U2 fourth richest band in the world, but Dr Dre tops the charts of music earners
Dropping down the charts may not be a familiar feeling for U2 but the latest Forbes' list of the 25 highest-paid musicians of 2012 sees the Dublin rockers falling to fourth from last year’s top spot.
The band, whose combined earnings of $78 million (€60m) from their three-year 360 tour, saw their top spot taken by rap artist Dr Dre.
Along with his extensive back catalog, Dre's lucrative headphones business, Beats by Dre, helped him gross $100 million (€77m) in pre-tax earnings according to Forbes.
The list's top 10 was dominated by veteran musicians, with Pink Floyd's bassist and singer Roger Waters coming in at No. 2 with earnings of $88 million (€67m) from his lucrative The Wall Live tour, and British singer Elton John at No. 3 with $80 million (€61m).
Take That, who reformed in 2005, rounded out the top five with $69 million (€53m), earned from an eight-date tour at London's Wembley Stadium, which became the highest-grossing single stadium tour to date.
Forbes compiles its annual highest-paid musicians list by estimating artists' earnings from music sales, live shows, endorsements and merchandising. Earlier this year, Dutch DJ Tiesto was named the highest-paid DJ in the fast-growing electronic dance music industry.
The only two artists under 30 to break the top 10 were country-pop darling Taylor Swift, 22, who tied with ex-Beatle Paul McCartney at No. 8 with earnings of $57 million (€43m), and Canadian pop star Justin Bieber, 18, who tied with country star Toby Keith at No. 10 with earnings of $55 million (€42m).
Pop star and "X Factor" judge Britney Spears entered the list at No. 7 with earnings of $58 million (€44m), cementing her comeback after a turbulent few years. Her earnings encompass her multi-million dollar "X Factor" deal, music sales and endorsements.
Spears led eight female artists in the top 25 list, including R&B star Rihanna at No. 12 with $53 million (€40m), coming ahead of Lady Gaga at No. 13 with $52 million (€39m). Grammy-winning British singer Adele notched No. 22 on the list, tied with Kanye West, with earnings of $35 million (€26m) following a record year for her album "21.