In Pictures: The 25 Highest-Paid Musicians in the World

In Pictures: The 25 Highest-Paid Musicians in the World
So who are the highest-paid artists in the music world? Slide through to see if your favorite artist from 2017 made the list. Getty Images

The music business isn’t what it used to be. Actual album sales are down because of streaming, which doesn’t earn artists nearly as much as album sales do. But one thing hasn’t changed in music: It pays to tour. When we say “pay,” we mean a lot.

"Artists don't really make the money off the music like we did in the Golden Age," The Weeknd told Forbes. "It's not really coming in until you hit the stage."

Most of the artists featured on Forbes’ list of the highest-paid musicians in 2017 earned their millions from touring or Las Vegas residencies. Five out of the 25 artists featured on the list all had Vegas residencies, with one, Bruce Springsteen, taking up a different kind of residency on the Great White Way, also known as Broadway. And Garth Brooks’s comeback tour has gone down as one of the highest-grossing tours of all-time.

A notable difference from most other lists like the richest people in the United States or the highest-paid actors in Hollywood is that the top four highest-paid musicians in 2017 are people of color: The Weeknd, Drake, Beyoncé and Diddy.

Diddy coming in at the top of the list shouldn’t come as a surprise. Besides his music, he’s a wildly successful businessperson, with lucrative endorsement deals and branding opportunities, not to mention his clothing line Sean John.

“I started looking at business at the age of 12, [from] delivering newspapers to working in gas station bathrooms, or even doing things like being a background dancer or a stylist. Whatever I could do to get close to the industry,” he told Forbes.

Forbes’ list covers a wide array of artists from different genres—pop, country, hip-hop, R&B... you name them, they’re on this list. So who are the highest-paid artists in the music world? Slide through to see if your favorite artist from 2017 made the list.

1 Jennifer Lopez
24. Jennifer Lopez: $38 million Getty Images
2 Jennifer Lopez
J. Lo’s Vegas gig, which garners her six-figures a night, and her shows on NBC, the police drama Shades of Blue and the dance competition reality show World of Dance, are just a few of the ways she tied for 24th on Forbes’ list of the highest-paid musicians of 2017. Getty Images
3 The Chainsmokers
24. The Chainsmokers: $38 million Getty Images
4 The Chainsmokers
Just like Lopez, The Chainsmokers, a EDM-pop duo band fronted by Alex Pall and Andrew Taggart, signed a two-year deal for a Vegas residency. The duo earned their tie for Forbes’ 24th spot with their 2017 hits “Closer” and “Paris.” Getty Images
5 Bruno Marks - Christopher Polk:Getty Images
24. Bruno Mars: $38 million Getty Images/Christopher Polk
6 Bruno Mars - Kevin Winter:Getty Images
Mars made Forbes’ list once again largely due to his massively successful 24K Magic World Tour. The 2017 concert made over $200 million. In early 2018, Mars won six Grammys, including Album of the Year, for 24K Magic. Kevin Winter/Getty Images
7 Tiesto - Ethan Miller:Getty Images
22. Tiësto: $39 million Getty Images/Ethan Miller
8 Tiesto - Noel Vasquez:Getty Images
The Dutch DJ and record producer, called “the Greatest DJ of all-time” by Mix magazine, Tiësto reached the 23rd spot on Forbes’ list because of his constant touring. Getty Images/Noel Vasquez
9 Jay Z - Nicholas Hunt:Getty Images
19. Jay-Z: $42 million Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images
10 Jay Z - Gustavo Caballero:Getty Images
The release of the album 4:44 and the tour that followed is how Jay-Z tied for Forbes’ 19th slot. He also signed a $200 million deal with Live Nation over the next decade. Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images
11 Celine Dion - Ethan Miller:Getty Images
19. Celine Dion: $42 million Ethan Miller/Getty Images