And the highest-paid musician of 2021 was…

A couple of times a year, someone puts together a list that estimates the revenues of musicians from the previous twelve months. In this case, it’s the New York Post. Here are their estimations for who brought in what in 2021. (All figures in US dollars.)

  1. Bruce Springsteen, $590 million. Then again, he did sell his catalogue to Sony for $550 million, so no big surprise.
  2. Jay-Z, $470 million. He didn’t to sell his catalogue to make that kind of dosh. He did, however, sell his interests in a Champagne company and his share in the Tidal streaming music service.
  3. Paul Simon, $260 million. He sold off a lot of his music last year, hence the big number.
  4. Kanye West, $250 million. That includes all his investments outside music.
  5. Ryan Tedder, $200 million. Most of that came from unloading his catalogue
  6. Red Hot Chili Peppers, $145 million. Again, they sold a chunk of their catalogue for somewhere around $100 million.
  7. Lindsey Buckingham, $100 million. Catalogue sale.
  8. Motley Crue, $95 million. Another catalogue sale.
  9. Blake Shelton, $83 million. That’s strictly standard income.
  10. Taylor Swift, $80 million. Same as Blake.

Read more here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

2 thoughts on “And the highest-paid musician of 2021 was…

  • January 16, 2022 at 10:07 am

    Alan, why are they all selling catalogues to the big companies? Why would musicians do that?

    • January 16, 2022 at 10:32 am

      Long, long story. If you browse through these pages using the search “catalogues,” you’ll find several articles I’ve written on the phenomenon.


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