The Police top 10 richest music stars of 2008

The Police: Loaded
The Police: Loaded

P Diddy recently complained about the escalating price of oil forcing him to ditch his private jet in favour of a first class seat on a commercial airline. Diddy, in first class? Whatever next? That injustice, mixed with today's "dire" state of music sales, almost makes us feel sorry for our musical heroes. Almost…

According to Forbes Magazine, The Police brought home a massive $115 million in 12 months - almost exclusively from ticket sales. Beyonce Knowles follows up the rear with a cool $80 million, thanks mainly to her entertainment empire, publishing deals and product endorsements.

In fact, actual music sales barely garner a mention in the top ten. Ticket sales, fashion lines, TV commercials and even restaurant chains are the real bread winners for today's biggest stars.

Still, from the perspective of the music industry, it's heartening to see that hard-working musicians can still make the most cash from touring.

Top 10 highest earners

1. The Police - $115 million
2. Beyonce Knowles - $80 million
3. Toby Keith - $48 million
4. Justin Timberlake - $44 million
5. Madonna - $40 million
7. Rascal Flatts - $40 million
8. Van Halen - $35 million
10. Gwen Stefani - $27 million

The cash kings of hip-hop were published in a separate list last month. Sting and co's takings almost pail in comparison to 50 Cent's $150 million. Mind you, the rapper did have a stake in VitaminWater, sold to Coca-Cola for $4.1 billion. P Diddy might want to take some notes. He's only third…

1. 50 Cent - $150 million
2. Jay-Z - $82 million
3. P Diddy - $35 million
4. kanye West - $30 million
5. Timbaland - $22 million
6. Pharrell Williams - $20 million
7. Swizz Beatz - $17 million
8. Snoop Dogg - $16 million
9. Dr Dre - $15 million
10. Ludacris - $14 million

Tom Porter worked on MusicRadar from its mid-2007 launch date to 2011, covering a range of music and music making topics, across features, gear news, reviews, interviews and more. A regular NAMM-goer back in the day, Tom now resides permanently in Los Angeles, where he's doing rather well at the Internet Movie Database (IMDB).