AC/DC made the Top 10 on Forbes’ annual list of the year’s 30 highest paid musicians, coming in at Number Seven with earnings of $67.5 million in 2016. Topping the list was Taylor Swift wit $120 million, followed by One Direction in second place with $110 million, Adele with $80.5 million at Number Three, Madonna at Number Four with $76.5 million and Rihanna in the fifth position with $75 million.
AC/DC beat out the always formidable Rolling Stones, who rang up $66.5 million to finish at Number Eight. Foo Fighters came in at Number 21, earning $48.5 million. The list “measures pretax income from June 1, 2015, to June 1, 2016 before deducting management fees,” according to Forbes.
Even though Swift earned more overall than AC/DC, the band sold more tickets than her, with AC/DC’s 2.31 million tickets beating out Swift’s total of 2.27 million. AC/DC did play 15 more dates, however, than the pop superstar.
Guitarist Angus Young told us a while back that AC/DC has never changed its approach to playing live: “Somebody once had said, ‘You know, people know what they like and like what they know.’ In the beginning, we were a, you know, just a rock ‘n’ roll band, and, you know, when you would play in bars and clubs and stuff, you know, this is what the audience was coming to hear you for.”
The last few years were challenging ones for AC/DC, starting with founder Malcolm Young retiring from the group due to dementia before the recording of the band’s latest effort, 2014’s Rock Or Bust.
That was followed by drummer Phil Rudd’s arrest on charges of drug possession and threatening to kill late that year. Then earlier this year, singer Brian Johnson was forced to leave the band’s tour or face total hearing loss.
His replacement, Guns N’ Roses’ Axl Rose, re-energized the group for a string of acclaimed shows, but even those were dampened by longtime bassist Cliff Williams’ announcement that he was retiring at the end of the trek. AC/DC’s future plans are unclear at this point.
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