‘Billboard’ Lists The Top 40 Music Money Makers Of 2009

Want a real dose of reality, music fans? Billboard published its list of last year’s Top 40 Money Makers in the industry, and, no—the top earner’s name doesn’t begin with Lil, Lady, Kanye or Taylor. In fact, between the four biggest money-making artists, only one scored a Top 40 hit on Billboard‘s Hot 100 in 2009—and it was a song that peaked at #37. Hop below to see whose cash intake is keeping them in the upper echelon of the pop game.

First, a few surprises to consider:

* U2 outgrossed Britney, Jonas Brothers and Coldplay combined, thanks to the band’s sold-out 360° tour.

* Nickelback managed to squeak past Beyonce on the list.

* Dutch violinist Andre Rieu made more cash than Taylor Swift.

* Both Depeche Mode and Trans-Siberian Orchestra raked in more than Kings Of Leon.

* Tina Turner’s bank trumped Lil Wayne’s.

* Kenny Chesney earned more than Green Day and Bob Dylan combined.

Note that Billboard‘s tally for each artist is based on the artist’s share of revenue (earned from CD and digital sales, publishing royalties and all forms of streaming, as well as the biggie—touring) as opposed to total dollars generated by each artist in the ranking.


1. U2 ($108.6 million)
2. Bruce Springsteen ($57.6 million)
3. Madonna ($47.2 million)
4. AC/DC ($43.6 million)
5. Britney Spears ($38.8 million)
6. Pink ($36.3 million)
7. Jonas Brothers ($33.5 million)
8. Coldplay ($27.3 million)
9. Kenny Chesney ($26.5 million)
10. Metallica ($25.5 million)
11. Fleetwood Mac ($24.7 million)
12. Nickelback ($23.67 million)
13. Beyonce ($23.65 million)
14. Elton John ($22.1 million)
15. Miley Cyrus ($21.2 million)
16. Il Divo ($20.9 million)
17. Dave Matthews Band ($20 million)
18. Andre Rieu ($19.4 million)
19. Rascal Flatts ($17.9 million)
20. Michael Jackson ($17.3 million)
21. Taylor Swift ($17.2 million)
22. Depeche Mode ($16 million)
23. Billy Joel ($15.7 million)
24. Trans-Siberian Orchestra ($14.6 million)
25. Kings Of Leon ($14.4 million)
26. Celine Dion ($14.3 million)
27. Brad Paisley ($14.2 million)
28. Keith Urban ($14 million)
29. Tina Turner ($13.1 million)
30. Lil Wayne ($12.8 million)
31. Paul McCartney ($12.2 million)
32. Green Day ($12.1 million)
33. Toby Keith ($11.9 million)
34. Kiss ($11.8 million)
35. Cher ($11.4 million)
36. Andrea Bocelli ($10.7 million)
37. Phish ($9.9 million)
38. Bob Dylan ($9.6 million)
39. Leonard Cohen ($9.5 million)
40. Bette Midler ($9.4 million)

  • Ann

    We live in a White Man's world, and the list shows that it's not neccessarily the music that makes you, it's how sellable you are to the dominant mainstream public.

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    I think I saw Lil Lady Kanye Taylor on “Toddlers and Tiaras” the other week. She was good.

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    We live in a White Man's world, and the list shows that it's not neccessarily the music that makes you, it's how sellable you are to the dominant mainstream public.
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