11/29/12 at 7:07 AM
Dr. Dre, the rap producer who largely defined the West Coast sound in its early ‘90s heyday, topped the list by earning an estimated $110 million between May 2011 and May 2012, the time period considered for the list. But the bulk of that cash wasn't from his producer's fees, songwriting royalties or performances. Dre made around $100 million, writes Forbes' Zack O’Malley Greenburg, when he sold a 51 percent stake in his Beats by Dre line of headphones to Taiwan-based mobile device maker HTC Corporation.
Roger Waters, the former Pink Floyd bassist and lyricist, came in second on the overall musicians' list with $88 million. The concert industry magazine Pollstar reported that Waters grossed $158 million from 63 performances in 2012 of his The Wall Live tour, which launched in 2010. Elton John came in third with $80 million from 100 shows over the same time period.
U2 is in fourth place, scraping by on $78 million split between the four musicians. British boy band Take That – which barely has any presence at all in the United States – rounded out the Top 5 thanks to $69 million grossed during the group’s reunion tour. That tour included an unprecedented eight shows at London’s massive Wembley Stadium.
Elsewhere on the list, country star Toby Keith and teen heartthrob Justin Bieber tied for 10th place with $55 million. Keith, Forbes said, made much of his money from his longrunning Ford sponsorship and his I Love This Bar and Grill restaurant chain. Bieber, meanwhile, oversees a growing portfolio of investments as a budding venture capitalist; he earned his own Forbes cover story earlier this year.