Billboard has just released their list of the highest paid musicians of 2020.
The list compiles revenue from: streaming, sales, publishing, and touring.
The Eagles weren’t even ranked in 2019, but they played 10 shows in 2020 that grossed $33 million and netted $11.4 million in income. Fueled by 744 million web radio plays — they were the No. 5 most-played act of 2020— the band also generated nearly $4.9 million in income from its recorded masters, which is almost 30% of the band’s overall earnings.
Queen, which owns its masters, ranked second in sales royalties with $5.3 million thanks, in part, to the 2020 rerelease of its $500-plus limited-edition colored vinyl Studio Collection box set of the band’s 15 studio albums. The evergreen rockers ranked No. 4 in physical album sales after moving 517,000 copies of their recordings. They also placed No .7 in publishing royalties ($2.4 million) because the original members wrote all of their songs. And in a notable accomplishment for a rock band, Queen generated 1.2 billion on-demand audio streams in 2020, a feat that other legacy acts on this list — including Pink Floyd, the Eagles, Metallica and AC/DC — have yet to do. They did even better internationally and topped the 2020 Global Money Makers ranking.
As for The Beatles, The Fab Four, which informed sources say receive royalties at the exceptionally high rate of 50%, make their debut on the Money Makers list after an impressive 2020. The band ranked third in physical sales — selling 671,000 copies of its albums, 78% of which were vinyl reissues that are priced higher than CDs and thus pay higher royalties. The group also generated over 1.8 billion streams, which is impressive for a rock band.
Others on the list include, AC/DC at #13, Metallica at #18, Pink Floyd at #20, Fleetwood Mac at #29, The Rolling Stones at #34, Billy Joel at #39, and Aerosmith at #40.