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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Celine Dion tops Ultimate Top 10 album and concert sales for the decade

    What’s the formula for success in the rapidly shifting music business? Roll the dice, then stay put.

    That combination put Celine Dion atop the ultimate edition of our annual Ultimate Top 10 list, a ranking that combines artists’ album sales revenue with their take at the box office.

    Dion earned the title of Ultimate Top 10 champ for the decade that recently ended, thanks in large part to the money she piled up from her five-year engagement at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, where audiences are used to paying big bucks for big stars. Her gamble to perform in one place for an extended period paid off big for the Canadian pop diva.

    The Ultimate Top 10 isn’t meant to be the final word on artists’ finances. With merchandising, product endorsements, song placements in movies and TV shows, ring tones, Web site subscriptions and other income sources, musicians today have seemingly limitless ways to bring in money. But by combining two of the biggest revenue sources, the Ultimate Top 10 is a good indicator of which artists fans are spending the most money on.

    The overall decade results suggest there’s still considerable long-term value in allowing artists time to build extensive catalogs and encouraging them to support those recordings by touring regularly.

    The Ultimate Top 10 of the Decade:

    1. Celine Dion, $747.9 million

    Dion pulled in $522.2 million in concert-ticket sales for the decade. Adding $225.7 million worth of album sales during those same 10 years, she trumped all comers.

    2. Kenny Chesney, $742 million

    Close behind Dion was this road warrior, who toured hard and promoted records the old-fashioned way year in and year out. His total includes $455.6 million in concert ticket sales and $286.4 million in album revenue.

    3. Dave Matthews Band, $737.4 million

    Matthews’ decade concert total of $529.1 million put him first on the list of top North American live music attractions of the decade, as calculated by the concert-tracking publication Pollstar. The band posted $208.3 million in album sales.

    4. The Beatles, $627.3 million

    Although the quartet disbanded 30 years before the decade began, the Beatles still managed to generate $392.3 million from sales of 30.2 million albums (using an average of $13 per album). We folded in the individual box office figures racked up by ex-Beatle Paul McCartney ($221.4 million) and Ringo Starr ($13.6 million), given that their concert audiences consist in large part of Beatles fans. The Fab Four also logged the single best-selling album of the decade, the “”1″” hits collection, with 11.5 million copies. And counting.

    5. U2, $609.7 million

    The Irish quartet brought in $391 million at the box office and $218.7 million in album sales.

    6. Toby Keith, $591.9 million

    The second of three country acts in the Top 10, the Oklahoma singer-songwriter logged $273.8 million on the concert trail, $318.1 million from album sales.

    7. Bruce Springsteen, $588.3 million

    On the road, both with the E Street Band and his various non-E Street tours, the Boss brought in $444.3 million. His album take: $144 million.

    8. The Rolling Stones, $569.6 million

    The Stones also benefited heavily from touring, earning $426.9 million at the box office in addition to $142.7 million in album sales.

    9. Tim McGraw, $550.7 million

    Strictly as a solo act, the country singer-songwriter ranks No. 14 on the list. But he toured several times with his wife, Faith Hill, during the decade. California being a community property state, we are awarding him half the revenue those outings generated. So his total includes $322 million in album sales, $133.7 million from his own tours and $95 million for his half of the McGraw-Hill shows.

    10. Britney Spears, $494.3 million

    Despite a rocky decade personally and professionally, Spears pulled in $195.7 million at the box office and sold $298.6 million worth of albums for the 10-year period.

    The decade’s top album seller was Eminem, the rapper who posted $419 million from sales of 32.2 million albums, according to Nielsen SoundScan. But because he toured sporadically, he was able to add only $40.8 million to his Ultimate Top 10 total, which places him at No. 14; he is the sole hip-hop artist in the Top 20.


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