We all know that a ton of recording artists out there make a lot of money, but just how much do some of these artists bring home each year? And of the ever growing list of famous singers, who among them are the richest of the rich? Find the top 10 below.
1. Madonna - $800 million
2. Paul McCartney - $660 million
3. Dr Dre - $650 million
4. P Diddy - $640 million
5. Celine Dion - $630 million
6. Bono - $590 million
7. Mariah Carey - $520 million
8. Jay Z - $510 million
9. Elton John - $450 million
10. Béyonce - $440 million
1. Madonna – Holding the mantle as the richest artist of all time is Madonna. Often referred to as the "Queen of Pop", Madonna achieved fame by pushing the boundaries of what was then acceptable both in her lyrics and her music videos. To date, Madonna has sold 300 million records worldwide and is recognized as the best-selling female artist of all time. Madonna has been married twice and has four children. Her current net worth is $800 million.
Madonna gagging after Kevin Costner calls her concert "neat." Her backup dancers at the New York gay pride parade. Warren Beatty as condescending scold. Singing "Like a Virgin" on that velvet bed. A variety of cone bras. The glass bottle.
Those are only a few of the enduring images from "Truth or Dare," the 1991 concert film and documentary that chronicled, with extraordinary access and results, Madonna's "Blond Ambition" tour.
Now celebrating its 25th anniversary, this film, directed by Alek Keshishian, who was just 26 upon its release, has transcended cult-classic status and been elevated to the modern canon by pop obsessives and queer audiences of a certain generation. It also in many ways presaged the celeb-reality complex, though, crucially, it caught Madonna at a career apex, not in desperation. Celebrated earlier this week with a screening at the Museum of Modern Art, "Truth or Dare" begins a seven-night run on Friday at the Metrograph on the Lower East Side.
Mr. Keshishian, now 52 and at work on staging a pop opera, spoke recently by phone about his film's legacy with gay fans, Madonna's sense of self, and how celebrity culture has changed since "Truth or Dare." These are edited excerpts from that conversation.
When you were making "Truth or Dare," did you feel like an employee of Madonna's or did you have real independence?
I technically had complete independence, insofar as she gave me final cut. But as I've since realized, final cut means nothing if you're in disagreement with your financiers — they just won't promote or release your film. It was definitely a very specific relationship because she was funding it. There were times I needed more money. But in terms of the editorial, or seeing what I was shooting, she left me completely alone.
How did she react when you first showed her the film?
I remember sitting on the floor of her bedroom, sticking in the VHS with a three-hour cut. She just watched it — it was almost out-of-body. She was laughing at the right moments and was actually kind of thrilled with it the first time she saw it. One of the most surprising things was that she didn't ask me to lose anything. She only wanted to keep more. I think it captured the roller coaster that she had been on; that had been her goal. Weirdly, her vanity didn't come into it much.
Is that in line with what you know about her and how she views her fame?
No [laughs]. I think it was a unique time. She was what, 32? She's at the peak of being considered this gorgeous sex symbol. There aren't as many vulnerabilities in one's vanity at that point. Madonna had a very good sense of self-esteem. I have no idea whether she's still like that. God knows none of us likes to get older.
One of the engines for the film's continued relevance has been its resonance with gay fans. How aware were you of that aspect during the making of it?
When I was shooting, I wasn't particularly aware. I was in this bubble where that was just all accepted. When I started editing, those are the moments where you're making certain choices because you have to give up so much of the footage you've shot. I felt instinctively that I wanted to get across how in Madonna's world homosexuality was just a fact of life. These dancers, who she felt so close to, they were going through that age of AIDS. There was still so much stigma against it. I felt personally the power of putting that out, but I had no idea that it might resonate with others quite the way it did.
Does anything about "Truth or Dare" making you cringe in retrospect?
I hadn't seen it for 24 years before I saw it at Outfest last year. I was amazed by how it did hold up in a lot of ways. It felt distinct from reality TV. It lets in a lot of ugliness or truth. I think today pop stars are so highly curated. They wouldn't allow those things — ever.
Some of the best moments are Madonna's interactions with other stars — Kevin Costner, Al Pacino, of course Warren Beatty. Were there other cameos that got cut?
There were comments about other stars that were cut because it felt superfluous. Generally, I tried to not just throw in arbitrary digs at people unless they were actually involved in an interaction with Madonna. The only exception to that was when Madonna says something like, "That's another reason to not live in Chicago, besides the fact that Oprah lives there." That is the only moment that I probably cringe at now because it was unprovoked. The Kevin Costner thing says something about her when she puts the finger down the throat — about how she reacts to earnestness. The Warren thing, again, it says something about her. I did my best to hold it to that and not just do it for the sake of sensationalism.
The big concert films in recent years have been a bit more like infomercials — Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, One Direction. Why do you think we've seen a decline in the warts-and-all tour doc?
It takes a very special type of person at a very special time in their lives to want to do that kind of movie. These days, none of them need to. They're all comfortable posting on their own websites, on Instagram. Also, to be really honest, it costs too much money to shoot the way we shot. Most of these documentaries try to shoot in a few weeks. But it begins and ends with the artist and their courage.
Do you think stars have gotten more private?
They've decided, "You know what, I'll curate my own brand and I'll keep it very close to that." I don't begrudge them that. A lot of those people are better off that way. There aren't many who pull off what Madonna pulls off in "Truth or Dare." A lot of celebrities are a lot less interesting in person than you would think.
Joe Berger has been working his heart out to get Madonna's glory years on film properly acknowledged, first with an invite-only MoMA screening of the 1991 gem Madonna: Truth or Dare (at the time the most successful documentary ever), then with a special evening devoted to choreographer-director Vincent Paterson, then with a Madonna film series at Metrograph that embraces the best (Dangerous Game) and worst (Body of Evidence) she had to offer.
So think of it as Kabbalistic karma that tonight, at his Truth or Dare event, Madonna herself shocked the entire room by showing up totally unannounced (her publicists knew, the MoMA curator knew—that was it) to sit in the middle of the audience and watch every frame of the film.
Yes, that means we sat in a room with Madonna while she watched herself being Miley Cyrus I, while she joked about being nailed by her father, while she kibitzed with Sandra Bernhard, while she cavorted with her dancers who she swore she would love forever (some of whom then sued her), while she laughed when told her hair-and-makeup girl might've been raped. The works.
Madonna's like a cat, though—when she falls, she can convince you that was her intention. More often than not, she simply avoids falling, and she never, ever looks backward, so her appearance at the MoMA to take in a film that is, regardless of any personally squirmy moments for her, a brilliant piece of filmmaking and one of the best things with which she's ever been associated, represented a sea change in her behavior, if only because it is something she did, not something she's doing.
And this shift was so welcome!
The screening had been delayed a while when the curator urged patience, noting we'd be happy in the end. This made us jokingly guess that Madonna would surprise us, but definitely nobody thought it was a likely occurrence. When she appeared, a vision in an off-the-shoulder red dress, daughter Lola in tow (Lola spent the movie marveling at the outfits she coveted), Madonna smiled warmly but said nothing, instead content to be just another spectator as one of her greatest spectacles was unfurled on the big screen.
Actually, she first listened to Berger's heartfelt intro to the film, which must've been his dream come true. (Dreams come true, you guys!)
To say the movie has aged well is to say the same for Madonna—it's so obvious it hardly needs to be said. Truth or Dare was ahead of its time in dealing with gay rights, in touching on the spectre of HIV, in presenting a star to the world in whole—no filters needed. The concert footage is arrestingly crisp, the songs timeless and the black-and-white vérité elements look like they could've been filmed yesterday.
I'm thrilled that Madonna has at long last shown up and embraced a major moment from her past. Perhaps this is a toe in the water of legacy-enshrining without wallowing in nostalgia. Well done, Madonna. Next time, just get up on the stage and say hello before you take off!
After Madonna skedaddled (I'm told she had greeted Paterson with a kiss and a compliment—he last saw her making Evita!), Berger expertly quizzed Truth or Dare director Alek Keshishian, Blond Ambition co-director/choreographer Vincent Paterson and Blond Ambition dancers Salim (Slam to you!) Gauwloos and Jose Gutierez on a variety of topics, teasing out the fact that the legendary unused 250 hours of footage Keshishian shot is now ... gulp ... lost.
It was a convivial chat and one that ended with Keshishian praising Berger for his dedication to ensuring that Truth or Dare received its due.
After, I snapped the pics you see in this post, but missed Madonna—she left and her appearance had been so top-secret, it never occurred to me that she would stop outside in the lobby for posed shots (by a pro shooter—maybe called last-sec) before vanishing.
Don't hold onto the past? She isn't even close to doing that. But she is at least acknowledging it, and along with it, the meaning her work has to her legions of fans.
Check out about 15 minutes of the Q&A ...
Madonna still loves to shock.
The Queen of Pop made a big entry when she showed up for the 25th anniversary screening of Madonna: Truth or Dare at the Museum of Modern Art on Wednesday night (Aug. 24) in New York City.
Some 400 guests were caught off guard when the pop legend, wearing a red off-the-shoulder red dress, turned up unannounced and mingled with fans.
Madonna's revealing Truth or Dare documentary was originally released in 1991 and captured the action and controversy of her worldwide Blond Ambition Tour.
MOMA's special anniversary event included a conversation with the film's director Alek Keshishian, Blond Ambition Tour choreographer Vincent Paterson, and dancers Jose Gutierez and Salim Gauwloos.
Madonna: Truth or Dare turns 25!
Madonna surprised 400 unsuspecting fans that were in attendance at the anniversary screening of Madonna: Truth or Dare at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City on Wednesday.
"She came out to support Alek Keshishian, her longtime friend and director of the celebrated documentary," a source tells PEOPLE.
Dressed in a red off-the-shoulder dress, Madge appeared to be all smiles as she interacted with her fans.
Madonna: Truth or Dare was originally released in May 1991 and followed Madonna's successful 57-show Blond Ambition World Tour across the globe.
August has been a month of celebration for the superstar.
Madonna recently returned from a birthday trip to Cuba with her children, including estranged son Rocco. The mother of four turned 58 on Aug. 16
Madonna celebrated her 58th birthday with a trip to Cuba. She was joined by her kids and some friends, including longtime pal Debi Mazar. Several pictures and videos on Instagram showed them dancing and partying in Havana.
No matter what the tabloid press might say, Madonna has proven once and again that age is just a number. Celebrating her 58th birthday today, we give you 58 of her most stunning looks over the years. Have a wonderful day, M!
An "intimate" upcoming documentary about Madonna's romance with a New York musician before the Material Girl was a megastar will include deeply personal letters and recordings made by the singer in bed, Page Six has learned.
The film, which follows Madonna's relationship with fellow singer Dan Gilroy, will include private tapes of "bedroom talk" that Madge made while in the sack with Gilroy, we're told, as well as love letters that she wrote him.
Gilroy — who fronted the one-hit-wonder pop group the Breakfast Club, and dated Madonna for around 18 months beginning in 1979 — has turned over hours of video and stacks of letters and photos to director Guy Guido for the project. The documentary "Emmy and the Breakfast Club" — which includes "re-enactments" as well as interviews — focuses on the period from 1979 to 1982, immediately before Madonna became famous, while she was living in an abandoned synagogue in Corona, Queens, with Dan and his brother, Ed Gilroy.
The in-the-works flick is set to reveal everything from "sweet little love notes that she would leave for Dan" to "very poetic love letters expressing her feelings for him and the struggles of their relationship," the director said.
A 20-minute recording the couple made in bed, Guido told us, captures the pair "having fun with each other and bedroom talk, and also getting into a little philosophical life discussion." He added that it's "silly, romantic bantering."
The decision to release such personal material without Madonna's consent wasn't taken lightly.
"There are some intimate things, but at this point they're ready to share. Especially Dan — he's been holding this in a very long time," Guido told Page Six. The director also said that while young Madonna's relationship with Gilroy is the "meat" of the movie, it also explores her ferocious ambition and drive to make it in the music business.
Guido said he hopes to be finished working on the film by January 2017, and that a major distributor will release it.
A rep for Madonna didn't get back to us.
It's here. The secret project between LOVE and Mert Alas titled LOVE 16.5. The special edition collectors issue 'LOVE by Mert Alas' supported by Marc Jacobs launches on 19th September during London Fashion Week.
Without any hair, make up or styling, cover star Madonna, shot by Mert Alas, is seen sucking her thumb in bed, wearing a hooded sweatshirt by Palace. 'Madonna 2:00AM by Mert Alas' is a 10-page reportage that the photographer shot of Madonnna in the early hours at his Hampstead home.
Our Editor-in-Chief Katie Grand says:
"In early 2016, the media was obsessing over the discord in Madonna's relationship with her son Rocco. I was struck by how mean the press were about a woman simply going to work and wanting her son to be a part of it. I spoke to Mert about the possibility of doing a shoot with her, as he, Madonna and Rocco are all friends. I wasn't sure it would ever happen, to be honest, but Mert said, 'Let me ask M and Rocco.' Much to my surprise, the morning after Madonna's reconciliation with Rocco, nine stunning images of Madonna arrived via WhatsApp. They had been taken at 2am at Mert's house in Hampstead where he and Madonna often hang out and have casual dinners."
Madonna tells Murray Healy in the accompanying interview with LOVE 16.5 how "acceptance by the establishment equals death" and says:
"I don't consider myself a pop act, I consider myself an artist. And it's an artist's responsibility to be revolutionary in our work. It's our responsibility, our duty and our privilege."
On the burden of fame, she says:
"I was already famous before social media, so for me fame isn't the burden. Fame is the manifestation or the by-product of my work, and that was two decades before social media. Now to me the burden is people are more focused on fame than actually doing the work or being an artist. Now it's easy to become famous. What isn't easy is to develop and grow as an artist without being distracted or consumed with fame."
Madonna also tells LOVE 16.5:
"I like Instagram because it's like keeping a diary and every day I get to share different aspects of my personality, my life, and what inspires me, what infuriates me, or what causes I want to fight for. It allows me to be mysterious, ironic, provocative or proud. I get to use it as a platform to bring attention to people or issues that I think are important. It allows me to be the curator of my life."
Today's entry in Madonna vs. the Original is Madonna's most recent cover, performed live at the Rebel Heart Tour. The original was written 70 years ago.
La Vie en Rose was the signature song of French singer Édith Piaf, who wrote and composed the song herself in 1945. The title referred to the name of the nightclub where Piaf had performed in 1943. When she had first written the song, her team didn't think it was a strong song. So Piaf only performed it for the first time a year later. Soon after, it became immensely popular, giving Piaf international fame.
The 10" single was released in 1947 and sold a million copies in the US. A year later, it became the best selling single in Italy and the 9th best selling single in Brazil. In 1998 the song received a Grammy Hall of Fame Award.
La Vie en Rose was covered by many other famous artists, most notably Louis Armstrong (in 1950) and Grace Jones (in 1977).
Where Madonna named Imagine the 'greatest peace song of all time', she introduced La Vie en Rose as the 'greatest love song of all time'. It secured a place in the final segment of her 2015-2016 Rebel Heart Tour, befitting the Parisian cabaret theme. The performance sees Madonna sitting alone on stage, strumming her ukelele. She shortened the song, asking the audience to sing along with ad libs at the end.
During her break in the tour in January 2016, Madonna helped out her ex-husband Sean Penn, by performing La Vie en Rose at Penn's JPHRO #HelpHaitiHome event in Beverly Hills. This time she sang the full song.
Some of Madonna's covers only appeared on stage, not on record. Today's entry in the series Madonna vs. the Original sees Madonna covering a famous peace song.
Imagine was written and performed by former Beatle John Lennon in 1971. It was produced by Lennon, his wife Yoko Ono and Phil Spector for his album of the same name. Released on October 11, 1971 it would become the best-selling single of his solo career and one of the best known songs about world peace.
In the US, the single scored a #3 in the Billboard chart. In the UK, it wasn't released as a single, but the album was a #1 hit. In 1975, the song was released as a single after all to promote a compilation album, and thereby reached #6 in the UK chart. Imagine ranks high in many listing as one of the best songs of all time. It earned a Grammy Hall of Fame Award and an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.
While Madonna didn't record or release the song, she did a live rendition of it as part of the setlist on her 2004 Re-Invention Tour. The song fit the anti-war theme of the tour perfectly. Madonna often introduced the song as "the ultimate peace song", adding that she wishes she'd had written the song. Sometimes she joked that the song was written 35 years ago, "before she even was born".
In January 2005, she reprised the song at 'Tsunami Aid - A Concert of Hope', a benefit organised by George Clooney to raise money for the victims of the tsunami/earthquake in the Indian Ocean in 2004.
A decade later, after her Rebel Heart Tour show on December 9th 2015, Madonna performed the song together with 40 lucky fans at Place de la République to honour the victims of the terrorist attack in Paris four weeks earlier.
An odd one in today's Madonna vs. the Original, the only Christmas song Madonna ever recorded, which is not available on any of her own records, nor was it commercially released as a single.
Santa Baby is a Christmas song written by Joan Javits and Philip Springer. It was originally recorded by Eartha Kitt with Henri René and his orchestra in New York City in July 1953. It became a huge hit for Kitt. Unfortunately, there were no charts yet back then, so there are no numbers to show for.
In 1963, Kitt re-recorded the song for Kapp Records, with a more uptempo arrangement. It's this version that Madonna's version would later be based on.
Santa Baby became a popular Christmas song, covered by dozens of other artists, including Kylie Minogue (who scored a #6 hot with it in 2000), Shakira, RuPaul, The Pussycat Dolls, Taylor Swift, Paloma Faith, LeAnn Rimes, and many others.
Madonna recorded her version of Santa Baby in 1987 as a contribution to the compilation album 'A Very Special Christmas'. It was not added to any of her own albums or compilations, nor was it ever released as a single. There was no video for it, and she never performed it live.