Madonna crowned top music earner in 2012 due to world tour

Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:50pm EST
 

(Reuters) - Madonna was named the biggest money maker in music in 2012 on Friday, with a world tour helping her take home up to $34.6 million and highlighting the earning power of live performances as the industry increasingly goes digital.

The 54-year-old Material Girl topped Billboard Magazine's annual list of 40 top money makers for the second time after earning an estimated $32 million - 93.5 percent of her revenue - from her 88-date "MDNA" tour, 2012's biggest tour.

Madonna, who also led the list in 2008 due to tour income, was the only woman in the top 10 with last year's winner, Taylor Swift, who fell to 15th place as she did not tour in 2012.

In second place in the music magazine's list was Bruce Springsteen whose $33.4 million revenue was also primarily driven by touring, playing to sold-out stadiums and arenas.

Springsteen, who also released a No. 1 album, "Wrecking Ball," last year, earned 92 percent of his revenue from live shows where strong merchandise sales also boosted takings.

Roger Waters, founder of Pink Floyd, came a distant third with earnings of $21 million largely from "The Wall Live" tour and Van Halen was fourth with $20 million after touring in support of their album "A Different Kind of Truth".

"When it comes to making the biggest score, the most money always comes from high-paying live performances," Billboard's editorial analyst Glenn Peoples wrote in explaining the list.

"Ironically, the most popular touring artists are usually well past their peaks on the album sales charts."

Country music veteran Kenny Chesney, the Dave Matthews Band, country's Tim McGraw and Jason Aldean, and British band Coldplay came next on the list.   Continued...

 
Singer Madonna performs at Staples Center as part of her MDNA world tour in Los Angeles, California October 10, 2012. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni