Bon Jovi, Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac Among Richest Rockers

Graham Denholm/Paul Marotta/Brian Killian, Getty Images

Bon Jovi, the Rolling Stones and Fleetwood Mac were among the Top 10 money makers for 2013, based on touring, music sales, publishing royalties and streaming revenue for the past year.

Billboard magazine’s comprehensive list of the richest rockers also had Paul McCartney, the EaglesElton John and Rush in the Top 40.

Bon Jovi finished highest among classic rockers, at No. 4 with $29.4 million in total revenue last year. The Stones followed at No. 5 with $26.2 million. Fleetwood Mac rounded out the Top 10 with $19 million. Paul McCartney (2013 Earnings: $13.8 million) came in at No. 21, the Eagles ($13 million) followed at No. 22. Elton John ($9.4 million) finished at No. 33, with Rush ($9 million) at No. 35.

Bon Jovi’s “Because We Can” tour finished as the top-grossing concert series of last year, pushing the band to the top of that list for the three out of the last six years. Bon Jovi had 1.5 million downloads, even while releasing ‘What About Now’ in 2013, topping the Billboard album charts for the fifth time.

Meanwhile, the Rolling Stones cashed in, despite mounting a very limited run of 2013 shows in North America, averaging $4.7 million per show. The band added two new songs to its most recent greatest hits package, and boasted some 1.5 million track downloads. Fleetwood Mac played 34 cities, including a three-night stand in London that saw the return of long-time member Christine McVie. A new EP, called ‘Extended Play,’ also reached the Billboard Top 50.

Billboard’s Top 10 Money Makers for 2013
1. Taylor Swift: $39.7 million
2. Kenny Chesney: $34 million
3. Justin Timberlake: $31.5 million
4. Bon Jovi: $29.4 million
5. Rolling Stones: $26.2 million
6. Beyonce: $24.4 million
7. Maroon 5: $22.3 million
8. Luke Bryan: $22.1 million
9. P!nk: $20 million
10. Fleetwood Mac: $19 million

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Paul McCartney Wins Artist And Album Of The Year Ultimate Classic Rock Awards

Paul McCartney
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

The combination of his artistic legacy and continued vitality has paid off well for Paul McCartney. He is the winner of the two most prestigious 2014 Ultimate Classic Rock Awards — Artist of the Year and Album of the Year.

McCartney was a landslide winner in the Artist of the Year category, taking 64 percent of the vote. In second place was Black Sabbath, who, despite putting out a solid reunion album, ‘13,’ only received 20 percent. David Bowie‘s surprise comeback only netted him 5 percent, which was still good enough for third place.

Album of the Year was considerably closer, with McCartney’s ‘New‘ beating out ’13′ by a total of 45-38 percent. Bowie’s ‘The Next Day‘ was, again, in third place with 5 percent.

If not for Rush, the former Beatle would have had a clean sweep of the top four awards. McCartney finished in second place behind the Canadian trio in the Best Tour of 2013 category — we attended his excellent Milwaukee show — by a tally of 36 percent to 28 percent, and his ‘Queenie Eye‘ (36.8 percent) narrowly lost to Rush’s ‘The Garden’ (37.4 percent). McCartney could have been a victim of split-voting. His collaboration with the surviving members of Nirvana, ‘Cut Me Some Slack,’ finished in third place, with 8 percent.

Congratulations to Paul McCartney on his two 2014 Ultimate Classic Rock Awards!

Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr Steal the Show at Beatles Grammy Tribute

Ringo Starr Paul McCartney

Despite a two-hour parade of musical tributes featuring the biggest names from every genre of modern popular music, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney effortlessly stole the show at ‘The Beatles: The Night That Changed America.’

Starr’s three-song set served as a reminder of just how charming and charismatic a live frontman the Fab Four’s drummer has become. He followed the night’s theme of celebrating the 50th anniversary of his former group’s first appearance on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ by performing two songs — ‘Matchbox’ and ‘Boys’ — that could have been in their set lists at that time. Then he traveled ahead a couple of years to lead the crowd in a massive ‘Yelllow Submarine’ singalong.

McCartney and his crack / fantastic / awesome / however you want to say it solo band kicked off their set with the totally appropriate ‘Birthday.’ After an energetic reading of ‘Get Back,’ he launched into the theme song from ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,’ which of course led into… ‘With a Little Help From My Friends,’ with Starr (err, sorry, Billy Shears) returning to take over lead vocals.

The duo then invited everyone who had performed earlier in the night — including Joe Walsh, Jeff Lynne, Kenny Aronoff, Steve Lukather of Toto and Peter Frampton — for a big ‘Hey Jude’ finale. The latter three musicians, together with Don Was, served as part of the backing band for much of the night, providing support for performances by Brad PaisleyStevie WonderKaty Perry and others.

In between the performances — which were highlighted by Walsh and Gary Clark Jr.’s guitar duel on ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps,’ Dave Grohl‘s heartfelt ‘Hey Bullldog’ and a pleasantly lively and creative acoustic rendition of ‘Revolution’ by Imagine Dragons — McCartney and Starr were shown being interviewed by Dave Letterman. These talks were particularly poignant since they were conducted at the Ed Sullivan Theater, where Letterman currently films his ‘Late Show’ program.

McCartney told a particularly funny story about the backstage scene just moments before the group’s legendary Feb. 9, 1964 performance. Apparently Paul was “standing there, all prepared, with my guitar, ready to go on,” when a Teamster in charge of pulling back the curtain decided to get more involved. “He says, ‘are you nervous?’ I said, ‘no, not really’.. lying.” To which the man responded, “Well you should be, there’s 73 million people watching!”

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