Forbes released their 2011 World’s Highest-Paid Musicians List on Wednesday, and apparently it still pays to be a veteran rocker — and it pays handsomely. U2 topped the list , raking in more than $195 million after their two-year 360 Tour grossed around $700 million, leapfrogging the Rolling Stones’ A Bigger Bang Tour as the richest run of all time.
Bon Jovi can’t be too upset at snagging the list’s runner-up spot. The group caked up $125 million in the last year. In a recent interview with Forbes, Jon Bon Jovi recalled the band’s early, more humble and less lucrative days jamming in a New Jersey basement with vintage posters on the wall illuminated by candles. “I’m thinking maybe this is an issue, maybe I just don’t like them,” he said. “Until I realized that all the oxygen was sucked out of the room by the candles … So I blew out the candles, cranked up the amplifiers and said, ’We’re going to be a rock band. If you believe in what I’m telling you, we can be the Rolling Stones.”
You’d think that Bon Jovi gave a similar speech to Lady Gaga with all the bank that she acquired this year. Coming behind Elton John ($204 million), who landed at #3, Gaga earned $168 million in the past year and would’ve made more had she been more frugal with the costs of her stage show — then again she’s been known to spare little expense when it comes to pleasing her fans.
Paul McCartney, 68, was the oldest artist to make the list, clocking $66 mil, while 17-year-old Justin Bieber was the youngest to make the list with $53 million. Jay-Z and Beyoncé were the only couple to make the list. In fact, for the first time since being married, Hov earned more than his wife, taking home $37 million, while B earned $35 mil.
All of the calculated earnings are based off pretax income earned from May 2010 to May 2011, before agents and managers take their cuts, according to Forbes.com.