Though Adele may have the highest-selling album of 2015, Taylor Swift takes the title for highest-earning musician of the year, according to Billboard‘s annual Top Money MakersList.
The data was gathered by Billboard Boxscore and Nielsen Music using revenue estimates from albums, tracks, streaming, royalties and tours in the last 12 months. Income from sponsorships and merchandise weren’t included.
The rankings—40 slots in total—prove that tour sales trump album sales, Billboard reports. For example, Adele topped Swift in albums by a landslide (25 sold over 8 million units in 2015, while Swift’s 1989 sold over 3 million); but Swift’s 1989 World Tour helped her rake in over $73 million total for the first place spot, while Adele takes ninth place with over $20 million.
These were the highest-earning musicians of 2015:
- 1. Taylor Swift ($73.5 million)
- 2. Kenney Chesney ($39.8 million)
- 3. The Rolling Stones ($39.6 million)
- 4. Billy Joel ($31.7 million)
- 5. One Direction ($24.2 million)
- 6. Grateful Dead: Dead & Company ($23.8 million)
- 7. Luke Bryan ($23.1 million)
- 8. U2 ($21.8 million)
- 9. Adele ($20.5 million)
- 10. Maroon 5 ($19.2 million)
Other notable names on the list included: Madonna at #14 ($12.7 million), Britney Spears at #22 ($10.6 million), The Weeknd at #28 ($8.6 million), Drake at #33 ($7.4 million), Paul McCartney at #34 ($7.1 million), and Nicki Minaj at #39 ($6.3 million).
However, big names like Kanye and Beyoncé were not in the rankings, likely because they didn’t release their albums or begin their tours until this year.
From: Harper’s BAZAAR US