Music is a multi-billion dollar industry that has produced some of the richest people on the planet. Unlike many other professions, once you have a fan-base, even one song can make you rich. The world has seen one-hit wonders with musicians creating a name for themselves and then disappearing into the dust. Most of the richest musicians in the world have been on the scene for several years, and they have dominated the airwaves in that time. As a result, they have had many sales in terms of albums and singles.
Popularity or the number of songs released cannot be equated to riches otherwise the world would have been seeing new song releases by the second. To be on top of the rich list requires one not only to be talented but to have a business understanding as well. That is what most of the musicians below have done. As entrepreneurs, the richest musicians have their recording labels and have other business ventures such as clothing lines and the sale of other merchandise.
Richest musicians in the world
Here is a list of the top 15 wealthiest musicians:
1. Paul McCartney - $1.2 billion
The legendary Sir James Paul McCartney who hails from Liverpool, England, is the richest musician in the world in 2020 with a net worth of $1.2 billion. He is a member of The Beatles group whose music has been making money for many decades. The Beatles music is loved by people from different generations who view the band as some of the pioneers of the music industry.
Though a solo artist now, McCartney is still famously known because of the band and this has helped him to remain relevant for a long time. The musician continues to earn royalties from music made by The Beatles. Coupled with earnings from his tours, Paul McCartney will probably remain as the richest musician for some time to come.
2. Andrew Llyod Webber - $1.2 billion
Andrew Llyod Webber is the composer of the famous hit The Phantom of the Opera based on the French novel Le Fantôme de l’Opéra by Gaston Leroux. The musician has earned his million as a composer and impresario of theatre.
The Phantom of the Opera, for instance, remains to be the longest-running show on Broadway with more than 10,000 performances. Like Paul McCartney, Andrew is also a British national who hails from South Kensington, London, England.
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3. Jay Z - $1 billion
He had to escape the hardcore life on the streets of Brooklyn and try to make a legitimate life of himself through music. Now a celebrated figure in his hometown, Jay Z was not always as rich as he is today. Although he is one of the richest rappers in the world, he has made most of his money as an entrepreneur.
Clocking the $1 billion net worth mark, Jay Z boasts with the distinction of being the first hip-hop star and black American to rich that milestone. Apart from being a rapper, the celebrated celebrity is also a producer and director who has diversified in other businesses such as art, real estate, liquor, and sports. He is associated with brands such as Tidal, Rocawear, and D’Ussé, showing that musicians no longer have to rely on their music alone as a source of income.
4. P Diddy - $855 million
Another shrewd rapper who has made it big in music and business is P Diddy. We can’t remember the number of times he has changed his name, but he has maintained his position among the richest musicians in the world.
His full plate is made up of things such as rapping, acting, record producing and fashion design. P Diddy flashes his wealth from expensive clothing to watches, cars and even jets. With a net worth of about $855 million, P Diddy has his eyes on reaching the $1 billion mark, and it won’t be long before he reaches there.
5. Madonna - $850 million
The first woman on this list is singer Madonna with a net worth of $850 million thereby becoming the richest female singer in the world. Famously known as the Queen of Pop, Madonna has made hit music for many years. She is an icon both in music and in the fashion world with many women copying her as their role model.
Being a best-selling musician is not just a title as it is followed by huge financial rewards. In 1998 she was recognized by the Guinness World Book of Records as the best-selling female recording artist of all time for her album sales. Even though there are not so many billionaire singers in the world, if anyone is going to reach that milestone it is Madonna.
6. Herb Alpert - $850 million
Most would think that this list would be dominated only by rappers and pop musicians, but that is not the case. With a net worth of $850 million, Herb Alpert is the first American jazz musician on the list and is one of the richest male singers.
Herb is best known for his role as the founder and head of the group Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass later referred to as Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass or just TJB. $850 million is not bad for a man who left the army to pursue his passion for music.
7. Dr Dre - $820 million
Dr Dre has been hailed as a revolutionary figure in this music genre. He is the guy who discovered Eminem, a white boy who turned out to be one of the greatest rappers of all time considering hip-hop is considered to be a thing for black people.
That visionary Dr Dre proved he was not just a music producer but also a smart businessman. Jointly with Jimmy Lovine the launched a headphones company called Beats by Dre which they later sold for about $3 billion making him one of the richest musicians. The artist net worth is $820 million.
8. Celine Dion - $800 million
Canada is home to some of the greatest musicians of all time, such as the legendary Celine Dion who remains to be one of the highest-paid musicians. We have all grown listening to her music, and it never seems to get old.
Thanks to her unique melodic voice, she was able to grow a fan-base all over the world and thus followed her wealth. Apart from singing, she also turned to acting, songwriting and business. That is how she made her $800 million, and as long as her music lives, she will continue to make more and more money.
9. Bono - $700 million
He was only sixteen years old when Bono formed his U2 band. Hailing from Ireland, Bono also decided to use his influence to become an activist and fight for courses he believed in. Together with his band, they have released more than twelve albums winning twenty-two Grammy awards on the process.
He has also invested in businesses such as real estate and equity. Even though he is heavily involved in charity, Bono is still among the wealthiest musicians with a net worth of $700 million.
10. Rihanna - $576 million
She was a young girl when Rihanna left her home country to go to America to pursue music. Several years later she was named America’s richest female musician by Forbes this year. With a net worth of about $576 million, Rihanna doesn’t have to worry about money problems, yet she continues to work hard.
Having taken a break in the last three years, Rihanna has probably lost money on that front, but she has compensated that by focusing more on her business ventures. She is the owner of a makeup line called Fenty Beauty that made $570 million in sales in 2018. She also has interests in fashion and design and is a model.
11. Elton John - $500 million
Famous for his standout fashion sense with flashy clothes, Elton John is enjoying his life with his $500 million net worth. Probably the richest openly gay musician in the world, Elton John has more than 300 million album sales around the globe. Elton John is not just a singer but also a pianist, composer and songwriter.
12. Beyonce Knowles - $500 million
Queen B joins her husband on this list at number 12 with a net worth of $500 million. Undoubtedly one of the most powerful couples in the world, Beyonce and Jay Z have dominated not only the music industry but also rich lists as well.
Beyonce is also one of the most influential women in the world, with a large following in social media. Like her husband, she is also an entrepreneur and has also had stints in acting. Known for her dancing skills, Beyonce Knowles had a huge fan base around the world who were always eager to see her music videos.
13. Coldplay - $475 million
Their slow nerve-touching rock music has grown their popularity from year to year, and their net worth is $475 million making them one of the richest bands on the planet. Coldplay is composed of four members who are Chris Martin, Guy Berryman, Johnny Buckland and Will Champion. They were once just a small band on the streets of London, but years later they rock airwaves across the world with tours.
14. Jon Bon Jovi - $410 million
Jon Bon Jovi has a net worth of $410 million thanks to his more than 120 million album sales all over the world. He is one of the pioneers of rock music and hence is not only one of the wealthiest rock-stars in the world but also makes the top 15 of the richest musicians in the world.
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15. Jennifer Lopez - $400 million
Famously known as J Lo, Jennifer Lopez has had a long and industrious career that has earned her a cool $400 million. She started as a model and dancer before adding singing, fashion design and performing, among other things. Jennifer Lopez has made quite a fortune as a brand ambassador and as an influencer. She is one of the most powerful women in the world.
It is mind-blowing the amount of money the richest musicians in the world have. They have more than they will ever need yet they keep on working to earn even more. People like Paul McCartney and Jay Z have enough to sustain their families for generations and generations, yet each day they continue making deals. The list is continually changing because each year, the musicians engage in different projects, and their revenue streams differ. Some have spent quite some time since they last released any music, but they continue to earn from their other businesses.
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