Billboard Reports Music's Top 40 Money Makers 2014: The Rich List

Music's Top 40 Money Makers 2014: The Rich List features Jay Z, Kanye West, Lil Wayne and Eminem.

Billboard's Money Makers ranking of the top earners in music includes Jay Z, Kanye West, Lil Wayne and Eminem. Jay Z is the highest on the list, coming in at #16. 

"Jay Z, 44, sparked both excitement and controversy when he aligned with Samsung to release Magna Carta ... Holy Grail," Billboard says of Jay. "That unprecedented promotion didn’t hurt sales of the album. It entered the Billboard 200 at No. 1, selling 528,000 copies out of the gate and giving the rapper his best sales week since 2006’s Kingdom Come. Racking up robust digital song (7.3 million) and digital album sales (861,000), Jay Z also hit the road twice: first with Justin Timberlake, then as a headliner on his own Magna Carter World Tour. The former, which ranked 15th on Billboard’s top 25 tours of 2013, grossed $69.8 million. Jay Z’s 2013 U.S. concert take stands at $10.8 million." 

Kanye West is the second highest-ranking rapper on the list at #26, with 2013 earning of $11,574,833.92. Lil Wayne follows West at #37 with $8,788,416.66. Eminem is the final rapper on the list at #39. His reported 2013 earnings for 2013 are $8,524,782.99, according to Billboard. 

Billboard explains that it worked with other entities in order to compile this list. "The data used to compile Money Makers was supplied by Nielsen SoundScan, Nielsen BDS and Billboard Boxscore," Billboard says. "Artists are ranked by U.S. earnings, calculated from touring, recorded music sales, publishing royalties and revenue from digital music and video streaming. Due to a lack of data, revenue from sponsorship, merchandising and synchronization isn’t included. For album and track sales, Billboard assumed a royalty rate of 20 percent of retail, minus producers’ fees. Billboard treated all streaming revenue as derived from licensing deals and split that to calculate the artist’s take. Billboard applied statutory mechanical rates for album and track sales and Copyright Royalty Board-determined rates or approved formulas for streaming. For labels’ direct deals with interactive services, Billboard used a blended rate of $0.00525 for audio and $0.005 for video streams. Billboard subtracted a manager’s fee of 10 percent. For box office, each artist was credited with 34 percent of the gross, typically what’s left after the promoter and manager’s cuts and other costs are subtracted."

Jay Z was #2 in Forbes' Cash Kings list for 2013, following Diddy. Also in 2013, Jay Z and Beyonce combined to make more money than any other couple in the entertainment industry with an estimated $95 million in earnings, according to

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  • Anonymous

    1. Taylor Swift - 39 million 2. Kenny Chesney - 32 million 3. Justin Timberlake - 34 million 4. Bon Jovi - 29 million 5. The Rolling Stones - 26 million 6. Beyonce - 24 million 7. Maroon 5 - 22 million 8. Luke Bryan - 22 million 9. P!NK - 20 million 10. Fleetwood Mac - 19 million 11. Justin Bieber - 18 million 12. Bruno Mars - 18 million 13. One Direction - 18 million 14. Jason Aldean - 17 million 15. George Strait - 16 million 16. Jay-Z - 15 million ***** 17. Michael Buble - 14 million 18. Mumford and Sons - 14 million 19. Dave Matthews Bans - 13 million 20 . Rihanna - 13 million 21. Paul McCartney - 13 million 22. The Eagles - 13 million 23. Celine Dion - 12 million 24. Trans-Siberian Orchestra - 12 million 25. Phish - 12 million 26. Kanye West - 11 million ***** 27. Blake Shelton - 10 million 28. John Mayer - 10 million 29. New Kids On The Block - 9 million 30. Zac Brown Band - 9 million 31. Imagine Dragons - 9 million 32. Jimmy Buffet - 9 million 33. Elton John - 9 million 34. Rascal Flatts - 9 million 35. Rush - 9 million 36. Miranda Lambert - 8 million 37. Lil Wayne - 8 million ***** 38. Tim McGraw - 8 million 39. Eminem - 8 million ***** 40. Carrie Underwood - 8 million

    • Anonymous

      agreed but why is that considered "12 year old girl problems" if those songs didnt make her MILLIONS she wouldn't keep doin it

    • Anonymous

      "you actually listen to the records? i didnt but i thought she was singing about regular girl and relationship problems in general" It's just a bunch of whiny break-up songs bashing her exes.

    • Anonymous

      "Taylor swift singing n crying bout 12 year old girl problems" you actually listen to the records? i didnt but i thought she was singing about regular girl and relationship problems in general

    • Anonymous

      " LiL Wayne makes millions in his sleep." good thing because he owes 12 million in back taxes!

    • Anonymous

      JayZ and Beyonce are history's greatest entertainment power couple, Royalty. Def Jam is eating good with Rihanna and Kanye and LiL Wayne makes millions in his sleep.

    • XYZ

      Taylor swift singing n crying bout 12 year old girl problems bitch is 6'3 in her mid twenties lookin like 2 missed meals from death. whatever get ur money ya lanky skank

    • Anonymous

      Beyonce making more than all these rap niggas. Jay-Z made a wise choice in wifing her.

  • bswag

    Justin Bieber owned JayZ :)

  • Anonymous

    A link to the actual billboard article might be nice to we could check out the full list for ourselves...

  • Anonymous

    where in the hell is 50 cent

    • EvenOdd

      50 is making his money from business ventures. Most these rappers make more from endorsements and other bull shit than they do from music.

    • Anonymous

      50 Cent is trying to revive his dead rap carrer and relese an album like Ross and Game but his music isnt wanted.

    • Anonymous

      why would he be on there he didnt have a tour or an album, he made a measly 7 million last year but still more than Game and Rick Ross.

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