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Bon Jovi, Justin Bieber lead Ultimate Top 10's pop performers

January 11, 2011 |  7:39 pm

Strong tours proved a winning factor in Calendar's Ultimate Top 10 list of performers in 2010, with Bon Jovi, Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift leading the pack.


The last year reinforced the fact that a good year on the road remains more lucrative to pop music performers than a great year at the cash register, as Bon Jovi claims the top spot in Calendar's annual Ultimate Top 10, which combines the money pop and rock acts earned on tour with their take from CD and digital music sales in 2010 in North America.

The New Jersey band tallied a little more than $120 million, the vast majority from what was the highest-grossing concert tour of the year. Still, the figures also shine a light on the music business' overall struggles, since that year-topping combination is among the lowest totals since Calendar began pooling pop acts' different revenue streams in 1997, derived from Nielsen SoundScan retail sales reports and Pollstar magazine's figures on North American concert tour results. The record still belongs to 'NSync, which racked up $212.9 million back in the heady days of boy bands and teen pop in 2000.

The usual proviso: the Ultimate Top 10 isn't meant to be the final word on artists' total financial picture. With merchandising, product endorsements, song placements in movies and TV shows, ringtones, website subscriptions and myriad other income sources, musicians today have seemingly limitless ways to bring in money.

But by combining two of the biggest revenue sources, the Ultimate Top 10 is a good indicator of which artists fans are most willing to open the purses and wallets for. Music sales revenue is calculated using an average price of $13 per album and 99 cents per digital track.


-- Randy Lewis


Photo: Bon Jovi / Credit: Reuters