With the past year having wrapped up, it's always fun to see if the list of top 10 most wealthy musicians has changed or completely shifted.
This is an interesting concept, because it proves two things to upcoming and ambitious musicians:
The struggle is real and lots of artists pay their dues and never breakthrough into the mainstream. If you want to make the leap, get ready to become a marketer on top of writing songs and playing instruments, like the following top 10 richest musicians have...
It's hard to believe that Mariah Carey is still within the top 10. She hasn't made any major moves lately but that goes to show you the power of striking while the iron is hot, saving, and reinvesting. Even with her flop of a movie, Glitter, she's still holding strong. That perfume line must be doing well.
Trivia Fact: Even Mariah's Wikipedia page doesn't know... What year was she born? 1969 or 1970? She's not telling, nor are her close confidants, including ex-husband Nick Cannon. Why the mystery?
He's not a businessman, he's a business, maaaaan. This is what happens after you score 19 Grammy's, sell over 100 million records, and launch a successful clothing company Rocawear. After marrying Beyonce, their combined wealth is over 1 Billion! All it's going to take is a few more "retirements" and "come backs" and he should climb a few notches on the list. Maybe one extra come back cycle to make up for his goof with Tidal and Aspiro.
Fun Fact: Of all his shenanigans, Jay-Z admits to having shot his own brother at the age of 12 for stealing some of his jewelry. I don't know if that adds up to street credibility or the stupidity of being a kid. The real stupidity belongs to whichever adult left a gun unattended around him.
Bono is a strange one. The lead singer of U2, Bono is straight killing it by marketing himself as the guy who wears those glasses while caring about eco and social activist issues. I can make jokes all day long, but the fact is, Bono is a boss.
Trivia Fact: Not only is Bono's real name Paul David Hewson, he's actually been given knighthood. He's actually a knight. How many dragons have you killed!?!?
There's no wonder that Ms. Dion is on the top 10 list. She's the top wealthiest music artist in Canada of all time after selling over 200 million records! After her smash hit on the Titanic soundtrack, she took advantage, launched the popularity of auto-tune, and rode that wave straight to the top 10 list!
Fun Fact: Celine is the youngest of 14 (yes, you read that right) siblings!
P. Diddy, A.K.A. Puff Daddy, Puffy, Diddy, Sean Combs, Sean John, etc. I'm sure there's more. This kind of marketing keeps you relevant, as silly as it is. We all could learn from this master, which has earned him the sixth spot on the list. He went beyond his own recordings to operating his own label, Bad Boy records, launching the careers of guys like The Notorious B.I.G. and Mase.
Trivia Fact: The name "Puff Daddy" came from his early childhood when, instead of pitching a fit, he'd "huff and puff" when he got upset. Like many of the richest people in the world, he's also a college dropout (Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Kanye West, etc.)
There's a lot of crap out there trying to undermine the D.R.E., but the fact remains, he's impacted rap, music, and the culture of the United States. Very few people can say that. From being a member of N.W.A., Death Row records, and operating his own label, he also launched several proteges, including Snoop Dogg, Eminem, and 50 Cent.
Fun Fact: Dre has only released 2 albums. Otherwise, he's a guest star and super beat producer. He also sold his world's top headphones company Beats By Dre to Apple last year, launching him way up this list.
This lady has been in the game for a long time, pumping out pop hits since the 80's and forward, experiencing all of the ups and downs the industry has faced over the years. She's even a Golden Globe winning actress. The real wealth comes from her tireless touring, having played more live shows than any other female musician ever!
Trivia Fact: On top of her illustrious music and acting careers, Madonna has also published several children's books.
Hubert Alpert (and the Tijuana Brass band) have released five #1 albums and 28 total albums on the Billboard charts. His other notables awards are 9 Grammy's, 14 certified Platinum albums, and 15 more Gold albums. His total sales are over 72 million worldwide!
Fun Fact: Alpert is the "A" in A&M Records, which undoubtedly contributes to his unbelievable riches.
There's no way you wouldn't find a member of The Beatles on this list, especially Paul McCartney. He and John Lennon basically shared writing credits for their entire run, guaranteeing both of them continued riches forever. Tag on John's killer solo career, the band Wings, and collaborations with Michael Jackson and most recently Kanye West, and you've got a guy who's been a relevant pop icon since the early 60's.
Trivia Fact: Paul's song Yesterday is the most covered song of all time, having been remade by over 2,000 artists and bands. Talk about some royalties!
You are now looking at the King. You may not know his name, but you know his music. Broadway is almost synonymous with Webber, with him having penned their 13 of their greatest hits: The Phantom of the Opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, Cats, Evita, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and on and on... dude's cleaning up. These shows are still happening nightly all across the world. Thanks to his business move of creating the Really Useful Group, he gets a chunk of everything related to his products, including merchandise and ticket sales.
Fun Fact: Andrew Lloyd Webber collects royalties from two songs he wrote for none other than Elvis Presley (the true King!).
It'll take some serious power moves for newcomers to displace someone from the top 10 richest musicians list. Each of the tycoons above have their hands in a lot of jars that extend far beyond music. The next generation better get ready to hustle!
I see some possible contenders out there: Eminem, Kanye West, and Taylor Swift. But it goes the other way around too. Any of these movie celebrities out there could make the right investments into their own music career and if they can start trending, then boom, instant billionaire status.
I'd be happy to just be in the top 10,000 most wealthy musicians list.