Roger Waters Ranked Second On Highest-Paid Musicians 2012 List

Roger Waters earned more than any other rock musician during 2012, says Forbes Magazine.

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Roger Waters earned more than any other rock musician during 2012, amassing $88m over the year, says Forbes Magazine.

The former Pink Floyd mainman was also the second-biggest earner overall, with only rap star Dr Dre bringing in more money a total of $110m.

But while Dre made around $100m from a business deal related to his headphones range, Waters' income was almost entirely from his Wall world tour. He's believed to have taken $158m from 63 concerts and recently announced a new series of open-air Wall shows including one in London next year.

U2 brought in $78m, Bon Jovi made $60m and Paul McCartney stacked up $57m. Foo Fighters and the Red Hot Chili Peppers both also reached the top 20 earners.

Forbes compiled the list from data available between May 2011 and May 2012, including record sales, touring, endorsement deals and other ventures minus management fees, legals costs and tax.

Touring income remains the biggest earner for most big-name musicians. Gary Bongiovianni, editor of trade magazine Pollstar, says (via ClassicRockMagazine): The concert business had another solid year as both artists and promoters used more caution in trying to achieve their objectives. But he added: The good seats for major artists continue to be priced at a premium.

Forbes' Highest-Paid Musicians 2012

1. Dr Dre $110m 2. Roger Waters $88m 3. Elton John $80m 4. U2 $78m 5. Take That $69m 6. Bon Jovi $60m 7. Britney Spears $58m 8. Paul McCartney $57m 8. Taylor Swift $57m 10. Justin Bieber $55m 10. Toby Keith $55m 12. Rihanna $53m 13. Lady Gaga $52m 14. Foo Fighters $47m 15. Diddy $45m 15. Katy Perry $45m 17. Kenny Chesney $44m 18. Beyonce $40m 19. Red Hot Chili Peppers $39m 20. Jay-Z $38m

113 comments sorted by best / new / date

    jeretx2
    who the **** is "take that"?
    mckenna64
    Americans will be wondering who Take That are, and everyone else will be wondering who Kenny Chesney and Toby Keith are.
    bearmod
    I really don't understand what the appeal of Dr. Dre is. He's only had four albums (that's counting solo and N.W.A.), he sells over priced headphones to douchey college students that think they're cool and his new album is basically the Chinese Democracy of the rap industry. I'm not trying to be a dick or a troll or anything but I really don't understand how he qualifies for this list.
    nboyjn
    The bottom line is that he is a genius businessman. By signing eminem, 50 cent, and others, he gets a cut of everything they make and those two alone have gone multi-platinum. Then there's Beats by Dre. its overpriced and i wouldnt ever get em but the man definitely knows how to market them. I DO, however, like the fact that he never uses samples. Rather, he gets real musicians to recreate the music he wants to sample. That's pretty cool if you ask me.
    zippidyduda
    because he has his hands in countless other albums, labels, and brands. also, aftermath entertainment (interscope) brings him a whole lot of money and beats by dre is a big brand.
    MikeBTE
    Wrong, he's the highest paid musician because Dr.Dre isn't a musician.
    archangels
    False. Even if your tiny, rock-biased brain can't comprehend rappers being musicians, Dre is still a composer, and a damn good one at that.
    Kueller917
    Dr. Dre has put out some great albums.
    Mouloudo
    " But while Dre made around $100m from a business deal related to his headphones range" I think that sums everything up... fool!
    Dr. Genitals
    Dre used to put out good albums. but recently he has truly sold out, and in the past year has done nothing worth 100 million
    thf24
    Agreed. I don't know how anyone who's informed can down vote this. I'm usually hesitant to accuse anyone of "selling out" because most people either don't know what it means or don't know the surrounding circumstances, but to me, putting your name on low quality headphones and selling them at a premium price is the definition of selling out.
    Diran123
    You know there's something wrong with the universe when Paul McCartney makes less then Britney Spears.
    Ranger Zézão
    Nice to know. Always worshiped Pink Floyd, and even though I think it will never have the same magic as them all playing together, Water's The Wall shows are nothing short of amazing. Besides, Roger's the one who got me into playing the bass, so I'll always idolize him. Too bad he isn't coming to Portugal in 2013... :/
    b_flo
    Now are people going to label Roger Waters a "sellout"? Btw, those Beats by Dr. Dre headphones are over-rated. You're just paying for the name, not the quality. Next time you go to a show, see what kind of headphones the audio engineer is using. Ultimate Ears (in-ear), Sony, Sennheiser, Shure and Denon are still the industry standards. I'm currently using the Shure SRH 440...$70 and Ultimate Ears for in-ears.
    Josh Reubenking
    Dr. Dre's only up there because of his headphones. Not a big fan, but I'm surprised Michael Jackson's not there actually. His DVD and releases after his death in 2009 were huge and they still sell. Kinda surprised Metallica aren't there either given their constant touring, they've had DVDs too, and well, they're Metallica. Haha. Weird not to see Led Zeppelin. Cause they had Celebration Day. Unless that appears in next year's rankings.
    Mouloudo
    waht are you talking about... "His DVD and releases after his death in 2009 were huge" the title says Highest-Paid Musicians >>2012
    Josh Reubenking
    Cause musicians also get a portion of the profits from the DVDs and other releases... once again *facepalm*
    Mouloudo
    no sh*t, but if you read carefully, you'll read " 2009" I dont know how jackson estates would make millions IN 2012 FROM a 2009 dvd, they should be happy if he sells 100 000 copies a nowaday, let alone 100 millions worth of 2009 posthume dvd's
    Mouloudo
    *knee to the face* might turn you jelly brain back in something more reliable
    Josh Reubenking
    Cause people still buy it, maybe? Geez, people seem to be angry dumbasses nowadays. You need to calm yourself, child.
    Mouloudo
    " cause people still buy it"... man do you read yourself from time to time? JACKSON IS NOT IN THAT LIST, how can you jump to the conclusion that " people still buy his dvd"... the initial comment was " why isn't jackson here, his 2009 DVD sold well" everything is wrong with your comment/his comment, we're talking about 2012 not 2009, maybe that dvd sold good in 2009, but could someone come to the conclusion that he should be in that list cause his cd sold good 3 years ago?? plus if he' s not in this list that just proves that nobody ( at least not in a significant amount) is buyign that famous 2009 DVD, I dont even know why were's talking about this...
    Mouloudo
    we're
    Mouloudo
    plsu it was your comment.. somehow I thought it was someone else.. ANYWAY plus I dont know why my frist commetn was cut, I had a part about zeppelin too, that celebration reunion happened in 2007, and the cd which was released a month ago will never sell millions, how could they be on that list either?
    Josh Reubenking
    HA! Wow, dude. Bands, singers, musicians in general get new fans all the time! This really seems to piss you off enough to send me three comments. I made a simple statement. And you're having a heart attack over it. I'm done wasting my time here. Oh, and learn to spell, or get your shitty iPhone fixed. See ya.
    ruker
    Nice. Get called out on your flawed logic, so you berate him then run away. Classy.
    Mouloudo
    I'm not pissed at all what bothers me is your abusive facepalm using while you make crazy statement like Jackson should be in the top list of the best paid artists in 2012 because a posthume dvd made fine in... 2009
    demonhellcat
    This kinda shows how crappy recording deals are for the artists. I'm sure Rhianna, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, and Beiber out sold Roger Waters by a large margin in album & MP3 sales yet since he tours the most he's made the most money (rightfully so).
    Mouloudo
    nah that just means these crappy artists dont sell ( no one except adele passed the million copies this year, proving how they suck) , and since they suck, they dont attract massive audiences to their shows like Waters...
    Sampy
    That's really not how it works... Also I'm pretty sure Taylor Swift sold more than a million copies of her new album this year. Others on that list probably did too.
    Mouloudo
    no you can go on the nielsen soundscan site if you dont believe me... To make it simple 1 million album sold = approximatively 15 million dollars ( 15$ X a million, and remember that the artist get about a dollar per cd= 1.5 million for him) one stadium full like the O2 arena= 80 000 seats x 100$ ( and I'm being cool 100$ is what you get for a seat high in the rafters, count 500$ and plus if you want to be in the pit)= 8 millions. So basicly just with two stadium shows you outsell an 1 million copies worth artist, imagine how much a dude like Roger Waters making something like 50 dates a year, is making, so of course he's got to pay for the equipment and everything, but the artist has to buy studio time/ producers/muscians/ promotion/ advertisement etc etc...
    0rion2309
    Offcourse, if you ask 80 euro for a show in open air.
    MaXiMuse
    A friend of mine went to The Wall in Gelredome (a football stadium can hold 34.000 people) and payed 130 for a standing ticket, and the snake pit was even more. For 130 I've seen Muse, Porcupine Tree, God is an Astronaut and Mastodon. 130 is even more than the entrance of the 4 day Dour Festival!
    t_godin
    I'm kinda surprised to see Foo Fighters in the top 20. I guess they tour a shit load
    shreddguitarist
    WHERE"S MUSE!!!!!
    hak_hap
    my favourite band next to pink floyd...i think muse put a LOT of money into their work and into their spectecular live shows that have reached a floyd-ish dimension...i love them and seeing they dont get much money makes them seem even cooler to me...
    TimLarkin
    who the **** is "Roger Waters"?
    Mr Brownst0ne
    a former member of Pink Floyd. have a great day.
    TimLarkin
    Who the **** is "Pink Floyd"?
    SocksAndTrees
    What's it like living under a rock?
    TimLarkin
    What the **** is "a rock"?
    cannotbesaved
    Successful troll is successful
    miahdoll
    I was wondering how long it was gonna take you ****ers to see he was ****in with yous!
    Camron62\m/
    you have the most ignorant and dumbest comments, on MANY articles.... i'm starting to think you are an overactive troll.
    Logan_B
    For all you know he might not know who Pink Floyd is. I didn't know who they were until I started playing guitar and someone told me about them...
    ProgFripp74
    Wow, amateur troll is butthurt about being out-trolled.
    dannydesktop
    i think you are all sucked into that black hole of the internet again that none of you can get out of. just take a deep breathe and have a beer.
    NHECOS
    This guy broke up Pink Floyd.
    Fishmania
    He didn't break up Pink Floyd, he was the only one still taking it seriously at the end.
    whywefight
    Good god, there are terrible comments all up and down this comment section. Including this one, but its a necessary evil. The top comment is the most pathetic troll I've ever seen. Everyone here should be ashamed of themselves.
    N7Crazy
    Yes. This was exactly the information I needed to know. Which musicians are richer than others. Interresting. Will this affect me? No. Good. Very good. Nothing to do here. Goodbye.
    whywefight
    All these years and he still gets paid the most money for touring. Someone get Abba back!
    SGplayer1991
    Damn I wish I could be Jay-Z knowing my wife makes more than me. also Take That on there!!! Love boybands good to see one on the list
    Miyagi84
    Just goes to show that just because a record may not sell amazing numbers anymore, that doesn't necessarily mean that people are less interested in a given band. The Peppers last album sold poorly by their standards, yet they made 40 million this year... Heck you don't necessarily even have to put out NEW music for your tickets to sell anymore.
    hak_hap
    lo yeah I'm glad he can take some time off from spitting on mexicans to play live...
    PowerStruggle
    If anyone here has actually seen The Wall show, can you recognise the massive irony in Roger Waters being the second largest earning musician for that show? Not hating on him by the way. I went to Dublin from Glasgow last year to see it, and already have my ticket for Wembley
    dentech
    Everybody say what you want about them....I'd like to be best friends with either one of these guys.