Top 30 under 30 highest paid people in the music industry


Derrick Fung (26)


The former banker launched social record label Tunezy, where fans can follow, promote and buy from their favorite musicians, in 2011. Electronic music promoter SFX bought it for a seven-figure sum in November 2013; Fung remains CEO.


Calvin Harris (29)

C Harris

He world’s highest-paid DJ gets six-figure nightly fees plus additional cash producing for pop stars like Rihanna. “The rise of dance music has been astronomical in the last three years,” he tells FORBES. “I happened to be in the right place at the right time.”


Hunter Hayes (22)


The pop-country crossover crooner makes his 30 Under 30 debut after touring with Carrie Underwood and notching three Grammy nominations last year. He’s currently working on new material for his second studio album.


Kim Kaupe (28)

kimAlong with cofounder Brittany Hodak, 30, Kaupe launched the music merchandizing startup Zinepakin 2011. Since then, they’ve created custom memorabilia for artists from Toby Keith to Katy Perry; revenues have surged to $6 million, up from $2.6 million last year.


Lorde (17)


The youngest name in the music category, New Zealand’s biggest star has rocketed to mainstream acclaim with debut album Pure Heroine and unexpected hit “Royals.” She’s already cashing in with a $2.5 million publishing deal, and more is undoubtedly on the way.


Miguel (28)


A relative late bloomer in the music world, the California native finally broke through with last year’s Kaleidoscope Dream, which debuted at No. 3 on the charts and earned him five Grammy nominations. The album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200, selling 71,000 copies in its first week. As of December 2013, Kaleidoscope Dream has sold 922,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. In February 2013, he released a politically driven video for the song “Candles in the Sun,” the eleventh and last song on the album.] In August 2013, the new single “#Beautiful” with Mariah Carey became Miguel’s third million-seller in the USA, following “Sure Thing” and “Adorn”. He won Best R&B Song for “Adorn.”


Janelle Monae (28)


The funky songstress earned rave reviews for sophomore album The Electric Lady in September 2013, featuring rare guest appearances by Prince and Erykah Badu. She continues to pad her coffers with low six-figure grosses on the road.


One Direction  (19, 20, 20, 21, 22)

One DirectionTeenage girls can’t get enough of these guys. The world’s biggest boy band continues to cash in on the road, grossing over $1 million per city en route to $42 million in earnings over the past year. More good fortune is on the way with additional gigs all around the world and the band’s third studio album, Midnight Memories.


Wilson Owens (28)

wilson owensSince its launch last year, Wilson’s Royalty Exchange has auctioned over $1 million worth of copyrights, including songs performed by Whitney Houston, Travis Tritt and Snoop Dogg. The idea seems to be catching on: Royalty Exchange raised a $2.1 million Series A in July.


Jordan Passman (27)


Musicians are too often without work–as was Passman in 2009. To solve both problems, he created ScoreAScore, which allows brands (Google, Pizza Hut, Verizon and more) to offer gigs composing music for ads, trailers and the like. Passman gets 40%–not bad, given total sales of about $800,000 this year.



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