In 2011, Taylor Swift made $57 million, Rihanna made $53 million and Kenny Chesney made $44 million, Forbes magazine estimates .
That's more than almost anyone else in the entertainment industry.
Meanwhile, the Future of Music Coalition found that musicians made an average of about $34,000 off their music in America, before deducting expenses from touring and recording, while the music media tolled the same old bell of doom about the state of the music industry.
What gives? It's tempting to chalk the difference up to disparities in record sales — some musicians have always gotten huge while their peers languished in obscurity. But even top artists are selling far fewer records than they used to.
Total North American sales of recorded music fell 36 percent between 2007 and 2011 alone, according to a recent report by PwC. And it's clear that digital music sales haven't yet made up for lost physical sales, and won't anytime soon.
"It wasn't that long ago that we were getting $3 million as an advance for the record. That's way over — those deals don't exist," entertainment lawyer Dina LaPolt told The Huffington Post.
Today, according to industry experts, the only way to make money in the music business is to turn an artist into a brand — then do everything in your power to maximize that brand's value.Page 1 of 5 | Next Page