I think Forbes are trying to send me into a severe depression or something, just last week they released their annual Hollywoodâ€™s Top-Earning Actresses but now they are releasing their Top-Earning Musicians of the year and yet again it makes me want to cry myself to sleep from jealousy:
Thanks to her “Sticky & Sweet Tour,” the top-grossing international and domestic tour of 2008 according to Pollstar, Madonna out earned the rest of her peers. She also released her 11th studio album, Hard Candy, which debuted at No.1 in over 30 countries. In the U.S., the album sold 100,000 copies on the first day of release. The Material Girl also endorses Louis Vuitton.
2. Celine Dion
Returning to the touring stage after three years on the Las Vegas circuit was a boon to Dion’s bottom line. The Canadian singer was promoting the 2007 release of Taking Chances, her first studio album in English since 2003. The tour sold out in the U.S. and Canada, becoming the second top-grossing tour of 2008 with gross earnings of $237 million. Dion also released an English greatest-hits collection, My Love: Essential Collection, and a sixth perfume to her fragrance collection.
In the last year, Queen B dropped a double album, starred in two films, performed at both the Oscars and a presidential Inaugural Ball and embarked on what is expected to be, at minimum, a 110-date international tour. She also expanded a fashion collection that includes casual and formal lines, as well as jewelry and eyeglasses, and added sponsors Nintendo, Crystal Geyser and General Mills to a roster of endorsers already including L’OrÃ©al, Giorgio Armani and Samantha Thavasa handbags
4. Bruce Springsteen
Along with the E Street Band, Springsteen’s tour grossed $166 million in 2008 to rank fourth among the top-grossing international tours of the year. The New Jersey crooner enjoyed a year in the spotlight, as his support of President Barack Obama, his Golden Globe win for his song on The Wrestler soundtrack and his NFL Super Bowl halftime performance kept him in the news.
5. Kenny Chesney
Chesney, the continued top-grossing country act on tour, was the genre’s only star to make the top-10 international concert roster in 2008, grossing $72 million and selling over 1 million tickets. He also released Lucky Old Sun last October. Chesney was featured along with Jon Bon Jovi and Eric Clapton in Mastercard’s Roots of Rock sweepstakes and has endorsement deals with Cruzan Rum and Corona
6. Rascal Flatts
The boys from Ohio have found a cozy niche for themselves with crossover pop/country hits and a young fan base. The group grossed $56 million on the road last year, but buoyed their earnings with lucrative endorsement deals with JCPenney and Hershey’s. Their latest album, Unstoppable, released in April, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.
The British band Coldplay grossed $72 million from international touring in 2008. Their June 2008 release Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends became the most-downloaded album of all time, selling 354,000 digital copies in the first two weeks of its release. The group won three Grammys in February, including Best Rock Album.
The Aussie rock band fronted by aging schoolboy Angus Young tied for No. 5 on this year’s list of top earners thanks to their seemingly relentless popularity. Their fall 2008 effort, Black Ice, was the band’s first album in eight years. Sales of Ice combined with international catalog sales made AC/DC the No. 1 catalog artist of 2008. As well, their domestic tour grossed $38 million in 2008
It was a bittersweet year for fans of the Eagles. The group released their first studio album since 1979, though according to Don Henley it will likely be their last collective effort. Long Road Out of Eden was sold exclusively through the band’s Web site, Sam’s Club and Wal-mart for the first year of its release, though it still managed to sell 700,000 copies in the first week. Their accompanying tour began last March at London’s O2 Arena, eventually grossing $87 million in 2008.
10. Toby Keith
A consistent name among musical top earners, Toby Keith has continued to expand his brand. He grossed $31 million on tour in 2008, and That Don’t Make Me a Bad Guy, which has since sold over 500,000 copies. He also sees income from an endorsement deal with Ford, an eponymous chain of restaurants and as a prolific songwriter.
11. Bon Jovi
The international tour to support Bon Jovi’s 2007 album Lost Highway grossed $176 million in 2008, ranking at No. 3 in Pollstar’s list of top worldwide tours and second only to Madonna based on the number of tickets sold. A documentary of the tour, When We Were Beautiful, was screened at the Tribeca Film Festival in April. A book of the same title is slated to hit bookstores this fall.
12. Dave Matthews Band
One of the most prolific touring acts of the last decade–earning $47 million on the road last year–Dave Matthews Band is now drumming up buzz for Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King, its first album in four years. The band’s saxophonist, LeRoi Moore, died last August from complications related to an ATV accident. The die-hard DMB fan base continues to bolster their bottom line, thanks to annual dues of the popular fan club, Warehouse, and merchandise sales.
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