AC/DC reached No. 7 ($67.5 million) despite replacing their frontman mid-tour. Meanwhile, the No. 8-finishing Rolling Stones ($66.5 million) played only 27 shows during Forbes’ scoring period, yet out-earned much younger acts like Justin Bieber.
Other classic rockers found lower on the list include Bruce Springsteen (No. 11, $60.5 million), followed by Paul McCartney (No. 12, $56.5 million). U2 finished tied with the Weeknd for No. 15 ($55 million). Foo Fighters is at No. 21 ($48.5 million), Elton John landed at No. 24 ($42 million) and Jimmy Buffet is at No. 27 ($40.5 million).
The magazine based its rankings on pretax income from June 1, 2015 to June 1, 2016, before management fees. The income figures are collected from Pollstar, Nielsen and the Recording Industry Association of America, as well as through interviews with managers, lawyers, agents and, sometimes, the stars themselves.
This year’s list of world’s highest-paid musicians is topped by Taylor Swift, who raked in $170 million during Forbes’ scoring period. That not only makes her the highest-paid musician, but also the highest-paid celebrity of any kind. One Direction is No. 2 with $110 million. Adele is next at No. 3 ($80.5 million), followed by No. 4 Madonna ($76.5 million) and No. 5 Rihanna ($75 million).
AC/DC turned to Axl Rose when Brian Johnson was sidelined by an issue with his hearing. Co-founder Malcolm Young had already bowed out in the midst of his own health battles; AC/DC bassist Cliff Williams later announced his retirement after the tour.