The World’s Highest Paid Musicians of 2012: Dr. Dre Tops The List?

Check out which musicians raked in the biggest bucks in 2012!

Johnny Firecloudby Johnny Firecloud


Despite not having released a new album in ages untold, Dr. Dre is far and away the world's highest-paid musician of 2012, according to a new list published by Forbes. 

The financial publication attributes Dre's success to the wildly successful Beats By Dre headphone line. When handset maker HTC paid $300 million for a 51% stake in the Beats name last year, Dre pulled in $100 pretax directly.

Dre, the only American on Forbes' top 5 list, is largely the only artist on the list who doesn't attribute the majority of his success to touring. Pink Floyd ex-frontman Roger Waters ranks second with $88 million, nearly all of it coming from his The Wall Live tour. According to Pollstar, he pulled $158 million over 63 shows in the first half of the year alone.

Meanwhile, legendary crooner Elton John takes the third spot with $80 million, earned from over 100 shows in the year, while Ireland’s U2 ranks fourth, pulling in $78 million largely from the group’s record-breaking 360 tour. The monstrous world tour grossed $736 million over three years. Finishing up the top 5 are British boy band Take That, who pulled in $69 million on their massively successful reunion tour. The group grossed $61 million for eight dates at London’s Wembley Stadium alone.

Other notable names high on Forbes' list are Juistin Bieber ($55 million), Taylor Swift ($57 million), Paul McCartney ($57 million), Coldplay ($37 million) and Adele ($35 million).


1. Dr. Dre – $110 million

2. Roger Waters – $88 million

3. Elton John – $80 million

4. U2 – $78 million

5. Take That – $69 million