Here’s How Much You Can Earn from a Mega-Hit Song

Sometimes all you need is one great song and you’re set for life.  The Express put together this list.

  • “American Pie” by Don McLean (1972):  Annual estimated royalties total about $322,000 a year.  Every time it’s played on the radio, it means another 15 cents for Don.
  • “Baker Street” by Gerry Rafferty (1978):  $145,000 a year.  The story is that the sax player on that track made about $50 for his contributions.
  • “Every Breath You Take” by the Police (1983):  $2,100 a day or almost $800,000 a year.  From just this one song.

If go further down the article, we find a list of the all-time greatest money-generating songs.  Crazy!

1. Hill Sisters – Happy Birthday (1893) – £30.5million

2. Irving Berlin – White Christmas (1940) – £22million

3. Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil and Phil Specter – You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ (1964) – £19.5million

4. John Lennon and Paul McCartney – Yesterday (1965) – £18million

5. Alex North & Hy Zaret – Unchained Melody (1955) – £17million

6. Ben E King, Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller – Stand By Me (1961) – £16.5million

7. Haven Gillespie & Fred J Coots – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (1934) – £15million

8. Sting – Every Breath You Take (1983) – £12.5million

9. Roy Orbison & Bill Deeds – Oh Pretty Woman (1964) – £12million

10. Mel Tormé – Christmas Song (1944) – £11.6million

The whole article is fascinating.  Go through it here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ 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.

Let us know what you think!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.