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The 20 Richest Musicians in the World

Kanye West

Net worths are changing constantly. However, 2022's rankings for the richest musician in the world remain much the same as 2021's rankings for the same, which makes sense because the people at the top have so much wealth that they can't be overtaken with just a short bout of success. Still, there are some differences that interested individuals should check out.

20. Garth Brooks - $400 Million

Garth Brooks has been around since the mid-1980s. It seems safe to say that most of his wealth has come from his career as a country musician in one way or another. Brooks has been involved in other pursuits, which haven't been particularly successful. For example, he went into the MLB where he got a single hit off of Mike Myers during spring training with the Kansas City Royals. Similarly, he started an online music store called GhostTunes that closed down just three years later. Still, Brooks' success as a country musician is shown by how estimates of his net worth tend to hover around the $400 million mark.

19. Barbra Streisand - $400 Million

Meanwhile, Barbra Streisand is a rare example of someone who has managed to reach the top of more than one field of entertainment. She started as a singer in the early 1960s. Soon afterward, Streisand's debut studio album won her the Grammy for Album of the Year. By the end of the 1960s, she had also become involved in the film industry. There, Streisand would become not just a successful actor but also a successful director over the subsequent decades. The proof of her remarkable career can be seen in how she has received two Oscars, 10 Grammys, five Emmys, nine Golden Globes, and even the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

18. Victoria Beckham - $450 Million

Hello Magazine says that most of Victoria Beckham's wealth seems to have come from a couple of sources. First, she was Posh Spice in the Spice Girls, who are still the best-selling girl group of all time with more than 100 million record sales. Second, her popularity made her attractive to businesses looking to brand-build, which she leveraged into lucrative contracts plus a small business empire that bears her name. In other words, Beckham was a top influencer even before people started talking about influencer marketing.

17. Beyonce - $500 Million

Beyonce has a name that needs no introduction. Once upon a time, she was best known for being the lead singer of Destiny's Child. That changed when she embarked on her solo career, which was so successful that she sold more than 120 million records as a solo artist by 2010. Even now, Beyonce's career is going strong, as shown by the release of her seventh studio album Renaissance.

16. Elton John - $500 Million

Elton John has managed to sell even more records than Beyonce. Now, he is in his 70s, meaning that he has had more time to build up to his more than 300 million record sales. John is a true legend of the music industry. He even had the time to release an autobiography called Me in 2019, which paired well with the biopic called Rocketman that came out in the same year.

15. Emilio Estefan - $500 Million

Generally speaking, Emilio Estefan is famous for being a music producer. After all, he played an important role in the popularization of Latin music in the United States in the 1990s through his work with Shakira, Marc Anthony, Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin, and other artists. Having said this, Estefan also counts as a musician because he was the keyboardist who established Miami Sound Machine. As AllMusic tells it, he started by forming the Miami Latin Boys. Later, the band became so impressed by Gloria Fajardo and her cousin Mercedes Navarro's performance at a wedding that they invited the two to join them as permanent members. Estefan has been married to Gloria since 1978, which is why interested individuals might be more familiar with her as Gloria Estefan.

14. Jimmy Buffet - $600 Million

Jimmy Buffet is another musician who has had a wide range of pursuits. Music-wise, he started as a country musician in Nashville, TN. It wasn't until Jerry Jeff Walker took him busking in Key West that he started infusing his music with the island escapism that he is known for. On the whole, that has worked out very well for Buffet, seeing as how he has released 29 studio albums and counting. Other than this, he has written books, worked on movies, and worked on TV shows. Buffett has also used his image to become involved in beer, casinos, restaurants, real estate, and other businesses that often have an island escapism theme to them. Some of these have worked out; others, not so much.

13. Julio Iglesias - $600 Million

Please note that there is both a Julio Iglesias Sr. and a Julio Iglesias Jr. This refers to the father, who is believed to be the Spanish singer who has had the most commercial success in the entire world. Unsurprisingly, that means that Iglesias is not just popular in his homeland of Spain but also in other countries such as Brazil, China, and France. Two of Iglesias' children went on to become notable singers in their own right, with Enrique Iglesias being better known than Julio Iglesias Jr.

12. Bono - $700 Million

Bono is both the lead singer and the lead lyricist for U2. Due to that, his political and religious beliefs have had a huge influence on the band's songs. To name an example, "Sunday Bloody Sunday" from War is a clear reference to the time when British soldiers shot 26 unarmed protestors in Northern Ireland in 1972. Besides his music, Bono is famous for his social justice advocacy, though that is far from being his sole non-musical pursuit. For instance, it is interesting to note that the man was both a managing director and a managing partner of the private equity firm called Elevation Partners.

11. Celine Dion - $800 Million

Celine Dion is French Canadian. Thanks to that, she is both the single best-selling Canadian artist and the single best-selling French language artist. Dion has a reputation for being an excellent live performer. Partly, this is because of her high-grossing concerts. However, the bigger factor would be her two concert residencies in Las Vegas. A New Day . . . still holds the record for being the highest-grossing concert residency ever. Combined with everything else, it is no wonder that Dion is estimated to have a net worth of $800 million.

10. Dolly Parton - $805 Million

Dolly Parton came from humble beginnings. When she graduated from high school, she moved to Nashville, TN the very next day to pursue a career as a singer. Initially, Parton found success as a songwriter with several charting singles. Eventually, she managed to become a successful singer as well, though her path in that regard was far from being complication-free. Parton is known to have invested much of her earnings into Tennessee-based businesses. That includes the Dollywood Company, which is responsible for Dollywood, Dollywood's Splash Country, and other themed entertainment venues. What makes Parton even more remarkable is her likability. For proof, look no further than The New York Times pointing out that she is one of the few figures who appeal to Americans of seemingly every single background.

9. Dr. Dre - $820 Million

Speaking of which, Dr. Dre is another excellent example of a successful musician who used that to make a second fortune in business. Specifically, he was a major figure in the West Coast hip hop of the 1980s and 1990s. Subsequently, he became an influential producer, as shown by his signing of Eminem in 1998 and then 50 Cent in 2002. Towards the late 2000s, Dr. Dre launched his headphone brand called Beats by Dr. Dre, which would eventually be sold to Apple for $3 billion in 2014. Presumably, he didn't get all of that money but he got a good-sized chunk of it.

8. Madonna - $850 Million

The Queen of Pop has the incredible ability to reinvent herself again and again. An ability that has enabled her to remain relevant since 1983. Amusingly, Madonna is so good at commanding interest that there is a field called Madonna studies, which has received much backlash but makes sense because of the sheer effect that the artist has had on American culture. Naturally, Madonna's influence has come hand-in-hand with her commercial success. Gigwise says that she is the single highest-grossing solo touring artist.

7. Herb Alpert - $850 Million

Herb Alpert was once the head of Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass. As such, he is the sole individual who has had both a number one song on the Billboard Hot 100 as a singer and a number one song on the Billboard Hot 100 as an instrumentalist. Business-wise, Alpert is also a co-founder of A&M Records. That record label no longer exists as an independent entity. Nonetheless, its impact can be seen in how its artists once included but were not limited to Sting, Bryan Adams, Sheryl Crow, Soundgarden, and The Carpenters.

6. Sean Combs - $900 Million

A lot of musicians have founded their record labels after finding musical success. Amusingly, Sean Combs was the opposite in that he founded his record label before becoming a musician. Still, it seems safe to say that he knew exactly what he was doing because his debut single "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down" went number one on the Billboard Hot 100. Since then, Combs' entrepreneurship has seen him becoming involved in everything from clothing to restaurants and the infrastructure for competitive gaming, which are gathered under the aegis of his Combs Enterprises.

5. Andrew Lloyd Webber - $1.2 Billion

Primarily, Andrew Lloyd Webber is known for being a composer for musical theatre. Even if people don't recognize his name, chances are good that they will recognize his works. After all, they include but are not limited to Cats, Jesus Christ Superstar, and School of Rock. On top of that, some of Webber's songs such as "Memory" and "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" have managed to become notable even outside of the works that contained them. Put together, Webber can be considered either the most successful or one of the most successful composers to ever work as such.

4. Paul McCartney - $1.2 Billion

Paul McCartney's time singing and songwriting in the Beatles often overshadows everything that came afterward. Despite that, it should be mentioned that his post-Beatles career was very successful in its own right. This was true for his solo work. Similarly, this was true for his time with Wings, which was one of the most notable bands of the 1970s. As reported by The Independent, McCartney has consistently headed up the list of the wealthiest musicians in the United Kingdom. The runner-up has consistently been Andrew Lloyd Webber.

3. Jay-Z - $1.3 Billion

If people are asked to name a power couple from the music industry, chances are good that they would name Jay-Z and Beyonce. He is another rapper who became prominent in the 1980s and 1990s. Then, Jay-Z went into business, thus enabling him to go from being a millionaire to being a billionaire. His entrepreneurial successes haven't slowed him down at all. Just in 2020, Jay-Z became the Chief Visionary Officer for a cannabis products company.

2. Rihanna - $1.7 Billion

Rihanna has been active since 2003. In that time, she has become the second best-selling female artist. Besides this, Rihanna has been very active in using her money to make more money through business. For instance, she is involved in clothing, cosmetics, and even a beauty and stylist agency. Furthermore, Rihanna is one of the co-owners of the streaming service Tidal. This is along with other notable artists such as Jay-Z, Beyonce, and Kanye West.

1. Kanye West - $1.8 Billion

Technically, Kanye West is now called Ye. In practice, most people continue to call him Kanye West anyway. There is much that can be said about him. Especially seeing as how he is one of the most controversial artists of recent years. Whatever the case, there can be no doubt about his musical skill and his business acumen. The $1.8 billion isn't the highest estimate of his net worth. Forbes believes that he has already reached the $2 billion mark.

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Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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