10 highest earning guitarists of 2013

12th Feb 2014 | 15:30

10 highest earning guitarists of 2013
Tim McGraw
$33m (pre-tax earnings, based on Forbes estimates)

Sneer all you like at his Stetsons, muscle vests and drive-time country-lite, but with last year’s Two Lanes Of Freedom hitting No 2 on the Billboard album chart, and the associated tour putting redneck arses on seats across America, the Louisiana singer will never suffer the humiliation of his debit card being refused at Nandos like you.

10 highest earning guitarists of 2013
Keith Richards/Ronnie Wood

The Stones’ back catalogue is the gift that keeps on giving, while princely ticket prices mean Keef and Ron coined it in despite only playing a handful of shows. It’s not a bad little haul for the leathery pair, especially compared with the weekly UK state pension of £110.

10 highest earning guitarists of 2013
Matt Bellamy

Concert data-crunchers Pollstar estimate that Muse pulled in around $1 million gross for every city they played last year. “Money and success haven’t really changed my beliefs or opinions over the years,” insists Bellamy, whose father went bankrupt in the early 90s. “We aren’t going to let any of the spoils change us.”

10 highest earning guitarists of 2013
Roger Waters

Despite the puppets, pyro and brickwork required to stage The Wall Live tour, the Pink Floyd legend was left with a healthy handful of change. Perhaps that’s appropriate for the man who once penned the lyric: “Money, it’s a hit, don’t give me that do goody-good bulls**t.”

10 highest earning guitarists of 2013
Paul McCartney

October’s solo album, New, was just the start, with Macca getting his cut from a half-century of hits, wetting his beak via his music publishing company and filling his boots on the road. It all made for a welcome top-up following the former Beatles’ £24.3 million divorce settlement with Heather Mills in 2008.

10 highest earning guitarists of 2013
Kenny Chesney

The country giant turned a profit on this year’s Billboard-topping Life On A Rock, but it’s the No Shoes Nation tour that kept him in denim, playing to an estimated 1.25 million Hank and Jolenes at 42 different stadiums.

10 highest earning guitarists of 2013
Bruce Springsteen

The Boss finally wrapped up his world tour in September, presumably because he ran out of articulated lorries to stuff with banknotes. Lest we forget, a guiding theme of the associated Wrecking Ball album was the disparity of wealth in modern America. Hmm...

10 highest earning guitarists of 2013
Chris Martin/Jonny Buckland

Despite claiming they were “going broke” over the flashing Xyloband wristbands handed out to every punter at Coldplay gigs, Britain’s nicest boys were also the nation’s highest musical earners.

10 highest earning guitarists of 2013
Toby Keith $65m

July’s Forbes Magazine dubbed Toby Keith “country music’s $500 million man”, citing the Nashville songwriter’s interests in steak- houses, clothing lines and his Wild Shot Mezcal (there’s also the small matter of his squillion-selling blue- collar country albums).

10 highest earning guitarists of 2013
Jon Bon Jovi

True, Madonna and Lady Gaga both grossed more than The Jove in 2013, but they can’t play the guitar for toffee. If we’re talking strummers, the list is headed up by the 51-year-old frontman, whose Because We Can world tour pulled in around $3 million at every city. Lend us a fiver, will you Jon...?

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