Dr. Dre Named Forbes' Highest-Paid Musician Of 2012

Additional musicians to make the list include Diddy, Rihanna, Jay-Z, Kanye West and more.

Dr. Dre has been named Forbes' Highest-Paid Musician of 2012.

According to the publication, the West Coast veteran roped in $110 million in pretax earnings largely thanks to his Beats headphone line. “The brands are so aligned, Dre and Beats, it’s just who he is,” says former Def Jam president Kevin Liles. “If you look at the biggest earners, the guys have been doing it for 20 years … what’s happening now is people are really telling their truth.”

Additional artists to make the cut include Rihanna, who ranks at No. 12 with $53 million, and Diddy, who ties with Katy Perry at No. 15 with $45 milion. Beyonce and Jay-Z come in at No. 18 and 20, respectively, with $40 million and $38 million. Kanye West makes the cut at No. 22 with $35 million, tying with Adele for the same position.

Head over to Forbes.com to read more, and check the full list below.

1. Dr Dre – $110 Million
2. Roger Waters – $88 Million
3. Elton John – $80 Million
4. U2 – $78 Million
5. Take That – $69 Million
6. Bon Jovi – $60 Million
7. Britney Spears – $58 Million
8. Paul McCartney – $57 Million (tie)
8. Taylor Swift – $57 Million (tie)
10. Justin Bieber – $55 Million (tie)
10. Toby Keith – $55 Million (tie)
12. Rihanna – $53 Million
13. Lady GaGa – $52 Million
14. Foo Fighters – $47 Million
15. Diddy – $45 Million (tie)
15. Katy Perry – $45 Million (tie)
17. Kenny Chesney – $44 Million
18. Beyoncé – $40 Million
19. Red Hot Chili Peppers – $39 Million
20. Jay-Z – $38 Million
21. Coldplay – $37 Million
22. Adele – $35 Million (tie)
22. Kanye West – $35 Million (tie)
24. Michael Bublé – $34 Million
25. Sade – $33 Million

RELATED: Dr. Dre, Diddy & Jay-Z Top Forbes Cash Kings 2012 List


  • Anonymous

    "they made more than" Your father who I hear sells bootleg copies of 50's movies outside Motel 6's.

  • Anonymous

    "curtis and birdman still made millions this year" Yet oddly nobody stopped to care.

  • Stefan Restuccia

    I am surprised that Rihanna has more money than Jay Z

    • Anonymous

      Take Jay's balls out of your mouth, he and Kanye did a Watch The Throne worldwide tour. AND he just did a bunch of shows at Barclay's Arena. AND he did the Made In America festival.

    • Anonymous

      lol @ a pro team he partly owns he owns a fraction of 1 percent

    • hiphop mexi

      are you retarted? this is for ONE year dummy. jay didnt even drop an album this year or whore himself on tour for 300 days like rhianna did. he was too busy watching a pro team that he partly owns courtside! theres no way shes even sniffing his bank totals!

  • Anonymous

    50 have no real money lol

  • A dumb nigga

    Hurr how dis nigga on list he aint put no music out dis year shit nigga damn durr

  • Anonymous

    The only person i would even be interested in looking to find on this list is Curtis jackson, he kinda still reps the streets. But who are the rest of these motherfuckers

  • DOPE

    Now that's some fucking news man!!! Love it, hip hop at the top of the chart. Dr. Dre in this bitch!

  • Macy Grape

    i find it hard to believe these artists really take home these large amounts of money. Obviously Dre is making a killing though.

  • Bawze

    "Now this, kids, is real money! That's 8 figures for you. Rick Ross a 6 figure type of nigga" 6 Figure??? LMAO fuck you and your life bitch how the fuck you gon call Rozay a 6 figure nigga when he a multi millionaire?!?! Dude can whipe his with 100 dollars bills all day long while you struggle to keep your job at Burger King and your job as a ho at the same time!! Fuck off stupid nigga you's a hater

  • Anonymous

    hip hop doing it big

  • Anonymous

    wheres birdman at???

    • Anonymous

      the list bottoms out at 33 million curtis and birdman still made millions this year they made more than your whole family will make in a lifetime

    • Anonymous

      ahah you're fuckin right ! i didn't even notice ! 50 cent did not made that list ! this dude really felt off big time. he went from multiple platinum for his first albums, and now he ain't makin money no more

    • Anonymous

      Where's Curtis at?

  • crip bias

    musician? Wat fuccin instrument do he play? Ol ghost producin ass nicca

  • Anonymous

    This is bullshit where the fuck is my nigga 2Chainz! He's worth around 35 mill.

  • Michael Howard

    It's 2012 I'm 47 years old and I still love to see this nigga getting money. You go Dre.

  • Some Chump

    I laugh at all of the children asking questions like "how did this person make that much, they didnt even put out any music this year" This is why you will always be poor and have no idea about life except what goes on in your box. Learning about things outside your box helps in personal growth. I understand you are only young and still dumb but please try harder to hide your stupidity, I waste seconds of my life trying to filter comments that would be mistaken to be from people with some form of mild mental retardation. Regards.

  • Farrakhan

    Black man on the top! I love to see this.

  • Anonymous

    what a funny world we're livin into you got some people who go to college, get themselves an education, make their lives useful to the fellow man through their work as doctors, lawyers, engineers, architects, scientists, etc. and they don't get such an amount of money while on the other hand you have a bunch of ignorant mothafuckas singin in a booth, actin like a bunch of chimps on their video clips, sniffin huge lines of cocaine in parties, suckin each others dick on tv shows on how they appreciate each others, flattering themselves on award ceremonies, etc. and who make a LOT of money and you wonder why people chase after success ...

    • Duff

      Isn't becoming a Doctor, Lawyer, Engineer, Architect, or Scientist a form of success? With the exception of Lawyers and Architects. all of these career paths take very long. And every one of these careers require beyond college level education. Our education system is archaic in a day and age it where it should be streamlined (when you finished high school did you really feel like you needed 4 years to learn the shit you learned?) Not many people would choose to spend 12 years becoming a surgeon when you can spend a couple of years becoming an entertainer.

    • Anonymous

      a little bit yes

  • 12-inch dick having ass nigga

    What the fuck did Elton John do this year???

  • CoolV

    And there are people homeless all over the world.

    • Anonymous

      Ja's going to open a shelter for all the broke rappers around the country.

    • YoungReizy

      Unless they're listen to Chronic 2001 while wearing beats by Dre, Andre Young should have 0 fucks to give. I hate when people dream of what they could do with other people's money yet do fuck all with their own* *you may be 'giving back', I cant prove/disprove that I'm just speaking in general

    • Fuck CooIV

      Dre got rich and then jetted straight to the hills. Everybody knows he ain't from Compton and he was never about that life he talks so much about, but the least he could do is give some money to the place he loves to talk about.

  • Roger Troutman

    "fuck dre I wanna know how much money Jimmy Iovine made in 2012!" Probably 5 billion or something like that. Small shit, not really something to discuss.

  • Erick Sermon

    "People are on Dre about Detox and Dre never really wanted to do Detox. Hes 40-something years old, whats he going to talk about? Hes gotta relate to these 13 year olds buying records. What is he going to talk about? He cant come out here saying, "Fuck the police," he cant keep talking about smoking weed, hes been there and done all that. Where is there to go now? But it has to be done and hes going to make sure that shit is right before he puts it out." Even Bruce Willis knows Dre ain't gonna do it, and y'all still talking about that Detox bullshit.

  • Anonymous

    no rozay? this is fake

    • Anonymous

      Niggas like Rozay are not as rich as they portray themselves to be, they tell you what they got and what they spent but never the about the bills behind that or how they got it, not saying that not making this list make one broke but Rozay may have seen 7 figures not 8.

  • MIKE


  • Anonymous

    Ja Rule is richer than all these motherfuckers. This list is a fake. RULE!

  • Anonymous

    GIVE ME A CHANCE Youtube is all about finding new artist, & though I been rapping for a while im still consider a new artist. I just want my music heard thats all, im not looking for no record deal, getting famous 'r anything like that. I do music to help change the lives of others so what you'll get from my music is all POSITIVITY! so please just spare a few sec. to check me out, & if you like what you heard please SUBSCRIBE so ill know you actually listen & support

  • shuttaman

    That;s headphone money, the fuck this nigga did this year other than appearing on that failure called GFID? and the classic GKMC nigga fuck that shit WHERE IS DETOX NIGGA and fuck the lupesection from kanyetothe fuck grafted from boxden and fuck ronnie too lil bitch bang bang

  • Anonymous

    Musician? Dude has done shit in years. Relapse was his last real work. And it sucked ass! Wheres the old Dre?

  • Trent

    Some of these people y'all are tripping over got more money from A) Concerts B) Movie Deals C) TV Shows D) Products E) Appearances.. money comes from several angles when you're being marketed by the machine.. i.e. Rihanna, Justin Bieber..

  • Trent

    Let me help everyone.. Dre did the Beats by Dre deal for 100 Million.. case solved guys, go home.

  • blackula

    Dre making a killing off them overpriced headphones

  • Anonymous

    How did Sade make 33 million? lol

    • R.Pgh

      touring. Most of this list is because of touring. Roger Waters and Elton John don't put out new albums, but they can do 1 concert and make 8+ million.

  • Zack O'Malley Greenburg

    For the record, Michael Jackson earned $145 million this year $35 million more than the top-earning living musician. What a testament to his legacy.

  • Black Queen

    I'm so very glad Beyonce isn't married to a white man.

  • Jew-unit

    fuck dre I wanna know how much money Jimmy Iovine made in 2012!

  • So Icy Boi!

    what da fuck? Lil Wayne and Birdman are richer den deze pussy ass niggaz. swag



    • reaLtalK


    • Anonymous

      this is from 1 year! looks like dr dre made more in 1 year than birdman's total networth!

    • Trent

      Why cause Drake and Lil Wayne only made 12/17 million and didn't cut the list? That's still a lot of cheese so be happy hater.

  • dentaldamboy

    Jay-Z is not worth close to $500mm. This guy exaggerates the extent of his holdings. He owns 5 or 6 clubs, publishing to his music, Roc Nation which may or may not have significant value 0.07% of the Nets, some small advertising companies, and a minor stake in a few hotels and restaurants. Jay is worth around $200mm at most.

    • epitome

      jay-z actually owns 1/15th of 1 percent, of the nets. so yea, it is fair to say he makes it seem like he owns 40% or something. as far as him being worth 500 million, its possible, wasn't rocafella clothing sold for 750 million many years back?

    • R.Pgh

      and he probably has a pretty good investment team. A low risk mutual fund would garnish between 6.25-7.74% in annual interest. 100,000,000 million in a mutual fund for a year with that type of interest rate would get around $15 million in interest revenue. If he had 100 mil in the bank for several years, compounding interest could easily double or triple. He could easily be worth $500 million.

    • Anonymous

      bro, listen to everything you just tried to downplay. He owns multiple night clubs, clothing companies, a much larger share than less than 1% of the nets, multiple advertising companies, roc nation, live nation endorsements, stakes in hotels and restaurants, not to mention royalties, tours, records, appearances...fucking idiot..

    • Anonymous

      Except he got more than that in just the LiveNation and Rocawear deals combined.

    • Anonymous

      arent you the one that was trying to tell us you're an account for young money, LOL

  • Anonymous

    He ain't really a Musician anymore

  • Loch

    Damn Dre said you can Detox his on deeeeez,pause

  • GoReadABook

    how the FUCK did Britney Spears get no. 7?? What has she done this past year? Seriously, I am mindblown

  • Sensaye

    How is this even possible when he hasn't dropped any music? I been defending Dre forever, but I can't even front any more, I think he's kind of a fraud. Dre had a production team that was nothing short of an orchestra at his disposal at any given time in the 90s and early 2000s. Ever since he lost his production crew, all of his beats have sounded the same. Listen to all the beats he made in the past 7 years. They all have the same cadence, the same vibe, the same rhythm, the same sounds. It's always a clankly piano loop, some strings, and a plodding bassline, and always at about at 87.5 tempo. They all sound like remixes of each other. It's almost like he not only lost his production team, but he lost his equipment too. He never used a sampler any more. He never used anything except for that same stiff sounding keyboard that recycles the same sounds in a different order. I don't know what artists are beholden to him through contract, but for him to be the top grossing artist without dropping any records leads me to believe that he's got his hand in a lot of artists pockets in one way or another.

    • ClownShoes

      People grow up and don't have to or want to spend all week in a studio. People are always actin' like Dre owes 'em something.

    • Anonymous

      bro he owns a record label. Hes getting a piece of everything em and 50 have done not to mention all the other shit hes got going on with his head phones, music out side of rap and who knows what else. This shit is posted by Forbes, they dont just guess and throw peoples names out there.

    • baldhead

      i think "fruad" is the best word i've heard to describe Dr. Dre in the last ten years.

    • Anonymous

      headphones nicca

  • anonymous

    Jay-Z don't even got his own lady's money

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