Diddy Tops Forbes’ Highest Paid Musicians of 2017 List

Sean “Diddy” Combs told you that he wouldn’t stop. And the entertainment, fashion and spirits mogul’s grind has paid off as and secured his spot at the top of Forbes’ annual world’s highest-paid musician list. In the top five, Diddy (who raked in $130 million) is followed by BeyonceDrake, The Weeknd and Coldplay. Surprisingly, Jay-Z landed at number 21 on the list with $42 million.

The Harlem native’s work ethic should inspire others, particularly young men of color. “I’m the average person,” Diddy told Forbes earlier this year. “I started looking at business at the age of 12, [from] delivering newspapers to working in gas station bathrooms, or even doing things like being a background dancer or a stylist. Whatever I could do to get close to the industry.”

Beyoncé ranks second with $105 million, making her the only other act top to pull in nine figures. Queen Bey’s Formation World Tour, which wrapped up in late 2016 and fell partly in our scoring period, grossed a quarter of a billion dollars. Drake, the world’s most-streamed artist in recent years, rounds out the top three with $94 million, much of it from his Boy Meets World Tour.

“Artists don’t really make the money off the music like we did in the Golden Age,” The Weeknd, No. 4 on the list with $92 million, most of it from his latest Live Nation advance, explained to Forbes. “It’s not really coming in until you hit the stage.”

Notably, like the 2017 Grammy nominations, the Forbes list is racially diverse — four of the top-five are musicians of color. The list is based on pretax income from June 1, 2016 through June 1, 2017, and does not subtract fees charged by agents, managers and lawyers. Data was gathered from Nielsen Music, Pollstar, the RIAA and industry insiders.

As compiled by Variety, we’ve included the entire Forbes highest-paid musicians’ list below.

1. Diddy ($130 M)
(Cash cows: Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour, Ciroc vodka deal, estimated $70 million sale of one-third of Sean John fashion line)

2. Beyoncé ($105 M)
(Cash cow: Formation tour)

3. Drake ($94 M)
(Cash cows: The world’s most-streamed artist, Boy Meets World tour, deals with Apple, Sprite and Nike)

4. The Weeknd ($92 M)
(Cash cows: 5.5 billion streams in two years, touring)

5. Coldplay ($88 M)
(Cash cow: Head Full of Dreams tour)

6. Guns N’ Roses ($84 M)
(Cash cow: Not in This Lifetime tour)

7. Justin Bieber ($83.5 M)
(Cash cows: One billion-plus streams, Purpose tour, Calvin Klein endorsement)

8. Bruce Springsteen ($75 M)
(Cash cows: The River tour, “Born to Run” memoir)

9. Adele ($69 M)
(Cash cow: “25” album and tour)

10. Metallica ($66.5 M)
(Cash cows: WorldWired tour, “Hardwired… To Self-Destruct” album)

11. Garth Brooks ($60 M, tie)
(Cash cows: Touring, “The Anthology Part 1” book and boxed set)

12. Elton John ($60 M, tie)
(Cash cow: Touring, Las Vegas residency)

13. Paul McCartney ($54 M, tie)
(Cash cows: Touring, Beatles and solo catalogs)

14. Red Hot Chili Peppers ($54 M, tie)
(Cash cows: Touring, “Getaway” album)

15. Jimmy Buffett ($50.5 M)
(Cash cows: Margaritaville franchises, including hotels, restaurants, merch)

16. Calvin Harris ($48.5 M)
(Cash cows: Touring, “Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1” album)

17. Taylor Swift ($44 M)
(Cash cows: Endorsements, catalog)

18. Kenny Chesney ($42.5 M)
(Cash cows: Touring, “Cosmic Hallelujah” album, Corona and Apple deals)

19. Luke Bryan ($42 M)
(Cash cows: Touring, Outdoor Channel reality show Buck Commander, Cabela’s and Miller Lite endorsements)

20. Celine Dion ($42 M)
(Cash cows: Touring, Las Vegas residency)

21. Jay-Z ($42 M)
(Cash cows: $200 million Live Nation deal)

22. Bruno Mars ($39 M)
(Cash cow: Touring, “24K Magic” album)

23. Tiësto ($39 M)
(Cash cow: Touring)

24. The Chainsmokers ($38 M)
(Cash cows: Touring, “Memories… Do Not Open” album, streaming)

25. Jennifer Lopez ($38 M)
(Cash cows: Las Vegas residency, “World of Dance” TV show)

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