U2 have been named the World’s Highest Paid Musicians.
The ‘With or Without You’ topped the poll by Forbes magazine – which counted down the highest grossing acts of the last 12 months – earning a phenomenal $195 million on their 360 degree world tour. The tour this year surpassed The Rolling Stones’ A Bigger Bang’ 2005 to 2007 tour in revenue, breaking its $558 million barrier. The tour is expected to gross over $700 million in total.
The 360 Degree show is staged on a spectacular scale, with The Edge saying: “We’re actually at the limit, the absolute limit, when you consider the economics and the practicality of transportation. We’re really as big as we could ever get.”
In second place on the list is another touring band, Bon Jovi, who took some $125 million during their The Circle Tour in the last year. Sir Elton John – another artist who was touring, but did not release an album in the last year – came third on the list, grossing $100 million for various shows around the world.
In fourth place was Lady Gaga – who was in the midst of her huge The Monster Ball tour – and despite grossing $170 million in the last year, at one point said she had gone broke as she waited for payments to come in.
She said: “I put everything in the show, and I actually went bankrupt after the first extension of the Monster Ball. And it was funny because I didn’t know!
“And I remember I called everybody and said, “Why is everyone saying I have no money? This is ridiculous, I have five No. 1 singles” – and they said, ‘Well, you’re $3m in debt’.”
In fifth position is Michael Buble, who enjoyed a lucrative year of touring, radio play and strong album sales to make $70 million.
Forbes Magazine’s World’s Highest Paid Musicians, top ten:
1. U2 ($195 million)
2. Bon Jovi ($125 million)
3. Sir Elton John ($100 million)
4. Lady Gaga ($90 million)
5. Michael Buble ($70 million)
6. Sir Paul McCartney ($67 million)
7. The Black Eyed Peas ($61 million)
8. The Eagles ($60 million)
9. Justin Bieber ($53 million)
10. Dave Matthews Band ($51 million)