By Haddon Libby

The Stagecoach Music Festival has become one of the most successful festivals in the United States and the world.  Events like Stagecoach and its sister festival Coachella have contributed to the music industry earning touring revenues of more than $10 billion in 2023.  The top 100 tours brought in $9.2 billion with Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour grossing $1 billion.  For comparison, the performers who have earned the most from touring across the span of their career are the Rolling Stones with $2.6 billion.  It took the Rolling Stones more than sixty years to gross 2.6 times what Swift has done in just one year.

Beyonce earned the second most in 2023 with $579 million followed by Bruce Springsteen ($379 million), Coldplay ($325 million), Harry Styles ($290 million), Morgan Wallen ($260 million) and Ed Sheeran ($105 million).

In addition to touring income, the Recording Industry Association of American reports that musicians earned $14.4 billion from streaming services like Spotify, Pandora, or Apple Music in 2023.  This income source grew by 8% last year and 16% over the last two years.  Music downloads brought in $434 million, a 12% decrease from 2022 and 30% less than two years ago.


Remember compact discs and vinyl records?  These music forms still generate $1.9 billion in sales with old school vinyl records representing 71% of sales.  Revenues are up 10% from last year.

Whenever you hear a song on television, the radio, in a film, advertisement or in concert, a royalty is paid to the writer(s) and performers of the song.  This income type earned $2 billion in 2023.

Spotify is the leader amongst streaming services with a 31% market share and 180 subscribers.  Apple Music comes in second with a 15% market share followed closely by Amazon (13%), Tencent (13%) and YouTube (8%).  Streamers pay the artists roughly $0.004 per play.  For every 100,000 plays, a song earns $400.

Amongst new music released in 2023, Miley Cyrus’ “Flowers” had the most plays on Spotify at $1.9 billion for roughly $7.6 million in royalties.  Other songs played more than 1 billion times were “Seven” by Jung Kook (1.5 billion), “Ella Baila Sola” by Eslabon Armado (1.2 billion), “Greedy” by Tate McRae (1.1 billion), and “Like Crazy” by Jimin.  “Last Night” by Morgan Wallen had 839 million plays.

Who is the most successful country musician in terms of their net worth?

If we include Taylor Swift, she tops the list at more than $1 billion.  As Swift seems to have moved from country to pop, Dolly Parton wears the country crown with a net worth of $650 million placing her tenth almost all musicians.  Garth Brooks is second amongst country musicians ($430 million) followed by Shania Twain ($410 million), Tim McGraw and Faith Hill ($200 million), and Kenny Chesney at $190 million.

Overall, Jay-Z has the highest net worth of all performers at $2.5 billion (excluding his wife Beyonce).  This rapper gained most of his net worth through investments including an early stake in Uber, Oatly, insurer Ethos, SpaceX, champagne Armand de Brignac, cognac D’Usse, music streaming service Tidal, cannabis through Monogram, and many other start-ups.

Rihanna is second with a $1.4 billion net worth.  Most of her net worth was generated from a 50% stake in Fenty Beauty.  Her partner in that venture is LVMH, the French luxury goods retailer.

Rounding out the top ten are Taylor Swift ($1 billion), Paul McCartney ($950 million), Madonna and Herb Albert ($850 million each), Selena Gomez and Celine Dion ($800 million each), Bono of U2 ($700 million), and Dolly Parton and Elton John ($650 million).

Haddon Libby is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Winslow Drake Investment Management.  We are fiduciary RIAs who put our clients first in everything that we do.  For more information on our services, please visit