Music | February 14, 2023 1:03 pm

Somehow, Genesis Were the Top-Earning Entertainers of 2022

Taylor Swift is the only female performer to crack the top 10

Tony Banks, Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford of Genesis.
Tony Banks, Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford of Genesis.

You might assume, based on their massive record sales or lucrative tours, that a pop star like Taylor Swift or Olivia Rodrigo raked in more money than any other entertainer in 2022. But surprisingly, it’s actually aging rock stars who nabbed the top two spots on Forbes’s annual list of the highest-earning entertainers, thanks in part to huge sales of their song catalogs.

Genesis tops the list, buoyed by the sale of their catalog — which does not include former member Peter Gabriel’s work — and the estimated $27 million they earned from touring. They’re followed closely by Sting, who also inked a deal with Universal Music Group to sell his entire songwriting catalog. Interestingly, Swift is the only female performer to crack the top 10; she earned $92 million in 2022, mostly from album sales and streaming. Expect her to rank much higher on this year’s list once she hits the road on her highly anticipated “Eras” tour.

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The Rolling Stones and Bad Bunny were the other two musical acts to crack the top 10. Tyler Perry pulled in a whopping $175 million in 2022, though as Forbes points out, he earned most of his money from off-screen business ventures rather than his movies. South Park‘s Trey Parker and Matt Stone and The Simpsons creators James L. Brooks and Matt Groening all found themselves on the list due to major streaming deals involving their shows. And, of course, James Cameron is on the list thanks to his Avatar sequel The Way of the Water, which has grossed over $2.1 billion to date.

Check out the complete list of 2022’s biggest earners from the world of entertainment below.

Highest-Paid Entertainers of 2022:
1. Genesis – $230M
2. Sting – $210M
3. Tyler Perry – $175M
4. Trey Parker & Matt Stone – $160M
5. James L. Brooks & Matt Groening – $105M
6. Brad Pitt – $100M
7. The Rolling Stones – $98M
8. James Cameron – $95M
9. Taylor Swift – $92M
10. Bad Bunny – $88M