Music has been one of the most profitable professions since ancient times, and now that the richest musicians in America have more money than most businessmen and politicians, people all over the country are starting to give musicians the respect they deserve. Aside from record sales, musicians are able to rake in several million from shows, endorsement deals, and so on.
Special scrutiny should be done on hip hop musicians because it is the hallmark of their genre to pose in expensive cars and mansions and to make grand claims in their songs. Many of them have been known to live lavish lifestyles, only to end up broke and in debt.
The highest-earning musicians in America tend to be the richest all over the world not just because of the economic factors that give them an edge over others, but also because American music is very well accepted in almost every corner of the world.
The richest musicians in America are a visual reminder that Music can be a potentially rewarding career. However, the potential gains are not evenly distributed; it seems that the more talented musicians have a higher opportunity of making money in music. They achieve wealth as their popularity grows, and that popularity also generates more wealth in the form of product endorsements.
Top 10 Richest Musicians In America
1. Kanye West
Net worth: $2 Billion
Kanye West is one of the biggest names in rap music anywhere in the world at the moment. He is a rapper, producer, and writer. Kanye West has a penchant for making provocative comments in his lyrics which actually show a high IQ because of his multifaceted thinking ability.
However, it can be said that the bulk of his money has come from his other enterprises such as his fashion brand, and his shoe designs which have been sold by both Nike and Adidas.
Kanye West is also the man behind Donda; a creative content company that owns the rights to several creative works.
As a fashion designer, he has collaborated with Louis Vuitton, The Gap, APC, and Nike. Kanye West is a Republican and has shown interest in one day becoming President of America.
Kanye West tops the chart with a fortune estimated at about 2 billion dollars. Since he dropped his debut album titled ‘College Drop Out in 2004, Kanye has gone from strength, forming a solid partnership with Jay Z, and building a music empire of his own.
Today, Kanye West is the owner of Good Music (a record label) and also he has designing deals with major clothing lines and footwear makers. Kanye West is currently the richest musician in America and also famously declared to run for president of the USA. Whether he intends to follow through with the declaration or not remains to be seen.
Net Worth – $1 Billion
Jay Z is maybe the biggest rapper in the world, and he is certainly the most respected. Jay Z has changed the general perception of rappers as thuggish criminals. He has shown that Rappers can be politically connected business moguls and that they can rub shoulders with the elite in America.
Jay Z has won awards too many to count and has had the honor of being on President Barrack Obama’s campaign committee. He has sold over 100 million records and is perhaps the most influential black celebrity.
Jay Z is the owner of Roc a Fella Records, Rocawear, 40/40 Club, Roc Nation, and Aspiro. He was formerly the owner of Basketball Team Brooklyn Nets but had to sell the club so as to enable him fully enter the sports talent management business through his company Roc Nation Sports.
Jay Z has been consistently relevant in the music industry for nearly 30 years. He has come out of retirement twice, and has sold millions of copies of his records, sold-out concert arenas every time.
Net Worth – $815 Million
Diddy is one of the richest rappers in America; he has a net worth steadily climbing towards the Billion Dollar mark. Sean Combs has been a big shot in the music industry since the old days; he owns Bad Boy Records, and was the man behind Biggie Smalls. Diddy has been Puff Daddy, Puffy, P Diddy, and P. Daddy over the years. As the executive behind Bad Boy, he has made a lot of money from the works of Biggie, Mase, and so on.
Diddy has also established a clothing brand, a television show, a TV and media company, a liquor company, a wine company, and a preparatory school. Diddy is one of rap music’s most recognized faces, but his money has mostly come from his business acumen.
4. Dr. Dre
Net Worth – $785 Million
Dr. Dre is the definition of a rap mogul; he has turned rap music into a business empire; rapping, writing, producing, promoting, and marketing artists since the 90s. Dr. Dre has been the man behind such artists as Eminem and 50 Cent.
One of his songs has recently surpassed 1 billion streams on the internet, and he has established himself as the go-to producer and beatmaker in America. Dr. Dre has sold over 6 million records, and he is a platinum-selling rapper in his own right.
His branded headphone company; Beats, was acquired by Apple for a reported $3 Billion, bringing him into rap’s money list and undoubtedly one of the richest musicians in the world.
Net Worth – $595 Million
Madonna looks like she is 23, but in reality, this woman is close to 60. She is one of the brightest music stars of her generation; she has been called the queen of Pop. Madonna has some the Evergreen songs like La Isla Bonita, Frozen, and Material Girl. She has a few performance records that have been there since the 90s and have yet to be broken.
Madonna has performed to sold arenas so many times, and she has won so many awards for her work. She is a true talent; she worked her way up from nothing and has become a one-person mega-company. Interesting, she won a Golden Globe for best actress, and she has written several children’s books.
Madonna once stated in an interview that ‘it was a real scramble to pay the rent.’ The queen of pop music has a real grace to grace story to tell and is one of the wealthiest musicians in the United States of America. Madonna has been on stage for many years and continues to shine even today. Some of her songs are everlasting tunes; La Isla Bonita and Frozen continue to be iconic songs, adding money to her bank account every year.
6. Mariah Carey
Net Worth – $510 Million
Mariah Carey has a unique and powerful voice. Her singing is so unique that she was married to a record executive at a young age. She has released several albums during a career that has been hugely successful. She has some evergreen songs to her name that will continue to be relevant even several years into the future.
Even though Mariah has not been in the news recently, she has made so much money from her work over the years that she still commands a place among American music’s wealthiest.
Mariah Carey has a unique voice, a beautiful face, and the kind of body that people would pay money to see. She made a lot of money and fame in the ’90s and continues even now to thrill fans with her musical gifts.
7. Dolly Parton
Net worth – $500
Dolly Parton would actually be a lot richer if she was like any other one of the people on this list. She only has $500 Million because she gives so much away to charity. She has been on stage for more than 40 years, and has enjoyed good health, happiness and favor with all who have heard her music. Dolly Parton has some evergreen songs such as Coat Of Many Colors; which continues to be played and streamed by music lovers all over the world.
Dolly Parton is a legend in music; she has received 9 Grammy Awards, 3 American Music Awards, and many other prizes. She is a lover of people; and rather than horde as much money as she can, she gives so much of her money away to charity.
She has had a very successful life and career; with 500 million dollars, and a fan base that cuts across several races, ages, religions, and political divides.
8. Gloria Estafan
Net Worth: $500 Million
Gloria Estafan was actually born in Cuba, but she has built a successful and lucrative music career in the United States. She is estimated to be worth about 500 to 700 Million- either way, she is one of the richest musicians in America. She has sold more than 100 million records across the globe, and has performed at sold-out arenas- just like a true star.
Gloria Estefan built her career in the USA and has over 100 million records to boast of. She started her career as the lead singer in a band called Miami Latin Boys, but went solo, and built a career for herself as a singer, actress, and businesswoman.
9. Bruce Springstein
Net-worth: $460 Million
Bruce Springstein is a writer, singer and musician. He is what you call a serious musician; he is lives and breathes the music. Over his long and successful career, he has released 20 studio albums, and made hit songs too many to mention. Bruce is famous for his work, and he has sold out theaters and arenas all across the world.
Bruce Springsteen has an iconic voice. Many of the younger generation may know his song ‘Born in the USA,’ but might not know him. Bruce Springsteen has had a glorious career; he is also known as the boss. Most of his performances feature his band; the E Street Band, and he is iconic for his vocals and the way he plays his guitar. Perhaps his most recognized song is ‘Born in the USA.’
Bruce Springsteen has made a solid fortune that actually continues to grow as he gets royalties for his old songs, and does occasional performances for his fans. He is 460 million dollars rich, and one of the top richest musicians in America with his wealth is growing.
10. Barbra Streisand
Net-worth: $400 Million
Barbra Streisand is an icon in country music. She is nearly 80 years old, and still does shows! She has made an estimated $400 million during the course of her career, and she is still one of the most significant musicians in the country. Her career and longevity have been astounding, and she has received the top U.S. civilian honor award: The Presidential Medal of Freedom.
When you make around 40 million USD by doing just 14 shows, you are well on your way to becoming outrageously wealthy. Barbara Streisand did not get her impressive net worth by mistake; she has had a long and enduring career in entertainment; 2 academy awards, and 10 Grammy awards as well.
She is in fact one of the most respected women in entertainment, and her fortune of about 400 million also makes her one of the richest musicians in America.
11. Johnny Mathis
Net Worth: $400 Million
Johnny Mathis is a musical heavyweight in America; he has more than 70 Billboard charts under his belt. Johnny Mathis has also sold approximately 350 million records, which shows that his estimated net worth of about 400 million did not come about by accident.
He is an iconic pop musician, songwriter, and producer. He has also done Blues, Traditional Brazilian and Spanish Music, and Romantic songs.
12. Jennifer Lopez
Net Worth: $400 Million
Jennifer Lopez is a Latina star; perhaps the biggest in the world. She is also well known as an actress, and dancer. Jennifer Lopez does shows and concerts so well that the atmosphere has been described as electric.
She is said to earn about 40 million dollars a year, and has become an icon, looked up to by young people, particularly of the Hispanic demographic, as a sign of what a person can achieve in America. Her wealth is estimated to be between 380- 400 million dollars.
If you are familiar with this list of America’s wealthiest musicians, you will have noticed that many names that once featured on, or even topped this list have completely disappeared from the reckoning. This is because wealth is dynamic, and requires management if it is to last. With fame and fortune usually comes the temptation to live extravagantly, and that is the source of the woe that has befallen many a musician.
The richest musicians in America have established names that have paid their dues in the industry, and now reap the rewards of the hard work they have put in over the years. Generally, the richest music artistes are not just performers; they are record executives and entrepreneurs who have diversified their investments; building on their fame to establish businesses that have made them even richer.