Its no doubt that music pays. Big cash. The music industry is expanding not just to include musicians but also digital entrepreneurs who have found innovative ways of distributing and curating music. This is a list of the top earners in the industry under 35 years compiled from different sources, not in any particular order.
Lady Gaga (27)
It’s hard to top showing up to the Grammys in an egg, but Gaga did just that with the launch of new album ARTPOP, debuting a flying dress and announcing plans to perform in outer space in 2015. She had $80 million in earnings last year..As of November 2013, she had sold an estimated 24 million albums and 125 million singles worldwide and her singles are some of the best-selling worldwide. Her achievements include five Grammy Awardsand 13 MTV Video Music Awards. Gaga has consecutively appeared on Billboard magazine’s Artists of the Year (scoring the definitive title in 2010), ranked fourth in VH1’s list of 100 Greatest Women in Music, is the fourth bestselling digital singles artist in US according to RIAA
Bruno Mars (28)
Bruno Mars has been rising steadily over the years. Throughout a singing career spanning 3 years, he has sold 10 million albums and 58 million singles worldwide. Including not only his work as a singer but as a songwriter and producer as well, his total single download sales surpass 115 million worldwide. He has achieved a total of five number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and seven top ten singles, as a solo artist placing himself in the record books by being the second solo artist to do so after Richard Marx. He reached first place with “Just the Way You Are”, which sold 12.5 million copies and contributed to Mars becoming the best-selling digital artist in 2011.] In 2011, Mars was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world. In 2014, he was ranked number one on the Forbes 30 under 30 list.
By the time the young Swede launched his first album, True, in September 2013, he was already a household name. His electronic crossover single “Wake Me Up” became a summer anthem, and he’s been earning six figures per DJ gig.Avicii is also one of the most chartable artistes. Since achieving widespread commercial success, Avicii began working with his manager and executive producer Ash Pournouri to start House for Hunger.in 2011, a charity dedicated to alleviating global hunger.
Justin Bieber (19)
After appearing on the cover of FORBES in 2012, the world’s most famous teenager launched a new album and a world tour. “I’m trying to make music that’s a little bit more mature and that can appeal to all ages,” he said. Meanwhile, recent publicity gaffes haven’t stopped him from earning $113 million in the last two years.
Jay Z’s first signing at Roc Nation is now a hip-hop force in his own right. His debut album, Cole World: The Sideline Story, was released on September 27, 2011. The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, Top R&B Albums and Top Rap Albums chart, selling more than 218,000 in its first week.Sophomore album Born Sinner debuted at No. 2 on the charts with sales of 297,000, nearly matching Kanye West’s Yeezus. Now grossing six figures per night on his world tour, Cole is here to stay.
Miley Cyrus (21)
Don’t be fooled: the former Disney idol’s VMA twerk-fest wasn’t an impromptu lapse in judgment, but part of a concerted plan to destroy the last vestiges of Hannah Montana and introduce Cyrus as a grown pop star. New album Bangerz sold 270,000 copies its opening week.Cyrus is recognized as among the most successful artists to originate from The Walt Disney Company. She has five non-consecutive number-one albums on the U.S. Billboard 200, two of which are soundtracks credited to her titular character Hannah Montana, and has earned numerous awards and nominations. In 2010, Cyrus ranked number thirteen on Forbes‘ Celebrity 100, and was named the “Most Charted Teenager” in the 2011 Guinness World Recordswith twenty-nine Billboard Hot 100 entries as of November 2009. In 2013, she was recognized as the “Artist of the Year” by MTV.
Kendrick Lamar (26)
Dr. Dre’s latest protégé earned $9 million last year after releasing smash hit Good Kid, m.A.A.d City and playing over 100 live shows. Better yet: he earned seven Grammy nominations, more than any other artist besides Jay Z. His album spawned the Top 40 hits “Swimming Pools (Drank)”, “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe, and “Poetic Justice”. The album, which debuted at number two on the Billboard 200, was later certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). In early 2013, MTV crowned Lamar the No. 1 Hottest MC in the Game, on their annual list.
The founder of WillCall isn’t stopping any time soon. This designer-turned-CEO has plans to take the $24 billion live music industry mobile. With more than $2.1 million in seed funding from billionaire Sean Parker, music mogul CoranCapshaw and Airbnb cofounder Joe Gebbia, he’s well on his way.
The former Degrassi star has pulled in over $30 million in the past two years, boosted by live shows and endorsements with the likes of Sprite and Kodak.Drake has sold over 5 million albums worldwide. His work has earned him a Grammy Award, three Juno Awards, six BET Awards, and holds several significant Billboard records. With twelve number-one singles, Drake has more than any other artist on Billboard’s Hot Rap Songs chart. With ten number-one singles, he also has more than any other rapper on Billboard‘s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, passing Jay-Z in August 2012. He is one of two artists (the other being 50 Cent) that has simultaneously occupied the chart’s top three positions. Look for him to build on that with his latest arena tour in support of new album Nothing Was The Same.
Ryan Lewis (25)
Along with rapper Macklemore, 30, Lewis is part of a duo that made hip-hop history with 2012’s The Heist. The album spawned marriage-equality anthem “Same Love” and smash single “Thrift Shop” en route to sales in excess of 1 million units.