No Beyonce? Jay-Z and Drake Only Black Artists On Billboard’s Top Money Makers List

February 26, 2013  |  


Billboard has just released its 40 Top 2013 Money Makers roundup, and a bit surprisingly, there were no African-American female performers on the annual list—and only two black artists total.

A majority of the artists on the list made most of their money via performances, with concerts making up 68.9 percent of revenue for the 40 artists on Billboard‘s list. “The entire top 10 averaged 84.2% of their income from concerts, and the number would have been higher, if not for Justin Bieber‘s mere 60.1% share at No. 10 dragging down the average,” notes the magazine. In fact, Billboard estimates the 2012 Money Makers earned $373 million from concerts after paying agents, managers, and expenses. This figure is up from $329 million in 2011 but down from $383 million in 2010.

Artists who made less than $1 million on the road tended to make more from recorded music. And streaming didn’t really pull in big bucks for musicians as a whole. According to Billboard, streaming revenue is really only small in percentage terms. “The acts on the Moneymakers list averaged nearly $80,000 in streaming revenue in 2012 — a relatively small figure compared with the tens of millions from touring, but decent considering it was nearly nonexistent just a few years ago,” explains Billboard. “Clearly, it’s the young, video-driven artists who take in the most from streaming. Drake, Bieber and Maroon 5 earned the highest amount in absolute dollars, while Phish and Andrea  Bocelli earned the least.”

Money Makers on the list include:

-Madonna, who topped the 2012 list, in part because 93.5 percent of her total revenue came from concerts. In all she pulled in $34,577,308.62. Her blockbuster MDNA tour, kept Madonna at number one on the Money Makers list for a second time. According to Billboard, the 88-date MDNA was last year’s biggest tour ($305 million gross), and the number 10 top-grossing of all time. The tour earned the singer an estimated $32 million last year. And her MDNA album, which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, generated $1.5 million in physical and digital album sales for the artist.

-Bruce Springsteen raked in $33,443,606.64 to take the number two spot. In 2012, he released a  critically acclaimed album and his catalog sales remained steady. Non-touring revenue — including digital downloads, streaming, physical CD sales and publishing royalties — totaled $2.4 million last year. Springsteen had sales of nearly 600,000 physical units in 2012, and he also enjoyed 1.6 million digital track downloads, more than any other artist on this chart that broke in the ’70s. Springsteen  earned 92 percent of his revenue from live shows.

-Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters (number three) earned $21,160,131.06 and had the highest concert share on the list with 93.6 percent.  His Wall Live Tour finished as the fifth-highest-grossing of all time, grossing $377,895,537 from 192 shows worldwide.

-Drake made $9,504,992.38 in 2012 and came in at number 24. His Club Paradise tour was one of hip-hop’s biggest live draws last year, earning him $9.5 million on the road. The CD Take Care, which was released in November 2011 but continued to sell well throughout 2012, contributed to 8.8 million digital track sales, earning Drake $1.6 million.

-Jay-Z had earnings totaling $7,011,905.17, to take the 34th spot. The magazine reports that Hova made about $1.1 million from digital and physical album sales in 2012. The bulk of his revenue ($4.7 million), however, came from Watch the Throne tour dates with Kanye West.

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  • thanks! i really needed to know how many millions these people are making. our troops should be so lucky!

    • IllyPhilly

      Plus one.

  • Credit

    I’m not surprised Bey isn’t on the list. This was for 2012 only, not to mention she barely did anything that year. Everyone on this list either had a cd or a tour drop. I am surprised to see Rihanna absent. Congrats to everyone!

  • rita

    I’m more surprised that Rihanna isn’t there, i guess people aren’t so pressed to see her live.

    Bey just had a baby — I can see her making it in years when she is able tot tour.

  • Its a wonder that people even bother looking at cd sales anymore unless you are an up and comer. Tour money is where its at and probably has always been that way.

  • Nikki

    Good for them! I can’t hate on someone doing something that they enjoy doing and making money.

  • Keisha Samoht

    I find that hard to believe, as much as B has done within the last few months of 2012 and how much she has done thus far in this year? Come on…