World's Highest-Earning Musicians of 2015

Posted at January 25th, 2016 | by Shivani Goel | in

You would expect someone like Adele, who sold a record breaking 3.38 million copies of her November release ’25 and whose YouTube video of ‘Hello’ just took 87 days to hit one billion views, to be one of the highest earning musicians in the world, but she didn’t even come close. Touring is what mints money, and these musicians know how to work that. Looking at the income before tax from June 2014 – June 2015 of all business ventures by these celebrities, we bring you the creme de la creme.

Highest Earner

She’s the highest earning celebrity on the planet after the Mayweather – Pacquiao duo. Katy Perry, the Superbowl halftime star, raked in $135 million over the past year. During her Prismatic World Tour she grossed around $2 million per city, and she was a proud covergirl for Forbes magazine. Katy played around 126 shows during that period.


Highest Earning Band


Ranking at No. 2 with an earning of $130 million, One Direction is the biggest boy band in the world and also the highest earning group of any sort. They played around 74 shows during the ranking time and grossed at least 7 figures at each show. So far, this has gotten them a payday twice as big as the Rolling Stones.

Highest Earning Male


American, country-pop, singer/songwriter Garth Brooks, stood in third place with a gross earning of $90 million. He came out of semi retirement and performed back to back shows, often in the same night, with an average gross amount of $1 million per show.

Highest Earning DJ


World famous DJ Calvin Harris beat all the Dj’s when it came to earning the most money with a cushy $60 million. He is also No. 6 on the list including all musicians. This talented Scottish DJ/ singer-songwriter/ record producer/ record artist and mixer has belted out hit track after track since a few years now.

Highest Earning Couple


The top earning couple spot surprisingly did not go to Jay-Z and Beyonce, although they are at No. 13 and 14 of the list with around $55 million each. The top couple spot goes to Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris with a combined total of $146 million. Taylor Swift also features fourth on the overall list, and this cute couple has raked in the millions mostly through endorsements and live shows.

Notable Mentions


Paul McCartney ranked No. 17 with $51.5 million and Diddy took the hip-hop crown at No. 9 with $60 million. Ed Sheeran is on No. 12 with $57 million and he played 154 live shows, the highest in all the musicians during the scoring period. Dr. Dre fell from last year’s top spot with a record breaking $620 million to No. 30 with $33 million.

Shivani Goel

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