Forbes Top Earning American Idols 2011

arrives at Fox's "American Idol" season 10 finale results show held at Nokia Theatre LA Live on May 25, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.

Oh Goodie. Forbes magazine has updated their Top Earning American Idols list. Here’s the latest:

1. Carrie Underwood – 20 million
2. (tie) Adam Lambert and Chris Daughtry – 6 million
4. Fantasia Barrino – 4 million
5. Jordin Sparks – 3 million
6. Kelly Clarkson – 2.5 million
7. Jennifer Hudson – 2 million
8. Kellie Pickler – 1.8 million
9. Clay Aiken – 1.5 million
10. (tie) Katharine McPhee, David Archuleta, David Cook – 1 million

Recent contestants Kris Allen, Lee DeWyze, Crystal Bowersox and Ruben Studdard narrowly missed the list this year.

The top ten money-making Idol alums combined to earn $50 million over the past year alone.

These numbers are based on estimated pretax income earned from May 2010 to May 2011, before subtracting agent and manager fees. The totals were compiled with the help of data from Pollstar, RIAA and others, as well as extensive interviews with industry insiders including managers, concert promoters, publicists, agents and, in some cases, the musicians themselves.

Play nice.

  • lorismile

    Thanks MJ for the information in the introduction. I was wondering how they determined everyone’s income.

    Glad to see Adam on the list. He worked very hard last year on his tour and I’m happy to see it paid off.

  • CindyM

    That’s a lot of medges!!

  • Kirsten

    Carrie – I can totally see at the top of the chart. It is the one thing I would be certain about.

    Daughtry – again, makes sense.

    Fantasia – has her show and keeps surprising people with her success (but not me, I know not to bet against her by now)

    But Jordin? How is she making more moolah than Kelly Clarkson? Kelly actually has a hit on the radio and is selling downloads. Jordin has done a few tour dates but surely it isn’t paying that well?

    And Clay? His tour didn’t do all that well. $1.5M and he’s practically a hermit? How does do that?

    In other news, I think Lee is the first winner not to make the list the following year…..

    Oh, and Carrie looks gorgeous in that picture.

  • girlygirl

    Good to see so many ex-Idols are doing so well for themselves

    I wonder if the near misses ( Kris, Lee, Crystal and Ruben) are listed in order of where they’d be on this list? I’m guessing probably?

  • mmb

    As I remind peeps every year these lists come out is to please take them with a whopping grain of salt. I can tell you from experience that Forbes rarely has full information and their calculations should not be taken as the gospel truth

  • tripp_ncwy

    In other news, I think Lee is the first winner not to make the list the following year…..

    Lee is the first winner to not earn at least a million in their first year after winning the show.

  • McCreerian

    I wonder where Scotty, Pia, and Lauren will be for next year on that list.

  • saga

    “The people that win American Idol are put into 360-degree deals that are much different than a typical deal,” says Kluger. “They’re not getting the same situation an artist like Beyonce would … once you’re hot, though, the dynamic changes.”

    I though the sony contracts were not 360 deals, so is this something new with interscope?

  • tomr

    So pleased about Kellie. Some of us never doubted her potential. It will be interesting to see if Scott makes this list sometime in the next few years.

  • JazzRocks

    Grain of salt and all I’m super happy to see Adam sharing the #2 spot with Daughtry. With his record sales (including the remixes, EP, GNT, etc) this doesn’t seem farfetched to me at all. And his nearly sold out national & international tour with the large merchandise sales? Yep. I can buy this. I hope it’s true.

    I guess the one I’d question would be Clay. He doesn’t seem to have much going on and his tour wasn’t successful. But then I’m pretty clueless about his career.

  • HotHotHot

    Yay for Adam! He worked his tail off for it!

  • workdog

    Play nice.

    Aw, MJ, you eternal optimist, you.:-)

    I could totally believe most of those, based on who was touring, who had music out, etc. I don’t think it indicates future earnings, necessarily, especially those that will have new projects upcoming.

    I’m just happy for them that they are making it work (tm Tim Gunn) and continuing to do something they love.

    Exact or not, the money is still more than I make.:-)

  • saga

    Does anyone remember what Cook and Kris got in album advances (first album)?

  • adolf_hipster

    How much are the agent/manager’s fees? 20-30%?

  • lili_anne7

    Fantasia – has her show and keeps surprising people with her success (but not me, I know not to bet against her by now)

    ITA, Fantasia is one of the most underrated idols. The girl is successful in her niche, has a stable career, is critically acclaimed, and she just won a grammy.

  • girlygirl

    I think Clay does a lot of speaking engagements, doesn’t he? On top of all his acting and music stuff? He probably gets paid well for a lot of those. So I’m not surprised he still makes a very nice living.

    I’m a little surprised to see Jordin ahead of Kelly on this list, and I’m a little surprised Kat made that much (wonder if they are ounting her salary from this t.v. series she’s doing?), but that’s about it

  • Buffynut

    But Jordin? How is she making more moolah than Kelly Clarkson? Kelly actually has a hit on the radio and is selling downloads. Jordin has done a few tour dates but surely it isn’t paying that well?

    It kind of seems to me, that perhaps record sales are not in these figures. Almost looks like they used concerts, merchandise, and appearance fees. Kelly didn’t really tour, so that may be why hers is lower. And Jordin? Who knows? Maybe she gets a high fee when she sings the SSB? Does she have endorsements? Ya, the Jordin one is the only one that is a head scratcher for me. The others are pretty obvious, IMO.

  • theonlygirl

    I’m happy for all the Idols. Carrie works her ass off constantly, and even though I don’t follow her because I’m not a country fan, she looks GORGEOUS doing it.

    I’m most happy for Adam. He worked his ass off too last year and I’m glad he’s raking in the fruits of his work.

  • phil25

    I’m thinking that maybe broadway deals pay a lot, especially if you’re the star. Didn’t both Jordin and Clay headline shows this year?

    ETA: I agree with those that say that Fantasia’s success is underrated.

  • JazzRocks

    Lyndsay Parker mentioned Adam’s international record sales as well. That’s something I hadn’t thought of.

  • Trina

    Adam sure worked hard touring all over the world so those are nice figures! I still don’t know how Clay made all that. The lists always make sense until I see what he’s earning.

  • MorningGlory

    I thought Kris might make the list since he opened for all those big acts last summer. Do opening gigs not pay very much?

  • JazzRocks

    I’m thinking that maybe broadway deals pay a lot, especially if you’re the star. Didn’t both Jordin and Clay headline shows this year?

    I’m not so sure BW pays all that much. If it did I expect Constantine would be on the list as he headlined ROA it’s entire run – not just some short-run guest thing.

  • Elliegrll

    But Jordin? How is she making more moolah than Kelly Clarkson? Kelly actually has a hit on the radio and is selling downloads. Jordin has done a few tour dates but surely it isn’t paying that well?

    Jordin also had her own perfume, and at one point wasn’t she the spokesperson for some other products? I think I remember her doing something involving cosmetics.

  • phil25

    Do opening gigs not pay very much?

    I don’t think so. It depends on the tour of course, but it’s more about getting your name out there. Regardless, Kris is doing well for himself to be making that much two years out from the show with no new music. I think he’ll be on the list next year.

  • Milly21

    OMG i’m sooo thrilled for Adam! He’s worked so very very hard!!! glad to see it’s been paying off!! :’)

    Happy for the others too! I’m actually a little bit surprised that Jennifer Hudson’s numbers are so low tho tbh.

    I’m actually not that surprised by Clay’s numbers. he still gets gigs here and there and does do a lot of speaking arrangements like someone else mentioned.

  • Weebs787

    Good for Fantasia and Kellie! And all the rest too!

    This just solidifies the notion that touring is where acts make the bulk of their money.

    I’m actually more surprised with J-Hud’s figures, I thought it’d be higher. Movies usually pay pretty well, especially one would think with an Oscar on her side. Plus the Weight Watchers deal and music. I wonder if she lost money on the canceled tour? (she did do that right? I didn’t make that up? lol)

  • Kirkee

    Interesting that 7 out of the 12 mentioned didn’t even win the show.

    I wonder if the near misses ( Kris, Lee, Crystal and Ruben) are listed in order of where they’d be on this list? I’m guessing probably?

    I was kind of assuming that Lee would have been next since he won the show last season. But who knows?

  • HermeticallySealed

    Even at the bottom, I don’t think anyone can feel sorry for any of these (even Kris, Lee, Crystal and Ruben) as they seem to have done much better than most people in the country. Grats to them all for doing what they want in life and making money too. ^^

  • goboywonder

    Congratz to all those who made the list, those who almost made the list, and the rest who no doubt made way more than I did. :mrgreen:

  • JudyOhio

    Jordin had a clothing line, not sure if she is still doing that.

  • dy77

    I don’t see any big surprises here, except maybe the big drop from #1 to #2, but I suspect a lot of us would be quite satisfied with what Daughtry and Adam earned and they definitely worked hard last year.

    Like said above, they are all doing what they want and making money at it. Lots of us would give our right arm to do that.

  • soverymel

    Wow go Adam! So thrilled for him that all his hard work is paying off.

    And I am positive that my goddess Kelly will be right back ahead of everyone other than Carrie once she drops her new record and starts touring again.

  • Holden

    I’m thinking that maybe broadway deals pay a lot, especially if you’re the star. Didn’t both Jordin and Clay headline shows this year?

    “Spamalot” closed awhile ago, so I doubt Clay is getting credit for that this year. He’s probably getting credit for his acting and his recent tour with Rubin.

    Jordin did a run in “In The Heights,” but I’m not sure how long ago that was. I hear her on the radio quite a bit, and she had a song on the “African Cats” soundtrack. I will still surprised to see her ahead of Kelly.

    Adam may be even more popular overseas than he is in the U.S. I have a friend in Tokyo who tells me he’s a mega-star throughout Asia.

    It’s nice to hear that so many are doing well. They’ve all worked very hard.

  • anovich

    I’m most surprised that Lee didn’t make Top 10 – doesn’t the most recent winner usually end up somewhere on the list with all the promo, etc that comes with the winner’s package. I now he is just outside the Top 10 on the list but still find it surprising he didn’t crack the list ahead of Kat and the Davids.

  • Listening

    Umm Adam Lambert has to be a mistake he hasn’t done anything the most his tour venues were was like 4000. Where is this money coming from his Album sold like 800K. I don’t see 6 million anywhere. I mean I know he did behind the music did they pay him 4 million and the AMA performance was 2 million. I figure that stuff was free just for exposure. Hmmm I recently heard he was endorsing some kind of Asian drink I believe did they pay him 5 million for that. I mean I’m not an Adam Lambert super fan but I think I would of noticed him doing something worth 6 MILLION.

    Don’t get me wrong if it’s true more power to him but how.

  • MorningGlory

    Do opening gigs not pay very much?

    I don’t think so. It depends on the tour of course, but it’s more about getting your name out there. Regardless, Kris is doing well for himself to be making that much two years out from the show with no new music. I think he’ll be on the list next year.

    I think his songwriting skills will help his earnings rise by a LOT this year, not to mention a new album. I’m sure he’ll be on it next year too!

  • SpenserJ

    ETA: I agree with those that say that Fantasia’s success is underrated.

    The thing that always makes me giggle about Fantasia being underestimated, is that she’s one of the few idols who have attained the ever elusive “career outside the bubble”. And, whenever people talk about the successful idols who’ve escaped the bubble, she’s never even mentioned.

    She’s one of the few who has gained acceptance on her actual radio format. As far as staying true to her genre, amongst the AI alumni, she’s one of the handful at the top. She’s an Urban/R&B artist with the respect of PD’s and her peers in the format. Fanny is an Idol success story.

    I’m suprised at Jordin’s placement too. I guess they’re not subtracting how much she’s in the red to her label :).

    I also found Adam’s high placement somewhat surprising. I really had no concept of how well his tour had done. (As in, I knew he was having great attendance – but I had no idea it was raking in those kind of bucks).

    And, YAY for Pickler. She’s so adorable.

  • jpfan

    Not trying to stir the pot but Daughtry gets writer’s royalties each time a song he wrote gets played on the radio (which is alot) and toured larger venues than Adam so I’m surprised their income is the same. But whatever, I’m sure they’re both happy with their share of the pie. ;)

  • HoppersSkippersMiners

    I’m actually kinda surprised that Adam made that much (happy tho’!). The GlamNation Tour was sold out all over the place, but compared to the size of the arenas Carrie and Daughtry were playing, Adam was playing to smaller audiences (and his ticket prices were much lower). Plus, he didn’t make any money on endorsements or any other sidelines. He did lots of photoshoots, but I heard they were gratis – done just for the exposure, not for cash.

    That money he made is seemingly solely from him singing his butt off night after night onstage.

    He’s earned every dime.

  • Elliegrll

    Jordin had a clothing line, not sure if she is still doing that.

    Yes, she had an exclusive deal with some store. I’m trying to remember everything else she’s been involved in, and aside from the perfume, I think she was also doing something involving jewelry, with that same retailer.

  • MorningGlory

    Umm Adam Lambert has to be a mistake he hasn’t done anything the most his tour venues were was like 4000. Where is this money coming from his Album sold like 800K. I don’t see 6 million anywhere. I mean I know he did behind the music did they pay him 4 million and the AMA performance was 2 million.

    Yes, I totally think your figures are correct, I think he should have gotten at LEAST 4 million for behind the music.

  • HoppersSkippersMiners

    Hmmm….wonder how much of Adam’s earnings was merchandise? He *did* sell a hellva lot of T-shirts!

    (keeps mouth shut about how many personally purchased)

  • HR

    Kelly’s last album was released in 2009 and wasn’t on the chart for a year. A few singles have kept her visble but she hasn’t had a tour since her last album cycle ended. Her career has been on hold waiting for RCA to release a new album so her numbers aren’t shocking. Chris concluded his tour early in the cycle Forbes uses to start calculating what they earn so I’m surprised he held up that well. Good for him. I’m mainly happy to see 4 from season 5 on the list. :-D

    I’d like to congratulate Fantasia for continuing to defy the conventionl logic she is a “failure”.

  • Elliegrll

    Not trying to stir the pot but Daughtry gets writer’s royalties each time a song he wrote gets played on the radio (which is alot) and toured larger venues than Adam so I’m surprised their income is the same. But whatever, I’m sure they’re both happy with their share of the pie.

    Unless an artist’s publicist, or the artist himself, tells Forbes the amount that someone is making from their songwriting credits, or private gigs, as well as some endorsements, there’s no way that their figures can be 100% accurate. They also don’t seem to take into account that just because someones tour made X number of dollars, that doesn’t mean that they receive all of that money. Forbes List is a lot different than Billboards, which seemed to do a better job of breaking down how much money actually goes in the artist’s pocket from touring and music sales.

  • adolf_hipster

    I thought Kris might make the list since he opened for all those big acts last summer. Do opening gigs not pay very much?

    I think it depends. Sometimes the label has to pay for the artist to get the spot (on the big tours), even though it is individual. Of course Nicki Minaj for example doesn’t PAY to be on Britney’s tour, because she is a big draw herself and sold 1.5M albums and gazzilion singles. So it depends. Generally if the opener is not a big draw and is on a big arena tour, the label has to pay for the exposure.

    Other times you get all your costs covered and make money from the merch.

    Bscly if you go to a concert and you like the opener, but his T-shirt! They don’t make much money (if any at all) from the ticket sales or CD sales, but they makes 35-45% of the merch sales.

  • Pam

    Wow. Even those listed at the bottom, there earnings are nothing to sneeze at either. That 20 million for Carrie, I would love to be making that kind of money right now. heh

  • MsLynn

    Adam Lambert did 112 concerts, 99% sold out
    You do the math. He earned every penny, he played in every kind of venue, large, small, slaughterhouses.
    Let’s let Forbes have this one , K?

  • lovingadam

    wow!!! happy for adam!!! =)

  • CindyM

    Umm Adam Lambert has to be a mistake he hasn’t done anything the most his tour venues were was like 4000. Where is this money coming from his Album sold like 800K.

    His album sold 817K here in the US, but has sold 1.3 million or more when you include international sales. Those generate income too. Also, he has a lot of singles sales. Private shows, sold out tour, merchandise sales, etc it all adds up. No wonder artists tour so much.

  • LongKissGoodnight

    Shit!
    Never was I so happy for some random millionaire.
    You go Adam! )))))))))

  • JEliz

    Hm, but how much are they making after business expenses and taxes? That is what I’d really like to know.

  • adolf_hipster

    I’m actually more surprised with J-Hud’s figures

    I’m VERY surprised by J-Hud’s numbers. Based on the treatment she’s been getting, she should be up there next to Carrie. heh

  • MorningGlory

    I’m so happy for Kellie Pickler, she’s a really cute girl and so funny. I love that she has made a great career for herself even though she didn’t finish that high her season of Idol.

    I don’t understand Clay’s position on the list, maybe he does a lot of private gigs or something?

  • HoppersSkippersMiners

    Hell – if I had to pull numbers from whence the sun don’t shine, I’d guess that of Adam’s $6M, about $3.5M was from touring, $1.5M was from music, and another $1M from from merchandise, meet n’ greets, etc.

    There is some actual math behind that, but I’m too lazy to copy from Excel. :-)

  • spallook

    For those confused by Jordin’s number:
    Jordin gets $75,000-$125,000 for every appearance she makes
    She had a successful run in “In the Heights” this year
    She started her own award-winning perfume line this year (Because of You)
    Her hit singles continue to get radio play and generate downloads
    She opened for a huge sold out tour (NKOTBSB)

  • pattycake

    Adam’s manager/accountant or whatever the source must be blowing smoke. Prior years which reflected Carrie and Cook tours which were more shows/attendance were not 6m. He sold as many records as Archie and he never made 6m.
    I recall Adam tweeted he rented a new house b/c he could not afford to buy (yet). If these figs were true he could buy-market is down even in Hollywood.

  • 1952

    So much for season 9 being so bad .. Crystal and Lee not doing so bad.

  • saga

    The article actually mentions the succesful GN tour as the biggest source behind Adams numbers.

  • Tess

    Guess we shouldn’t feel to bad about the Davids. Cookie made a million bucks without an album and Archie made the same with an album that failed.

  • theonlygirl

    Except the house he’s renting is at 10k a month ( do not ask how this is public news but it is ) and he said he’s not buying because he doesn’t live in the house for whole months when he’s touring, so he gives up the lease, not because he can’t afford it. Just for accuracy sake.

  • CindyM

    I recall Adam tweeted he rented a new house b/c he could not afford to buy (yet). If these figs were true he could buy-market is down even in Hollywood.

    That’s not what he said. He just said he’s renting for now. He bought his mother a house already.

    I’d say that Adam’s figures are probably as reliable as everyone else’s. I doubt there’s some big conspiracy to make Adam’s numbers look much better. He had a very successful tour, he had international sales, his merchandise sells like crazy and he’s had some great opportunities for one-offs. Who knows how much he was paid for the F1 or Russia concerts?

  • Tess

    Except the house he’s renting is at 10k a month

    Spending 2% of your earnings on a house doesn’t seem to far out of line…especially when most folks spend at least 25%.

  • JazzRocks

    I doubt there’s much “blowing smoke” going on- at least not with Adam’s management. Maybe other places.

  • HR

    Thanks to the comments I just noticed Clay’s numbers. Another one who continues to defy “idol wisdom” of having a dead career? Anyone making over a 1 million these many years later I will not feel sorry for.

  • theonlygirl

    Spending 2% of your earnings on a house doesn’t seem to far out of line…especially when most folks spend at least 25%.

    Yeah well 2% of my earnings is basically 50 bucks so colour me impressed.

  • mickeybordentwo

    There were mobs in front of the merchandise stands at the Adam concerts I attended. Large scary mobs. And there was an endless intermission before Adam came on stage, so why not go back and buy another tee shirt.

    We also don’t know how much various Idolettes get paid for their private/corporate performances, or how many of them they do. Or how much they get paid every time Fox shows a major sporting event and some Idolette warbles The Star Spangled Banner.

    I doubt Lee is returning to life as a paint salesperson. Although I do worry about Charlie from Season 2. He was a grocery bagger before making Idol, and for all I know, he’s returned to packing the cat food.

  • aa618892

    CindyM says:
    07/21/2011 at 5:45 pm

    Umm Adam Lambert has to be a mistake he hasn’t done anything the most his tour venues were was like 4000. Where is this money coming from his Album sold like 800K.

    His album sold 817K here in the US, but has sold 1.3 million or more when you include international sales. Those generate income too. Also, he has a lot of singles sales. Private shows, sold out tour, merchandise sales, etc it all adds up. No wonder artists tour so much.

    We also must remember single sales. Adam has probably sold 5-6 million singles worldwide if not more. That’s at least 6 mil right there.

  • tripp_ncwy

    spallook says:
    She opened for a huge sold out tour (NKOTBSB)

    This tour for Jordin would have fallen outside the window they are looking at. The NKOTBSB didn’t start until June this year.

  • Satanicfloret2

    Hi guys – just a note about GlamNation finances. As you know I did a tracking spreadsheet for the tour and there are a few things to consider…
    1) Adam basically funded it himself so when it was mega successful he reaped the rewards of that! Over 415,000 tickets were sold for the tour. At an average price of $40 thats $16.6M just from the ticket sales. Of course costs have to come out of that, and international tours aint cheap! But you can see where a large chunk of the $6M comes from. All of these facts are readily available from the boxscores info if you want to check.
    2) His album may have only sold 800K in the US but he shifted over 1.2 million worldwide PLUS over 4 million singles. It all adds up!
    3) The merch stalls at the 7 GNT shows I went to were MOBBED and I heard the same story from every person I asked who went to a show on the tour.

  • TurkeyIdol

    Well I think we all know that Forbes is not accurate and is purposely misleading everyone to make Adam Lambert look more successful than he really is! ;)

    Wait for 2012! :)

  • Fullmoon

    I’m very happy for Adam he worked his butt off and my other guy Chris D. Carrie is still killing it. Good for her and Fantasia’s numbers do not surprise me at all. She is so underrated and always felt she should be part of the superstar circle. Not bad for Kelly considering she’s been low key but I bet she’ll be back on top by next year.

  • lorismile

    Prior years which reflected Carrie and Cook tours which were more shows/attendance were not 6m

    Maybe the international fans spend more money? Or maybe his international appearances gets him more dough than the ones Carrie and Cook do in the US.

  • LindaT

    Hi guys – just a note about GlamNation finances. As you know I did a tracking spreadsheet for the tour and there are a few things to consider…
    1) Adam basically funded it himself so when it was mega successful he reaped the rewards of that! Over 415,000 tickets were sold for the tour. At an average price of $40 thats $16.6M just from the ticket sales. Of course costs have to come out of that, and international tours aint cheap! But you can see where a large chunk of the $6M comes from. All of these facts are readily available from the boxscores info if you want to check.
    2) His album may have only sold 800K in the US but he shifted over 1.2 million worldwide PLUS over 4 million singles. It all adds up!
    3) The merch stalls at the 7 GNT shows I went to were MOBBED and I heard the same story from every person I asked who went to a show on the tour.

    You also need to add the sales from other recordings released by Adam during this timeframe:

    – 2 remix EPs (one with WWFM/FYE remixes and another with IIHY remixes)
    – Acoustic Live! EP
    – Glam Nation Live! DVD/CD

    These didn’t sell a ton, but they certainly generated additional income for him.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Didn’t Carrie say that the Forbes’ estimates of earnings are highly exaggerated? I can believe that. I think that Clay may do a lot of private/corporate gigs.

  • Tess

    Yea…Kelly probably made as much in interest from her investments as she did from the income Forbes is declaring.

  • fadetowhite

    I’m sure that Adam’s touring is largely responsible for his numbers, plus I believe his singles in particular have been very successful worldwide.

    I’m pleased for him: he worked hard and has established a great base to move forwards.

    Fantasia’s got a lot of income sources, so that one isn’t surprising; ditto Jennifer Hudson.

    As for Archie and Cook – 1 million dollars is nothing to be crying over IMO, even after you factor in fees. In fact, I’ve got no idea how Cook made 1 million dollars out of doing practically nothing for a year – nothing revenue making that is; I know he was recording the album…

  • Buffynut

    Satanicfloret2 Thanks for the math facts. I’ve seen the spreadsheet for Adam’s concerts before and even without every venue listed, it was lots of millions! Throw in some huge gigs like Montreal and a few others like that and the 6 million does not surprise me at all. International numbers count too!
    Oh and someone mentioned the surprise that Daughtry’s numbers were the same as Adam’s even though Chris played arenas. The answer is probably that Chris did half as many shows as Adam did.

  • Mtlfan

    well done to them!! our idol artists are indeed successful!
    For those who narrowly missed the 1M mark, i say indeed well done, I wouldn’t spit on that kind of income :)

  • Buffynut

    Mtlfan says:

    07/21/2011 at 6:23 pm

    well done to them!! our idol artists are indeed successful!
    For those who narrowly missed the 1M mark, i say indeed well done, I wouldn’t spit on that kind of income

    Exactly! If I just missed that list but was traveling around the country, playing my music to happy fans… I’d be ecstatic!

  • tinawina

    Everyone makes way more money that me! LOL! I’m happy for all of them. Making a living in the industry… that’s what they wanted. And now they have it. :D

  • almondean88

    Just for fun I looked up the last 2 years of the Forbs list, so here they are:

    Earning from album sales, concerts, endorsements and other income for the year from June 1, 2009 through May 2010
    1 Carrie Underwood $13 million
    2 Kelly Clarkson $11.7 million
    3 Chris Daughtry $10.2 million
    4 Kellie Pickler $7.6 million
    5 Jordin Sparks $3.7 million
    6. Jennifer Hudson $3.5 million
    7 David Cook $2.8 million
    8 David Archuleta $2.2 million
    9 Clay Aiken $2 million
    10 Kris Allen $1.7 million
    http://www.forbes.com/2010/05/25/carrie-underwood-clarkson-daughtry-business-entertainment-american-idol.html

    Earning from album sales, concerts, endorsements and other income for the year from June 1, 2008 through May 2009
    1 Carrie Underwood $14 million
    2 Jennifer Hudson $5 million
    3 Kelly Clarkson $4.2 million
    4 Jordin Sparks $3.1 million
    5 Kellie Pickler $2.3 million
    6 Clay Aiken $2.2 million
    7 Chris Daughtry $2 million
    8 David Cook $2 million
    9 David Archuleta $1.3 million
    10 Taylor Hicks $300k
    http://www.forbes.com/2009/05/18/top-earning-american-idols-business-media-idols.html

  • carson

    Oh and someone mentioned the surprise that Daughtry’s numbers were the same as Adam’s even though Chris played arenas. The answer is probably that Chris did half as many shows as Adam did.

    Daughtry played around 110 arena shows in support of their last album. Only half of those are factored into the Forbe figure according to the dates/info listed.

  • teacup

    Queen Carrie! :D

  • adolf_hipster

    Well I think we all know that Forbes is not accurate and is purposely misleading everyone to make Adam Lambert look more successful than he really is!

    I can confirm this. His management really paid Forbes to do this.

    This is the end for him though. I’ve heard next Cook’s and Allen’s paychecks cover ‘trying to make Pia happen’ costs. They are already in red numbers over there. It’s an emergency. The idol adds can get expensive. And there’s a video budget now too.

    But maybe Carrie shows some mercy and drops some cash to keep the Adam machine going. Or maybe Fantasia and Daughtry can help a bit?

    Well we will see, after seeing these numbers i’m really nervous for him right now tbh.

  • newinNM

    I say congrats to all the idols, they are doing what they love, working hard and reaping the benefits!
    A couple of things I found interesting: Daughtry – 53 show = 6 million, Adam – 116 = 6 million, Carrie probably only 3 or 4 =6 million, lol – oh it’s good to be Carrie! :)
    Kris may not have made the top 10 list but if you watch youtubes of his shows or read tweets about song writing sessions, he is one happy boy! (I would include Lee, Crystal and Ruben in this statement too!)
    One more thing, most idols are really good people, very few scandals in the idol world, and I like when good things happen to good people.

  • MorningGlory

    This is the end for him though. I’ve heard next Cook’s and Allen’s paychecks cover ‘trying to make Pia happen’ costs. They are already in red numbers over there. It’s an emergency. The idol adds can get expensive. And there’s a video budget now too.

    Oh no! It’s not fair for Pia’s budget to come from Kris and David Cook’s budget! She didn’t even win Idol, and they are both legitimate winners. If they take money from the winners to support the losers, then I don’t think that’s right!

  • adolf_hipster

    Oh no! It’s not fair for Pia’s budget to come from Kris and David Cook’s budget! She didn’t even win Idol, and they are both legitimate winners.

    lmao never not be funny!

    I could have fun for days with this, but i’m gonna stop now :)

  • soverymel

    Daughtry – 53 show = 6 million, Adam – 116 = 6 million, Carrie probably only 3 or 4 =6 million, lol

    Well you can’t say Adam hasn’t earned it, he worked his butt off LOL.

  • Dakota01

    I’m happy for all the Idols on the list but especially Adam … he’s the “new kid on the block” relative to the others. Good for all of them … living their dreams and making money while doing it. How many of us can say that?

  • didilynn

    I wonder if concert revenues include paid meet & greets? I know Adam sold an awful lot of those, 50 x 50? Something like that I think – they started half-way through tour and I really tried hard to get one but could not :(. So those sold out at $175 ea. and I’m calculating maybe half a mil just for those? Don’t even know how to calculate the merchandise.

    I wonder how much the artist gets for a small tour like Adam did as opposed to an arena tour like Daughtry (I guess he does have to share with his band but then so does Adam) – guess we’ll never know all the details.

    Finally, I went to a Kelly Clarkson concert last year – and I think it was during this period they’re using so not sure why there is no concert revenue for her – it was a pretty small venue, about the size of Adam’s shows IIRC.

  • HR

    No, Carrie had more then 3 or 4 shows. LOL

    windmills would know best but I’m pretty sure she had at least one full arena leg that would have counted in these figures and possibly they include partial numbers from another tour. She had 3 legs to the tour for Play on so maybe 1 and a half or one and third is included here.

    Daughtry ended their arena tour in mid June last year and these figures start from May. I’m sure if someone cares they can find out how many shows that added up to and then they had a few appearances outside of that on a smaller scale.

  • Grammie Kari

    It is nice to see so many Idols have such success. Indeed, the fulfillment of the American Dream. That is income I just could not imagine. I hope they are saving and investing. Buying is so much fun, but later…

  • newinNM

    Daughtry – 53 show = 6 million, Adam – 116 = 6 million, Carrie probably only 3 or 4 =6 million, lol

    Well you can’t say Adam hasn’t earned it, he worked his butt off LOL.

    Agreed, Adam has defiantly earned all the good things coming his way, (as have all the idols) :) It’s just amazing how much Carrie can bring in, that girl is an earning machine!

  • djafan

    Congratz to all the idols who made the list, those who almost made the list, and the rest who no doubt made way more than I did. :mrgreen:

    Ditto lol

    David A, three years in a row, even with the “slow” last year :)

  • newinNM

    HR says:
    07/21/2011 at 6:50 pm

    No, Carrie had more then 3 or 4 shows. LOL

    Sorry I didn’t mean to imply that Carrie only had 3 or 4 shows, just that she probably only needs that many to generate that much money, girls amazing!

    EDT: sorry don’t have that blockquote thing down right but you get my drift! ;)

  • tripp_ncwy

    It will be interesting to see if any of the AI10 idols make the list next year. With Lee not making the list this year even with his larger advance, Scotty will already be starting behind.

  • HR

    I didn’t think you meant any harm. :)

    Just adding details because every year there are questions about why x made this or y didn’t make that and most people don’t follow those who aren’t their favorites closely so they don’t know when tours end or their albums leave the BB 200 and how this affects placements and earnings. This imo is why people continue to be surprised by Fantasia’s numbers since few seem to follow her genre here.

    I’m impressed with Carrie’s figures. She started arena tours during her Carnival Ride era but her figures didn’t really start to explode until this last album cycle. She’s worked hard to reach that level.

  • tomr

    Except for Carrie, I hope that the others invest wisely as they won’t be on the lists of those making a million+ five years from now.

  • Dera

    So happy for Adam! He deserves more than $6 million. For almost 7 months, he slept in the back of the tour bus from city to city, country to country, performed almost every single night; I personally think he deserves more than that. But I’m still so happy for him. Hope his 2nd album will do really well to put him on the same list again next year. I wonder what is the percentage of taxes and business expenses?

  • mari_guerra

    you go Adam!!

  • LaurelG

    Whoa, Adam. It was a very good year.

    1) Adam basically funded it himself so when it was mega successful he reaped the rewards of that! Over 415,000 tickets were sold for the tour. At an average price of $40 thats $16.6M just from the ticket sales.

    This. It’s my understanding that Adam had a different financial arrangement regarding his tour than most of the other Idols. He took more risk and got to keep a bigger share of the profits. Smart move.

    Plus, he worked his butt off, lol.

  • CindyM

    tomr says:
    07/21/2011 at 7:13 pm

    Except for Carrie, I hope that the others invest wisely as they won’t be on the lists of those making a million+ five years from now.

    Can you give me the powerball numbers for Saturday night’s drawing??? Thanks!

  • workdog

    I’m not too sure how far in the future these artists will earn heavily; anything is possible, for sure, and it’s amazing that some who are 8 (!) years out from the AI light are still pulling in some decent green. I mean, really, to earn a million a year in the real world? Serious scratch, even with expenses. It all depends on what they do with it, i.e., invest well, don’t go Hammer crazy, etc. I’m suitably impressed.

    Oh, and y’all do know if those Powerball numbers are provided it’s a given they must be shared, right?:-)

  • Elliegrll

    And yet, Clay is still on the list, despite not having released a hit album in a couple of years.

    I think that they all show that someone doesn’t have to sell millions of records every year in order to lead a very comfortable life in the recording industry. Someone will always be willing to pay them to sing at a private event, festival, or whatever, and the royalties from their music continues to roll in.

  • ituneit

    Kind of surprised Lee Dewyze being that it was his winning year didn’t even make a million. Surprised Fantasia wasn’t higher since she released an album and had a TV show.

  • Q3

    tomr says:
    07/21/2011 at 7:13 pm

    Except for Carrie, I hope that the others invest wisely as they won’t be on the lists of those making a million+ five years from now.

    I’ll put my money on Adam Lambert to be around making millions in 5 years.

    There are certainly no guarantees in this business but Adam has three of the essential elements for long term success — talent, business smarts, and willingness to work really hard.

    There are a few others on that list who will also be around making $1 million + years from now.

    One odd thing is that Lee did not make the list. Has a winner ever failed to make the Forbes Top 10 in their winning year before?

  • aly

    Milly21 says:

    07/21/2011 at 5:18 pm

    OMG i’m sooo thrilled for Adam! He’s worked so very very hard!!! glad to see it’s been paying off!! :’)

    Same here!

  • CindyM

    There are certainly no guarantees in this business but Adam has three of the essential elements for long term success — talent, business smarts, and willingness to work really hard.

    Those aren’t unique to Adam. Most of the idols have those three things. I’m not going to guess about any of them, but I wouldn’t count any of them out! Idol produces some damn talented people.

  • tripp_ncwy

    One odd thing is that Lee did not make the list. Has a winner ever failed to make the Forbes Top 10 in their winning year before?

    Not until Lee. That fact came out in the S8 contract leak related to Kris.

  • ituneit

    That is odd about Lee. I know 2 years ago Kris had all those Ford commercials the Disney thing and a myriad of other gigs from winning the show and he got his $1 million.

  • CindyM

    The Forbes Idol earnings article was featured on Entertainment Tonight. :)

  • Barometz02

    Adam has had a endorsement deal with an Italian watch brand IOION.
    http://i51.tinypic.com/29aqmpt.jpg

  • mmb

    Further to my prior post, Forbes is generally conservative in their estimates. Recently they valued a person at 800mm that most other publications valued at 1 billion. So many of the idols likely made more than the Forbes estimated. Again, these numbers are not the definitive numbers

  • erl

    There are certainly no guarantees in this business but Adam has three of the essential elements for long term success — talent, business smarts, and willingness to work really hard.

    Those aren’t unique to Adam. Most of the idols have those three things. I’m not going to guess about any of them, but I wouldn’t count any of them out! Idol produces some damn talented people.

    Yes, and they all seem to work really hard at what they do and deserve success.

  • Yvonne13

    One more thing, most idols are really good people, very few scandals in the idol world, and I like when good things happen to good people.

    Keeping your nose clean…something money cannot buy. Congrats to all of them for that achievement.

  • Q3

    1) Adam basically funded it himself so when it was mega successful he reaped the rewards of that! Over 415,000 tickets were sold for the tour. At an average price of $40 thats $16.6M just from the ticket sales.

    There is no indication that Adam funded this tour himself. There were promoters involved with this tour. And, actually, it was very similar to what 19 put together for David Cook (excluding the college leg of his tour).

    What Adam did was sellout almost every date which results is substantial payments to the artist, he designed the tour very carefully to control expenses and keep it very profitable, and he shared risk with promoters which results in a larger percentage to the artist.

    He also mixed in some casino and festival concerts that had large guaranteed fees.

    And Adam most certainly did not fund the Asia-Pacific or European parts of the tour.

  • tripp_ncwy

    That is odd about Lee. I know 2 years ago Kris had all those Ford commercials the Disney thing and a myriad of other gigs from winning the show and he got his $1 million.

    Lee would have received the same Disney package that Kris did. The S8 NYTimes article stated that the minimum the winner would earn was 650k just from idol alone. The biggest difference between Kris making the list and Lee not seems to be touring, endorsements and album/single sales.

  • useless

    How the heck did Clay Aiken make that much? Thought he was doing dinner theatre or something like that…

  • soverymel

    Here’s the little segment from Entertainment Tonight on the story.

    http://youtu.be/1YS4NIr06v8

  • Hazehel

    Forbes list is rubbish, has been for years. I can compile a more believable list myself. People get excited by a list of some random numbers just because it has Forbes’ name attached to it. Whatever.

  • tinawina

    Lee would have received the same Disney package that Kris did. The S8 NYTimes article stated that the minimum the winner would earn was 650k just from idol alone. The biggest difference between Kris making the list and Lee not seems to be touring, endorsements and album/single sales.

    They are counting the period from May to May (basically, the winner’s reign) so it does seem that would be the only difference. Still, if the rumors are correct Lee got a fiancee out of the deal, so maybe he walked away with the best prize in Idol history after all. :)

    Yes, I am a romantic at heart. LOL

  • SpenserJ

    For all of the times I’ve said shitty stuff about Kat McPhee, I think I owe it to her to say good job for getting herself back on the list. Actually, I think she’s landed exactly where she belongs. I’m convinced she’ll be a good sitcom actress. It’s a much better fit for her than pop star.

    Her brand of charm works well on the small screen, and it goes without saying that she is ridiculously attractive. If her show is a hit, and she becomes one of the more popular stars in the ensemble, it’s safe to say her contract renegotions will move her even further up the list.

    I’m sure a lot of the numbers could be argued up or down. After all, Forbes doesn’t have their tax returns. A lot of these figures are based on gross revenue, before the Idol has to pay all of the “suits” on their payroll. On the other hand, they do appearances and endorsements that may or may not be counted but could add up to some significant $.

    Several of these ex-idols are quite successful. And, when you think about those that didn’t make the list but are still somehow earning a living in the entertainment business, Idol is really not a bad launching pad at all. They can’t all be successful recording artists. But, the other lesser-known alumni who’ve made a living doing appearances, hosting gigs, working behind the scenes in the biz, etc. are probably still taking home nice paychecks.

  • CindyM

    There is no indication that Adam funded this tour himself. There were promoters involved with this tour. And, actually, it was very similar to what 19 put together for David Cook (excluding the college leg of his tour).

    No indication except that Adam said it himself in his interview with Kidd Kraddick.

  • HappyDaisy

    SpencerJ: But, the other lesser-known alumni who’ve made a living doing appearances, hosting gigs, working behind the scenes in the biz, etc. are probably still taking home nice paychecks.

    Stuff like this? J-Lo’s reported $1M for singing at a wedding.

    http://www.usmagazine.com/moviestvmusic/news/jennifer-lopez-sizzles-in-triumphant-first-post-split-show-2011217

    ETA: J-Hud angered Oprah when she flew off to Texas for a gig.
    ETA: And Pia reportedly made $100,000 on that private gig this year. Will she make the Forbes list next year? :)

  • number8gurl

    There is no indication that Adam funded this tour himself.

    Adam told Kidd Kraddick in Dallas that he bankrolled the tour himself (because the guy asked him). He was hired to play some of the festivals and radio gigs and was paid a guaranteed lump sum of money (I believe the one in Singapore paid 50k) but otherwise the revenues were from ticket sales and merchandise and Adam had to pay the venue rental fees and everyone on the tour from the band members to the dancers to the sound guys to the bus drivers to the guys loading the equipment onto the truck, plus pay the travel expenses, bus rentals, etc. Yes he did manage his budget well but admitted that he had gone over budget on a few things and paid it out of his own personal money because he wanted it but he also gave up his rental house in LA mid-tour to save money. I’m not aware of any sponsors or promoters that he had. There were no logos or anything anywhere on Adam’s tour. As the international leg of the tour was kind of announced as the US tour went along and continued to be successful I would guess that earnings from the US leg were reinvested into the international portion. Still all the same money, not from promoters or sponsors. It was a very successful tour, Adam worked his a-double-s off and deserves this recognition.

  • goboywonder

    Except for Carrie, I hope that the others invest wisely as they won’t be on the lists of those making a million+ five years from now.

    I have no crystal ball to determine who will be making what five years from now (not even myself (although I’m fairly certain it wouldn’t get me anywhere near that list :()), but in addition to being quite talented and looks to have a long and rewarding music career, David A is also quite frugal. In fact there’s a piece on DAOS showing him getting a Costco card.
    http://davidarchuleta.com/home/?p=1025

  • CindyM

    I never read that Adam said he went overbudget on anything. I also thought he said he vacated his rental at the start of the tour since he wasn’t going to be home for a long time. I do agree that he said he bankrolled his tour, he said that on the Kidd Kraddick interview. Lots of great information in that one.

  • Truthiness

    I also thought he said he vacated his rental at the start of the tour since he wasn’t going to be home for a long time.

    I recall him giving up his rental house at the beginning of the tour as well. But that’s just my recollection

  • Kirkee

    Well I think we all know that Forbes is not accurate and is purposely misleading everyone to make Adam Lambert look more successful than he really is!

    I can confirm this. His management really paid Forbes to do this.

    This is the end for him though. I’ve heard next Cook’s and Allen’s paychecks cover ‘trying to make Pia happen’ costs. They are already in red numbers over there. It’s an emergency. The idol adds can get expensive. And there’s a video budget now too.

    But maybe Carrie shows some mercy and drops some cash to keep the Adam machine going. Or maybe Fantasia and Daughtry can help a bit?

    Well we will see, after seeing these numbers i’m really nervous for him right now tbh.

    Best thing I’ve read all week. Hilarious. I’m happy for Adam.

  • ituneit

    He was hired to play some of the festivals and radio gigs and was paid a guaranteed lump sum of money (I believe the one in Singapore paid 50k)

    Close only a half a million off lol! Rick Dees had a melt down of his radio show one morning because he found out Adam Lambert was paid $250k for that half hour daylight concert in Singapore. Then he got the other take for the night befores night-time concert which was estimated at another $300-$400k in US $’s.

    Clay Aiken made the list because of Spam a lot, his tour and various other ventures.

    Daughtry toured with Lighthouse and Carvo

    Carrie – well she did everything

    David A did some touring and a lot of appearances

    Katherine McPhee now has the TV show and it looks like a really good premise. So I’ll bet she’ll move up a lot. I expect Scotty will make next years and maybe Pia too.

    They all worked hard. The ones who didn’t make top 10 worked hard too. It fluctuates every year.

    My only surprise with the list is I think Forbes low balled it. I think some made more if not all made more than reported.

  • Q3

    No indication except that Adam said it himself in his interview with Kidd Kraddick

    Perhaps he said it but there are also promoter comments about the tour that indicate that they funded it — so this is not like the Taylor Hicks self-funded tour.

  • tls62

    Perhaps he said it but there are also promoter comments about the tour that indicate that they funded it.

    Not doubting you at all, did I miss promoters’ names at the concerts? I sort of looked around for that on purpose because I was curious if he had any. I can’t recall seeing one name advertised anywhere. Do you know who they were by chance? Interesting stuff.

  • idolhound2011

    David Cook made 1million doing nothing since 2009. David A made 1 million before he was dropped from label. Lee and Crystal came off american Idol, did a 45 concert tour, and didnt make 1million. NOT BUYING THIS ONE. This stinks of NIGEL.

  • Barb132

    Q3 — where did Adam or anyone else say he had sponsors for the tour? Generally sponsors want some kind of acknowledgment — I can recall nothing of the kind ever being said or in print. All I ever heard were words from Adam’s own mouth that he funded it (perhaps not all, but a lot of it).

    The term you used was promoters — yes, Adam likely had those in the sense that they booked the venues, but they did not bankroll the tour like a title tour sponsor would.

  • number8gurl

    I never read that Adam said he went overbudget on anything. I also thought he said he vacated his rental at the start of the tour since he wasn’t going to be home for a long time.

    You’re probably right about vacating the rental house at the beginning of the tour. I just don’t remember hearing it until a while into the tour. I read somewhere about the comments that he purchased some special items that weren’t in the budget but I don’t recall where I read it.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Clay Aiken made the list because of Spam a lot, his tour and various other ventures.

    Clay released an album, toured with Ruben, had his own solo tour and other ventures, but Spamalot was finished by the end of 2008.

  • number8gurl

    Perhaps he said it but there are also promoter comments about the tour that indicate that they funded it

    Where are these comments you speak of?

    And he did say it. There is a video of the interview with Kidd Kraddick.

    Most artists have to fund their own tours these days unless they have a sponsor and in return for funding the tour they get to have that sponsor’s ugly logo all over the place which is probably why most artists choose to forgo the sponsor. And IF Adam had had a sponsor it would have been called the Adam Lambert Glam Nation Tour brought to you by [insert sponsor name here] but I do believe Adam’s tour was simply called ‘Adam Lambert’s Glam Nation Tour’.

  • soverymel

    I read somewhere about the comments that he purchased some special items that weren’t in the budget but I don’t recall whe

    Pretty sure you read fan and non fan speculation, Adam never said this. Also Adam’s fee for that concert was publicized on the radio and it was higher than that.

  • LaurelG

    I’ve heard next Cook’s and Allen’s paychecks cover ‘trying to make Pia happen’ costs. They are already in red numbers over there. It’s an emergency. The idol adds can get expensive. And there’s a video budget now too.

    LOL. They need to somehow enlist Ryan in the “make Pia happen” campaign. His $61 million could go a long way towards getting a few more adds.

    Seriously, as hard as Adam, Carrie and the others work for their money, no one works harder than Sprinkles. He’s everywhere.

  • Barb132

    The only thing I can recall Adam said about purchasing things not originally in the budget was when he mentioned buying graphics off a web site to be projected on the screen behind him. He said he decided rather late in the game to get them and simply bought them himself.

    That’s hardly the same thing as going over budget. :)

  • Trina

    Of course, its always Nigel and his manipulations anytime there’s something showing any kind of season 9 failure. Is Nigel responsible for Lee’s album flopping too?

    Clay did Spamalot back in 2007 and was in it maybe a year? so he’s no longer making money from that.

  • LindaT

    I read somewhere about the comments that he purchased some special items that weren’t in the budget but I don’t recall where

    Pretty sure you read fan and non fan speculation, Adam never said this. Also Adam’s fee for that concert was publicized on the radio and it was higher than that.

    Actually, in an interview with Michael Slezak in NYC during the tour, Adam told Slezak that he had personally bought from an internet site some of the visuals used as a backdrop on the tour. Here is the interview:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAwmbgxVOX0

    However, I don’t recall that Adam ever said that the tour was over budget. I think Gaga is the one who blew her budget for her tour. :)

  • koshka

    And IF Adam had had a sponsor it would have been called the Adam Lambert Glam Nation Tour brought to you by [insert sponsor name here] but I do believe Adam’s tour was simply called ‘Adam Lambert’s Glam Nation Tour’.

    yep don’t recall hearing about any sort of dancing poptarts. Lol ;) *shrug* I don’t know if this matters all that much.

  • Fullmoon

    Katherine McPhee now has the TV show and it looks like a really good premise.

    I always likes Kat. I think she is going to be someone to watch out for. Success doesn’t come only in being a recording artist for these Idols. It’s good to be multi talented. The entertainment industry is so wide you can make money on songwriting, TV appearance, movie roles, hosting gigs etc…

  • tuti

    why everyone here was so shocked or dont believe adam number here?i heard adam make 4mil only in us and he traveld many countries than other contestents did.australia,singapore,canada,malaysia,philipen and many festivals and russia,scotland,france,england,finland but did he go to german or south africa?
    im happy for all contestent who make the list.

  • jeff2683

    Clay hasn’t done dinner theater, unless it was before he was on Idol and Spam was in 2008. Ruben has been doing dinner theater.

    Carrie seems to be the energizer bunny and just keeps on keeping on.

  • soverymel

    Actually, in an interview with Michael Slezak in NYC during the tour, Adam told Slezak that he had personally bought from an internet site some of the visuals used as a backdrop on the tour.

    Oh yeah he talked about going onto iStock (actually it’s iStockphoto but close Adam) to find just the right images and buying them himself, which cracked me up since it’s a site that as a tightly budgeted freelancer, I use all the time. LOL not exactly breaking the bank.

  • Buffynut

    This is the Kid K interview. Adam does not say he used his own money. Kid says, “I know you risk your own money for a tour, that’s the way the system works now.” Then he goes right into a question about how much more Adam is making than he was in Wicked. Adam never responds to Kid’s initial statement. Seems like people are interpreting things that weren’t said.

    http://youtu.be/NvflG7FHjIw

  • number8gurl

    That money he made is seemingly solely from him singing his butt off night after night onstage.

    He’s earned every dime.

    Adam Lambert did 112 concerts, 99% sold out
    You do the math. He earned every penny, he played in every kind of venue, large, small, slaughterhouses.

    Agreed :)

    Also, not knocking Daughtry at all because I like him and his talent and success is undeniable but in Singapore he went on BEFORE Adam and that may or may not mean that Adam was paid more and/or was the quote, unquote ‘headliner’ at the event. First-hand accounts by fans there confirmed that Adam had a much larger crowd than Daughtry but I feel like Adam has more of an international appeal than Chris, especially in Asia. Just my observation so don’t get me wrong…NOT knocking Daughtry at all. Daughtry played less venues than Adam (per the article) but granted they were larger venues which charge larger fees I’m sure but he could also charge more for tix and/or sell more tix. Daughtry has 2 albums, Adam only has one and, as someone else said, Daughtry’s royalties for songwriting credits may or may not be included in his reported income. My point being, why split hairs? According to Forbes they both earned 6 mil and I know for a fact that Adam worked his butt off and I’m sure Chris did too. Just be happy for them as they are doing what they love, working hard and enjoying their success :)

  • CindyM

    This is the Kid K interview. Adam does not say he used his own money. Kid says, “I know you risk your own money for a tour, that’s the way the system works now.” Then he goes right into a question about how much more Adam is making than he was in Wicked. Adam never responds to Kid’s initial statement. Seems like people are interpreting things that weren’t said.

    Buffy, that’s part 4 of the interview. Adam had already answered the question in Part 1. He says at :20 that he is paying for everything.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/Glamfan2011#p/u/22/2oQU8fhULOQ

  • babyspock

    Do we actually know what the idol contract is like for season 9. Maybe S9’s contract is similar to S10’s therefore Lee’s winner’s payout is much less than Kris’s.

  • SBC

    I don’t believe this. Lee and Crystal came out from idol, paid a recording deal, released their respective albums, had gigs here and there, are making less than the Davids? who really were doing almost nothing. Archie released a book but that’s about it. His album is yet to sell. And Adam didn’t made the list last year? Hmmm…

  • abbysee

    Ruben has been doing dinner theater.

    And a movie and private appearances and festivals, and those concerts with Clay and touring with David Foster. Dinner theater alone doesn’t keep from just making this list! Seems he had just as succesful a year as Lee, Kris, and Crystal!

    The only thing I am surprised about is Jennifer Hudson. I thought all of those one of’s that she’s always doing paid a handsome sum. Otherwise more power to all the idols who made or just made the list. We should all be so lucky.

    ETA: of course some of these are funky numbers but it’s fun to speculate, where and how.

  • mmb

    “Lee and Crystal came out from idol, paid a recording deal, released their respective albums, had gigs here and there, are making less than the Davids? who were really doing almost nothing. Archie released a book but that’s about it. His album is yet to sell. And Adam didn’t made the list last year? Hmmm… ”

    The davids had some concerts at bigger venues than crystal and lee, their prior albums and singles continued to sell and they had new product to sell as well. Adam was #11 on the list last year and had not started touring yet. Nit a surprise that he would move way up the list this year given the success of the tour ( plus continued cd and ep and DVD and single sales worldwide). I don’t think the rankings are surprising.

  • Kitwana

    SBC says:
    07/21/2011 at 10:07 pm
    I don’t believe this. Lee and Crystal came out from idol, paid a recording deal, released their respective albums, had gigs here and there were, making less than the Davids? who were really doing almost nothing. Archie released a book but that’s about it. His album is yet to sell. And Adam didn’t made the list last year? Hmmm…

    As I recall, under Idol contracts, advances get really large after the 2nd album. Although Shirley Halperin will never admit it, The Other Side of Down is David A’s 3rd album for Jive. His second album, Christmas from the Heart, also sold another 50k last Christmas and since it was filled with songs where copyright has expired, it was likely very lucrative.

    David C delivered his 2nd album and the advance would also be larger than that for Lee or Crystal’s first album.

  • Buffynut

    Buffy, that’s part 4 of the interview. Adam had already answered the question in Part 1. He says at :20 that he is paying for everything.

    Thanks, Cindy. I remember that part of the interview, now that I see it again, but interpreted it differently. I always thought he meant, it’s his tour, he’s the star, he’s making the money, he has people on his payroll. I just never thought that he had enough money to bankroll the start of a tour. Figured it was 19 and RCA that did that. I guess it’s just semantics! All I know is that 6 million dollars is very nice! (Oh, wouldn’t AEG and Live Nation be considered promoters?)
    I would imagine, that since he is not doing any tour this year except for a few one offs (which I’m sure have paid really well) that next year his income might be less. Although, since he may have 1/2 a year of touring by May of 2012; plus a new album and several singles by then, it could be more! :)

  • JOJOSIE

    I too really don’t think Adam bankrolled his tour. He’s with 19 and I think they played a part. In the interview I think he means that from what he makes gross he then has to pay his tour expenses. Tayor Hicks was not with 19. He did the Ford commercial and took an advance on a book he was writing to finance his solo tour. He had a band, one backup singer no costuming or set expenses, no airfares, etc. He also was the winner, had more money from Idol and didn’t even make a music video. The man was fugal. Saying that I do believe Adam made mega bucks in the end. I saw on another site awhile back that he was worth five million.

  • n3mover

    And Clay? His tour didn’t do all that well. $1.5M and he’s practically a hermit? How does do that?

    Clay did two tours in that time period.

    I guess the one I’d question would be Clay. He doesn’t seem to have much going on and his tour wasn’t successful. But then I’m pretty clueless about his career.

    See above.

    Very happy to see Kellie Pickler’s numbers. She deserves it. Fantasia went through some very tough financial times so I’m please that she is doing so well now. As for Ruben, I love the guy and hope that next year he’ll be there, but to just miss the list is still pretty darn good!

  • tuti

    isnt daughtry is succesful idol after carrie,im surprisedhes not making the same money as carrie.carrie shes one puma lady.

    if adam amas gone well,and hes album songs and cover was well im sure he would make 11-13 or more million$ for sure.

  • hoodathunk

    Taylor Hicks has to be the most overlooked idol ever on this list. He would have been solidly in the top 2 or 3 in 2006 when he won & did the Ford commercial. Same with 2007 when he did the huge tour. When they started the list in 2008, he had done Grease for 3 months and made the list, ironically on his lowest earning year ever. Then somehow in the past few years, Forbes has totally disregarded the $3.5 million (according to Popeater) he made during the Grease tour. I guess that’s what happens when your manager is in Alabama instead of in the LA or NY hype machine. I guess at least he’s still laughing all the way to the bank.

  • number8gurl

    yep don’t recall hearing about any sort of dancing poptarts. Lol

    haha thank goodness. I don’t think Adam would ever sell out like that.

    *shrug* I don’t know if this matters all that much.

    Apparently it does since the whole theme of this thread has become about people questioning Adam’s earnings and his fans defending him. If it were anyone else besides Adam in that tie with Daughtry people would just say congratulations.

    This is the Kid K interview. Adam does not say he used his own money. Kid says, “I know you risk your own money for a tour, that’s the way the system works now.” Then he goes right into a question about how much more Adam is making than he was in Wicked. Adam never responds to Kid’s initial statement. Seems like people are interpreting things that weren’t said.

    Kidd Kraddick is a well-known, major market radio personality. I’m sure he knows how the “system works”. Are you saying that Kidd Kraddick is lying or are you saying that it’s not true just because Adam didn’t say “Yes I invested 500k of my own money in this tour and I’m currently broke”? And Adam DID respond to the statement. He said “yeah I don’t think I’m getting paid *laughs*”. And I’m going from memory on this, I didn’t watch the video again.

  • Buffynut

    JOJOSIE says:

    07/21/2011 at 10:31 pm

    I too really don’t think Adam bankrolled his tour. He’s with 19 and I think they played a part. In the interview I think he means that from what he makes gross he then has to pay his tour expenses.

    That’s the way I interpreted it too. It’s probably just semantics and we all really mean the same thing. We
    are just saying it differently.
    Like I said earlier, 6 million is very nice. And Damn, Carrie! Wow!

    ETA: No, not saying that KK lied! Just saying Adam didn’t say he bankrolled his tour. CindyM posted another clip though. I think it’s up for interpretation as I stated above.

  • McCreerian

    As soon as I saw there were over 150 comments, I knew it was about Adam >_<

  • Marie23

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oQU8fhULOQ&feature=player_embedded#at=37

    Well according to the beginning of this, I guess Adam did say that he pays for everything.

    But help correct me if I’m wrong, but I remember seeing some AEG, and Budweiser signs on some of the venues/tickets, wouldn’t that be considered a promoter or sponsor?

  • milwlovesadam

    Good for all of them, honestly. BTW, haven’t read the whole thread, but, May 2010 to May 2011 doesn’t include Adam’s Glamnation Tour. I’m personally quite proud to have made my own very significant donation to the Lambert Fund. Five concerts in three states, including Hawaii. Way to go BB!

  • Desdemona

    I am getting the BIGGEST kick out of just how wonderfully fabulously awesomely talented and smart and hard-working Adam is and used his own money to fund his tour even! What a guy!

  • Buffynut

    BTW, haven’t read the whole thread, but, May 2010 to May 2011 doesn’t include Adam’s Glamnation Tour.

    Yes, it does. June 2010 to Dec 2010 was Glam Nation. Jan 2011 to May 2011 was no tour though. Did you make a typo maybe?

  • Q3

    Here is the Kidd Kraddick interview — Adam does not say that he funded his tour. Kidd Kraddick says….”it’s to the point where you risked your own money on this tour. That’s how it works these days. ….”

    Adam never confirms he has funded anything.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvflG7FHjIw&feature=player_embedded

    As far as I can tell based on info from credible public sources, Adam did most of the tour dates with no guarantee in exchange for a higher percentage of the gross and a bonus over a certain percentage sold — but did not personally finance his tour in any substantial way.

    ETA: We know that it was Adam’s tour and he payed all the musicians, dancers, crew, drivers, everything from his portion of the gross receipts but that is different the financing the tour. Promoters were involved and they fronted the money for the tour. Adam accepted the risk that he could sell enough tickets cover expenses or he could end up with nothing. But that is how tours work.

    That is quite different that Taylor Hick’s self-financed tour where he fronted all the money, paid for promotion and paid for everything else.

  • Fullmoon

    McCreerian says:
    07/21/2011 at 10:40 pm

    As soon as I saw there were over 150 comments, I knew it was about Adam >_<

    Lol. Yes, and I want to know why??? Let’s just say Adam isn’t starving. Those $600 medges boots said so. That beautiful home at $10k a month with its own infinity pool tells me so. Also there are others on the list. I really would like to know about Kelly. That breakaway album is still selling. Wow at Jordan Sparks who knew.

  • Buffynut

    Q3 says:

    07/21/2011 at 10:52 pm

    Here is the Kidd Kraddick interview — Adam does not say that he funded his tour. Kidd Kraddick says….”it’s to the point where you risked your own money on this tour. That’s how it works these days. ….”

    Adam never confirms he has funded anything.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvflG7FHjIw&feature=player_embedded

    As far as I can tell based on info from credible public sources, Adam did most of the tour dates with no guarantee in exchange for a higher percentage of the gross and a bonus over a certain percentage sold — but did not personally finance his tour in any substantial way.

    He says more in this part, Q3. But I still don’t consider what he said as funding his own tour. I see it as ‘there is a gross from the tour and expenses come out of that gross, including everyone’s pay checks.’ Like I said, I think it’s just semantics.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/Glamfan2011#p/u/22/2oQU8fhULOQ

  • CindyM

    Q3 says:
    07/21/2011 at 10:52 pm

    Here is the Kidd Kraddick interview — Adam does not say that he funded his tour. Kidd Kraddick says….”it’s to the point where you risked your own money on this tour. That’s how it works these days. ….”

    Adam never confirms he has funded anything.

    As I posted, that’s Part 4 of the interview. Watch Part 1. He says that he doesn’t get paid, he’s paying for all the shows. I’m paying everyone else.” It starts at :20.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/Glamfan2011#p/u/22/2oQU8fhULOQ

  • Buffynut

    Fullmoon says:

    07/21/2011 at 10:54 pm

    McCreerian says:
    07/21/2011 at 10:40 pm

    As soon as I saw there were over 150 comments, I knew it was about Adam >_<

    Lol. Yes, and I want to know why??? Let’s just say Adam isn’t starving. Those $600 medges boots said so. That beautiful home at $10k a month with its own infinity pool tells me so. Also there are others on the list. I really would like to know about Kelly. That breakaway album is still selling. Wow at Jordan Sparks who knew.

    Why? Because Adam can’t possibly be as successful as his fans have thought he was all along! (That was sarcasm, BTW)

  • EmyR

    Here is the Kidd Kraddick interview — Adam does not say that he funded his tour. Kidd Kraddick says….”it’s to the point where you risked your own money on this tour. That’s how it works these days. ….”

    KK said what your quoting b/c Adam had implied earlier in that interview that he did indeed put some of his own money towards the tour (which several others have posted).

    As soon as I saw there were over 150 comments, I knew it was about Adam >_<

    He does seem to draw a lot of interest. ;)

  • Fullmoon

    Why? Because Adam can’t possibly be as successful as his fans have thought he was all along! (That was sarcasm, BTW)

    IA, but the last 4pgs has been his OWN fans trying to sort out facts.

    As far as I can tell based on info from credible public sources

    Are these your “sources” that can’t be named. Do you have links?

  • readon

    Why? Because Adam can’t possibly be as successful as his fans have thought he was all along! (That was sarcasm, BTW)

    LOL

  • Q3

    I suppose that people can interpret Adam saying “I am kind of paying for everything in a round about way” but I interpret as meaning that everything gets paid from the tour gross receipts and that is true for every concert except one with a guarentee.

    But it is a stretch to say that Adam financed his tour based on the Kidd Kraddick interview because Adam never said that.

    Since many promoters were involved in this tour, it makes much more sense that this was a more typical arrangement and that it was not financed by Adam, he accept business risk, paid the talent and crew and tour expenses and kept what was left.

    That aside — the Forbes numbers seem directionally correct and Carrie did really, really well last year. Adam and Daughtry had a great year. And many, many other Idol alums made more money that they probably ever imagined they would make.

    I’m happy for all of them.

  • number8gurl

    BTW, haven’t read the whole thread, but, May 2010 to May 2011 doesn’t include Adam’s Glamnation Tour.

    Huh? Adam’s tour ran from June 4th 2010 through December 16th 2010 (with a brief break between the last show in London in late November to the 1st LA show on 12/15).

  • HR

    The majority of commentary questioning Lambert’s finances and his tour is imo coming from his own fans in this thread.

    I’m far more interested in the fact my favorite season is represented 3 times on this list. :)

  • fuzzywuzzy

    I’m a fan of Adam’s and I’m kinda marvelling and amused at all of the detailed information that some of his fans know and how the smallest things can spawn such lengthy discussions. lol

  • SpenserJ

    Do we actually know what the idol contract is like for season 9. Maybe S9?s contract is similar to S10?s therefore Lee’s winner’s payout is much less than Kris’s.

    I don’t think we ever found out. But, I think the big drop this year in winner’s advance was mostly UMG’s doing. It’s likely that RCA dropped the winner’s advance a little too for Lee’s contract. But, I’m not so sure it was by the large margin that happened to Scotty. (I know nothing about this stuff – I’m just guessing).

    Either way, if Lee had made the list, that would have surprised me. I wouldn’t have expected him to make over a million dollars with his anemic sales and playing tiny venues. When you figure what he may have received as an advance, plus tour payments and all of the other winner appearances, you have to assume he made more than a half million though.

    For someone who didn’t move much product, that’s a darn good amount of money.

  • CindyM

    HR says:
    07/21/2011 at 11:17 pm

    I’m far more interested in the fact my favorite season is represented 4 times on this list. :)

    Which season?

  • Q3

    fuzzywuzzy says:
    07/21/2011 at 11:21 pm

    I’m a fan of Adam’s and I’m kinda marvelling and amused at all of the detailed information that some of his fans know and how the smallest things can spawn such lengthy discussions. lol

    Like the fact that I almost posted that the 12/15/10 and 12/16/10 Adam Concerts were actually not part of the GNT but Hometown Concerts and managed separately. But I read your note and decided only to post it as a LOL@me moment.

    Yes, many posters here probably would do extremely well at Jeopardy! if the category was Adam Lambert!

    Separate from that, having seen how had Adam worked over the past 2 years (and not diminishing the efforts of anyone else on the list at all) I am happy that Adam is finally doing really well financially.

  • number8gurl

    Those $600 medges boots said so

    Try $1800 :) and he earned every penny in his own blood, sweat, vocal prowess and hip thrusts (not to mention smiles, humility, incredible fan attention, etc).

  • number8gurl

    HR says:
    07/21/2011 at 11:17 pm

    I’m far more interested in the fact my favorite season is represented 4 times on this list.

    Which season?

    I only see 3 ppl from the same season in the top 10 (Daughtry, Pickler and McPhee).

  • SpenserJ

    Yes, many posters here probably would do extremely well at Jeopardy! if the category was Adam Lambert!

    I’d be the doofus with the negative score, because I have no idea what anyone’s talking about :).

    Regardless of random interview quotes, no one here really knows how Adam’s tour was financed. There’s no public documentation to that effect available to us. Clearly he’s indicated he took some financial risks to create the kind of tour he wanted. But, I’m doubtful he was writing checks out of his personal account for each and every tour expense.

    No new artist could afford to front that kind of production out of their own funds. Adam simply had not made enough money up to that point to afford that kind of payroll, travel costs and venue expenses. It’s simply not possible.

    I would suspect that he worked a different kind of deal, taking more risk and less money up front in order to get what he wanted. That likely gave him more of the back end. Maybe he paid for some things straight out of his own pocket. But, I’ll never believe he carried even the payroll for all of those people for that long.

  • HR

    I corrected the typo before either of those quotations were posted? Maybe the correction was just not seen…

    Looking over the list it seems season 3 and season 7 have the next highest number of people represented. Not bad for season 3 since it often viewed unfavorably.

  • indigoimrah

    Its funny someone said there are 150 some comments, must be talking about Adam. At 6:00 pm there were 90 comments and now there are 186 comments, Yep there is lot of discussion about Adam Lambert alright, why so many question about Adam’s making 6 million? I think It should be higher then that given the success of his tour and him being in high demand. I am happy for all of them doing what they love and making good money.

  • Fullmoon

    Try $1800 :) and he earned every penny in his own blood, sweat, vocal prowess and hip thrusts (not to mention smiles, humility, incredible fan attention, etc).

    :) LMAO oops. Was it the leather pants at $600. Help me now.

  • number8gurl

    Like the fact that I almost posted that the 12/15/10 and 12/16/10 Adam Concerts were actually not part of the GNT but Hometown Concerts and managed separately.

    Well I was at one of them and compared to my other 3 previous concerts that weren’t quote/unquote “hometown concerts” it was exactly the same. Hometown concerts is just a term Adam used meaning it wasn’t part of a ‘traveling show’ IMO.

    “Managed separately”? What does that mean? It was the same show, the same people, rented venues, ticket sales, merch sales….honestly what is the difference?

    I don’t understand all the splitting of hairs…I went to 4 GNT shows and I saw a man give 110% every night and still have time for his fans. I followed the tour online and saw this man give 110% of himself night after night while basically living on a bus. For the entire duration of the US leg of the tour he only had 2 days off in a row ONE TIME. The man gave up his HOME to dedicate his life to his tour and yes he invested his own money to start up the tour. Believe it if you want, don’t believe it. I know there were no corporate sponsors. Promoters are different (as others have said) they pay for advertisements, they pay for tickets, etc. Adam paid for the venues, he paid the hired people, he paid the travel expenses. He worked hard, it paid off. Why try to diminish his success? I don’t understand :(

    Night

  • number8gurl

    LMAO oops. Was it the leather pants at $600. Help me now.

    Yes the pants he was seen wearing recently (out to lunch with Alison Porter) that had leather strips on them were priced at 600 I think :) The man likes nice clothes & accessories :)

  • tuti

    adam was on opera show and more cover magazine. i thought after amas tornedo career damage and cancellation,adam career is over and no one want adam,so im one of fan that surprised.
    how much daughtry made for first album?and $6mill in list hes close to carry.

  • McCreerian

    Let switch the discussion to Carrie-the idol goddess-Holy cow at $20 million. It makes those “guaranteed winner contracts” for X Factor seem like nothing :) Lets just change gears to somebody else…

  • Q3

    I would suspect that he worked a different kind of deal, taking more risk and less money up front in order to get what he wanted. That likely gave him more of the back end. Maybe he paid for some things straight out of his own pocket. But, I’ll never believe he carried even the payroll for all of those people for that long.

    I do not know what Adam’s deal was, but I do know that the musicians, dancers and crew were on Adam’s payroll during the tour. He said so, Monte has said so, and several other people on the tour said the same thing.

    But there is no way Adam was the bank for this tour, not possible.

    That said, the tour grossed about $15 million US and Adam should have ended up with netting over 30% of gross receipts so that put it around $4.5 million from touring alone. And we know there were a number of concert with large up front guarantees — casino shows, festivals and state fairs. Add in other appearances, recorded music sales, licensing and publishing, merchandising, and other income and the $6 million seems reasonable.

  • indigoimrah

    adam was on opera show and more cover magazine. i thought after amas tornedo career damage and cancellation,adam career is over and no one want adam,so im one of fan that surprised.
    how much daughtry made for first album?and $6mill in list hes close to carry. Adam is successful despite people like Tuti above like to say, he has fans all over the world and will support Adam, buy his products. Adam Lambert will have long successful career due to his talent and genuine person that he is. good night.

  • ross

    I was kind of surprised Jordin made more than Kelly or Jennifer – since she’s usually never mentioned in the same breath as those two, never referred to as one of Idol’s bigger stars (by most poeple who post here) – nor is Fantasia.

  • indigoimrah

    Darn the b-quote didn’t work,

    Adam is successful despite people like Tuti above like to say, he has fans all over the world and will support Adam, buy his products. Adam Lambert will have long successful career due to his talent and genuine person that he is. good night,

    that is all I wanted to say in response to tuti above.

  • Q3

    McCreerian says:
    07/21/2011 at 11:57 pm

    Let switch the discussion to Carrie-the idol goddess-Holy cow at $20 million. It makes those “guaranteed winner contracts” for X Factor seem like nothing :) Lets just change gears to somebody else…

    Carrie did really well but that is not a surprise to anyone.

    Adam did well and that apparently surprised people. ;)

  • http://MJO judes

    ross says:
    07/22/2011 at 12:13 am

    I was kind of surprised Jordin made more than Kelly or Jennifer – since she’s usually never mentioned in the same breath as those two, never referred to as one of Idol’s bigger stars (by most poeple who post here) – nor is Fantasia.

    I was surprised by that too Ross- many keep saying how badly Jordin is doing – well I wouldn’t mind $3 million. I just wonder how they came to these figures though- Kelly’s seems too low for me -unless her overseas shows cut back her earnings?[ Ha I’ve just reread the post & now see where this was derived-thanks MJ]
    Not surprised by AL being the majority of posts here !!
    This list just goes to show what a phenomenum AI has been for the idols & I am so pleased that they can all now keep doing what they love whilst also receiving a good return! I hope it continues that way for Season 10 & subsequent seasons.

  • Incipit

    I always forget about this Forbes thing until it shows up – and whether it is compiled by WAG’s or by some actual attempt at number crunching – it always looks like a collection of ballpark figures – they sort of invite the readers to try to break it down – which is funny – because the readers have access to even fewer trufax. lol.

    Since they are guessing gross – not net – one ends up knowing even less, although perhaps hoping that their fave has some good tax shelters. *wink*

    And that is really what this shows, IMO – the most valuable member of the artists team is likely their financial advisor – KWIM?

  • smeggingnuts

    HOLY CRAP CARRIE….seriously she is Barbie…haha or maybe mixed with Mary Poppins…Practically Perfect In Everyway

    lol

    color me pleasantly surpised by Adam’s numbers and shocked my JHuds like people have said I really thought she would be higher

    Well congrats to everyone who is way richer than I will ever be…

  • Jae

    egads! Adam tied with Daughtry at #2???!!!!! Amazed and happy. You would not believe the doom and gloom that abounds on the web about Adam’s career. Not bad BB!.

  • kaki

    hahaha….go ADAM

  • webster

    Nice. It shows strength of the franchise that there are people on the list from just about every season, as well as a good cross section of popular genres.

    And I like seeing so many non-winners on the list. I like the winners, too, of course. But every season, the question comes up whether Idol is hurting itself by treating non-winners like winners. I’ve never given credence to that question, myself, because I feel that it’s breadth of talent that makes the show. But this sort of story should allay some of those worries.

    It is interesting to me to notice that seasons I perceived as strong (eg, 3 and, especially, 5) have multiple people on the list, and ones I perceived as weak (eg, 4, 6 and, especially, 9) have only one or none on the list. The pattern isn’t completely consistent for me (I felt 8 was pretty strong), but I think it takes a few years for some to hit their stride.

    An aside that’s not terribly important, but has me stewing in my ignorance: I’ve seen comments pointing out that, eg, David A is frugal and that Adam gives up his high-rent digs as he heads out on tour. Interesting facts, no doubt, but that sort of thing is irrelevant to the list, right? This list isn’t talking about net worth or anything like that, it’s about income, right? So people can’t just sensible their way onto (or off of) the list, right? Somebody could earn, eg, $4million and then blow it all on cars, boots and bbq, and they’d still be on the list.

  • HR

    Did anyone read the Forbes article? I just saw this section.

    “These numbers are based on estimated pretax income earned from May 2010 to May 2011, before subtracting agent and manager fees. The totals were compiled with the help of data from Pollstar, RIAA and others, as well as interviews with industry insiders including managers, concert promoters, publicists, agents and, in some cases, the musicians themselves.”

    Managers, publicists, agents and at least a few of the Idol’s they are indicating were sources. I’d like to know which Idol’s gave them access because this would mean a few estimates have to be accurate without the usual qualification about Forbes not having all the data, right?

  • cmom

    I find this list so interesting! I only wish that we could see the next 10 or so. I can see how much touring plays in their income. I expect both David’s to do more touring so it will be interesting to see next year’s list. David A is in the midst of a very successful Asian tour (35,000 is the official attendance #from Ponds for his Manila concert) but it is only 5 or 6 shows but he is going to do a Christmastime tour again this year and he has had a couple other major events so we will see how this and the touring that the others do play into their numbers next year. I am happy that this is a very talented group who deserve musical success whether at the mega-level or at the execellent musician $$$ level.

  • GreatAdamFan

    Adam at No.2 earning 6M….this is just Ah-mazzzzing! I’m more than thrilled to see him earn this figure. He deserves every dime of this as he had worked so hard for it, way to go Adam! Hope he continues to earn more in the many years to come. :)

  • goboywonder

    David A is frugal and that Adam gives up his high-rent digs as he heads out on tour. Interesting facts, no doubt, but that sort of thing is irrelevant to the list, right? This list isn’t talking about net worth or anything like that, it’s about income, right? So people can’t just sensible their way onto (or off of) the list, right? Somebody could earn, eg, $4million and then blow it all on cars, boots and bbq, and they’d still be on the list.

    Except for Carrie, I hope that the others invest wisely as they won’t be on the lists of those making a million+ five years from now.

    If this is referring to my stating that David A is very frugal, I was simply making light of the above statement that assumes Carrie will be the only one making 1+million 5 years from now and that the all others should be sure to invest what monies they are getting now. David A is a very hard worker and that is why he’s been on the list 3 years now.

  • boys3girls0

    Q3 says:
    07/21/2011 at 11:29 pm
    Like the fact that I almost posted that the 12/15/10 and 12/16/10 Adam Concerts were actually not part of the GNT but Hometown Concerts and managed separately.

    Since I happen to be wearing the special edition t-shirt that was sold exclusively at these two shows, I can assure you that they were GNTs. I sleep in this thing, much to Mr. Boys3’s dismay. :)

    Front: Adam’s face, searchlights, skyline, palm trees, and
    GLAMNATION with the LA highlighted in silver glitter. (ngl, that’s my favorite part!)

    Back:
    ADAM LAMBERT
    GLAM NATION TOUR
    LOS ANGELES CA
    12.15.10 12.16.10
    SOLD OUT

  • Moria Polonius

    Let switch the discussion to Carrie-the idol goddess-Holy cow at $20 million. It makes those “guaranteed winner contracts” for X Factor seem like nothing Lets just change gears to somebody else…

    Carrie was rich three years ago, two years ago, a year ago, is rich this year and will be rich next year. That’s boring.

    Adam on the other hand… is never boring. Even his finances are interesting.

  • mmb

    I’d like to know which Idol’s gave them access because this would mean a few estimates have to be accurate without the usual qualification about Forbes not having all the data, right

    Not necessarily — even if they talk to people they don’t necessarily give them all the data; and forbes will also make assumptions from certain data given, and will also make certain reductions etc. Again, the relative placement of the list of peeps vis-a-vis each other is probably largely correct…but the actual earnings they report should be taken with a heaping grain of salt…they may be higher, they may be a little lower (but given how conservative Forbes is with this stuff I suspect the real numbers for all — that includes Kris, Lee, Crystal…) are higher. And again, this is just earned income for a one year period of time, not net worth, not total career earnings.

  • HR

    I find Carrie’s figures very interesting. I’ve watched how she’s built her act up from her time to an opener to her first footsteps into arenas, how they’ve slowly expanded her venue size and raised ticket prices as they fit demand. She’s the one who people said was uninteresting and she’s the one who has transitioned the best into entertainer. If I didn’t find how she did done that interesting I wouldn’t have followed her since I’ve only bought one of her albums.

    I’ve seen the club, theater, festival circuit before but she’s the only one that has completed the transition to arenas from Idol. Chris only started them on a smaller scale the last tour. Kelly is hard to track since most of her dates don’t leak and her My December era stalled her momentum toward venues on the scale of Carrie’s. I’d like to see if Carrie can reach Tim McGraw sizes eventually.

  • tls62

    Adam on the other hand… is never boring. Even his finances are interesting.

    Lol. How true.

  • LaurelG

    Regardless of random interview quotes, no one here really knows how Adam’s tour was financed. There’s no public documentation to that effect available to us. Clearly he’s indicated he took some financial risks to create the kind of tour he wanted. But, I’m doubtful he was writing checks out of his personal account for each and every tour expense.

    No new artist could afford to front that kind of production out of their own funds. Adam simply had not made enough money up to that point to afford that kind of payroll, travel costs and venue expenses. It’s simply not possible.

    I would suspect that he worked a different kind of deal, taking more risk and less money up front in order to get what he wanted. That likely gave him more of the back end. Maybe he paid for some things straight out of his own pocket.

    This sounds about right to me. Whatever Adam did, his tour was incredibly successful from both an artistic and financial standpoint. Moreover, by involving himself in the numbers end of it (which I fully believe he did regardless of how much money he personally fronted) he got an invaluable education in the economics of touring. All of which has been filed away for future reference and will no doubt serve him well in the future. This was a real win/win for Adam.

    That Adam Jeopardy game sounds interesting. Possible categories: Hair Stylings, Lambert’s Lyrics, Adam’s Friends, Tour Statistics, Clothing Choices, Pre-Idol Stuff, Faux Feuds . . .

  • tls62

    That Adam Jeopardy game sounds interesting. Possible categories: Hair Stylings, Lambert’s Lyrics, Adam’s Friends, Tour Statistics, Clothing Choices, Pre-Idol Stuff, Faux Feuds . . .

    I’ll take facial hair for $600 Alex. :)

  • http://mjsbigblog.com/luvadamlamberts-american-idol-tour-2009-washington-dc-re-cap.htm luvadamlambert

    Congrats Carrie!!
    Adam with DAUGHTRY? for once, all I can say is WOW

  • Oksana2000

    As usual I’m always late to the party. Few correction: Adam is renting his house for merely $8,100, not $10,000 a month. (It is posted on realtor site, I can, but will not provide a link). :-)
    He was paid $250,000 in total for his Singapore gig. Not bad, not bad at all.
    He spent $900 for his McQueen shirt, but have worn it more than once, recycling clothes as usual.
    Nobody knows how much he was paid for his Russian gig, but we can assume it was pretty penny (russians usually pay a lot), otherwise he wouldn’t schlep his a** accross the world.
    And I am extremely happy that he made all that money in his presumably 15 minutes of fame. (snark)

  • soverymel

    Front: Adam’s face, searchlights, skyline, palm trees, and
    GLAMNATION with the LA highlighted in silver glitter. (ngl, that’s my favorite part!)

    Back:
    ADAM LAMBERT
    GLAM NATION TOUR
    LOS ANGELES CA
    12.15.10 12.16.10
    SOLD OUT

    So jellus! I remember pics of those shirts, they were awesome, I wanted one so bad. Lucky LA concert people!

  • YeahRight

    I didn’t read this entire thread. I stopped at page 2 because I was doing so much eye rolling. Just have to wonder where the hell did all that Lambert money come from, though. I’m taking this list with a pound of salt.

  • owanbe

    I didn’t read this entire thread. I stopped at page 2 because I was doing so much eye rolling. Just have to wonder where the hell did all that Lambert money come from, though. I’m taking this list with a pound of salt.

    Maybe Lambert having an international fan base that buys his music and his tour tickets makes the difference or maybe not?

    Anyway, I am just happy he is doing fantastic. You GO Adam!

  • amiroamor

    Why is everyone (except for one I saw in the first couple of pages) ignoring the fact that Carrie said the Forbes list is highly exaggerated? Not to burst anyone’s bubbles but Carrie herself said it…

  • JazzRocks

    I didn’t read this entire thread. I stopped at page 2 because I was doing so much eye rolling. Just have to wonder where the hell did all that Lambert money come from, though. I’m taking this list with a pound of salt.

    Maybe if you had read the entire thread you’d have a better idea. :)

  • Moria Polonius
    I didn’t read this entire thread. I stopped at page 2 because I was doing so much eye rolling. Just have to wonder where the hell did all that Lambert money come from, though. I’m taking this list with a pound of salt.

    Maybe if you had read the entire thread you’d have a better idea.

    Yup, it’s all in there. In detail.

    Maybe Lambert having an international fan base that buys his music and his tour tickets makes the difference or maybe not?

    :D All of Adam’s fanbase, international and American, seems to love throwing money at him.

  • Fullmoon

    Why is everyone (except for one I saw in the first couple of pages) ignoring the fact that Carrie said the Forbes list is highly exaggerated? Not to burst anyone’s bubbles but Carrie herself said it…

    I keep reading this and I don’t remember Carrie saying they exaggerated. My memory was that Forbes underestimated Carrie’s earnings. I remember last year fans posting Carrie’s earnings to show she actually made more. So I went to see if I can find the post and I found this most recent post from one of her fans who would know better than anyone.

    Carrie Underwood is #19 on Forbes list Best Paid Celebrities Under 30 (Gaga #1, Biebs #2).

    windmills says:
    06/13/2011 at 7:40 pm

    This is another one of those May to May things so only half her tour’s in there. Forbes doesn’t count lots of stuff. Carrie’s always said they’re off. Blahblahblah, Forbes wants hits.

    http://mjsbigblog.com/carrie-underwood-is-19-on-forbes-list-best-paid-celebrities-under-30-gaga-1-biebs-2.htm

    So maybe some Idols actually made more. ;)

  • Q3

    boys3girls0 says:
    07/22/2011 at 2:00 am

    Q3 says:
    07/21/2011 at 11:29 pm
    Like the fact that I almost posted that the 12/15/10 and 12/16/10 Adam Concerts were actually not part of the GNT but Hometown Concerts and managed separately.

    Since I happen to be wearing the special edition t-shirt that was sold exclusively at these two shows, I can assure you that they were GNTs. I sleep in this thing, much to Mr. Boys3?s dismay. :)

    This was intended as a joke — pointing out how Adam fans (including me) were splitting hairs about minor Adam facts.

    ——-

    I was at both concerts too and they were GNT concerts with a couple extra moments — AGIGC 5-year anniversary performance being my fav. moment.

    AO.com lists them as GNT concerts but before the shows Adam referred to them as “home town concerts” to reclassify these concerts stirring up a debate last November that was really purposeless.

    But the concerts were actually booked and managed separately from the rest of the Tour. So I suppose purists can continue the debate. (I keep them on my GNT Tour date list.)

    I suppose I need to find a tongue in my cheek smilie to add to comments or perhaps never even try to make a joke that involves anything Adam.

  • Desdemona

    GAH! I’d hate to have been around here during Season 8. Looks like the post about talking about somebody else fell on deaf ears and blind eyes. LOL

  • owanbe

    GAH! I’d hate to have been around here during Season 8. Looks like the post about talking about somebody else fell on deaf ears and blind eyes. LOL

    I would want to believe everybody’s interests/likes are kind of different, hence some post comments on who they find most interesting among the idols, while others ignore such idols and go for their preferences. It is just a free-will kind of thing in my opinion.

  • Mary102

    Totally late reply, here – but congrats, Adam! That’s amazing that just a little while off idol he made that much! He totally deserves it all too!

  • tomr

    He probably spends most of it on makeup.

  • lisaMW

    ok late to the party but wanted to say good for those on the top, do not have time to go over all comments but see puzzlement as to the numbers but keep in mind that carrie did commercials this is where her money comes from. Adam is very very popular overseas and in some countries had 6 singles from FYE chart in the top 40, his album is double platinum in some countries and he sold a ton of singles in these same countries. Also, his music was used in a lot of commercials internationally and this is quite lucrative. The tour dig great AND Adam sells a ton of merchandise, which carries very high margins. He also did quite a few festivals and fairs which pay well, it adds up!!

  • Kirkee

    He probably spends most of it on makeup.

    Wow how clever.

  • Moria Polonius

    Kirkee says:
    07/22/2011 at 8:39 pm

    He probably spends most of it on makeup.

    Wow how clever.

    Nah, how can it be clever when everybody knows he spends everything on boots.

  • LeHommeAdam

    Congrats Adam! :)

  • TLKC

    Read through the thread and find the whole thing interesting. I guess Kelly wasn’t on tour this year? A lot depends on whether an Idol is having an active/fallow year.

    I thought Jennifer would be higher.

    RE: Adam – no one mentioned VEVO. His official videos have over 50 million hits combined. At $7 per thousand, that’s a minimum of $350,000 before royalties & managment fees.

    Not surprised at Carrie’s comments about the tendency to over-estimate people’s earnings. Not such a great list to be on if the IRS makes a little light reading of Forbes before auditing high profile tax returns.

  • Axxxel

    Wow, congrats Adam …. All that touring paid off…and will cover the expenses of the calm year May 2011 – May 2012… Unless the 2nd album will come out in the end of 2011 and Adam starts touring again in 2012…

  • Axxxel

    In Singapore last year, both Daughtry and Adam Lambert were starring at the Singapore F1 GP… So they were not allowed to sell their merchandise… Oh well, I guess I just go to the mall nearby my place and buy the glamnation tour DVD…

  • YeahRight

    Maybe if you had read the entire thread you’d have a better idea.

    Well, I couldn’t stomach certain things. Like I said, I did so much eye rolling.

    Why is everyone (except for one I saw in the first couple of pages) ignoring the fact that Carrie said the Forbes list is highly exaggerated? Not to burst anyone’s bubbles but Carrie herself said it…

    This. Sarah Jessica Parker recently popped up on one of these Forbes lists and people were congratulating her about it. She said not to congratulate her because it’s not true.

    GAH! I’d hate to have been around here during Season 8. Looks like the post about talking about somebody else fell on deaf ears and blind eyes. LOL

    This.

  • TLKC

    While I wasn’t posting during season 8 (I was an Idol newbie) I don’t remember it being all that bad. One of the reasons I finally signed on to MJ’s, as opposed to just lurking, is that it was the most civil.

    All credit to MJ for policing it so well. (Another blog, which shall remain nameless, got so bad that the blogger himself used to join the brawl. I left pretty quickly.)

    All-in-all, this thread looks pretty interesting, even if it is occasionally prickly!

  • John Henry

    tour is what pays the most.