In honor of Adele's 33rd birthday on May 5, 2021, Wonderwall.com is rounding up 10 of the United Kingdom's top-earning musicians, starting with the chart-topping British singer-songwriter… Adele hasn't released new music since 2015 and hasn't toured since mid-2017, but she still raked in more than $30K a day in 2017. (Yes, we said "a day.") The Sun reported in October 2018 that the singer took home $11.2 million in profits after taxes that year … doing absolutely nada!
Now keep reading for more of the top-earning British musicians…
He might not be able to buy love, but he can buy just about anything else! Forbes reported in late 2019 that Paul McCartney was one of the last decade's top earners. The former Beatle reportedly took home more than $535 million between 2010 and 2020 by selling out stadiums across the globe and through album sales. The British singer-songwriter, who banked more than superstars Katy Perry and Lady Gaga during the same time period, reportedly claimed $37 million in 2020 alone.
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Similarly, Forbes reported in late 2019 that the last decade was very lucrative for Elton John. The English singer-songwriter banked more than $565 million between 2010 and 2020. He reportedly took home $81 million in 2020 alone. According to Forbes, his "Farewell Yellow Brick Road" tour grossed $212 million in 2019 — "the second-highest tally in the business."
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He's in love with the shape of these stacks of cash… According to Forbes, Ed Sheeran banked an impressive $64 million in 2020. (Some of that sum went toward building his own forest on the grounds of his $4.7 million estate in Suffolk, England, later that year.) His "Divide" tour reportedly grossed more than $775 million between March 2017 and August 2019. Grossing more than $3 million per stop, it's considered the most lucrative tour of all time.
Coldplay pulled off one of the most lucrative tours of all time in 2016 and 2017. More than 5.3 million people attended their 122-date "A Head Full of Dreams" tour between March 2016 and November 2017. It reportedly made around $523 million in ticket sales, which, according to Forbes, helped the Chris Martin-fronted British rock band net around $115.5 million in 2018. It was considered the third most lucrative tour of all time, though it's since dropped to the fifth spot.
One Direction made bank on their 2015 "On the Road Again" tour — their fourth and final headlining concert trek. In just 77 stops, they pulled in $208 million in ticket sales, helping the English-Irish pop act net about $110 million, according to Forbes. They're now considered the top-earning boy band of all time.
We bet the $59 million haul the Rolling Stones made in 2020 brought them a whole lot of "Satisfaction." According to Forbes, the English rock band was one of the year's top earning musical acts. And if the rockers hadn't been forced to postpone their 2020 "No Filter" tour amid the coronavirus pandemic, that number likely would've been significantly higher.
According to Forbes, Phil Collins took home $45 million in 2020. That's nearly $2 million less than what the English singer-songwriter handed over to his third wife, Orianne Cevey, when they settled their divorce in 2008. They somehow reconciled … only to find themselves publicly feuding in the wake of their most recent breakup.
Depeche Mode just can't get enough … cold, hard cash. Surprisingly, the British band ranked among the top-earning acts of 2018. According to Forbes, the group made more than $1 million per stop on their 130-date "Globe Spirit" tour, which ran from May 2017 to July 2018.
Roger Waters' "Us + Them" tour, which ran from May 2017 to December 2018, was a huge, huge hit. According to Forbes, the Surrey, England, native and former Pink Floyd bassist pulled in $68 million in 2018 thanks in part to his 157 global tour dates. As Pink Floyd sang on "Money," which Roger wrote, "Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash!"