Irish giants top Forbes’ rich-list ahead of Bon Jovi and Elton – but Edge’s hopes for property business are dashed


Champagne set: U2

U2 was the highest-paid musical act in the past year, earning $195m in the time, according to financial magazine Forbes.

The Irish outfit top the chart ahead of Bon Jovi, who made $125m, and Elton John, who took home $100m.

Rock acts Paul McCartney, Eagles, the Dave Matthews Band and Tom Petty also appear in the list, made up from industry analysis, figures and interviews with experts.

AC/DC and Muse are in joint 18th place after making $35m, the same amount as pop acts Beyonce, Rascal Flatts and Sean Diddy Combs.

U2 are set to face an audience protest when they play the UK’s Glastonbury festival next weekend, organised by campaigners upset over their tax avoidance schemes.

Forbes’ highest-paid musicians, May 2010 – May 2011

1. U2: £195m
2. Bon Jovi: $125m
3. Elton John: $100m
4. Lady Gaga: $90m
5. Michael Buble: $70m
6. Paul McCartney: $67m
7. Black Eyed Peas: $61m
8. Eagles: $60m
9. Justin Bieber: $53m
10. Dave Matthews Band: $51m
11. Toby Keith: $50m
12. Usher: $46m
13. Taylor Swift: $45m
14. Katy Perry: $44m
15. Brad Paisley: $40m
16. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: $38m
17. Jay-Z: $38m
18. AC/DC: $35m
18. Sean Diddy Combs: $35m
18. Beyonce: $35m
18. Tim McGraw: $35m
23: Rascal Flatts: $34m
24. Kenny Chesney: $30m
25. Rihanna: $29m

Meanwhile, U2 guitarist The Edge has seen his plans for building a range of luxury mansions torn up after a local authority refused to grant permission to build them.

He bought 156 acres of land in Malibu in 2005 and submitted proposals to construct five homes, which he said would be environmentally sustainable.

But the California Coastal Commission blocked the plans, saying the buildings would be “a visual blight on a pristine ridgeline.”

Environmental campaigners had lodged a series of protests over the development.

Related stories: