With touring the most lucrative on an artist’s account receivables, there is no surprise that Madonna earned more money than any artist in Billboard...

With touring the most lucrative on an artist’s account receivables, there is no surprise that Madonna earned more money than any artist in Billboard magazine’s Moneymakers for 2008.

Madonna topped the chart with revenues of $242,176,466 followed by Bon Jovi ($157,177,766), Bruce Springsteen ($16,327,964), The Police ($109,976,894) and Celine Dion ($99,171,237). See the full chart below.

The chart looks at various facets of an artist’s income sources derived utilizing proprietary data from the Billboard Boxscore archives (concert grosses), Nielsen SoundScan (album sales, digital track downloads) and Nielsen RingScan (master ringtone sales) to chronicle the industry’s top revenue-drawing artists. The chart does not include tour merchandising which, in Madonna’s case, Billboard estimated at around $18 million.

However, the chart is over-inflated in certain areas and deflated in others. The touring aspect of the chart is based on 85 percent of the gross rather than the net. The difference between the gross and net is show costs, including venue rental, labor, marketing, clean up and other venue costs. The artist then pays for its tour expenses, like the road crew, food and lodging, trucks, busses, sounds and lights, etc., from its net. The artist also pays its fees to managers, agents, lawyers and business managers from the net.

The top five Moneymakers are also the five acts which earned the most on tour, and in the same order, according to Billboard Boxscore. Eight of the top 10 Moneymakers are in the Boxscore top 10. However, top selling record artists do not fill out the chart in a similar manner. For example, Madonna only had the 50th-best-selling album in the country, ranked 14th on the list of digital track sellers and did not place on the ringmasters chart.

Madonna will perform about 25 European stadium dates this summer and will probably place high on the 2009 chart, which should be topped by U2 if they go out on tour as expected. From last year’s chart, The Police are the only act definitely not expected to tour.

All acts on the 2008 Moneymakers chart toured last year.


2008 Billboard Moneymakers:

1. Madonna: $242,176,466
2. Bon Jovi: $157,177,766
3. Bruce Springsteen: $156,327,964
4. The Police: $109,976,894
5. Celine Dion: $99,171,237
6. Kenny Chesney: $90,823,990
7. Neil Diamond: $82,174,000
8. Rascall Flatts: $63,522,160
9. Jonas Brothers: $62,638,814
10. Coldplay: $62,175,555
11. The Eagles: $61,132,213
12. Lil Wayne: $57,441,334
13. AC/DC: $56,505,296
14. Michael Buble: $50,257,364
15. Miley Cyrus: $48,920,806
16. Taylor Swift: $45,588,730 *
17. Journey: $44,787,328
18. Billy Joel: $44,581,010
19. Mary J. Blige: $43,472,850
20. Kanye West: $42,552,402

* Swift did not get credit for revenue earned while opening for Brad Paisley in 2008.

By Bob Grossweiner & Jane Cohen