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METALLICA, AC/DC, TOOL Among Top-Earning Musicians of 2020

Billboard released its annual list of top earners of the previous year, and some big-name rock and metal acts made the list. Before Billboard got to the bands, they offered some intriguing stats on the differences in earnings in a pandemic year and a year with touring.

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"It’s also no surprise that the dearth of live revenue led to a precipitous decline in the paychecks of music’s top earners, who collectively took home $387 million in 2020, down from $969 million in 2019." Billboard writes. "Looking at revenue streams, touring income, based on Billboard Boxscore data, fell tenfold, from $779 million in 2019 to $79 million and accounted for just 20% of artists’ collective 2020 take-home pay. In previous years, it has made up 75% to 80% of the top 40 Money Makers’ income."

Don't break out the violins just yet, because some artists had a huge year. Here is a spotlight on how rock and metal artists did, according to this list…

7. Queen: $13.2M
Last year’s rank: No. 5
Streaming: $5.5M
Sales: $5.3M
Publishing: $2.4M
Touring: $0

13. AC/DC: $10.1M
Last year’s rank: —
Streaming: $4.3M
Sales: $4M
Publishing: $1.8M
Touring: $0

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18. Metallica: $9M
Last year’s rank: No. 30
Streaming: $3.9M
Sales: $3.7M
Publishing: $1.4M
Touring: $0

20. Pink Floyd: $8.8M
Last year’s rank: —
Streaming: $3.2M
Sales: $4.3M
Publishing: $1.3M
Touring: $0

32. Tool: $6.17M
Last year’s rank: —
Streaming: $823.4K
Sales: $557K
Publishing: $611K
Touring: $4.2M

33. KISS: $6M
Last year’s rank: No. 8
Streaming: $431K
Sales: $348K
Publishing: $194.5K
Touring: $5M

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40. Aerosmith: $5.35M
Last year’s rank: No. 26
Streaming: $1.33M
Sales: $564K
Publishing: $840K
Touring: $2.7M

…and just for reference, here are the top 20:

  1. Taylor Swift: $23.8 million
  2. Post Malone: $23.2 million
  3. Céline Dion: $17.5 million
  4. Eagles: $16.3 million
  5. Billie Eilish: $14.7 million
  6. Drake: $14.2 million
  7. Queen: $13.2 million
  8. The Beatles: $12.9 million
  9. YoungBoy Never Broke Again: $11.9 million
  10. Lil Baby: $11.7 million
  11. The Weeknd: $10.4 million
  12. Aventura: $10.2 million
  13. AC/DC: $10.1 million
  14. Eminem: $9.7 million
  15. Lil Uzi Vert: $9.5 million
  16. Luke Combs: $9.2 million
  17. DaBaby: $9.1 million
  18. Metallica: $9 million
  19. BTS: $8.9 million
  20. Pink Floyd: $8.8 million
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