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2015 Rank: 4 B at 2. 2M 3. 4M 4. 0M 2015 Rank: – The British superstar wowed the industry the old-school way — by moving records. 5 million copies of 25, making her the top-selling act of 2015 and the only artist on the list who didn’t tour. 9M 2015 Rank: 6 Joel held his year-to-year standing on this ranking thanks almost entirely to live gigs. Ninety-five percent of his earnings came from just 29 shows, including his monthly Madison Square Garden residency. 8M 1. 3M Bryan isn’t just one of the top live acts in music.
7 million in touring revenue accounted for the lion’s share of her 2015 haul, but Ryan Adams’ stark reinterpretation of her 1989 album also helped make her the top earner of publishing royalties. 6M 2015 Rank: – 8 Swift onstage in Nashville in 2015. 6M TOP 10 SA L E S 2015 Rank: 1 2015 Rank: – The Big Revival turned out to be an apt name for Chesney’s 2015 tour. 1 million playing for his Barefoot Nation fans. S. leg of its On the Road Again Tour. Box office eclipsed other revenue categories, but the band was the fifthhighest earner in the streaming category.
For an act without an album, she sold a respectable 923,000 digital tracks, generated 350 million streams and earned her songs $500,000-plus in publishing royalties. She reaped only $31,000 of that though, because she uses outside songwriters. 0M 2015 Ranking: 22 Even though Church’s fifth album, Mr. 7 million digital tracks from his catalog. 5 0 B I L L B OA R D | M AY 1 4 , 2 0 1 6 26 6. 5M 7. 8M 2015 Ranking: – Midler’s fans may be digitally challenged — she generated just 10 million streams, the lowest of anyone on this list — but they love her live, which is why her touring revenue accounted for 97 percent of her earnings.