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Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, Coldplay make Forbes list of highest earning musicians


Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic | Getty Images

MetallicaGuns N’ Roses and Coldplay have all made Forbes magazine’s Highest-Paid Musicians Of 2017 list. The data was based on pretax earnings between June 1st, 2016 and June 1st, 2017. Coldplay took in $88 million during that period to finish at Number Five, while G N’ R earned $84 million at Number Six and Metallica pocketed $66.5 million to land in the 10th position on the survey.

To form the list, Forbes considered pretax income and did not take out fees charged by agents, managers and lawyers. The magazine gathered data from Nielsen SoundScan, Pollstar, the Recording Industry Association of America and interviews with industry insiders.

  • Topping the list was rap mogul Diddy with $130 million, while Beyonce was Number Two with $105 million.
  • Both Metallica and Guns N’ Roses can attribute much of this success to their rigorous touring schedule throughout 2017. Metallica embarked on its “WorldWired” tour, while the Gunners experienced a huge amount of success on their “Not In This Lifetime” tour, which began back in 2016 and continued through 2017.
  • Drummer Lars Ulrich talked a while back about how Metallica has changed the way it tours: “The old days of a year and a half on the road, I mean, that’s not going to happen again. If our success has bought us anything, it’s the freedom to do these things the way we want to do them, on our own agenda, on our own time frame. We don’t really even need to have, like they say in the business, a ‘product’ out there. We can just sort of go out and tour if we wake up one morning and feel like it.”
  • Forbes’s top 10 highest-paid musicians of 2017 are:
    1. Diddy ($130 M)
    2. Beyoncé ($105 M)
    3. Drake ($94 M)
    4. The Weeknd ($92 M)
    5. Coldplay ($88 M)
    6. Guns N’ Roses ($84 M)
    7. Justin Bieber ($83.5 M)
    8. Bruce Springsteen ($75 M)
    9. Adele ($69 M)
    10. Metallica ($66.5 M)

SIDE NOTES: Guns N’ Roses has a seven-week European tour on its schedule for next summer, while neither Metallica nor Coldplay have announced plans for 2018 yet.


READ: Check out Forbes for the full story