Beyonce Tops Billboard’s Money Makers List / Beats Rihanna, Drake, & More

Published: Friday 14th Jul 2017 by Sam

For almost 20 years, Beyonce has proven a formidable force and 2016 was no different.

Billboard have published their list of Top 50 Music Money Makers and unsurprisingly Queen Bey has bested the rest.

The criteria drawn on to compile the tally were: sales, streaming, publishing, and touring.

While the list, in itself, makes for an interesting read, the difference between each act on certain fronts is even more riveting.

For instance, though Bey excelled in pure sales and touring (enough to make her total $20 million ahead of the act in #2 spot), other names like Rihanna and Drake outranked her streaming figure.

Check out key names, where they placed, and how they got there below…

1. Beyonce

Bow down to the Queen. Beyonce slayed the competition as 2016’s top Money Maker with a mammoth $62.1 million — $20 million more than the No. 2 act. The bulk of that payday stemmed from her Formation World Tour, in support of her sixth album, Lemonade, an all-stadium trek that boasted DJ Khaled and Rae Sremmurd as opening acts, not to mention Kendrick Lamar and husband JAY-Z as surprise guests at the MetLife Stadium finale in East Rutherford, N.J. That tour sold 1.2 million tickets and grossed an industry-leading $161 million across 32 North American dates, but Bey didn’t stop there. Finishing in the top 15 in every category we measured, she was one of only six artists to earn more than $1 million in each category and ranked sixth in total artist royalties ($6.2 million). And while Lemonade may have lost the Grammy for album of the year, it earned 2.2 million equivalent album units in 2016, according to Nielsen Music (and added 260,000 more this year). LAST YEAR: N/A

4. Drake

After dominating the charts last year, Drake led all acts in on-demand audio and video streams (6.8 billion), plus royalties with $23.7 million. Adding nearly $14 million for his summer tour with Future, Drake danced away with over $37 million in 2016. LAST YEAR: 32

5. Adele

The “Rolling in the Deep” singer is rolling in the dough. Adele’s tour was 2016’s fourth-highest grossing, and she moved 2.2 million albums in the United States, more than any other artist except Prince; she also clocked nearly 1.3 million radio spins. LAST YEAR: 9

7. Justin Bieber

Even in light of Bieber’s impressive touring income, his streaming power shines, as he racked up nearly as many on-demand video streams (1.2 billion) as audio streams (1.5 billion). He was also No. 3 in terrestrial radio spins. LAST YEAR: N/A

9. Kanye West

A no-show on 2015’s list, West ranks as the second-highest-grossing rapper behind Drake, thanks in part to his $15 million take from the blockbuster Saint Pablo Tour ($45 million). He’s second only to Drake in audio on-demand streams, too (2 billion). LAST YEAR: N/A

12. Rihanna

Rihanna put in plenty of work on the road in 2016, but her streaming success was huge, too: She came in third in on-demand audio (2 billion) and first in on-demand video (1.3 billion), and earned $10.1 million in master recording royalties, ranking fourth. LAST YEAR: N/A

17. Future

The first artist with back-to-back Billboard 200 No. 1 debuts in successive weeks, Future earned nearly $14 million as Drake’s Summer Sixteen Tour co-headliner and ranked in the top 10 in on-demand audio (1.5 billion) and video (1.1 billion) streams. LAST YEAR: N/A

31. Jennifer Lopez

Lopez’s lion’s share comes from her residency at the Axis at Planet Hollywood — the most successful Las Vegas residency of 2016, with a gross of $34.6 million. That earned Lopez $11.8 million and a spot on this year’s list without releasing an album. LAST YEAR: N/A

39. Britney Spears

Spears’ Las Vegas residency helped push her live take-home pay to $9.5 million, while new album Glory contributed to $1.2 million in royalties, with 529 million combined on-demand streams and 250,000 album sales total across her catalog. LAST YEAR: 22

42. The Weeknd

The Weeknd didn’t play a U.S. show in 2016, yet he still racked up 1.9 billion on-demand audio streams, the fourth-most of the year. He also made the top 10 in track sales (3.8 million) and terrestrial radio spins (1.2 million) as his Starboy album kicked in. LAST YEAR: 28

Click here to read the full list!

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  1. Beingmeiz July 14, 2017

    I’m still not kissing her wrinkled ass. She’s a fraud

  2. Bebey July 14, 2017

    And Thatgrapejuice tops the number times they kissed beyonce

    • Bebey July 14, 2017


  3. Stephy July 14, 2017

    Queen Bey at #1 as per usual.

  4. We are the grandchildren of the slaves you couldn’t kill – tyler July 14, 2017

    She just might be a black Bill Gates in the making

  5. ThatMessJuice.Flop July 14, 2017

    So without touring Rihanna made more money than Beyonce in music sales. I’m fairly certain Bey would have made more if her album was on other streaming sites. Y’all better not sleep on steams busy complaining that streaming is cheating and all that nonsense. Streaming is the future

    • TrellBeyLike July 14, 2017

      No she made more money in only streams, and that’s only becuz her latest music is only on tidal lol

  6. Theman July 14, 2017

    Lol, many of them made more in sales than streaming. Streaming is fluke. You are really only making money from it if you are an elite upper tier artist. The Weeknd didn’t even tour & he made almost 10 million, not to mention his sales, brought in some nice cash for him.. Rihanna had to be streamed like crazy to make that kind of money. Those catalogue albums be raking in bank. Britney made some dough..

  7. Kennedy July 14, 2017

    My girl..20 plus yrs in, and still on top.

  8. ThatMessJuice.Flop July 14, 2017

    But me I’m confused. According to this the Weeknd didn’t even make 10 mil but Forbes has him at 92 mil. Does he have some crazy good endorsements I’m unaware of?

  9. DanYiel Iman July 14, 2017

    Although Beyoncé is my girl, I say congratulations to anyone mentioned especially Britney Lip Sync Spears & J-No…?

  10. Lana Del Fan July 14, 2017

    Beyonce, the Queen, as always number one

    However I feel like the real winner is the WEEKND. Not a single show and on the list? That’s amazing!

  11. xedos July 15, 2017

    Now you all see why you must own your Masters.Rihanna made $10 mil from streaming . now that’s her money . no label is getting a cut ,because she owns her masters for all her album. She getting control of all her Masters from Def Jam was a major move.

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