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Guns N’ Roses revealed as rock’s top 2016 earners

Guns N Roses
Guns N Roses (Image credit: Katarina Benzova)

New figures show that Guns N’ Roses were the biggest earners in rock music last year.

Billboard’s Top 50 Money Makers Of 2016 chart combined artists’ earnings through sales, streaming, publishing and touring – and they show that Guns N’ Roses’ reunited lineup featuring Axl Rose, Duff McKagan and Slash earned a total of $42.3 million in 2016 – a figure bolstered by the massive success of their Not In This Lifetime tour.

Guns N’ Roses were second overall, behind pop star Beyonce, who took the top spot with $62.1m.

Bruce Springsteen was just behind Axl Rose and co, with The Boss earning $42.2m – with his live shows celebrating 35 years of The River bringing in the vast majority of cash.

Other artists of note to feature in the top 50 were Twenty One Pilots ($21.1m), Metallica ($18.5m), Paul McCartney ($17.7m), Trans-Siberian Orchestra ($16.01m), AC/DC ($15m), Black Sabbath ($12.4m), Blink-182 ($12.19m), David Bowie ($11.5m), the Rolling Stones ($10.86), Def Leppard ($10.81m), Pearl Jam ($9.3m), Journey ($7.6m) and Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks ($8.21m).

While Guns N’ Roses placed second overall, their streaming revenues of $670,800 lagged well behind Metallica’s $1.7m and AC/DC’s $1.2m.

To see the full list of results, visit Billboard’s website.

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Scott looks after and updates Louder’s online buyer’s guides and also scouts out the best deals for music fans from every corner of the internet. He's spent more than 28 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014, where he wrote extensively about rock, metal, prog and more, before moving to the eCommerce team full-time in 2020. Scott has previous written for publications including IGN, Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky.