Taylor Swift tops Billboard's top money-makers list of 2015

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Adele's album megasales aside, touring is once again the determining factor for the 40 genre-spanning acts that topped Billboard's ranking of music's highest-paid musicians of the past year. For proof of that, just look at this year's No. 1 (or Nos. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7...; you get the idea).

(Scroll down to read the methodology of how this list was formulated.)

Last Year's List of Music's Highest-Paid Musicians

The country star-turned-pop sensation added yet another milestone to her résumé in 2015 -- top earner of the year -- thanks to her 1989 World Tour, which included cameo appearances by Julia Roberts, Mick Jagger, Joan Baez and... Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade. Swift's $61.7 million in touring revenue accounted for the lion's share of her 2015 haul, but Ryan Adams' stark reinterpretation of her 1989 album also helped make her the top earner of publishing royalties.

See photos from Taylor Swift's star-studded 1989 World Tour:

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All of Taylor Swift's guests on 1989 Tour
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Taylor Swift tops Billboard's top money-makers list of 2015
MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 27: Taylor Swift and Ricky Martin at American Airlines Arena on October 27, 2015 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rodrigo Varela/LP5/Getty Images for TAS)
MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 27: Taylor Swift and Pitbull at American Airlines Arena on October 27, 2015 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rodrigo Varela/LP5/Getty Images for TAS)
MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 27: Taylow Swift and Dwyane Wade at American Airlines Arena on October 27, 2015 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rodrigo Varela/LP5/Getty Images for TAS)
GREENSBORO, NC - OCT 21: Taylor Swift and Miranda Lambert performs at a concert for adoring fans at the Greensboro Coliseum on October 21, 2015 in Greensboro, North Carolina. (Photo by Steve Exum/LP5 Getty Images for TAS)
ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 24: Recording Artist Tove Lo joins Taylor Swift on stage at The 1989 World Tour playing to a SOLD OUT Georgia Dome on October 24, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Rick Diamond/LP5/Getty Images for TAS)
ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 17: Ellie Goulding and Taylor Swift perform onstage during the 1989 World Tour Live on October 17, 2015 at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/LP5/Getty Images for TAS)
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 03: Singer/Songwriters Taylor Swift and special guest Charli XCX perform onstage during The 1989 World Tour Live In Toronto - Night 2 at Rogers Center on October 3, 2015 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by George Pimentel/LP5/Getty Images for TAS)
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 02: Singer/songwriters Taylor Swift and Keith Urban perform onstage during The 1989 World Tour live in Toronto at Rogers Center on October 2, 2015 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by George Pimentel/LP5/Getty Images for TAS)
ST LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 29: Taylor Swift performs with special guest Nelly onstage during the 1989 World Tour at Scottrade Center on September 29, 2015 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/LP5/Getty Images for TAS)
NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 26: Singer/songwriters Taylor Swift (L) and Mick Jagger perform onstage during The 1989 World Tour live in Nashville at Bridgestone Arena at Bridgestone Arena on September 26, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/LP5/Getty Images for TAS)
NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 26: Singer/songwriters Taylor Swift (L) and Leona Lewis perform onstage during The 1989 World Tour live in Nashville at Bridgestone Arena at Bridgestone Arena on September 26, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/LP5/Getty Images for TAS)
NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 25: Singer/songwriters Taylor Swift (L) and Steven Tyler perform onstage during The 1989 World Tour live in Nashville at Bridgestone Arena on September 25, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/LP5/Getty Images for TAS)
HOUSTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 09: Taylor Swift with special guest Wiz Khalifa at The 1989 World Tour Live In Houston at Minute Maid Park on September 9, 2015 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/LP5/Getty Images for TAS)
SAN DIEGO, CA - AUGUST 29: Singer-songwriters Taylor Swift (L) and Avril Lavigne performs onstage during Taylor Swift The 1989 World Tour Live In San Diego at PETCO Park on August 29, 2015 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/LP5/Getty Images for TAS)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 26: Singer-songwriters Taylor Swift (L) and Selena Gomez perform onstage during Taylor Swift The 1989 World Tour Live In Los Angeles at Staples Center on August 26, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/TAS/Getty Images for TAS)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 26: Actress Lisa Kudrow (L) and singer-songwriter Taylor Swift perform onstage during Taylor Swift The 1989 World Tour Live In Los Angeles at Staples Center on August 26, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/TAS/Getty Images for TAS)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 26: Singer-songwriters Justin Timberlake (L) and Taylor Swift perform onstage during Taylor Swift The 1989 World Tour Live In Los Angeles at Staples Center on August 26, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/TAS/Getty Images for TAS)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 25: Singer-songwriters John Legend (L) and Taylor Swift perform onstage during Taylor Swift The 1989 World Tour Live In Los Angeles at Staples Center on August 25, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/TAS/Getty Images for TAS)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 25: (L-R) Singer-songwriters Beck, Taylor Swift and St. Vincent perform onstage during Taylor Swift The 1989 World Tour Live In Los Angeles at Staples Center on August 25, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/TAS/Getty Images for TAS)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 24: Singer-songwriters Alanis Morissette (L) and Taylor Swift perform onstage during Taylor Swift The 1989 World Tour Live In Los Angeles at Staples Center on August 24, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/TAS/Getty Images for TAS)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 24: Singer-songwriters Taylor Swift (L) and Natalie Maines of the band Dixie Chicks perform onstage during Taylor Swift The 1989 World Tour Live In Los Angeles at Staples Center on August 24, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/TAS/Getty Images for TAS)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 24: Singer-songwriter Taylor Swift (L) and comedian Ellen DeGeneres perform onstage during Taylor Swift The 1989 World Tour Live In Los Angeles at Staples Center on August 24, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/TAS/Getty Images for TAS)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 22: Actress Uzo Aduba (L) and singer-songwriter Taylor Swift perform onstage during Taylor Swift The 1989 World Tour Live In Los Angeles at Staples Center on August 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for TAS)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 22: (L-R) Actor Matt Leblanc, singer-songwriter Taylor Swift, comedian Chris Rock and actor Sean O'Pry speak onstage during Taylor Swift The 1989 World Tour Live In Los Angeles at Staples Center on August 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 22: Singer-songwriters Taylor Swift (L) and Mary J. Blige perform onstage during Taylor Swift The 1989 World Tour Live In Los Angeles at Staples Center on August 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for TAS)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 21: Singer-songwriter Taylor Swift (L) and NBA player Kobe Bryant speak onstage during The 1989 World Tour Live In Los Angeles at Staples Center on August 21, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for TAS)
SANTA CLARA, CA - AUGUST 15: (L-R) Taylor Swift, musician Joan Beaz and actress Julia Roberts take a bow on stage during Swift's 'The 1989 World Tour' at Levi's Stadium on August 15, 2015 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by John Medina/LP5/Getty Images for TAS)
SANTA CLARA, CA - AUGUST 15: Taylor Swift (C), Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson and Jade Thirlwall of Little Mix perform together during Swift's 'The 1989 World Tour' at Levi's Stadium on August 15, 2015 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by John Medina/LP5/Getty Images for TAS)
SANTA CLARA, CA - AUGUST 14: Taylor Swift (C), Normani Kordei, Camila Cabello, Ally Brooke and Lauren Juaregi, of Fifth Harmony perform at Levi's Stadium on August 14, 2015 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by John Medina/LP5/Getty Images for TAS)
SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 08: Taylor Swift and Fetty Wap at CenturyLink Field on August 8, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Suzi Pratt/LP5/Getty Images for TAS)
SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 08: Taylor Swift, Russell Wilson and Ciara perform at CenturyLink Field on August 8, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Suzi Pratt/LP5/Getty Images for TAS)
VANCOUVER, BC - AUGUST 01: Taylor Swift performs with special guests Nico and Vinz (R) during The 1989 World Tour Live at BC Place Stadium August 1, 2015 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/LP5/Getty Images for TAS)
FOXBORO, MA - JULY 25: Singer Taylor Swift (C) performs with Malcolm Kelly (L) and Tony Oller of MKTO at Gillette Stadium on July 25, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/LP5/Getty Images for TAS)
FOXBORO, MA - JULY 24: Singers Taylor Swift (R) and Nicholas Petricca of Walk the Moon perform at Gillette Stadium on July 24, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/LP5/Getty Images for TAS)
CHICAGO, IL - JULY 19: Taylor Swift and Sam Hunt perform during The 1989 Tour at Soldier Field on July 19, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/LP5/Getty Images for TAS)
CHICAGO, IL - JULY 19: Taylor Swift performs with Andreja Pejic and Lily Donaldson during The 1989 Tour at Soldier Field on July 19, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/LP5/Getty Images for TAS)
CHICAGO, IL - JULY 18: Andy Grammer and Taylor Swift perform during The 1989 Tour at Soldier Field on July 18, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/LP5/Getty Images for TAS)
CHICAGO, IL - JULY 18: Taylor Swif tand Serayah McNeill perform during The 1989 Tour at Soldier Field on July 18, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/LP5/Getty Images for TAS)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 14: Taylor Swift and Jason Derulo perform onstage during The 1989 World Tour Live at Nationals Park on July 14, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/LP5/Getty Images for TAS)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 13: Taylor Swift and Lorde perform onstage during The 1989 World Tour Live at Nationals Park on July 13, 2015 in Washington DC. (Photo by Kris Connor/LP5/Getty Images for TAS)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JULY 11: Nick Jonas and Taylor Swift perform onstage during The 1989 World Tour Live at MetLife Stadium on July 11, 2015 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/LP5/WireImage)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JULY 11: Candice Swanepoel, Lily Aldridge, Taylor Swift, Uzo Aduba, Karlie Kloss, Behati Prinsloo and Gigi Hadid onstage during The 1989 World Tour Live at MetLife Stadium on July 11, 2015 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/LP5/WireImage)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JULY 10: Singer/songwriter Taylor Swift (R) performs onstage with The Weeknd during The 1989 World Tour Live at MetLife Stadium on July 10, 2015 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Larry Busacca/LP5/Getty Images for TAS)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JULY 10: World Cup Champions U.S. Women's Soccer National Team, Heidi Klum and Taylor Swift onstage during The 1989 World Tour Live at MetLife Stadium on July 10, 2015 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/LP5/WireImage)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JULY 10: Singer/songwriter Taylor Swift performs onstage with Hailee Steinfeld, Gigi Hadid, Lily Aldridge and Lena Dunham during The 1989 World Tour Live at MetLife Stadium on July 10, 2015 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Larry Busacca/LP5/Getty Images for TAS)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 27: Martha Hunt, Kendall Jenner, Serena Williams, Taylor Swift, Karlie Kloss, Gigi Hadid and Cara Delevingne perform onstage during The 1989 World Tour at Hyde Park on June 27, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Dave Hogan/TAS/Getty Images for TAS)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 13: Taylor Swift performs onstage with musician Rachel Platten during The 1989 World Tour on June 13, 2015 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/LP5/Getty Images for TAS)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 12: Taylor Swift (R) performs onstage with Sydney Sierota of Echosmith during The 1989 World Tour on June 12, 2015 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/LP5/Getty Images for TAS)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 13: Taylor Swift performs onstage with actress Mariska Hargitay during The 1989 World Tour on June 13, 2015 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/LP5/Getty Images for TAS)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 06: Recording artist Taylor Swift performs with the band Little Big Town during The 1989 World Tour live at Heinz Field on June 6, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jason Merritt/LP5/Getty Images for TAS)
DETROIT, MI - MAY 30: Musicians Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons and Taylor Swift perform on stage during the 1989 World Tour Live at Ford Field on May 30, 2015 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Larry Busacca/LP5/Getty Images for TAS)
DETROIT, MI - MAY 30: (L-R) Model Martha Hunt, musician Taylor Swift, and model Gigi Hadid perform on stage during the 1989 World Tour Live at Ford Field on May 30, 2015 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Larry Busacca/LP5/Getty Images for TAS)
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The Big Revival turned out to be an apt name for Chesney's 2015 tour. After sitting out 2014 (and last year's list) he re-emerged as country's top road dog, earning $38.1 million playing for his Barefoot Nation fans.

Fifty years after "Satisfaction," the Stones pocketed $37.3 million playing North American stadiums for the first time since 2007. A "flex pricing" strategy for tickets maximized grosses and minimized scalping.

Joel held his year-to-year standing on this ranking thanks almost entirely to live gigs. Ninety-five percent of his earnings came from just 29 shows, including his monthly Madison Square Garden residency.

Despite Zayn Malik's exit in early 2015, 1D raked in $19.6 million on the U.S. leg of its On the Road Again Tour. Box office eclipsed other revenue categories, but the band was the fifth-highest earner in the streaming category.

Deadheads aren't big on streaming, judging from the band's $114,800 in digital revenue. Instead they spent their cash on the Fare Thee Well and Dead & Company tours, to the sweet magnolia-scented tune of $22.5 million.

Bryan isn't just one of the top live acts in music. He finished sixth among all artists in combined physical and digital sales ($4 million) and is country's No. 1 streaming act -- 13th among all artists -- after generating a massive 667 million streams in 2015.

U2's sales numbers sputtered in 2015. The Irish band moved just 181,000 albums and 718,000 tracks in 2015 but still made it into the top 10 due to earnings from its hot-ticket Innocence + Experience Tour.

The British superstar wowed the industry the old-school way -- by moving records. She sold more than 5.5 million copies of 25, making her the top-selling act of 2015 and the only artist on the list who didn't tour.

The band's 2014 album, V, helped Adam Levine & Co. rack up 1.3 billion streams, making it one of the eight acts on the list to break the 10-figure threshold and netting M5 almost $800,000 in royalties.

Aldean's recorded output generated more than $1.7 million in sales and streaming revenue but only $23,500 in publishing royalties, because the indie country artist relies heavily on outside songwriters.

Twain's North American Rock This Country Tour was billed as her last, but don't be surprised if she returns to the road. Her $13.8 million payday dwarfed her revenue from sales, streaming and publishing.

DMB's touring revenue was up $800,000 over 2014, and, surprisingly for a heritage act, scanned an estimated 92,000 digital albums, almost three times the estimated number of physical copies sold (34,000).

Always-evolving Madonna would probably bristle at the designation, but she was one of a few heritage acts on this list -- including U2, Dave Matthews Band and Elton John -- who sold more digital downloads of albums than physical copies (plus 934,000 individual tracks).

John's residency at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas doubled his 2014 touring revenue. Streaming of his recordings rose $83,100 from the prior year, while sales fell $225,100 during the same period.

The Canadian prog-rockers celebrated their 40th anniversary with the 34-date North American R40 Tour, which earned $10.7 million. Not surprisingly, the trio sold more albums than track downloads stateside.

The Grammy-winning Sheeran wrote or co-wrote all of the songs on his 2014 record, X, which helped earn him an impressive $2.4 million in publishing royalties when the album sold 1.4 million copies in 2015.

After being hospitalized for pneumonia in 2014, Gabriel recovered and embarked upon the biggest Latin tour of 2015 -- 13th overall in the United States -- becoming the year's top-earning Latin act in the process.

FGL hasn't put out an album since Anything Goes in 2014, but the duo still rose 13 notches this year after almost tripling its touring revenue. The band also racked up 460 million streams, second only to Luke Bryan in country.

Christine McVie's return helped raise Fleetwood Mac eight places on the list. Greatest Hits and Rumours accounted for two-thirds of the band's strong album sales (600,000), and physical sales outpaced digital 3-to-1.

Diamond's fans haven't exactly embraced streaming and, without a new album in 2015, sales fell from 545,000 to 240,000 units. But because Diamond owns his recorded masters, he makes much more per album sold.

Vegas has been good for Spears. For an act without an album, she sold a respectable 923,000 digital tracks, generated 350 million streams and earned her songs $500,000-plus in publishing royalties. She reaped only $31,000 of that though, because she uses outside songwriters.

Even though Church's fifth album, Mr. Misunderstood, arrived with little promotion in 2015 and sold 275,000 copies, he moved a total of 816,000 albums and another 2.7 million digital tracks from his catalog.

Thanks to AC/DC's ownership of its catalog, higher royalty rate and strong sales, driven by the late-2014 release of its Rock or Bust LP, non-touring revenue amounted to $4.5 million -- nearly half the group's 2015 take.

Despite having to cancel performances during her Caesars Palace residency due to the failing health (and eventual death) of her husband, Dion still rose five spots and earned $8.7 million at the box office.

Midler's fans may be digitally challenged -- she generated just 10 million streams, the lowest of anyone on this list -- but they love her live, which is why her touring revenue accounted for 97 percent of her earnings.

J. Cole is one of just eight artists on the Money Makers list (five more didn't make the cut, according to Billboard estimates) to rack up more than 1 billion streams in 2015. Cole also was one of eight acts on the list to generate more than $1 million in publishing revenue.

Everything was working for The Weeknd in 2015. His $5.1 million in combined sales and streaming royalties is the fourth-highest on the list, and he's one of just eight artists that sold more than 1 million albums.

Grande continued to push her 2014 album My Everything with her Honeymoon Tour, which earned $6.7 million and helped her sell 250,000 albums and 2.5 milllion digital tracks and generate 848 million streams.

The pop-punkers sold 496,000 albums and almost 1.6 million tracks thanks to the popularity of their second album, Sounds Good Feels Good. For a group that popular, streams were low, at 347,000.

In addition to four Grammy Awards for his debut, In the Lonely Hour, Smith was one of eight artists on the list to make more than $1 million in publishing royalties and sell 1 million-plus records.

Drake was the No. 1 streaming artist (2.9 billion plays) and No. 3 in artist royalties ($6.7 million), while he sold 1.7 million albums, including his share of sales for his mixtape with Future.

Based strictly on his solo work, McCartney would have finished at No. 44, but his cut of The Beatles sales -- he gets 25 percent of the band's sales royalties and 45 percent of songwriting royalties -- raised him higher.

The former Gap Band singer is one of the surprises on this list, and it's all due to his rigorous touring schedule: He earned close to $6.5 million at the box office, while just 6 percent of his income came from royalties.

Paisley earned more than $800,000 in artist royalties after his catalog sold 190,000 equivalent albums and 1.4 million in track sales and spurred 228 million streams. He added another $574,000 through publishing.

The Dragons' recording revenue surpassed their live take. The Las Vegas band finished No. 5 in publishing royalties ($1.7 million), and its recording earnings totaled $2.4 million, due in part to 623 million streams.

Anthony's appearance on the list is almost entirely due to his live performances. Of his $6.5 million in total earnings, $6.2 million came from touring. His artist royalties totaled $348,000, the second-lowest on the tally.

The country vet's Good Times and Pick Up Lines Tour earned him $5.5 million, more than compensating for the underwhelming sales and airplay of his 18th studio album, 35 MPH Town (189,000 copies).

Strong album sales, to the tune of 425,000 units, and impressive streaming numbers -- 1.3 billion -- fueled Minaj's year as she continued to promote 2014's The Pinkprint album and tour.

While Santos had meager album sales of 71,000 units and moved a modest 377,000 track downloads, he was a streaming star with 714 million plays. He also had a hand in writing most of his songs, so his publishing and artist royalties totaled $792,000 --13.3 percent of his 2015 earnings.

CONTRIBUTORS: Ed Christman with Bob Allen, Leila Cobo, Brooke Mazurek, Gordon Murray, Ray Waddell, Natalie Weiner, Nick Williams

METHODOLOGY: Money Makers was compiled with Nielsen Music and Billboard Boxscore, using 2015 U.S. data only. All revenue figures cited are Billboard estimates and may not equal the sum of the subcategories due to rounding. Revenue from merchandising, synchronization and sponsorship is not included. The following royalty rates, minus a 4 percent producer's fee, were used: album and track sales, 22 percent of retail revenue; streaming revenue, 22 percent for current artists and 50 percent for heritage artists. Publishing royalties were estimated using statutory mechanical rates for album and track sales; the Copyright Royalty Board streaming formula; and an average of $2.50 per play for hit radio and 60 cents per play for heritage spins. For labels' direct deals with interactive services, blended audio and video rates of, respectively, $0.0063 and $0.0015. (A 10 percent manager's fee was deducted from each category.) Touring revenue, after the manager's cut, equals 34 percent of an act's Boxscore. The top 10 lists for sales royalties were calculated based on physical and digital albums and track sales, the streaming royalty list, track on-demand audio and video streams, and estimated royalties from webcasting, SiriusXM and Music Choice.

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