There’s no denying the impact that Madonna has had on the world. The 63-year-old singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman is still viewed as one of the most influential and richest female musicians of all time. She’s spawned countless albums, and her forever-changing style has been the inspiration for many successful female artists including Nicki Minaj, Adele, Avril Lavigne, Dua Lipa, Gwen Stefani, Miley Cyrus, and even Taylor Swift. For over three decades, Madonna has ruled Billboard charts and has become almost as renowned as the Queen of England.
Born August 16th, 1958, Madonna Louis Ciccone began to study dance at the University of Michigan before dropping out in 1978 to pursue it as a career. After moving to New York, she formed and played with several bands before marketing herself as a solo artist. In 1983, she released her first mainstream hit, “Holiday,” and signed her first recording deal with Sire Records. Madonna then released her first self-titled album, Madonna, which spawned the hit “Burning Up.” The album reached #8 on the Billboard 200 and a year later, Madonna reached the #1 spot with her second album, Like A Virgin, in 1984. Not only did the project become Madonna’s first #1 album, but it was also the first album by a female artist to sell over five million copies in the United States.
Since then, Madonna has released over ten studio albums, many of which have gone on to achieve incredible record sales. According to Parade, Madonna has sold $300 million worth of records during her career, making her the highest-selling artist in music history. It’s hard to believe, but after seeing the numbers for her top-selling albums, it really is difficult to dispute:
Madonna (1983) —10,000,000
Like a Virgin (1985) — 21,000,000
True Blue (1987) — 25,000,000
Like a Prayer (1989) — 15,000,000
Bedtime Stories (1994) — 8,000,000
Ray of Light (1998) — 16,000,000
Music (2000) — 11,000,000
American Life (2003) — 5,000,000
Confessions on a Dance Floor (2006) — 10,000,000
Hard Candy (2008) — 4,000,000
MDNA (2012) — 2,000,000
Rebel Heart (2015) — 1,000,000
That’s not even including her 1990s greatest hits compilation, The Immaculate Collection⏤which sold 30 million copies⏤or the album I’m Breathless, which sold 11 million copies. And let’s not forget when she not only played the lead role in the 1996 film Evita but also released the film’s soundtrack as another full-length album to add to her discography, selling another 11 million copies.
Madonna may have been an entertainer, but she certainly didn’t play when it came to her music.
As it is with most artists, a lot of Madonna’s earnings came from live performance and tours. Nowadays, artists like DaBaby charge $400,000 a show. Even artists like Post Malone and Chance The Rapper can make $1 million for every city they visit. However, unlike most artists, Madonna’s iconic status has helped her earn a lot more from her world tours. It makes sense, given that she’s been around a lot longer and has come a long way from her first tour in the 80s. Here’s how much she made per tour:
The Virgin Tour (1985) — $5,000,000
Who’s That Girl World Tour (1987) — $25,000,000
Blond Ambition World Tour (1990) — $62,700,000
The Girlie Show World Tour (1993) — $70,000,000
Drowned World Tour (2001) —$75,000,000
Re-Invention Tour (2003) —$124,790,787
Confessions Tour (2006) — $194,754,447
Sticky and Sweet Tour (2008) — $411,000,000
MDNA Tour (2012) — $305, 168,352
Rebel Heart Tour (2015) —$169,804,336
Madame X World Tour (2019) —$51,361,008
Between 2003 and 2015, Madonna was earning well over $100 million per tour. She’s going to make even more money from her Madame X tour now that the concert series will be streaming as a documentary for Paramount Plus. Though details are scarce as to how much Paramount offered Madonna to stream the doc exclusively, it’s probably safe to say that the price tag was pretty hefty.
And that’s just Madonna’s music. In addition to her impressive career as an artist, she also has built a decent resume as an actor. Since 1985, Madonna has had roles in several films, including Desperately Seeking Susan (1985), A League of Their Own (1992), the erotic thriller Body of Evidence (1993), and her most iconic to date, Evita (1996). She’s even produced and directed films such as the 2008 documentary I Am Because We Are and the historical drama W.E. in 2011.
For her roles in those movies, Madonna may not have received the astronomical $20 million pay salaries that big-name actors see today, but given that she was already quite rich off of her music, it hardly mattered.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Madonna earned $80,000 for the film Desperately Seeking Susan and only earned $35,000 for her role in Dick Tracy. She earned $1 million for her lead role in Evita, but nabbed her biggest deal for Body of Evidence, which landed her salary of $2.5 million and a percentage of the gross earnings from ticket sales.
But Madonna is not just a musician and an actor⏤she’s also a businesswoman and an author. She owns various fashion lines, has made deals with H&M and Dolce & Gabbana, has a premium perfume called Truth or Dare, and has even released a line of products with MDNA skincare. She’s also written several books, including The English Rose and the coffee table book Sex Coffee.
With so many accomplishments and big business ventures under her belt, Madonna has to be one of the richest women in the world⏤right?
What Is Madonna’s Net Worth?
According to both Parade and Celebrity Net Worth, Madonna is currently worth $850 million. She’s currently one of the few musicians in the world who can say that most of their vast bank account came solely from their music. What’s even more insane is that she’s only $150 million shy of Jay-Z’s $1 billion and $100 million behind comedian Jerry Seinfeld, both of whom are considered to be financial phenomenons themselves.
Madonna will definitely go down in history as the biggest female musician of all time. Sure, you have your Beyonces and your Billie Eilishes, but there really isn’t any female artist that can hold a candle to the music royalty that is Madonna. If Michael Jackson was considered the King of Pop, then Madonna has to be his other half, and at 63 and still touring, it seems like she’s looking to make that widely known. Long live the Queen.