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The Top 10 Richest Musicians in the World 2020 Ranking

The top earning musician of the year 2020 is Kanye West​, who brought in $170 million. West collected most of his ​earnings from his Yeezy sneakers deal with Adidas. Live shows drove career-best income for some of music’s biggest names, with Ed Sheeran’s Divide Tour drawing 8.9 million fans and grossing $776 million over two-plus years to surpass U2’s all-time record for a single tour. Others will take a hit next year as tours for everyone from Taylor Swift (No. 5, $63.5 million) to Billie Eilish (No. 10, $37 million) have been cancelled because of the pandemic.

Top 10 highest earning musicians in the world 2020


1. Kanye West


Net worth: $1.3B
2020 Earnings: $170M

The Top 10 Richest Musicians in the World 2020 Ranking

New information about Kanye West's deal with Adidas for sneaker brand Yeezy convinced Forbes to call the entrepreneur and musician a billionaire. West ranked number one on the list of the Top Richest Rappers in The World 2020.

West is one of the world's best-selling music artists, with more than 140 million records sold worldwide. He has won a total of 21 Grammy Awards, making him one of the most awarded artists of all time. Among his other awards include the Billboard Artist Achievement Award, a joint-record three Brit Awards for Best International Male Solo Artist and the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. Three of his albums have been included on Rolling Stone's 2012 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list; the same publication named him one of the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time. West is the tied holder for the most albums (four) topping the annual Pazz & Jop critic poll.

2. Elton John


2020 Earnings: $81M

Elton John

Elton John's Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour grossed $212 million in 2019, the second-highest tally in the business.

John has been involved in the fight against AIDS since the late 1980s. In 1992, he established the Elton John AIDS Foundation, and a year later he began hosting his annual Academy Awards Party, which has since become one of the biggest high-profile Oscar parties in the Hollywood film industry. Since its inception, the foundation has raised over £300 million. John, who announced he was bisexual in 1976 and has been openly gay since 1988, entered into a civil partnership with David Furnish on 21 December 2005; they married after same-sex marriage became legal in England and Wales in 2014. Presenting John with France's highest civilian award, the Legion d'honneur, in 2019, French President Emmanuel Macron called him a "melodic genius" and praised his work on behalf of the LGBT community. In 2018, John embarked on a three-year farewell tour.

3. Ariana Grande


2020 Earnings: $72M

Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande's Sweetener World Tour grossed $146 million in 2019. The superstar singer is the highest-paid female musician on the 2020 Celebrity 100.

Grande has received various accolades throughout her career, including one Grammy Award, one Brit Award, two Billboard Music Awards, three American Music Awards, nine MTV Video Music Awards, and eight Guinness World Records. Having amassed billions of streams thus far, she is the most streamed female artist on Spotify and Apple Music and is currently the most followed female on Spotify and YouTube. She has been included on Time‘s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world and Forbes' list of the highest-paid women in music multiple times, while Billboard has honored her as Woman of the Year (2018) and the most accomplished female artist to debut in the 2010s. Outside of music, Grande is the most followed woman on Instagram and uses her influential platform to advocate for gender, racial, and LGBT equality; and her award-winning fragrance line has grossed over $500 million globally.

4. Ed Sheeran


2020 Earnings: $64M

Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran's Divide Tour grossed $775 million between March 2017 and August 2019. Sheeran has sold more than 150 million records worldwide, making him one of the world's best-selling music artists. He has 84.5 million RIAA-certified units in the US, and two of his albums are in the list of the best-selling albums in UK chart history: x at number 20, and ÷ at number 34. In December 2019, the Official Charts Company named him artist of the decade, with the most combined success in the UK album and singles charts in the 2010s. Globally, Spotify named him the second most streamed artist of the decade. Beginning in March 2017, his ÷ Tour became the highest-grossing of all time in August 2019. An alumnus of the National Youth Theatre in London, as an actor Sheeran’s roles include appearing in the 2019 film Yesterday.

5. Taylor Swift


2020 Earnings: $63.5M

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift released new album "Lover" in 2019, the first in her new deal with Universal's Republic Records. The multiplatinum effort helped Swift move more than 4 million units during between June 2019 and June 2020.

Having sold over 50 million albums and 150 million singles worldwide, Swift is one of the best-selling music artists of all time. Her accolades include ten Grammy Awards, an Emmy Award, and seven Guinness World Records; she is the most-awarded act and woman at the American Music Awards (29 wins) and Billboard Music Awards (23 wins), respectively. She has been included in multiple power rankings, such as Time's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world (2010, 2015 and 2019), Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time (2015), the Forbes Celebrity 100 (placing first in 2016 and 2019), and Billboard's Greatest of All Time Artists Chart (placing eighth). She was named Woman of the Decade (2010s) by Billboard and the Artist of the Decade (2010s) by the American Music Awards.

6. Post Malone


2020 Earnings: $60M

Post Malone

Post Malone was grossing over $1.3 million per city when the Covid-19 pandemic shuttered his tour in mid-March, later than some would have liked.

Malone's accolades include three American Music Awards, a Billboard Music Award, and an MTV Video Music Award. Additionally, he has received six Grammy Award nominations during his career. In August 2020, Malone became the first ever solo artist to top both the Billboard Rap Airplay and Adult Contemporary charts as a lead artist when "Circles" reached number one on the latter, with "Rockstar" having reached number on the former in 2017. Additionally, having reached the top spot in its 41st week on the chart, "Circles" holds the record for the longest climb to number one the Adult Contemporary airplay chart among songs by solo artists. Malone has received a Diamond certification by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for "Congratulations".

7. Sean Combs


2020 Earnings: $55M

Sean Combs

The artist formerly known as Puff Daddy now makes the bulk of his bucks on booze, particuarly his partnership with Diageo's Ciroc vodka. Combs has won three Grammy Awards and two MTV Video Music Awards, and is the producer of MTV's Making the Band. In 2020, Forbes estimated his net worth at $740 million.

8. Shawn Mendes


2020 Earnings: $54.5M

Shawn Mendes

The singer-songwriter grossed $87 million on tour in 2019, slightly more than the Jonas Brothers and a bit less than Post Malone. Among his accolades, Mendes has won 13 SOCAN awards, 10 MTV Europe Music Awards, eight Juno Awards, eight iHeartRadio MMVAs, two American Music Awards, and received three Grammy Award nominations. In 2018, Time named Mendes as one of the 100 most influential people in the world on their annual list.



9. Jay-Z


Net worth: $1B
2020 Earnings: $53.5M

Jay-Z

Even in a year without a tour or album release, Jay-Z mints millions from his Armand de Brignac champagne and D'Ussé cognac. Jay-Z is one of the world's best-selling music artists, with over 50 million albums and 75 million singles sold worldwide. He has won a total of 22 Grammy Awards, the most by a rapper, and holds the record for the most number-one albums by a solo artist on the Billboard 200, with 14. He has been ranked by Billboard and fellow music publication Rolling Stone as one of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. In 2017, he became the first rapper to be honored into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and in 2018, received the commemorative "Salute to Industry Icons" award at the 60th Grammy Awards. In June 2019, Jay-Z officially became the first hip hop billionaire, making him the fifth-wealthiest African American and the wealthiest American musician.

Jay-z ranked number two on the list of the "Top Richest Rappers in The World 2020".

10. Billie Eilish


2020 Earnings: $53M

Billie Eilish

A member of the Forbes 30 Under 30 Class of 2019, 18-year-old Eilish makes her Celebrity 100 debut as the list's youngest member.

Her accolades include five Grammy Awards, two American Music Awards, two Guinness World Records, three MTV Video Music Awards, and one Brit Award. She is the youngest person and second person ever to win the four main Grammy categories – Best New Artist, Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Album of the Year – in the same year. In 2019, Time magazine placed her on their inaugural "Time 100 Next" list. Additionally, Eilish is the 23rd biggest artist of the digital singles era, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, selling 37.5 million singles in the US alone.


Information sources: Forbes and Wikipedia.

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