With earnings of $130 million last year, U2 top Forbes’ list of the world’s top-earning musicians for 2009. The band’s magic formula: a world tour that grossed $311 million, along with merchandise sales, radio royalties and back catalogue sales. The rest of the top ten was made up of AC/DC ($114m), Beyonce Knowles ($87m), Bruce Springsteen ($70m), Britney Spears ($64m), Jay-Z ($63m), Lady Gaga ($62m), Madonna ($58m), Kenny Chesney ($50m) and Black Eyed Peas ($48m). Global tours and branding deals are the key factors for all the artists in the list.

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