Madonna Finances Her Divorce On The Road

Feb 12th, 2009 // 4 Comments

Though I have gone to great pains here to debunk the idea that “making your money on the road” is a viable option for most independent artists, it ain’t so bad if you’re a hegemonic musical force like Madonna. Billboard‘s Top Money Makers list is out, and the trade pub rightly notes the correlation between big-time tours and the top moneymaking acts. Recall that Madonna only had the 50th-best selling album in 2008, and you won’t be so surprised to find out that the artists with the biggest bankrolls are the same ones who have the hugest tours. The top 20 artists, and their 2008 grosses so you can feel even poorer than you already do, after the jump,



1. Madonna: $242,176,466
2. Bon Jovi: $157,177,766
3. Bruce Springsteen: $156,327,964
4. The Police: $109,976,894
5. Celine Dion: $99,171,237
6. Kenny Chesney: $90,823,990
7. Neil Diamond: $82,174,000
8. Rascall Flatts: $63,522,160
9. Jonas Brothers: $62,638,814
10. Coldplay: $62,175,555
11. The Eagles: $61,132,213
12. Lil Wayne: $57,441,334
13. AC/DC: $56,505,296
14. Michael Buble: $50,257,364
15. Miley Cyrus: $48,920,806
16. Taylor Swift: $45,588,730
17. Journey: $44,787,328
18. Billy Joel: $44,581,010
19. Mary J. Blige: $43,472,850
20. Kanye West: $42,552,402

I looked up the 2005 list to see what’s changed over the last four depressing years. Surprisingly, things aren’t that different at the top in terms of numbers (though 50 was doing a lot better back then):

1. U2: $255,022,633.35
2. The Rolling Stones: $152,356,754.40
3. Kenny Chesney: $87,731,463.50
4. Paul McCartney: $84,263,375.10
5. Elton John: $77,150,061.65
6. Celine Dion: $76,137,905.65
7. 50 Cent: $75,351,514.85
8. Green Day: $71,753,415.60
9. Neil Diamond: $70,203,895.50
10. The Eagles: $67,524,283.25
11. Dave Matthews Band: $59,567,479.25
12. Rod Stewart: $58,454,500.85
13. Toby Keith: $53,033,288.35
14. Coldplay: $51,705,752.25
15. Rascal Flatts: $46,819,102.65
16. Mariah Carey: $46,388,646.80
17. Jimmy Buffett: $43,239,800.45
18. Kelly Clarkson: $39,306,713.05
19. Gwen Stefani: $38,963,515.75
20: Bruce Springsteen: $38,951,568.30

In fact, each position on the 2005 list generally made less than those in 2008. For legacy acts and current superstars, touring still remains a proven winner.

And, as Billboard says, “those questioning whether Madonna rates a reported 10-year, $120 million 360 deal with Live Nation might reconsider.” Madonna has extended her tour for the first time ever, well into this year.

Madonna Tops 2009 Music Money Makers List [Billboard]

  1. Lucas Jensen

    @MhS: Because she puts on a good show?

  2. Lucas Jensen

    @pumpfake13: I would like to see more stats, too. I am trying to get bands to cough it up, but it’s hard.

  3. pumpfake13

    Yeah, those lists do make me feel poor. But all those artists are certainly doing something right when it comes to reaching and getting their audience to spend money. But we also know that there are a lot of indie bands having success, too and being a lot more creative with a lot less, which is also a benefit of tough economic times. So what about the Long Tail of touring? Are there any stats on indie bands touring revenues besides the handy spreadsheet from the sept article?

  4. Anonymous

    I don’t really understand who would pay good money to see Madonna in concert

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