We Take a Look at the Top-Earning Music Stars and the Millions They Make

 

Josh Groban and Celine Dion

 

By LOUIS HAU
Forbes.com

Amid the gloom and doom that enveloped the music business in 2007, a select number of recording artists managed to find a way to generate mad money.
Forget the year’s hot new acts. Veterans like the Police and Celine Dion were among the biggest commercial forces of 2007. Others included younger established stars such as Josh Groban and the Disney Channel’s Hannah Montana.

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To compile our list of pop’s biggest cash machines, Forbes looked at how much leading recording artists generated in U.S. music sales and North American concert grosses in 2007. Our estimates, which don’t calculate how much income each artist pocketed, include concert revenue data from Pollstar, music sales tallies from Nielsen SoundScan and pricing information from NPD Group. The numbers are meant to provide a snapshot, not a complete picture–revenue from licensing deals, merchandise sales and mobile sales aren’t included.

Playing live was a big cash generator for all the artists on our list. By far the biggest tour of the year was the Police reunion, as Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland decided to bury the hatchet and hit the road for the first time since 1986. Financially, it was a no-brainer: The trio generated $133.2 million in concert receipts at an average ticket price of $112–and that’s face value. In all, the band racked up an impressive $142.4 million in concert tickets and music sales.
The even unlikelier reunion of Van Halen with original frontman David Lee Roth also did well. This slightly revamped version of the band, with Eddie Van Halen’s son Wolfgang replacing longtime bassist Michael Anthony, charged about the same average ticket price as the Police but played fewer and smaller venues. Still, $56.7 million in North American grosses is nothing to sniff at.
Other big live draws were country singer Kenny Chesney, who grossed $71.1 million on the road; Justin Timberlake, who sold $70.6 million in concert tickets; and Celine Dion, who generated $65.3 million during the final year of her “A New Day … ” show at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.

For these artists, the cash generated from performing in front of their fans far outweighed the revenue they generated from sales of their music. For instance, Chesney’s total album sales, including his new release Just Who I Am: Poets And Pirates, reached 1.8 million units. Add to that 2.5 million song downloads and Chesney’s recorded-music sales totaled around $25 million — a strong performance but still short far short of what he generated on tour.
But recorded-music sales accounted for a larger portion of the cash generated by other recording artists. Pop-country trio Rascal Flatts proved to be a big hit with both concertgoers and music buyers, grossing $41.5 million on tour and generating roughly that much in sales of albums and song downloads.

For the Disney Channel’s Hannah Montana, or more specifically the show’s star Miley Cyrus, recorded music sales accounted for the lion’s share of the cash she generated, despite the headlines generated by scalpers who charged astronomical prices for tickets to her sold-out shows. Hannah/Miley grossed $36 million on tour but generated more than $50 million in album sales and downloads.

Meanwhile, pop-classical vocalist Josh Groban hit pay dirt with his Christmas album Noel, which turned out to be the year’s best-selling album, with 3.7 million units sold. The sales were especially impressive considering that, as a holiday album, it had only gone on sale in October.
His album sales and song downloads generated an estimated $60 million in sales. Groban also did well on tour, grossing $43.1 million in 2007.

The boffo sales of Noel provided a badly needed boost to Warner Music Group, which released the album. It didn’t make up for the fact that Warner’s share price lost three-quarters of its value in 2007. But the success of Groban and other top cash generators proved that even as the recording industry struggles, some consumers are willing to spend serious money on their favorite artists.

Singer who has the best-selling 2007 album ready for a new season

 

Josh Groban

 

By MICHAEL CIDONI
The Associated Press

U2, Patti Smith, 50 Cent, John Legend and Josh Groban contributed to the soundtrack of this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Yes, Josh Groban — he of fresh face, lyrical baritone and last year’s best-selling album, the holiday-themed “Noel.”

Sundance, the annual orgy of independent cinema that runs through today, usually attracts alt-rock and acoustic up-and-comers and edgier pop stars. You’d be hard-pressed to find a name familiar to Middle American moms.

But they sure know Groban, 26, the best-selling artist of 2007, who is set to perform both an intimate acoustic show and a big-ticket charity fundraiser in Park City, Utah.

Q. So, Sundance.

A. What am I doing there? People know that I do big. You know that I can go off, I just did a 10-month arena tour, a big extravaganza: big orchestra, huge ordeal. I so love the idea of going into a room with a hundred people and just myself on a piano and a guitar and bass, and just kind of breaking down some of these gorgeous melodies.

Speaking of movie music, you perform “The Prayer” (from 1998’s “The Quest for Camelot”) with Celine Dion on “The Woman in Me.” Isn’t singing with Celine Dion essentially how you got your start? 10 years ago, filling in at the last minute when Andrea Bocelli couldn’t make it to L.A.?

That kind of was my first-year relationship with (producer) David (Foster): “Here, kid. Let’s see what you can do.” You know, just throwing me into ridiculous situations where I had to fight hard not to lose it, not to lose it altogether. But that time period, and certainly that day, was a great learning experience for me and really laid the foundation for what I have been able to achieve after that.

In 2007 you were the top-selling artist. “Noel” was the top-selling CD of the year and is now the longest-running, chart-topping Christmas album, breaking Elvis Presley’s record of four weeks.

I really feel bad about that. But he (Presley) has got me beat in so many other areas that I’ll take it. Thanks, Elvis. No, but it was an enormous record to beat.

Source: Kansascity.com

Josh Groban topping BillBoard Album Chart for five weeks

 

Josh Groban

 

Josh Groban’s “Noel”, produced by David Foster, this week becomes the first Christmas album to top The Billboard 200 for five straight weeks, after moving 757,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Groban’s total, which was up 13% from last week, helped hold off hefty competition from Mary J. Blige’s “Growing Pains” (Geffen), the only debut to crack the top 10 this week. The R&B star’s ninth album landed at No. 2 and shifted 629,000 copies.

Other Foster’s collaborations are “Vivere” by Andrea Bocelli at no.25 after 8 weeks on, Michael Bublè’s “Call Me Irresponsible” at no.38 after 34 weeks and Chris Botti’s “Italia” at no.58 jumping from 71. Also Josh Groban’s third studio album, “Awake” is still in the chart after 56 weekes, at no.95.

Christmas Video/2 – Josh Groban on Larry King Live

 

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Josh Groban Live at Larry King (2007)
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Groban remains No. 1, becomes ’07’s Best-Seller

 

Josh Groban

 

Josh Groban’s “Noel” earns 4 PLATINUM !!Congratulations !

Josh Groban sets a new record on The Billboard 200 with “Noel,” becoming the first Christmas album to top the chart for four straight weeks. The 143/Reprise set, produced by David Foster, moved 669,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan, a 15% increase from last week’s sum. Elvis Presley’s “Elvis’ Christmas Album” also sat on top for four weeks, but non-consecutively.

With total sales at 2.77 million, “Noel” has now surpassed the “High School Musical 2” soundtrack as this year’s top selling album.

Other Foster’s collaborations are “Vivere” by Andrea Bocelli at no.19 jumping from 23, Michael Bublè’s “Call Me Irresponsible” at no.34 from 63 and Chris Botti’s “Italia” at no.71 from 94.