Highest-Paid Musicians Of 2015
Katy Perry pulled in $135 million over the past year, making her not only the highest-paid musician of the past year, but the top-earning celebrity on the planet after Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.
She’s immediately followed in the rankings by two other road warriors: One Direction ($130 million) and Garth Brooks ($90 million). The former is the biggest boy band in the world and the top-earning group of any sort, generating seven-figure grosses at every stop— giving One Direction a payday twice as big as the Rolling Stones. Brooks, meanwhile, came back from semi-retirement to gross over $1 million per show. Taylor Swift rounds out the top four with $80 million, boosted by the launch of 1989, the top release of 2014 with over 3.6 million copies sold.
Though there are two women in the top four and four in the top ten, the list reveals a troubling pay gap in the music business: there are only six females in the top 30, and that’s if you count both women of Fleetwood Mac. There is, however, a decent amount of diversity on the list when it comes to age (from the youngsters of One Direction to 73-year-old Paul McCartney, who ranks No. 17 with $51.5 million) and genre (with Brooks leading the way in country, Diddy taking hip-hop’s cash crown with $60 million at No. 9, and Calvin Harris pacing all DJs with $66 million at No. 6). Surprisingly, the top-earning couple on the list is not Jay Z and Beyoncé, who ranked No. 13 and 14 with $56 million and $54.5 million, respectively. That honor goes to Swift and Harris, who combined to earn $146 million, thanks mostly to endorsements and live shows.
One Direction, Katy Perry and Garth Brooks are last year’s
top money earners.