U2 top earning musicians | EW.com

Music | The Music Mix

Age Before Beauty: 'Forbes' releases 2011 top earners list


(Lise Aserud/Scanpix/ZUMAPRESS.com)

As expected, Gaga was golden when Forbes released its 2011 World’s Highest-Paid Musicians List this past Wednesday. Yet, despite banking $90 million, Gaga found on herself on “The Edge of Glory” as she landed in fourth place. She probably could have secured a higher position if she had been more conservative in spending for her stage show. Then again, girl loves a concept costume and a flaming piano… Plus, the words “Gaga” and “conservative” really should never inhabit the same sentence, right?

So who scored the top slot?

Apparently U2 was able to “Rise Above” their presumed (and sizable) net loss in Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark, as they topped the list. (According to Forbes’ website, all of the calculated earnings are based off pretax income earned from May 2010 to May 2011, before agents and managers take their cuts, according to Forbes.com.) The band put more than $195 million in their coffers this year, thanks largely to wrapping up their two-year 360 Tour. Grossed in the ballpark of $700 million, the tour surpassed the Rolling Stones’ A Bigger Bang Tour as the highest earning tour ever.

The runner-up position went to Bon Jovi, who took in their $125 million take. Elton John snagged the third place spot with $100 million. Rounding out the “Score One for the Old Dudes” category, fellow sexagenarian Paul McCartney was the oldest person to make the list. The 68-year-old raked in $67 mil.

On the (hair)flip side, 17-year-old pretty boy Justin Bieber made a pretty penny. With $53 million to his oft-shrieked name, he was the youngest artist to make the list. Also of note, dynamic duo Jay-Z and Beyoncé were the only couple to make the list. At $37 million, Jay earned dinner table bragging rights (and perhaps a few nights off dish duty) by topping his wife’s $35 million earnings. They say money is one of the biggest causes of argument for couples, but I think this might be the exception that proves the rule.

Read more:
Bono and the Edge talk ‘Spider-Man’ troubles
Lady Gaga debuts ‘Edge of Glory’ video
Lady Gaga: 29 Outrageous Outfits


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