As someone who has been known to sing a little bit, I'm a little more than pissed off that I never really did anything about it other than drunkenly hop on stage to sing with the bar band anytime the song "Sweet Caroline" gets played. I'm not bitter—nor good enough to do it as a career—but, still, after seeing the list of the highest-paid musicians of 2016, it makes me wish I would've done something better with my "angelic" voice.
Since being a musician these days is more than just being able to strum a guitar, sing or have "the look," here are the 20 top-earning artists of 2016, per Forbes—which includes a lot of people who still make money from either royalties or marketing efforts, in addition to their tunes.
- 20. Muse — $49 million
- 19. Luke Bryan — $53 million
- 18. Jay-Z — $53.5 million
- 17. Beyonce — $54 million
- 15. (tie) The Weeknd — $55 million (tie)
- 15. (tie) U2 — $55 million
- 13. (tie) Kenny Chesney — $56 million
- 13. (tie) Justin Bieber — $56 million
- 12. Paul McCartney — $56.5 million
- 11. Bruce Springsteen — $60.5 million
- 10. Sean "Diddy" Combs — $62 million
- 9. Calvin Harris — $63 million
- 8. The Rolling Stones — $66.5 million
- 7. AC/DC — $67.5 million
- 6. Garth Brooks — $70 million
- 5. Rihanna — $75 million
- 4. Madonna — $76.5 million
- 3. Adele — $80.5 million
- 2. One Direction — $110 million
- 1. Taylor Swift — $170 million
Now, a couple quick observations after seeing that list.
Taylor Swift makes so much money, it's actually insane. Seriously, Adele—who's No. 3 on the list—could have made double what she did this year, and still be about $9 million off of Tay.
The fact that Garth Brooks still pocketed $70 million this year is a shocker.
As a whole, people still tend to lean towards music that's, you know, not crappy, leaving artists like The Stones, AC/DC, Springsteen, Paul McCartney and U2 among the highest-paid musicians of 2016.
OK, now that that's out of the way, excuse me while I go try to teach myself guitar and hire a vocal coach so I can hit that high note—because, damn, being a musician can have some incredible financial returns.