Bruce Springsteen, Jay-Z and Paul Simon top Rolling Stone’s highest-paid musicians of 2021 list.
Combined the 10 highest-paid musicians of 2021 raked in over 2.3 billion, which is more than double what they were making on an annual basis in years prior, according to Rolling Stone’s report.
Springsteen holds the top spot with an estimated earning of $590 million, most of which the New Jersey native earned when he made history with the record-breaking sale of his copyrights and master recordings to Sony Music, marking the largest sale of a solo catalog of all time. The sale gave Sony his entire back catalog, including 20 studio albums, 300 songs, seven EPs, 23 live records and more.
Following Springsteen in the No. 2 spot is rapper and businessman, Jay-Z, earned a paycheck of $470 million. His earnings come partially from the massive $300 million dollar sale of half his Armand de Brignac champagne to luxury giant LVMH in February 2021.
Later, he and the co-owners of Tidal sold 80% of the popular streaming service, originally purchased for $56 million, to Square for $302 million. Additional income comes from his partnerships with Tiffany & Co. and Puma.
Paul Simon ($260 million), Kayne West ($250 million), Ryan Tedder ($200 million), Red Hot Chili Peppers ($145 million), Lindsey Buckingham ($100 million), and Mötley Crüe ($95 million) follow in the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth spot, respectively.
Blake Shelton, who is the only country artist on the list, raked in an estimated earning of $83 million in 2021. The majority of the “Come Back As A Country Boy” singer’s salary came from a “previously unreported catalog sale” of $50 million. He also earned an eight-figure salary as a coach on NBC’s The Voice.
The Oklahoma native also released his twelfth studio album, Body Language, and his Friends & Heroes Tour grossed $14.5 million.
While Taylor Swift, who is the only female on the list, bookends the ranking at number ten with a whopping $80 million dollar salary. Portions of Swift’s salary come from partnerships with Peloton and Starbucks, while the majority of her earnings come her re-recorded projects, Red (Taylor’s Version) and Fearless (Taylor’s Version), both of which topped the charts in terms of total sales.
See Rolling Stone’s 10 Highest-Paid Musicians list below.
1. Bruce Springsteen ($590 million)
2. Jay-Z ($470 million)
3. Paul Simon ($260 million)
4. Kanye West ($250 million)
5. Ryan Tedder ($200 million)
6. Red Hot Chili Peppers ($145 million)
7. Lindsey Buckingham ($100 million)
8. Mötley Crüe ($95 million)
9. Blake Shelton ($83 million)
10. Taylor Swift ($80 million)