Diddy tops Forbes' highest-paid musician list for 2017

By Ray Downs and Wade Sheridan  |  Updated Dec. 8, 2017 at 8:27 AM
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Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Diddy easily topped Forbes' Highest-Paid Musician list after taking in $130 million in over the past year.

"I'm the average person," Diddy told Forbes. "I started looking at business at the age of 12, [from] delivering newspapers to working in gas station bathrooms, or even doing things like being a background dancer or a stylist. Whatever I could do to get close to the industry."

The hip-hop artist who's known more these days for producing and branding raked in his riches mainly via the sale of one-third of his Sean John clothing line for about $70 million. He also took in money from his Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour and various business ventures with Ciroc vodka, DeLeon tequila and Aquahydrate.

Diddy, in September, was once again named Forbes' highest paid hip-hop artist for a third year in a row. The 48-year-old would have been enjoying his fifth consecutive year as the hip-hop cash king were it not for Dr. Dre's big Beats payday when he sold the headphone brand to Apple in 2014.

Coming in second was Beyonce, who took in $105 million thanks to her Queen Bey's Formation Tour, which earned about $250 million.

Beyonce's amount was enough to place her atop Forbes' highest paid women in music list that was released in November. The music heavyweight had come out ahead of peers such as Adele and Taylor Swift.

Drake came in third place with $94 million, mostly due to his Boy Meets World Tour, followed by The Weeknd with $92 million and band Coldplay with $88 million.

Four of the top five entries are notably made up of musicians of color. The list is also dominated by males with only five females placing among the top 25 highest paid musicians.

Iconic rock band Guns N' Roses enjoyed a highly successful comeback tour that helped them amass $84 million. That was good enough to earn them a sixth place spot on the list, which is higher than Justin Bieber, who came in seventh with $83.5 million.

Touring was a major source of revenue for almost every musician on the top 25 list except for Jimmy Buffet, who came in 15th with $50 million, mostly due to his Margaritaville brand, which includes hotels and restaurants.

"Artists don't really make the money off the music like we did in the Golden Age," said The Weeknd, who came in fourth on the list with $92 million. "It's not really coming in until you hit the stage."

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