Dr. Dre can easily bank on being Forbes highest-paid musician of 2014.
The self-proclaimed “first billionaire of hip-hop,” producer and mogul leads the magazine’s annual earnings list with $620 million before taxes, which he primarily amassed not from his music but from his $3-billion Beats deal with Apple in June.
In 2012, the rapper was also No. 1, but this year’s haul dwarfs 2012’s paltry $110 million. Not surprisingly, the Compton-bred rapper has plenty of dough to build a mammoth studio under his $40-million Brentwood mansion.
The financial magazine tallied earnings from June 2013 to June 2014 by mining data and talking to in-the-know managers, lawyers, executives and even some artists. Pre-tax income from touring, recorded music, publishing, merchandise sales, endorsements and other ventures rounded out the sums, the mag said.
Trailing much further behind him is Mrs. Carter: Beyonce Knowles. The Destiny’s Child alum reportedly earned $115 million thanks to sales from her surprise album “Beyonce,” the “Mrs. Carter Show” tour and deals with Pepsi and H&M.
The Grammy-nominated diva was the only woman to make the top 10 this year, and she clinched the top spot on the magazine’s Celebrity 100 fame-meter. However, her husband, Jay Z, earned $60 million and tied for No. 12 with mogul Diddy and R&B impresario Bruno Mars.
Last year, the No. 1 spot went to Madonna, who reportedly earned $125 million. But the Material Girl didn’t even reach the top 30 this year, though she still made double-digit millions.
Also, dropping significantly was Mother Monster Lady Gaga, who earned $33 million — that after securing No. 2 last year with $80 million.
Behind Dre and Bey were the Eagles, who earned $100 million, rocker Bon Jovi with $82 million and the Boss, Bruce Springsteen, with $81 million.
Justin Bieber raked in $80 million, and British boy band One Direction made off with $75 million. Rounding out this year’s top 10 were former Beatle Paul McCartney ($71 million), EDM DJ Calvin Harris ($66 million) and country crooner Toby Keith ($65 million).
Alas, ultra-popular and newly minted pop star Taylor Swift shook off only $64 million, which dropped her to No. 11.
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Cha-ching. Follow me on Twitter @NardineSaad.