Who earned most in the US music industry last year? Here’s a rundown of the top ten, from Billboard (read the rest of their list here)

10 Metallica

The release of “Guitar Hero – Metallica” backed up solid tour and back catalogue income for these vintage rock legends (their biggest selling track in 2009 was released in 1991!).

9 Kenny Chesney

Country’s biggest star sold a lot of physical product and live tickets as well as 500,000 ringtones to achieve this total. Absolutely zero exposure this side of the pond though…
8 Coldplay

$24 million in touring revenue, but only $1 million in album sales… still, not bad for a band so bland they have to rip off Joe Satriani.

7 Jonas Brothers

Riding the Mouse train all the way to the bank.
6 Pink

Pink is another artist who did well touring last year, with revenues of $35 million from live shows bolstered by lots of TV airtime and healthy album sales.
5 Britney Spears

More touring, more album sales, more breakdowns, more wierd haircuts. I think it’s probably worth it for almost forty million dollars a year. She can retire before she’s 30 and just think about taking care of the kids…

Over a million album sales last year, coupled with guess what? The 4th biggest grossing tour last year put these Aussie lads very firmly back in the black.
3 Madonna

Leather skinned Yogi Madonna pulled the biggest tour of her career under her Live Nation deal.

2 Bruce Springsteen

Making more money than ever before in his career, with highlights including a headline slot at Glastonbury and a performance at the Superbowl, Mr. S. shows us what the long tail really means.
1 U2

A clever new 360 degree stadium stage setup means that the biggest earning band of last year could pack even more bodies into their stadium tour.