Because of her impending divorce, information about Adele's net worth leaked out to the pressed. The figure reported was $184 million. Sizable, for sure, but not the highest amount compared to some other recording artists. The problem is that all these figures distort our perception of singers, songwriters, and the music industry as a whole.
Indeed, some of the earnings of top recording artists are staggering and sometimes surprising. These figures usually represent more than record sales, however. They include such things as tours, concerts, live appearances, and merchandize sales – including t-shirts, caps, posters, and more. Please don’t forget the bumper stickers.