Who were the highest paid musicians in 2021 – and how did they get so rich? Here are the top 10.
Making money from music in 2022 requires more than writing a fantastic song. The wealthiest musical artists in the world knew this all along.
Music wealth analyst Zack O’Malley Greenburg has compiled a list for rolling stone showing his calculations of the highest paid musicians in 2021. These superstars have acquired their wealth by investing outside of music, whether it’s launching fashion lines or merchandise, or striking other lucrative business deals .
Looking outside the daily bread of creating and performing music is more important than ever, with ongoing coronavirus restrictions still canceling concerts. And the past year has seen the emergence of a different way for popular artists to grow their wealth.
Musical icons, most of whom have long careers behind them, have sold the rights to their entire catalogs of songs for staggeringly high sums. This means that there have been changes in the lists of the richest musical artists.
How did the highest-paid musicians of 2021 make their money? Who is the richest female artist? Scroll to find out.
The 10 richest musical artists in the world
2. Jay-Z – $470 million
A string of lucrative sales in 2021 put Jay-Z in second place, including selling 80% of his streaming service TIDAL for $302 million.
3. Paul Simon – $260 million
The sale of the publishing rights to all of his work, including the famous Simon and Garfunkel catalog, placed Paul Simon among the highest paid artists in 2021.
4. Kanye West – $250 million
While most of Kanye’s income comes from his Yeezy shoes, his donda album also reached number one when it was released in August 2021.
5. Ryan Tedder – $200 million
OneRepublic singer Ryan Tedder sold his catalog for $200 million earlier this year, while adding wealth to the band’s latest album Human.
7. Lindsey Buckingham – $100 million)
Fleetwood Mac member Lindsey Buckingham made $100 million selling her rights to Hipgnosis.
8. Mötley Crüe – $95 million
Mötley Crüe earned nearly $100 million from the sale of its masters in 2021.
9. Blake Shelton – $83 million
Country star Blake Shelton is paid eight figures to appear on The voice, as well as selling his catalog for $50 million and the earnings from a lucrative tour with an album attached.
10. Taylor Swift – $80 million
The only woman in the top ten, logic follows that Taylor Swift is the highest earning female musical artist of 2021.
2021 was the year Swift started re-releasing her original albums, regaining control after the unauthorized sale of her masters. Always business-savvy, Swift has also struck deals with Starbucks and Peloton.
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