Genesis and Sting made more money last year than The Rolling Stones, Taylor Swift, Brad Pitt, the South Park guys and you and me

Genesis and Sting
(Image credit: Genesis - Chris Jackson/Getty Images / Sting - Robin Little/Redferns)

Forbes has shared its annual list of the world's 10 highest paid entertainers, and it makes pleasant reading for English rock stars of a certain vintage.

Topping the list are prog rock superstars Genesis, with a 2022 income of $230 million, according to the bean-counters at Forbes, edging out fellow countryman Sting, who Forbes say pocketed a none-too-shabby $210 million to secure the number two spot on the list. The Rolling Stones, meanwhile, are ranked at number seven, with their 2022 income pegged as $98 million by Forbes.

Breaking down exactly how each entertainer earned a crust in 2022, the list compilers note that Genesis did a $300 million music rights deal with Concord Music Group in September.

"The deal comprised publishing rights and a selection of recorded music income streams from the group," says Forbes, "as well as solo income streams from Phil Collins (including hit song In The Air Tonight) and bandmates Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford. Touring and recorded music royalties rounded out their income."

Sting too sold his publishing in 2022, to Universal Music Group. The sale included his work in The Police plus his solo output. Forbes quotes a 'longtime industry attorney' who says, "It’s a good catalog. Wouldn’t mind owning it."

The top 10 list in full is:

1. Genesis, $230 million
2. Sting, $210 million
3. Tyler Perry, $175 million
4. Trey Parker & Matt Stone, $160 million
5. James L. Brooks & Matt Groening, $105 million
6. Brad Pitt, $100 million
7. The Rolling Stones, $98 million
8. James Cameron, $95 million
9. Taylor Swift, $92 million
10. Bad Bunny, $88 million

The Forbes article can be read here.


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