The list of the top 20 richest musicians in the world changes year after year, not only because new musicians keep cropping up, but also because the artists themselves get involved in different projects that help increase their earnings and overall net worth year after year.
The music industry is incredibly saturated. It is hard to imagine how many bands and singers are there in the world, everyone wants to be the next big thing. Hip-hop musicians are known to talk about their extensive wealth which goes to show that there is quite a lot of money floating around in this career path.
Despite the huge number of musical artists, only a handful can reach and influence fans worldwide. Even fewer ones can make millions from their performances and the sale of their albums and singles.
So, which of the world’s celebrities make up this list of the richest musicians in the world?
Top 25 richest musicians in the world in 2021 and their earnings
These are the selected artists whose combined earnings have earned them an incredible net worth, earning them a spot in this list of richest musicians. Will your favourite musician appear on this list?
1. Paul McCartney – $1.2 billion
He is a solo artist now, but his fame as a former member of the band has helped him acquire popularity in his independent work. He still receives royalties for all the songs done by The Beatles and he is still touring, which continues to add on to his massive earnings.
Paul McCartney is the richest artist in the world. Sir James Paul McCartney was born on 18th June, 1942 in Liverpool, England. In 1957, he met John Lennon and joined his group known as the Quarrymen, which eventually changed its name to The Beatles.
2. Andrew Llyod Webber – $1.2 billion
Andrew Llyod Webber is known for his biggest hit, The Phantom of the Opera. The composition is based on the French novel Le Fantôme de l’Opéra by Gaston Leroux. The composer is one of the billionaire musicians in the world today.
He is a British composer and impresario of theatre. His creation The Phantom of the Opera is the longest-running Broadway show and has been performed over 10,000 times to date.
Andrew was born on 22nd March in 1948. He was born in South Kensington in London, England. The composer comes from a family of musicians. His father, William, was a composer and organist. His mother, Jean Johnstone, was a violinist and pianist as well.
3. Jay Z – $1 billion
Apart from being a worldwide praised rapper, Jay Z is also known for his business smarts. His $1 billion net worth makes him part of a very small handful of entertainers to become billionaires and the first hip-hop artist to do so.
Jay Z dabbles and invests in businesses such as liquor, art, real estate and has stakes in companies like Uber. He also has personal businesses such as the clothing line Rocawear, D’Ussé, a cognac he co-owns with Bacardi; and Tidal, a music-streaming service.
Like Rihanna, he no longer just relies on music alone as his source of income.
Jay Z, whose birth name is Shawn Corey Carter, was born on December 4, 1969, in Brooklyn, New York, United States of America. Growing up in Brooklyn’s drug-infested Marcy Projects, Jay used rap as an escape.
4. P-Diddy – $855 million
Rapper, actor, record producer, and men’s fashion designer P Diddy Combs is the optimal sign of wealth. From private jets, expensive cars and even lavish vacations, his lifestyle is what many admire and expect from one of the richest musicians today.
Sean John Combs was born on November 4, 1969, exactly a month before Jay Z, who was born on December 4th that same year. P Diddy was raised by his mother after his father was murdered in 1974.
5. Madonna – $850 million
Often referred to as the ‘Queen of Pop‘ she is among the richest pop stars in the world. Since the release of her iconic song Vogue, she has not stopped making great music.
Her album sales have been so incredible that the Guinness World Book of Records recognized her as the best-selling female recording artist of all time in 1998. She has also broken other records nine more times.
6. Herb Alpert – $850 million
An American jazz musician, he became famous as head of the group notoriously known as Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass. They are also known as Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass or TJB.
He decided to pursue music after he left the army. This was a good idea as to date, Herb has won eight Grammy awards and has sold more than 75 million albums worldwide.
7. Dr Dre – $820 million
This rapper, actor, entrepreneur and producer has been recognized as one of the most influential people in the formation of hip-hop. His album The Chronic sold 6 million albums worldwide and would be considered one of the most well-produced and popular hip-hop albums of all time.
In July 2008, Dre and his business partner Jimmy Lovine launched the headphones Beats by Dre. Six years later, on May 28, 2014, they sold the company to Apple for $3 billion.
Dr Dre’s net worth is $820 million.
8. Celine Dion – $800 million
There is not one music fan in this world who is not familiar with Celine Dion….unless they have been living under a rock for the last couple of years. Her incredible and powerful voice has been known to bring grown men to tears.
The Canadian singer, actress, songwriter, and entrepreneur is the top-selling and richest music artist in Canada. Between 2000 and 2010, Celine Dion was the highest-grossing entertainer in the world.
She grossed over $720 million from ticket sales, record sales, merchandise, brand endorsements, her Las Vegas residency, among many others.
9. Bono – $700 million
The Irish musician and political activist formed his band U2 at the age of sixteen. Since then, the band has gone on to release twelve albums, sell-out live venues, and win twenty-two Grammy awards.
Other than his earnings from being an artist, he is also a real sate investor and serves on the board of Elevation Partners, a private equity firm. He is also part of a group who invested in Facebook. He donates his money to various charities that help fight AIDS and poverty.
His current net worth is $700 million.
10. Rihanna – £468 million (around $576 million)
“I never thought I’d make this much money, so a number is not going to stop me from working,”
Rihanna said this after being named America’s Richest Female Musician by Forbes early this year. While she has not released new music or toured in the last three years, she makes the bulk of her earnings from her makeup line ‘Fenty Beauty’ which, in 2018, generated $570 million in sales. She has now branched into fashion partnering with LVHM to produce a luxury clothing line.
Fenty Beauty’s about page reads,
Rihanna was inspired to create Fenty Beauty after years of experimenting with the best-of-the-best in beauty—and still seeing a void in the industry for products that performed across all skin types and tones. She launched a makeup line “so that people everywhere would be included,” focusing on a wide range of traditionally hard-to-match skin tones, creating formulas that work for all skin types, and pinpointing universal shades.
Her net worth is £468 million (around $576 million), making her one of the richest female singers in the world.
11. Elton John – $500 million
With over 300 million album sales worldwide, the openly gay musician, composer, pianist and songwriter has done very well for himself. He is recognized as one of the most commercially successful artists in the world.
12. Beyonce Knowles – $500 million
At the beginning of the year, Beyonce made the Forbes list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women with a net worth of $400 million. Her net worth increased by $100 million in just a couple of months. This is thanks to her multiple income streams. She is a musician, performer, businesswoman, and actress.
13. Coldplay – $475 million
Alternative rock band Coldplay is made up of four members, namely vocalist Chris Martin, guitarist Johnny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman, and drummer Will Champion.
The band was started in London in 1996 and has gone on to gain worldwide fame and even win a Grammy. Like all on this list, they make the bulk of their earnings from music sales, touring and merchandise.