Adam Lambert First in Forbes Top-Earning Idol Report

In what is possibly the last in this series of articles, Adam is on top. As he prefers.

Once again, while the report came out in January 2016, what it actually covers is June 2014 to June 2015. And, again, there are major caveats. This is pre-tax income as estimated by the Forbes staff, possibly with help from the various Idols, but not necessarily.

I do believe that the order is probably correct. I also believe that the amounts are in the ball park, but they all have both expenses and sources of income that the Forbes people will not know.

And according to this report, Adam earned $10 million during that time period, largely from his worldwide tour with Queen. He did release a single and an album during this time, but those don’t earn much money.

As far as I can see, this was Adam’s major source of income during this time period. He spent the rest of the time either finishing or promoting his album, including filming a video.

He also bought a $3.9M house during that time period. It was one of his stated goals to do that, but until this point he’d rented either houses or a condo. Many others would (and have) purchased houses right away, but it seems Adam waited until he could afford the sort of place he wanted. He currently drives a luxury car, but it’s leased.

He seems to spend the most money on an extensive and expensive wardrobe, but he wears the same things over and over again, so he gets his money’s worth. An example – he’s currently wearing a striking printed suit on his tour that he first wore for a charity concert. He basically gets clothes he can wear to death.

Queen is a legal entity composed of Brian May, Roger Taylor, John Deacon and the estate of Freddie Mercury. All profit earned by the group, even as it’s currently composed, is split along those lines. This means Adam, like the bassist, the keyboardist and the percussionist, gets a paycheck, not a share in the take. There might be a clause where he’d get a percentage of the gate if they sell more than a certain amount of seats. Or not. And, since the merchandise has his name on it, he probably gets a share of that money, too.

And, of course, he has his agent, his management, his financial people and his publicist to pay out of that money. But it’s clear he did very well that year.

I don’t know if there will be a report next year with Idol in its last season, and Kelly (who earned $4Million) and Carrie (who earned $8million, has a successful album and is about to launch a tour)  will probably take their old positions on top. This was the first year since Forbes started this that one or the other of them haven’t led – mostly Carrie. This also means Adam’s the first non-winner AND the first man to do this.

Adam spent most of the summer and fall promoting his album and singles. He is JUST starting his solo tour. First leg is in Asia and South Pacific. Second will be in Europe. And he’ll spend June touring rock festivals with Queen. He probably won’t reach the same heights as this year, but he should do well.




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.
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