Taylor Swift, George Strait, Luke Combs and Blake Shelton; Press Images
Taylor Swift, George Strait, Luke Combs and Blake Shelton; Press Images

Taylor Swift, George Strait, Luke Combs, Blake Shelton & More Among Highest-Paid Artists of 2020

It’s no secret that the music industry has been hit hard by the economy-shattering global health crisis. With live music brought to a sudden halt, artists delaying releases, media buyers and brands pressing pause on all advertising for the first half of 2020 – musicians were forced to think outside the box to engage with fans to remain afloat.

After a year of uncertainty, Billboard officially released its annual report of the highest-paid musicians of 2020 on Monday, July 19, and the results may come as a surprise to some.

Due to the COVID-19 virus cutting off live performances or postponing tours, several country music stars that typically score high placement on the Billboards 2020 Money Makers list did not make the cut. The lack of live revenue, left a handful of musicians with strong streaming and sales numbers the opportunity to snag a spot on the prestigious lineup.

Leading the pack at No. 1 is country music turned pop princess, Taylor Swift. The “Champagne Problems” songstress took home $28 million last year. The revenue from Swift’s record-breaking 2020 albums Folklore and evermore earned her the top spot. 

“Swift’s ownership position also vaulted her to No. 1 and No. 2 in sales and streaming royalties, respectively,” shares BillboardThe publication also declared that she’s the top mover of digital albums (1.06 million), digital tracks (1.09 million), and on-demand audio streams (4.2 billion) for 2020.

Trailing closely behind Swift and scoring spot sixteen is Luke Combs. The multi-platinum singer and songwriter gained the title of the “highest-paid country star of 2020.” The recent report clarified that the hitmaker received $9.2 million, solely from his mega-success with the deluxe version of, What You See Is What You Get.

Luke Combs; Photo Courtesy of Getty Images for CMT
Luke Combs; Photo Courtesy of Getty Images for CMT

While many artists out of music city fell off the star-studded roundup, the industry still had a strong representation. George Strait was one of the few entertainers who generated a touring income before lights went off worldwide.

It was his ticket sales from his five live shows and soaring streaming numbers that left him with 6.9 million dollars last year and rockin’ spot number twenty-six.

Similar to Strait, Blake Shelton’s stage presence brought in the dough and earned him number twenty-eight on Billboards list. With more than 1.6 million in streams, taking home $3.9 million from 12 shows that grossed $11.5 million in ticket sales – the newlywed is living large with 6.7 million dollars in his pocket with his wife, Gwen Stefani.

Curious to see the complete Billboard breakdown? You can now view how much your favorite artist earned in 2020, HERE, or read below for the full top 40 highest-paid artists of 2020.

1. Taylor Swift: $23.8 million
2. Post Malone: $23.2M
3. Céline Dion: $17.5M
4. Eagles: $16.3M
5. Billie Eilish: $14.7M
6. Drake: $14.2M
7. Queen: $13.2M
8. The Beatles: $12.9M
9. YoungBoy Never Broke Again: $11.9M
10. Lil Baby: $11.7M
11. The Weeknd: $10.4M
12. Aventura: $10.2M
13. AC/DC: $10.1M
14. Eminem: $9.7M
15. Lil Uzi Vert: $9.5M
16. Luke Combs: $9.2M
17. DaBaby: $9.1M
18. Metallica: $9M
19. BTS: $8.9M
20. Pink Floyd: $8.8M
21. Bad Bunny: $8.4M
22. Future: $8.2M
23. Ariana Grande: $7.5M
24. Roddy Ricch: $7.4M
25. Rod Wave: $7.37M
26. George Strait: $6.9M
27. The Lumineers: $6.8M
28. Blake Shelton: $6.7M
29. Fleetwood Mac: $6.6M
30. Kanye West: $6.3M
31. Justin Bieber: $6.22M
32. Tool: $6.17M
33. KISS: $6M
34. The Rolling Stones: $5.96M
35. Travis Scott: $5.82M
36. Ed Sheeran: 5.66M
37. Halsey: 5.55M
38. Harry Styles: 5.51M
39. Billy Joel: $5.49M
40. Aerosmith: $5.35M

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