists such as Gilberto Gil,
Femi Kuti, Ziggy Marley, and Shaggy.

GRAMMY(®) American Roots Music: featuring artists such as the Civil
Wars, Emmylou Harris, Keb’ Mo’, and Ricky Skaggs.

GRAMMY(®) Classical: featuring artists such as those from the London
Philharmonic Orchestra and Metropolitan Opera, Paul Ruders, and Yo-Yo

GRAMMY(®) Comedy: featuring artists such as Lewis Black, Louis C.K.,
Flight Of The Conchords, and “Weird Al” Yankovic.

Free counters!