Guns N’ Roses Made More Money in 2016 Than Any Musician Except Beyoncé
Billboard’s list of the highest-paid musicians of 2016 is here, and it’s led, unsurprisingly, by Beyoncé. In addition to a chart-topping album, Lemonade, Bey grossed $161 million on last year’s massive Formation World Tour. Her final earnings clocked in at $62.1 million.
The number two act on the list didn’t have a Grammy-winning HBO special or a record-breaking pregnancy announcement, but Guns N’ Roses cleared a more-than-respectable $42.3 million, fueled by their long-awaited reunion tour. Axl Rose and company apparently liked getting paid in 2016 so much that they’re going to keep touring all this year, too.
The earnings list tallies revenues from sales, streaming, publishing royalties, and touring. That last category is especially important for artists hoping to earn the biggest checks: Bruce Springsteen (#3), Drake (#4), Adele (#5), Coldplay (#6), Justin Bieber (#7), and Kanye West (#9) are very different acts, but they each raked in cash on blockbuster tours last year.
Notably absent from 2016’s list of top earners: Taylor Swift, who cleaned up on the 1989 tour in 2015 but has kept a (relatively) low profile recently. See the full list of the top 50 highest-paid musicians here.