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The Top 10 Highest-Paid Musicians in 2021 Made Over $2 Billion — & Only a Few Released New Music

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There are quite a few musicians who made a ton of money in 2021, despite the pandemic crushing much of the live event and concert industry. Some of that money came the old-fashioned way with new music — bravo, Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton and Kanye West — while older artists are raking in the dough by selling off their song catalog for beyond lucrative prices.

Rolling Stone ranked the stars and yes, it’s a bummer to see only one woman on the list, but we do love that Swift’s revenge strategy is paying off handsomely. Hopefully, there will be more female artists represented in 2022 as the concert industry revives itself in a post-pandemic world (if COVID will just make a speedy exit). But don’t expect the trend of performers selling their entire music portfolio to end any time soon. Josh Gruss, founder and CEO of Round Hill Music, told the music publication, “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. It’s a very steady stream of revenue that’s there, and that makes it very attractive for investment.”

Take a closer look at who made this list — we think at least one band’s inclusion might surprise you. As for the No. 1 performer, his inclusion doesn’t seem shocking at all because he has the perfect nickname for his top spot.

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