Jay-Z and Kanye West are in elite company as a pair of the 10 highest-paid musicians of 2021. But both rappers and businessmen ain’t bringing in as much bank as Bruce Springsteen, though.
Rolling Stone compiled the list, written by author Zach O’Malley Greenburg, who noted that selling copyrights is what brought in the most dollars for the big bank artists.
“These are almost like pieces of art — there’s a finite number of real, super-high-quality hit songs from the past — and there’s this sort of all-out grab to own those rights,” Josh Gruss, founder and CEO of Round Hill Music, which has dropped $1.3 billion on music copyrights in the last 10 years, told Rolling Stone. “It’s a very steady stream of revenue that’s there, and that makes it very attractive for investment.”
Interestingly, the former Watch The Throne duo, along with Pop star Taylor Swift, are the only musicians who made the list without selling their musical catalogs. This is despite a year with minimal touring and Jay-Z minding his business and not even dropping an album.
While Kanye West did drop DONDA in 2021, most of his loot is courtesy of his Yeezy sneaker brand as well as his collab with The Gap. The $250 million he collected was good enough for fourth on the list, just behind Paul Simon. Jay-Z came in 2nd with a cool $470 million, with plenty of that coming from the sale of half of his Armand de Brignac champagne to LVMH for $300 million back in February 2021 and a portion of Tidal to Square in May 2021.
As for The Boss, Mr. Springsteen clocked in a healthy $590 million to top the list. Check out the full rundown over at Rolling Stone.