Adam Lambert Third in Forbes Top-Earning Idol List

A couple of years ago, I posted about the 2011 Idol Forbes list. This was the first time Adam had been on this list, and he literally placed very well, tied for second with Daughtry, with (Forbes estimated) $6Million mostly from the Glam Nation Tour.

This was a pretty remarkable list in general, with Carrie earning $20M, and three people tied for last with $1M, and Kris Allen barely missing. Good year for Idol earning.

I wasn’t doing much blogging in 2012, so it’s not remarkable I skipped last year’s list. But it’s worth talking about. Notice that earnings were down considerably – the top earner, Kelly Clarkson, made “only” $8million.  Still ended with a three way tie of $1M.

And Adam? He was still on the list, at number 7, earning about $1.5M. That seems like a huge drop in income, and really, it was, but it only made sense. Like most musical artists, Idol or otherwise, most of his money comes from touring and performances. That was the year he spent writing his album. He performed precisely three times during that time period (June 2011-June 2012), at least such that he got really paid (he did a couple of radio shows that spring, which pay expenses), so earning an average of $300K per show isn’t bad at all.

It’s been a year since that last list, so the current list is out today. And, oh, what a difference a year makes. Carrie is back on top, earning a whopping $31M. And Adam is tied for third with 2012 winner Phillip Phillips at $5M. More than that, Forbes actually spoke to Adam’s management (or rather, Adam’s management was willing to speak to them) so those numbers may be more reliable than others. Probably not totally accurate, but I’d guess ballpark, at least for gross income. His manager also said nice things about Adam’s future, so that was pleasant to read.

Adam, of course, made most of that money touring and performing, although he did get an endorsement in China. In fact, he got a lot from China. China seems to love him. In that time, he performed six concerts fronting for Queen, had a tour of Asia and Eastern Europe, played two big concerts in South Africa, did several sponsored concerts in China and Vietnam, a big festival in Japan and a number of high profile benefits plus a couple of Pride events and a couple of casino shows.

We don’t know how he was compensated for the Queen concerts – share as a band member, fee as a paid performer or combination of the two. I suspect the second but I have no way of guessing. In any case, he’d be paid well for this.  He was honored for one benefit, so I don’t think he was paid much if anything, but he was a featured performer for one – even to writing a song for it, so that was probably good for him.  The rest would be concert fees and/or shares in the take depending on various situations. He sold out a lot of venues, so this would be profitable.

He never did a US tour, though – poor sales of an album that, still, made #1, made that problematical – or it’s possible he would have earned even more in that time period. Even so, to earn $5M without one is impressive enough.

This is a writing year again, but he seems to be developing other income streams as well, so while he might not earn $5M this year, I suspect he’ll garner more than $1.5M. But that remains to be seen.


About mamadeb

I'm a devoted fan of Adam Lambert, but also of cooking, knitting, science fiction and pretty anything pop culture. I'm @_mamadeb on Twitter.
This entry was posted in Adam Lambert, American Idol and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Adam Lambert Third in Forbes Top-Earning Idol List

  1. barbara kleinschmidt says:

    always a pleasure to read your blogs…….thank you! hope you are still considering following idol….i think this year will be very different……….

  2. mamadeb says:

    That is my plan this year. We’ll see what happens.

  3. Pingback: Adam is 7th in Forbes Top-Earning American Idols 2014 | Disco Rodeo

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