The Highest Paid Musicians of 2017 Will Surprise You

Making a living through music can seem like a never-ending hustle at times, but for some folks who just happen to be at the top of their game (and the top of the industry), the past year has definitely been a lucrative one.

Forbes has just released their (jaw-dropping) list of the world’s highest-paid musicians of 2017, which is calculated based on pretax earnings between June 1, 2016, and June 1, 2017. Frankly, the numbers are pretty darn impressive. If you add ’em all up, the acts on this list pocketed a total of $887 million.

Some of the names on the list certainly won’t surprise you — that would include Beyoncé and Adele, who obviously brought in their fair-share of dollah-bills during the past 12 months — but other acts surely aren’t as expected.

Check out the list below counting down the highest paid musicians of 2017:


(Yes, the countdown may look a little off, but since multiple people tied, this is how Forbes laid it out.)


24. Jennifer Lopez — $38 million (tie)


24. The Chainsmokers — $38 million (tie)


22. Bruno Mars — $39 million (tie)


22.  Tiësto — $39 million (tie)


19. Jay-Z — $42 million (tie)


19. Celine Dion — $42 million (tie)


19. Luke Bryan — $42 million (tie)


18. Kenny Chesney — $42.5 million


17. Taylor Swift — $44 million


16. Calvin Harris — $48.5 million


15. Jimmy Buffett — $50.5 million


13. Red Hot Chili Peppers — $54 million (tie)


13. Paul McCartney — $54 million (tie)


11. Elton John — $60 million


10. Metallica — $66.5 million


9. Adele — $69 million


8. Bruce Springsteen — $75 million


7. Justin Bieber — $83.5 million


6. Guns N’ Roses — $84 million


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5. Coldplay — $88 million

Taking the fifth spot, we have Coldplay largely in part to their A Head Full of Dreams Tour which took in over $523 million. This resulted in it being the third highest-grossing concert tour in history (!) and helped to earn the band an incredible $88 million.


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4. The Weeknd — $92 million

According to The Weeknd, “Artists don’t really make the money off the music like we did in the Golden Age.” He told Forbes, “It’s not really coming in until you hit the stage.” Whenever he does end up getting paid, the Toronto-born musician will be taking home a nice $92 million, a vast majority of it from his latest Live Nation advance.


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3. Drake — $94 million

Drake may not have reached the $100 million mark, but he’ll surely be fine with his piddly $94 million. On top of continuing to be one of the most streamed musicians on the web, his Boy Meets World Tour helped to bring in one heck of a paycheck for the popular Canadian rapper.


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2. Beyoncé — $105 million

Despite the fact that she was busy having twins this year, Beyoncé still managed to take the second spot on this list with a whopping $105 million thanks in part to her Formation World Tour, which may have wrapped up at the end of 2016 but was still factored into Forbes calculations and took in a quarter of a billion dollars. Her hubby, Jay-Z made $42 million of his own, so it’s safe to say that this family is sitting pretty.


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1. Diddy — $130 million

Thanks to his Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour, his Ciroc vodka deal, and the sale of one-third of his Sean John clothing line for an estimated $70 million, Diddy pulled in a tight $130 million in 2017. And while that’s certainly more than a little impressive, he had humble beginnings in the biz, telling Forbes, “I’m the average person. I started looking at business at the age of 12, [from] delivering newspapers to working in gas station bathrooms, or even doing things like being a background dancer or a stylist. Whatever I could do to get close to the industry.” That determination certainly paid off. BIG time.