Forbes Top Earning American Idols 2012

The Forbes list of the Top 10 American Idols of 2012 is out. Check it out below and compare it to last year’s list. The numbers are based on estimated pretax income earned from May 2011 to May 2012.

Kelly Clarkson takes the top spot away from Carrie Underwood, who reigned supreme two years in a row. Kelly’s new record, Stronger, touring and guest stints on The Voice and Duets helped secure her top spot. Scotty McCreery’s 250K advance and his tour with Brad Paisley helped put him in 4th place. Forbes expects touring to help Adam Lambert score higher next year (I suspect the same will be true for Carrie).  Her role on the NBC musical drama,  Smash puts Katharine McPhee on the list. David Archuleta’s success in the Philippines helped him to round out the list at #10.

Via Forbes Magazine

1. Kelly Clarkson ($8 million)
2. Carrie Underwood ($5 million, tie)
2. Daughtry ($5 million, tie)
4. Scotty McCreery ($4 million)
5. Jennifer Hudson ($3 million)
6. Jordin Sparks ($2 million)
7. Adam Lambert ($1.5 million)
8. Katharine McPhee ($1.1 million, tie)
8. Kellie Pickler ($1.1 million, tie)
10. David Archuleta ($1 million, tie)
10> David Cook ($1 million, tie)

  • potatorocks

    Surprises for me–Daughtry, Scotty, and David Archuleta.

  • HappyDaisy_2

    Forbes has David A and David C tied for 10th.

  • http://twitter.com/newbornstarr Wally.

    Really glad for Katharine 

  • Hazehel

    I wouldn’t take such list seriously.  I have looked into past years’ Forbes lists and they were full of holes.  An Idol geek can probably produce a more reasonable-looking list should they want to put their mind to it. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1638805698 Jason Scott

    What do you mean?

  • http://twitter.com/MikhailXO MichaelG (MikhailXO)

    Kelly Pickler being anywhere on that list surprises me most. Lol…

  • mmb

    Forbes does not have access to complete information.  There are lots of income sources that aren’t included — or are included in some instances and not others.  They get reported concerts grosses, but can only estimate the artists actual earnings from such concert etc. etc. etc.  While the Idol alums they cited probably are the top earners, maybe even in that particular order (altho who knows…) you can’t trust the actual numbers.  At all. They are guesstimates based on incomplete information.

  • hellomusicgirl

    Meh, the source of these numbers is laughable at best so I would take it with a huge grain of salt. Speaking to the ~possibility of David Archuleta being included (since he’s the one I keep track of) I see no reason to disbelieve he could have earned that. He had several one-off shows that probably paid well here in the US during that time frame then had a successful and likely lucrative Asian tour in July 2011 along with the release of an Asian Tour Edition of his last album there. Then a Christmas tour in the US followed by a tv miniseries in the Philippines (that he was rumored to get a large fee for), a Bench endorsement there, an OPM album that went gold there and some private functions. I’m fairly sure overall earnings from May 2011 to May 2012 were over a million but who knows what percentage of that he actually banked. Probably not as much as you’d think since music is an expensive business.

    I put VERY LITTLE stock in the Forbes estimates though. As Hazehel said, a well-versed fan could probably put together a more accurate list.

  • http://twitter.com/avrohama aj rabin

    This is why The X factor shouldn’t be all about the 5 million dollar prize. If your good you’ll be earning such sums anyways.

  • elliegrll

    Kelly stays on the road constantly.  She’s pretty much a mid tier performer, who is going to be invited to a lot of festivals, and be the second opening act for a lot of well known artists, who are able to draw big crowds.  She’s also at a point where her name is fairly well known in her genre, so she’s going to perform on a lot of television shows.

  • http://twitter.com/tinawinabina Tinawina

    I’m surprised they still do this list. I’m not even sure what the point is anyway.

  • mmb

    to get clickety click clicks

  • fantoo1

    Scotty said in the article that he is only pocketing 1/5 of that, so about $800,000. Good for a 19 year old kid! He could buy a nice house with that money if he wanted.

  • http://twitter.com/cara_lee pj

    Kellie works hard.  I think any ex-Idols who work hard can make a good living, even if Forbes doesn’t know how much they make.  I would think Taylor Hicks would be making a good amount since he has a Vegas deal.

  • http://twitter.com/tinawinabina Tinawina

    Ah! True dat.

  • Aavari

    I think the list is reasonable, actually, if you look at the relative rankings as opposed to the actual cash estimates. For the most part, I can easily believe that these are the top 10 Idol earners in the May2011-May2012 time period, more or less in that order.

  • http://twitter.com/cara_lee pj

    The only thing that surprises me is the two Davids.  I don’t follow them closely, but I thought Archuleta was on a mission and I thought Cook had one hit.

  • mmb

    archie has some lucrative endorsements in the Phillipines, and did some concerts before he left on his mission (most of the measuring year he was not on the mission), and Cook toured with Gavin DeGraw among other things .  Not surprising they were on the list

  • justmefornow

    Lauren and James last year probably made the bulk of their money touring since neither sold like Scotty did. 
    But since most of that touring was after May 2012 thru the summer those figures aren’t included. It would be interesting to see what runner-ups and finalists can make these days.

  • Lucie Laniel

    But we know that he won’t (buy a house). He and his team are managing his money very effectively and are planning for the future and his career the way they see fit. 

  • http://twitter.com/TarheelShari Sharon S.

    MJ, the Forbes link doesn’t go to the source story, but instead to the post here about the 2011 list.

  • ptebwwong

    It says in the article that Scotty will make less because of fees he has to give Idol. Does anyone know how much is given to Idol & for how long? Does Idol alums under 19’s management need to pay them more than the Idol’s who have left 19 management?

    Obviously, artists still need to pay their band, management, etc. I’m just wondering if all Idol finalists still continue to pay Idol for a certain period of time. For example, it doesn’t seem right that Jordin, David Cook, Archie, etc. should still pay Idol since it’s been many years since they were contestants.

  • SaSa8

    MJ – just to clarify, your summary above says Scotty placed 10th but the listing you have which I believe is correct shows that he placed 4th on the list.  That is very impressive for Scotty and I am thrilled for his success and hope it continues.

    One question – when the article states the following, does that mean the
    % the winner gives back to Idol declines each year until they don’t give Idol a % anymore?   “Now six years removed from her Idol victory, Sparks doesn’t have to worry about handing a chunk of her earnings back to the show that launched her. More recent winners must turn over somewhere in the neighborhood of half of their income to Idol—before paying any remaining agents, managers and attorneys, not to mention Uncle Sam.”

  • chillj

    Good for them; they have all worked hard and earned their good fortune.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_S3ZGXZCUE2YYOS7QV6QSTKM4SA buffynut2001

    Scotty is high on the list because this is the exact period of his win and 12 months following it. I would expect P2 to be high up there on next year’s list. Carrie will also be at the Top, due to her May 2012 album release date. I would guess that none of those sales figures are in this year’s list. David Cook’s would be his 2nd album sales (came out June 2011, I think) & his tour. Adam’s figure is for the year he had only 3 concerts & basically stayed home & wrote the new album.
    I wonder if Forbes includes guesses for private gigs or just excludes them?
    I agree with everyone who said the numbers are probably far from correct, but I’ll bet the order is right.

  • dd999

    This list makes perfect sense to me. Kelly, Carrie, Daughtry (good voice but I don’t follow his music) and then, of course, Scotty! Love that voice and patiently waiting for new songs!!!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/HWRPW434YQTROZ3J5E4BSLWEYM H.A.

    There’s no doubt touring is where the money is at. I remember last year half of Daughtry’s touring earnings weren’t included because of the cut off date so we expected him at the top of this year list. Adam was pretty quite last year but expect him back on top next year from his touring for May 2012 to June 2013. Now that he’s cut 19M/R out more money for him. Scotty being a new Idol winner sounds about right and expect him back on the list next year. Phillip should also be top of the list next year. I don’t think Cook or Archie will be on there next year. I think we’ll see the same names next year with Phillip replacing one of the Davids. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/HWRPW434YQTROZ3J5E4BSLWEYM H.A.

    Wow at Idols giving up half their earnings to Idol. Very depressing indeed.

  • jdanton2

    Happy to see Jordin so high on the list with $2 Million last year and $3 Million the previous year. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Li-Wright/100001622678180 Li Wright

    Hard to believe that Carrie ONLY earned $5Mil last year, I mean she does have endorsements doesn’t she?  I think that’s low.
    And that $3Mil for Jhud I believe relates to her WW endorsement.

  • ptebwwong

    I think in the past couple of years the majority of Carrie’s earnings have been from her touring. She didn’t tour last year so her Forbes earnings for next year should be high because it will include this year’s touring.

    She did a lot of endorsement deals before (Sketchers, Nintendo, Vitamin Water, etc.). But I think she doesn’t have many of those endorsement deals anymore. She still does have an endorsement deal with Olay.

  • potatorocks

    I really didn’t think Daughtry  would be making this kind of money.    I thought his style of music was no longer popular and I never hear or see him anywhere.  The last time I saw him on Idol I thought his voice sounded shot.

  • windmills

    Li Wright: Hard to believe that Carrie ONLY earned $5Mil last year, I mean she does have endorsements doesn’t she?  I think that’s low.

    Carrie has endorsement deals with VitaminWater and Olay. The Olay one may have expired as of 2013 since only VitaminWater is listed as a sponsor for the 2013 leg of the Blown Away tour (VitaminWater and Olay were sponsors of the 2012 leg of the BA tour). I don’t think it’s ever been made public how much she made from each deal. 

    In the past Carrie has said the Forbes numbers are way off and her people don’t release info to them. But as far as Forbes estimates, Carrie took a step back from the public eye for most of the May 2011-May 2012 period the numbers cover. She didn’t release a new single until late February 2012 and only the 1st month of the Blown Away album sales would be included here, and no touring. 

    The flip side of that will be the hilarity of next year’s numbers if Forbes does another list and includes all of Carrie’s tour (which started in Sept 2012 and continues through the end of May 2013). The ticket grosses have a pretty good chance of being in the $50 million range! Pollstar has the 1st leg of the BA tour grossing $29.2 million and Carrie’s still got another 50 dates of the tour scheduled for this year. 

    I think people would be surprised at how many high profile Idols grossed a million or so in Forbes’s timeframe (not the same as actually banking that much because Forbes doesn’t take into account expenses, fees, etc.). I wouldn’t be surprised if there were several left off that list because Forbes didn’t have access to their numbers and/or their teams didn’t respond to Forbes’s requests for info. 

    Forbes has never given any indication that it includes stuff like merch sale grosses. It basically runs these lists off available numbers from Soundscan and Pollstar, supplements with anything they can find on endorsement deals, and maybe payments for TV gigs (the ones that aren’t scale, anyway). But, it also overestimates personal earnings because of how they calculate money made from music sales and ticket sales (the full ticket gross is counted towards earnings). 

    There was one year where Billboard, not Forbes, actually tried to estimate earnings by assigning 34% of the ticket gross (which is the conventional wisdom on what an act makes from ticket sales after expenses and taxes are paid) to an artist’s earnings, and using a standard royalty rate from album and download sales. It was still an estimate, but more realistic. I don’t remember if Billboard put in an estimate for merchandise sales in that list, but an act typically makes closer to 50% of merch sales.

  • Heidijoy

    Archuleta left on Mission in March but acted in a Five Week Mini Series, Had a lucrative Clothing contract, Release Two Albums with expanded versions, Music Videos.  He recorded songs prior to leaving that are still being released.  Bench Clothing still advertises the Clothes he Modeled.  There have been Billboards in the Phillipines.  There is a rumored Press Release due next week by LadyV that reportedly includesMusic they did together.  etc etc.   His Glad Christmas Tidings with Mormon Tabernacle Still sold this past Christmas as did his book Chords of Strength.  I wouldn’t be surprised if it was more than 1 million.  This year and next he is still on Mission and more music and a DVD of the Mini TV series is anticipated.

  • dbisdone

    David Cook’s income must have been largely, the profit on his home sale.

  • irockhard

    I got the same impression when I saw him perform on S11 but there’s money to be made in touring and Daughtry has built himself a solid fanbase when he was a hit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lsfarris Lynn Farris

    Interesting that only 5 of the top 10 earners actually won American Idol.  Goes to show the exposure can help your career if you are on the show.  

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ACMLXLYSSX73RNYQOUZWSO2I4U Enough already!

    Nice to see that a few idols are making a decent living while the show is making multi millionaires out of the judges.  Something askew here!!! Thinking that numbers off for Carrie, and how does Daughtry make so much money when he runs so under the radar.   Adam was extremely busy last of 2012 which isn’t showing up. Jennifer must make a lot of money  from the Weight Loss business.   

  • Incipit

    David Cook’s income must have been largely, the profit on his home sale.

    Heh. Or not. Even if Forbes counted the sale of property, which I doubt, the house in Laurel Canyon wouldn’t qualify for their reporting period, dbisdone. They only count from May 2011 to May 2012. The home was sold in November of 2012, six months after their cut-off date.

  • Kitwana

    Heidijoy, David Archuleta’s BEGIN. cd actually came out in August 2012 so would not have been included in this year’s tabulation of earnings. The Expanded Edition of his Forevermore CD also did not come out until late Fall 2012 so would also not be included. The other projects in Asia and touring must have been pretty lucrative. He’s the only guy on the list who did not have a major CD release or US TV/movie projects during the time period measured.

  • fantoo1

    It was through May 2012, so it was before somebody like Adam or Carrie got busy.

  • Heidijoy

    Hmmm!  My point was to include everything that I remembered he did during this past year.  Like you, I believe the projects in Asia were profitable.  Many did not include paying a Band etc.

  • Tess

    Unless someone has access to an Idol’s tax return (where they are probably set up as a corporation that pays themselves) these numbers are completely bogus and probably don’t count much beyond an old fashioned spread sheet with values placed on record sales and touring.

    I wouldn’t think Forbes has any info on private appearances, merchandising, endorsements, songwriting, private enterprise, investments, etc.  This is a nice piece of fluff for the enjoyment of fans and a few clicks for online sites.  Nothing more.

    Though my three favorites are on the list so I should be happy. whatever!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_S3ZGXZCUE2YYOS7QV6QSTKM4SA buffynut2001

    They must go mid May to mid May because in their notes on the indiv photos they said Carrie’s was at the “end of their scoring period” & Adam’s was released “after the scoring period”. So, I would guess that means the cut off is second week of May.

  • Heidijoy

    Just looked at the dates. That would include the MKOC tour also. He covered a lot from May 2011 to now.  :)

  • http://twitter.com/alienlifeform2 Diablo

    An Idol geek can probably produce a more reasonable-looking list should they want to put their mind to it.

    Than Forbes? Idol geeks are supposed to be more reasonable about things financial concerning Idols than Forbes?

    Financial experts: Forbes: Yes    Idol geeks: No
    Biased and overinvested:     Forbes: No     Idol geeks: Yes

    If Forbes is off, Idol geeks would be even more so.

    More on topic though, I’m more surprised by who isn’t on that list than who is, namely Clay Aiken and Fantasia. Usually they did enough appearance-wise to get into those estimates.

  • http://twitter.com/Sassycatz Sassycatz

    Than Forbes? Idol geeks are supposed to be more reasonable about things financial concerning Idols than Forbes?

    You’re right. Newspapers and magazines never get anything wrong. ;-)

  • http://twitter.com/alienlifeform2 Diablo

    But Idol geeks get everything right.

  • http://twitter.com/Sassycatz Sassycatz

    Well, I wouldn’t dismiss them entirely. Some of them follow Idols a lot closer than Forbes.

  • http://twitter.com/alienlifeform2 Diablo

    That’s what makes them unreliable. Fans are never reliable. And certainly not more so than a professional publication.

  • Hazehel

    Biased and overinvested: Forbes: No     Idol geeks: Yes

    Whatever makes you think Idol geeks are necessary biased and overinvested fans? Idol geeks are people who are interested in the show, not necessarily any particular contestant.  I am pretty sure there are a few Idol geeks here who are fairly unbiased and aren’t particularly invested in any contestant.  Unless they declared themselves fans of particular idol, I’m not even sure who their favorites are.  I would happily declare myself a Cook fan, but I don’t fawn over every little thing he does and have been known to make critical comments about him.  Fans are capable of making rational judgment you know.

  • Incipit

    Diablo, your faith in Forbes’ reliability is sweet. Professional publication or not, Carrie Underwood did say they were full of stuff regarding her numbers last year…only she phrased it much more politely. Heh.

    There are few posters here who would regard that list as reliable – it simply has amusement value…and ad clicks for Forbes’ web site, which is likely the point for them…not reliability.

    IMO. Of Course.

  • http://twitter.com/alienlifeform2 Diablo

    Whatever makes you think Idol geeks are necessary biased and overinvested fans?

    Mostly, this blog. Not that I don’t enjoy it, quite the contrary.

    Fans are capable of making rational judgment you know.

    No, I’m sorry, but I don’t believe that.

  • http://twitter.com/alienlifeform2 Diablo

    Oh, I don’t put all that much faith in Forbes.
     
    But I put even less faith in Idol fans.

    Basically, if Forbes can’t do it, Idol fans for sure can’t. I find the notion that they can a little, well, naive.

  • http://twitter.com/eilonwya10 Eilonwy

    And certainly not more so than a professional publication.

    Wait, Forbes’ entertainment-for-clicks content is considered a “professional publication”?

    *dies laughing* *spits up hairball*

    Forbes-online these days is about 12.5% actual content in which reporters massaged the corporate press releases into their own words, and the remainder is bloggers-promoting-own-business-schemes and click-bait. Their feature articles are barely credible over the last couple years. I can’t see why they’d suddenly be exerting journalistic standards for a click-bait slideshow.

    If the source was the Wall Street Journal, I would expect somebody to have done some actual research, if only from a lingering sense of shame. Forbes? No.

    ETA: And I’m not gonna start estimating Idols’ net worth or earnings, as if they’re doing it right, they have investment portfolios that aren’t public knowledge, plus there are far too many unknowns in the typical touring revenue split. If the Idols don’t open up their personal accounts, any estimate runs pretty close to GIGO.

  • Goodvibes27

    Pure unadulterated fiction.

  • http://twitter.com/alienlifeform2 Diablo

    ….

    Okay then. Forbes is a tabloid whose credibility is much surpassed by the expert knowledge of Idol fans.  I stand corrected.

  • jpfan2

    “how does Daughtry make so much money when he runs so under the radar. Adam was extremely busy last of 2012 which isn’t showing up.”

    Daughtry is struggling on radio but they still sell out decent sized gigs or at least did last year. Being busy doesn’t mean someone is making money if they’re busy doing radio gigs. Basically touring,endorsements and selling music are how they all make the bucks.

  • Hazehel

    Mostly, this blog. Not that I don’t enjoy it, quite the contrary.

    Perhaps you are paying attention to the wrong people then.   There are probably a dozen or so regular contributors here who make fairly unbiased and rational judgement on things Idol, and whose opinion I respect even if I sometimes disagree and spar with them on some issues.  People make all kinds of noises here, and if you pay attention to wrong ones I’d guess you’ll come to the wrong conclusion.   Just depends on how discerning you are.

  • Kitwana

    Reliable or not, I think it is interesting that essentially the same Idol contestants show up on the Idol Top Earners list year after year. With the number of new contestants each season, you would expect to see more turnover or change but you really don’t. You don’t see a Lee Dewyze, Crystal Bowersox, Syesha Mercado, Stefano Langone, Kris Allen or Allison Iraheta crack the list although all seem pretty busy. Very interesting. Maybe Forbes has its favorites?

  • Hazehel

    Okay then. Forbes is a tabloid whose credibility is much surpassed by the expert knowledge of Idol fans.  I stand corrected.

    Windmills gave some reasons why Forbes may be unreliable (for example, full ticket gross is counted towards earnings).   If you wish to counter it, then make a proper counter argument.  Why not tackle the subject properly instead of casting aspersion on contributors here?

  • http://www.facebook.com/djafans Fan Dja

    Kitwana, True with the time frame.  But I still think it’s probably higher.  The tv series and Bench endorsements were being rumored in the 5 mil area. Even if below that it’s still substantial.  

    Very curious about the press release next week.

  • http://twitter.com/eilonwya10 Eilonwy

    Okay then. Forbes is a tabloid whose credibility is much surpassed by the expert knowledge of Idol fans.  I stand corrected.

    Naaah, it comes down to trying to compare:

    Source that didn’t bother to do the research properly but stuck some numbers next to the Idols they’d heard of (Forbes).

    vs.

    Sources that at least know about the major public events and remember the full range of existing Idols, but have no idea about private-show revenues, investment portfolios, or income splits on specific projects, so the numbers are incomplete guesstimates of guesstimates and cannot be made complete without invasions of privacy (fans).

    As a number cruncher, I’d ignore both and leave Idols’ finances to their accountants and investment advisors. So Clay Aiken earned more than Adam Lambert on one mostly fictional estimate of earnings, and it went the other way on another mostly fictional estimate of earnings. Either way, it’s fiction.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/7XWQYID5YZWLTPFE5RUAO5RZAU David??[08-09????]

    So happy to see Katharine back on this list. She’s freakin amazing, hoping for not only more smash seasons, but also an album!

  • Incipit

     if Forbes can’t do it, Idol fans for sure can’t. I find the notion that they can a little, well, naive.

    Diablo, what we’re trying to tell you is that Forbes isn’t even attempting to give an actual earnings estimate, they don’t do that. It’s a piece of fluff, it’s all for fun, not to be taken seriously, and Eilonwy speaks the truth about the content of their website…and the aim of the article. They have often used an Idol topic for Click-bait on their poorly researched articles. Far from being naive, we’re used to it by now.

    I don’t deal in absolutes like “always” or “never”, it makes conversations awkward…and highly, you should forgive the word, ‘unreliable’…but people could just get a *chuckle* out of that list, it isn’t the Idol Financial Gospel According to Forbes. KWIM?

  • YankeeFan08

    It’s more though than just being busy … it’s really more about the type of gigs and appearances, etc.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/HWRPW434YQTROZ3J5E4BSLWEYM H.A.

    You don’t see a Lee Dewyze, Crystal Bowersox, Syesha Mercado, Stefano
    Langone, Kris Allen or Allison Iraheta crack the list although all seem
    pretty busy. Very interesting. Maybe Forbes has its favorites?

    I don’t think it’s because Forbes has their favorites. I can’t say for sure how accurate those numbers are but I would think the reason the same names appear on the list is because their asking fees are a lot higher and in more demand than those names you mentioned. There was an article last year posted here on the average asking fees were for Idols and none of those names were close to those on this list.  Archie and Cook at the lower end asking fees are about 100k. Also unless your the current Idol winner or someone like Kellie Pickler who has made a name for herself opening acts don’t make the kind of money to ever make this list. Durbin, Haley, Kris, Lee, Lauren, Crystal etc aren’t ever going to make a 1m on touring unless they blow up. JMO

  • http://twitter.com/alienlifeform2 Diablo

    *sigh* Incipit, and what I’m trying to tell you is that I don’t really care much about Forbes. What I find, how to put it mildly and politely… amusing? is the belief that people from the Idol bubble could do better.

  • mmb

    Because the measuring year is may 2011-may 2012…Daughtry has been touring virtually non-stop since summer/fall 2011; May 2012-present when Adam has been busy isn’t part of the Forbes estimate.  Same with Carrie (e.g. she got busy — well she is always busy but even busier — post May 2012)

  • http://www.facebook.com/djafans Fan Dja

    Heidijoy, I forgot about the MKOC tour at the end of 2011.  That had many venue and vip sell outs.  And no label or management to pay.   

  • Incipit

    OKFine, Diablo, at least you are getting a *chuckle* from something! *snerk*

    I can tell you haven’t read any of the serious articles often linked here about the Music Industry, or other music marketing, forecasting, statistics or financial topics, from people who are researchers or marketers by profession who also happen to enjoy Idol, and turn their skills to a subject that interests them…That’s OK, there’s no reason for you to know they even exist . However, the numbers threads are often a great source for some good research links, if you ever care to check that out. 

    See, there are all sorts of people, from all different professions in the “Idol Bubble”…*wink*

  • Hazehel

    What I find, how to put it mildly and politely… amusing? is the belief that people from the Idol bubble could do better.

    Again, randomly casting aspersion on others without bothering to answer the question at hand.  Others here have given reasons why Forbes may be unreliable, and have suggested how it could have been improved.  This would suggest that they may come up with a more reasonable estimate than Forbes if they so choose.  So why impugn the ability of others to stay unbiased and reasonable when you can’t be bothered to address the actual issue?

  • http://twitter.com/alienlifeform2 Diablo

     Why not tackle the subject properly instead of casting aspersion on contributors here?

    Again, randomly casting aspersion on others without bothering to answer the question at hand.

    … And I’m outta here. I don’t like it when my discussion partners try to make it about me.

  • blackberryharvest

    They do it every year why stop now? Lol.

  • cmom

    I don’t know in depth what the other idols have been doing on that list but I do know how much work @davidarchie did during the May 2011 to May 2012 time period and that he must have earned at least $1million: Very successful Christmas tour, cd from his previous Christmas concert with the Mormon Tab. Choir, Bench modeling contract (billboards all over the Phillipines) many very large concerts throughout Asia and corporate concerts for Bench, etc. 5-week leading-man TV mini-series in the Phillipines for TV5. Plus the release of music on BEGIN. and Forevermore but I don’t know when that timeframe is exactly.

  • blackberryharvest

    Maybe, but its possible they all could have just barely missed the list or whatever. Except Allison, she was kinda under the radar during the year.

  • elliegrll

    Daughtry may be under your radar, but he and his band toured a lot last year.  They headlined two legs of their own tour, opened for Nickleback on at least 20 European dates, and had their own shows in Europe.  And unlike some others, they’ve sold more than 180K copies of their last album.  The band has also worked with DC Comics to do at least or two songs.

  • MaxxD

    Id also take it with a grain of salt. They don’t know what people earn

  • MaxxD

    Or more likely you won’t

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/HWRPW434YQTROZ3J5E4BSLWEYM H.A.

     And unlike some others, they’ve sold more than 180K copies of their last album.

    Sigh* What does this has to do with Daughtry SMH.

  • DragonFly

    “People make all kinds of noises here, and if you pay attention to wrong ones I’d guess you’ll come to the wrong conclusion.   Just depends on how discerning you are.”

    Ex:  (lol)

    “Durbin, Haley, Kris, Lee, Lauren, Crystal etc aren’t ever going to make a 1m on touring unless they blow up.”

  • Hazehel

    … And I’m outta here. I don’t like it when my discussion partners try to make it about me.

    Errr, it’s not about you, it’s simply asking you to do more than making a series of unsubstantiated comments denying the ability of contributors here to stay unbiased and reasonable.  I’m simply asking you to make an argument for your case, not merely to come here to impugn other people’s integrity.

  • http://www.facebook.com/djafans Fan Dja

    Well Forbes answers.               

    Shareen Ng 3 hours ago
    How do you reconcile making this list with the fact that you don’t have access to their real finances? If they don’t report to Pollstar or have their managers contact you, does that seem fair to insinuate by omission that they didn’t earn their millions?

    Reply AuthorZack O’Malley Greenburg,
    Forbes Staff 1 hour agoA fair question — in addition to checking Pollstar and Nielsen numbers, and reaching out to managers/agents/publicists, we talk to industry insiders to fill in the blanks as best we can. At the end of the day, we don’t have a copy of their tax returns, but Forbes prides itself in getting as close to that as possible.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/HWRPW434YQTROZ3J5E4BSLWEYM H.A.

     I don’t think that statement is far off. It would be difficult to make that kind of money touring small gigs at 15$ cover charges. Not that there is anything wrong with that. The numbers don’t add up after paying everyone off that travels with you. Opening acts don’t make money. In fact most do it for free just for the exposure. Idols are in a special breed because they do come with some name recognition so they can demand a fee but the more demand you are the higher the fee. If they blow up outside the bubble I can for sure see higher paying gigs. Archie is a perfect ex. A popular Idol with an international fanbase who can make that money because he has the demand and fans to pay to see him.

  • curly_yenta

    I wonder if they checked with Caesar’s Entertainment on Taylor Hicks’ salary as a headliner at Paris and Ballys before that.  Hmm, I’d say they don’t have a clue what his income was. The list is a joke, prolly planted there by publicists.

  • http://twitter.com/Joko54 Jo54

    “And unlike some others, they’ve sold more than 180K copies of their last album.”

    What does Adam have to do with your comments about Daughtry?  SMH

    Forbes may be off on their numbers, but I would trust them over any person in the idol bubble.  Hazazel hasn’t made an argument for her case either since she/he can’t prove that idol posters here have more inside information on what the idols make.  

  • jpfan2

    “What does Adam have to do with your comments about Daughtry? SMH”

    I think it was an answer to the comment that Daughtry was off the radar while Adam had been very busy. Honestly who knows (or really cares) how much these people make. But the ranking does seem to make some sense (at least to me).

    I’m more concerned about Scotty’s comment that Idol is taking most of his money!!

  • bestmusic

    I am always leery of their numbers. How on earth could they have any idea what any idol actually made without getting into private and personal information.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/HWRPW434YQTROZ3J5E4BSLWEYM H.A.

    Did Taylor get his LV gigs during the period May 2011-May 2012? I thought about him not being on that list and I bet he’ll be on there next year. LV gigs pays VERY well and with his extension he’s making more money. I think last year he was left out because he only really did the Broadway gig. Again I don’t know if Forbes takes in consideration of business investments which Taylor is on top of his game. His bank account is for sure very healthy.

  • http://twitter.com/Joko54 Jo54

    Not buying it, sorry.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/HWRPW434YQTROZ3J5E4BSLWEYM H.A.

     The rankings does look about right. It’s already been said Adam wasn’t busy during that time period and one could have made Daughtry’s case without once again singling Adam.

    I’m more concerned about Scotty’s comment that Idol is taking most of his money!!

    Now this is something that should be discussed since it came from Scotty himself.

  • standtotheright

     

    fair question — in addition to checking Pollstar and Nielsen numbers,
    and reaching out to managers/agents/publicists, we talk to industry
    insiders to fill in the blanks as best we can.

    Translation: We look at the same industry reports that are summarized in multiple publications, try to get the agents to talk to us (and often fail), and then call publicists who give us a rundown of the press releases that have come across our desks in the past year. We gross up the figures, and call it a day.

    I wouldn’t bother trying, but it’s not like the music statistics laity couldn’t compile much of that themselves.

  • cmom

    Taylor Hicks didn’t start his Bally’s  gig until after May 2012 so I bet he’s on the list next year.

  • http://twitter.com/LexieONeill Lexie O’Neill

    Just curious…are you not buying that Idol takes huge chunks of their money?  Or that Scotty even said it–since it’s a bit confusing what’s part of the quote and what isn’t?  From what I’ve learned–the Idol contract does take a big chunk and that’s why they all should/do want to get out of 19R? 
    Or was it something else entirely? 

  • bestmusic

     As I said more than a little leery. Honestly the Idols themselves probably laugh when this is printed.

  • lovetheusa1776

     Makes sense.

  • DragonFly

    To H.A. — We may, none of us, be aware of what’s happening behind the scenes for some.  A “pointing-to” opening acts not generating much income after expenses is well-taken & yes obvious to all that moving onward & upward is essential, but it is said in the same breath by others here that the “deep cuts” big labels take on more major appearances is also disparaging.  I think Idols are all aware of their financial situations & that’s all that really matters in the end. 

  • Goodvibes27

    I didn’t expect Taylor to be on this year’s list because the time period was  May 2011 to May 2012. Las Vegas didn’t start up for him until June 2012.  Next year he’ll have a full year of Caesar’s Entertainment contract performances. I’m not convinced Forbes will acknowledge him even them

  • curly_yenta

    He started at Bally’s in June ’12 – Dec ’12, and then started up again at Paris in Jan ’13.

    I still believe those Forbes rankings are fabricated guesses and they have no idea how much certain Idols earn. Certainly they did not have access to his Vegas contracts so how much can they know about it? Bogus.

  • justmefornow

    lol. I’m sure Blake and Jeff left ‘In This Moment’ after being in that band for YEARS to travel around with James, Buckcherry, & Drowning Pool last spring and summer as an opening act for no money & just for kicks ;)
    Yes James isn’t a millionaire, but he’s still signed and working on album #2. He just recently bought a house in Santa Cruz near the beach. That’s way more than he had before Idol.

  • almondean88

    So the Idols who split from 19, do they still have to pay back up to half their earnings to Idol? As I understand it there is 19E, the TV show; 19M the management team; 19R recording contracts which licenses to Sony/RCA etc. So if an Idol has cut ties with all the 19s, does 19 still grab part of their earnings?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/HWRPW434YQTROZ3J5E4BSLWEYM H.A.

     James is an Idol contestant who probably wouldn’t have gotten the gig traveling with Buchcherry & Drowning Pool without his Idol connection. He has some name recognition so he wouldn’t be doing it for free. That’s one of the benefits of being on Idol. I think unless James brought a house cold cash up front I think he can at least afford a $1500-$2000 (I’m guessing)a month mortgage at 30yr fix rate.  

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PSHFTD4YV3QOE3INABJUXZSWMU hillstreetblooz

     I gotta give the little dude – I say that not to put him down – big props… no major label, on a mission for 2 years… making mo money, mo money than a lotta folk really TRYING to make some money, lol… Archuleta’s hustle game is on point… some of these other Idols need to set they game up… letting a guy on a 2 year mission out of the country outhustle ya, lol

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PSHFTD4YV3QOE3INABJUXZSWMU hillstreetblooz

     Jordin is making that stealthy bank, lolol… she’s been on the list year end and out, so her money game is on point.

  • Kitwana

    The Forbes article is starting to get picked up by other news outlets. Check Google News. Great press for those who made it on the list. Unfortunately, some writers will inevitably use it as an opportunity to mock those who did not make the list. I’m just waiting for the Shirley Halperin write-up.

  • justmefornow

    He probably does have a mortgage, but in his genre he’s lucky any hard rock/metal act would tour with him inspite of Idol, lol.
    But that’s what I meant by being certainly being better off financially now than before Idol.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Wui-Zhuan-Lim/777616348 Wui Zhuan Lim

    Wow. Carrie with no tour still score 5 million..?
    Next year is gonna be SUPER-DUPER AWESOME…50 mil. is possible..

  • cmom

    Your post really made me laugh – hustle is for sure the right word – that @davidarchie has 3 things going for him: Really great voice, charisma great work ethic and here he is sealing the deal and making them “Crazy” after already singing 18 songs! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZCpmvMHa_g  I really like the current Forbes list because all of those Idols can really sing with no autotune – that makes a great statement!

  • mjsbigblog

    He’s been on this list before. The writers at Forbes aren’t a bunch of Idol Tards pimping their favorites. 

  • Jordana33

    Plus, Daughtry had so many hits that he probably still makes a lot in royalties. 

  • curly_yenta

    Totally agree! There’s no way in hell they know what his contract in Vegas consist of or how much he’s making there.  It’s a bogus guessing game.

  • http://twitter.com/KariannHart Kariann Hart

    I am sure Taylor Hicks has made more than a million dollars a year.  I question this list as being accurate.

  • Jordana33

    If Forbes can figure out what the other Idols are making at all of their various private events, why wouldn’t they be able to tell how much Taylor is making at a major Vegas show?  Forbes makes it their business to figure out celebrity earnings every year, so I doubt that Taylor Hicks’ earnings would be any more elusive than your typical celebrity. Maybe his big Vegas contract will get him on next year’s list, though. 

    This list doesn’t surprise me at all. In recent years, all of these Idols have satisfied one or more of the following criteria:

    1. Released platinum or multiplatinum hits (e.g Kelly, Carrie) or albums (Scotty). 

    2. Still get paid mega-bucks for any kind of appearance (Kelly, Carrie, Daughtry)

    3. Wrote so many successful hits that they’ll collect substantial royalties for life  (e.g Daughtry). 

    4. Can still headline their own tours on a regular basis even if they haven’t had a major hit recently (e.g. Cook, Lambert, Daughtry)

    5. Are very popular internationally, such as in the Philippines (Archie, Cook, Lambert)

    6. Had a leading role in a major motion picture or TV show (e.g. Jordin Sparks, Jennifer Hudson, Mc Phee)

    7. Continue to get tons of endorsements because of their celebrity status (JHud, Jordin, Kelly, Carrie, etc.).

    8. Recently won American Idol (Scotty)

    The only other Idols who could have possibly made that list in recent years are Fantasia and Kris Allen, I think, and I’m sure that Phillip Phillips will make the list next year. I’m a big fan of Haley’s and Stefano’s recent work, but they didn’t have that level of success. Neither did James Durbin or Lee Dewyze.  I don’t know much about Kellie Pickler, but maybe she makes a lot of money in tours?

  • WD79

    DC doesn’t get around much last year and still earns 1 million. That’s something! :)

  • justmefornow

    Haley, Stefano and Lee Dewyze didn’t tour last year. James did with two different bands. I’m sure he made substantially more than those three. 
    That’s where the money is.

  • escape

    Haley, Stefano, Lee Dewyze, Durbin would never make enough touring to make this list.  The person who may have just missed the cut from the last year could be Lauren Alaina.  She had her advance from the CD, which did well and she tour, which is a money earner in Country music. 

  • justmefornow

    I never said any of them made enough to make that list, lol.  No kidding. 
    I just said out of those 4 mentioned, James is the only who successfully toured last year and made any decent money. And I agree about Lauren, she probably did really well last year, but like James, most of her touring was done after the cut off of May 2012.

  • MellyPer1692

    Taylor’s Vegas gigs didn’t start until AFTER the cutoff period, that’s why he’s not on there.

  • http://twitter.com/cruzceleste Celeste

    Surprise to see Archie in there, considering he is not even in the country he is doing well…

  • escape

    I just said out of those 4 mentioned, James is the only one who successfully toured last year and made any decent money.

    Dewzye is an Idol winner and a fairly recent one.  He was on the last list.  Out of Stefano, Haley, Durbin, he probably has made enough from personal appearances.

  • Jordana33

    I think you misunderstood me. I thought that people were arguing about money earned from Taylor’s former Vegas gigs….not the major one that he just landed. Obviously the current extended Vegas contract won’t be reflected in this Forbes issue because it just started this month! That’s why I said that it would probably get him on the list next year. 

  • Jordana33

    DC still tours quite a bit (relative to others), and always headlines his own tours, like the recent successful tour that he co-headlined with Gavin De Graw.  I’m guessing that a large sum of his money also came from touring the Philippines, Singapore and Indonesia last year, since they usually pay very well.  I remember that he used to have an endorsement from both Sketchers shoes and Gibson guitars, but I suspect that those contracts have expired. 

  • justmefornow

    Personal appearances pay that well? Good for him. I’d love to see what he can make nowadays for these appearances.
    Then why even tour and bust your ass. Some of these other more popular winners than Lee should just show up for these things as well. Pretty easy money.

  • escape

    My point was in comparasion to the 4 people: Stefano, Haley, Dewyze, Durbin where you claimed Durbin was the only one that made any decent money. That’s just speculation. 

  • justmefornow

    Lee probably does do okay. The only reason I mentioned those 4 was because they were mentioned and compared, especially Lee and James in an earlier post. It did seem a rather random comparison, 3 finalists and a previous winner, lol, but whatever.

  • girlygirltoo

    Taylor Hicks’ Vegas residency didn’t start by the cutoff date for this article, did it? I wouldn’t be surprised to see him on this list next year. Phillip will definitely make the list next year — in fact, I would bet that he ends up in the Top 5. I was a little surprised to see Kellie P on there, because I don’t remember her doing much touring last year. I know in the past she’s gone on Taylor Swift’s tours, which has earned her good money, but she wasn’t part of Taylor’s most recent tour, was she?  And her last album didn’t sell well, so she wouldn’t have made a ton of money off royalties off that, although she would still be getting royalties off her previous, best-selling, ones. Does she has a lot of endorsements? I would bet much of Archie’s money comes through endorsements and the other money he makes in Asia from his concerts and tv appearances over there. Not to mention the royalties off his Christmas albums, which continue to sell decently.

    Anyone who isn’t headlining their own tour and playing decent-sized venues isn’t going to make enough money just through touring to make this list. Playing smaller venues like James, Haley, Kris, Stefano, etc are doing isn’t going to make them tons of money. That is much more about just trying to earn a living and build up a fanbase. Unless those people are also selling a bunch of albums or singles, or have other strong income streams (endorsements, tv or film roles, etc), they aren’t going to make $1+ million in a 12-month period. Kris made the Forbes list the first season after his win in large part because of all the money he made for winning AI (plus the success of LLWD). If you don’t win the show, that extra money generally isn’t going to be there for you in the first year (although there are exceptions, such as with Daughtry, Clay and Adam).

    In the past, Idols have said that this Forbes article doesn’t accurately represent their actual earnings, so I take it with a large grain of salt. And even if they aren’t on this list, that doesn’t mean someone is necessarily struggling financially. Since none of them seem to have day jobs, I would guess that they are able to at least support themselves and their families. I heard on the radio last night that the average (or median — I always get those terms mixed up) annual salary for someone in the US is $34,000. I would bet that a large % of ex-Idols made more than $34K in the 12-month period Forbes covered, so I’m not going to worry too much about any of them.

  • girlygirltoo

    Just because someone is busy doesn’t mean they are making a lot of money. For example, Allison did a concert at The Troubadour last week. That venue holds 200 or so, and tickets were $10. She was one of 5 acts on the bill, and not the headliner. So she made very little money, if anything, off that show, especially since she didn’t have any merch to sell. Syesha would make AEA (Actor’s Equity) scale for performing on Broadway. As of Sept. 2011, the minimum weekly pay for someone working on a Broadway show was just under $1700/week — and that’s before taxes. So even if your show runs for a year, that’s still just about $80,000 (again, before taxes). That’s nice $, but not anywhere near enough to get you on that Forbes list.
     And you have to look at the time frame that the article is using: May 2011 to May 2012. Using Kris as an example, he was writing his album during that time period. He only did a handful of concerts and he didn’t have any new music out. Although it’s highly unlikely he would make the Forbes list next year, it is likely that he will make significantly more money for the May 2012-May 2013 period than he did for May 2011-May 2012, since his album came out and he is now touring, selling merch, etc. Even though the sales for TYC weren’t good, he’ll still get royalties that he wasn’t getting in the previous 12-month period. And he’ll make more money touring, just since he is doing so many more shows this time around and has new merch to sell.

    All things to consider when looking at these type of lists :)

  • MellyPer1692

    Never mind

  • http://twitter.com/Free_in_march El oh El

    Haley’s making some money from song placements and royalties with the help from her publisher. I don’t know if the others mentioned in this post  have that income stream, or do they ?

  • justmefornow

    Good for Haley. I have no idea about the others. 
    I know James wrote “Right Behind You” and that was licensed to the US Army and I have no idea how much he got for recording “Stand Up” for the NFL. It looks like he’ll be recording something soon for the WWE as well, but this isn’t one of his songs, so no royalties, just straight up recording fee with possible fee for performance at Wrestlemania 29 in April.

    I hope he will get more of his original songs licensed in the future like Haley’s doing. That’s a great source of income if you can continue to get song placement.

    And she needs to get signed to an Indie soon and start work her her second album. Good luck :)

  • MellyPer1692

    Lee went to Asia too, didn’t he?

  • MyDailyComment

    I am trying to read the posts to see the  explanation  of what Kellie Pickler did to get on the list because I don’t understand. I must have missed that comment….