Did Dr. Dre Make Half A Billion Dollars More Than Beyonce?

25931eddd232567ab6cf4473f23561fef2809ff8(Forbes) The World’s Highest-Paid Musicians of 2014

Fifteen years ago Dr. Dre wondered aloud whether people had forgotten about him. If there was a question then, it has certainly dissipated throughout the next steps of a career filled with highlights—most recently the sale of Beats, the company he cofounded, to Apple AAPL -0.58% for $3 billion.

Dr. Dre took home $620 million this year before taxes, thanks largely to that deal, making him the world’s top-earning musician of 2014. More remarkably, that number also marks the largest single-year haul of any musician, ever.

“It’s safe to say headphones is a good business,” said DJ Khaled, one of hip-hop’s top earners.

 Dr. Dre’s payday gives him the widest margin in history between the first and second spots on our top-earning musicians list—half a billion dollars separate him from the No. 2 earner, Beyoncé, who pulled in $115 million. Her most lucrative year yet comes courtesy of her Mrs. Carter Show tour, a surprise album and endorsements with the likes of Pepsi and H&M .

Only one other act reached the nine-figure mark: The Eagles, who earned $100 million on the strength of their History Of The Eagles tour. Bon Jovi ranks fourth with $82 million and Bruce Springsteen rounds out the top five with $81 million; both Jersey-born rockers grossed millions per night on successful arena tours. Those three acts also benefit from staging that’s relatively simple, and therefore cheap, compared to some big pop acts.

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