Surprise, Surprise: U2 Named World's Top-Earning Musicians

Surprise, Surprise: U2 Named World's Top-Earning Musicians
Bono may have spent the past couple of months laid up following back surgery, but that hasn't stopped U2 from being this year's high-earning band. According to Forbes, the Irish rockers were the world's best-paid musicians for the period from June 2009 to June 2010, earning $130 million.

The bulk of the band's money came from their 360° Tour, which ended up being a massive success despite initial reports that it wasn't making any money. Although the shows cost nearly $1 million a night to put on, Forbes reveals that the band pulled in an average of $10 million in ticket sales with each stop.

Wealthy though they may be, U2 do sometimes share the wealth: last year, they lent Coldplay their private jet. Talk about generous!

Also on the list were AC/DC ($114 million), Beyoncé Knowles ($87 million) and Bruce Springsteen ($70 million). See the full top ten at the bottom of the page.

As Forbes notes, don't be surprised if earnings aren't as high next year. Not only do CD sales continue to plummet, but the live music industry shrunk by 17 percent this year, a trend that is expected to continue.

Top earners from June 2009 to June 2010:

1. U2 ($130 million)
2. AC/DC ($114 million)
3. Beyoncé Knowles ($87 million)
4. Bruce Springsteen ($70 million)
5. Britney Spears ($64 million)
6. Jay-Z ($63 million)
7. Lady Gag ($62 million)
8. Madonna ($58 million)
9. Kenny Chesney ($50 million)
10. (Tie) Black Eyed Peas ($48 million)
10. (Tie) Coldplay ($48 million)
10. (Tie) Toby Keith ($48 million)