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  #1  
Old 02-09-2009, 09:58 PM
jakesteele jakesteele is offline
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How much $ does a one-hit-wonder rocker make

How much money, and how soon, does a one-hit-wonder like Billey Ray Circus make for Achey, Breaky Heart or Kim Carnes for Betty Davis Eyes.

I've heard from some that a recording artist doesn't make much at first no matter what, but others say that a big hit like the above makes them several million net.
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  #2  
Old 02-09-2009, 10:05 PM
An Gadaí An Gadaí is offline
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Norman Greenbaum, speaking about his 1969 megahit "Spirit In The Sky" in the NYT had this to say:

Well, it’s not like it’s made me rich, as you can see,” said Mr. Greenbaum, 64, gesturing at his modest two-bedroom apartment in Santa Rosa, Calif., about an hour north of San Francisco. “But because of ‘Spirit in the Sky,’ I don’t have to work. So in that sense, it’s a comfortable living.
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:26 PM
psycat90 psycat90 is offline
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Originally Posted by An Gadaí View Post
Norman Greenbaum, speaking about his 1969 megahit "Spirit In The Sky" in the NYT had this to say:

Well, it’s not like it’s made me rich, as you can see,” said Mr. Greenbaum, 64, gesturing at his modest two-bedroom apartment in Santa Rosa, Calif., about an hour north of San Francisco. “But because of ‘Spirit in the Sky,’ I don’t have to work. So in that sense, it’s a comfortable living.
Heh. I came in to post exactly this. I've hung out with his son a few times. (His son is a friend of a friend and an incredibly awesome guy, btw.) ;-)
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:37 PM
Sublight Sublight is offline
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It may vary widely depending on what kind of contract the performer has with their studio. I'd suspect that a long-time music veteran who happens to nail a #1 hit would probably come out better than a young flash-in-the-pan who vanishes just as quickly, simply by knowing more about how the industry works and how to avoid getting screwed.

Not necessarily a 'one-hit' wonder, but TLC made the Motley Fool's top-10 list of celebrity financial failures a while back. IIRC, even when they were selling millions of albums, the lopsided terms in their contracts and other expenses meant they were making only $50,000 a year at their peak of popularity.

ah, found it. Here's the article. Seems the Goo Goo Dolls ended up in the same situation.
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:03 PM
The Man In Black The Man In Black is offline
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Originally Posted by jakesteele View Post
How much money, and how soon, does a one-hit-wonder like Billey Ray Circus make for Achey, Breaky Heart or Kim Carnes for Betty Davis Eyes.
Billey Ray Circus was a one hit wonder?
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  #6  
Old 02-09-2009, 11:07 PM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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It depends on the hit too.

Steven Kipner who wrote the lyrics to Olivia Newton John's Physical, said he made over 5 million dollars from that song.

And that was just HIS cut of it. Now Physical, was one of the biggest hits in the rock era, and Kipner had other hits, but 5 million was just HIS share, so you can imagine how much others made off of it.

I read Britney Spears earns about 10 million a year from her music.

Usually bands upfront the costs of their albums. That is they will pay the record company back most of the cost, this is why the 2nd or sophmore album often gets rushed out because THIS is the one where the artists, now paid back to the record company, make the killing at.

In addition songs like "The Long And Winding Road" are somewhat standards and are played so much they make money. Also if you can get your song attached to a jingle or ad it can revive it enough to make sales.

Artists who write their music make more money as they get profits from that as well. This was one of the reasons Elvis was put on as writer for his songs, even though he didn't write most of them. This gave him part of the royalties.

I recall an interview with the McGuire Sisters (a huge 50s act) and they said they were the first generation to make a huge amount of money from music. They said the artists before them, made money, but nothing like they did.
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Old 02-10-2009, 01:48 AM
Cerowyn Cerowyn is offline
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Originally Posted by The Man In Black View Post
Billey Ray Circus was a one hit wonder?
According to Wikipedia, Billy Ray Cyrus has seven studio albums that have hit Top 20 on the Billboard Country charts, plus two others that crept into 32nd and 56th position. He's only had two albums in the top five on the mainstream chart (although his most recent release hit position 20 on the Billboard 200), which is perhaps why the OP thought of him as a "one hit wonder."
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  #8  
Old 02-10-2009, 11:23 AM
control-z control-z is offline
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Yes, contracts vary. The Dixie Chicks at the height of their popularity said they weren't making much on their album sales, the only moneymaker for them was touring.
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  #9  
Old 02-10-2009, 11:42 AM
clayton_e clayton_e is offline
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Touring and selling merch, the t-shirts, the random plastic junk... Look into the history of Kiss's marketing.
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  #10  
Old 02-10-2009, 11:46 AM
EristicKallistic EristicKallistic is offline
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Probably is a matter of "mainstream" vs. "crossover" type hits. Not being a fan of country music, I couldn't name any other song of his other than "achy breaky", so to me he's a "one-hit wonder" despite his other successes (and those of his infernal hell-spawn).
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  #11  
Old 02-10-2009, 12:22 PM
gytalf2000 gytalf2000 is offline
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Robert John, who wrote and sang the 1979 hit "Sad Eyes", states on the liner notes of a greatest-hits collection that the song continues to earn a living for him. He currently resides (or at least did when this particular collection came out) in Las Vegas, which is not exactly a cheap place to live.

He had other hits, particularly the 1972 version of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight", but he would not collect songwriter's royalties from that one. All his other singles were only relatively minor hits -- I am not sure if he cracked the top twenty with another song after "Sad Eyes", (perhaps "Hey There Lonely Girl", but he didn't write that one!) which was a number-one hit, and stayed on the charts for a very long time.

He had a very soulful falsetto voice -- I always wished that he had more success!
But it does appear that he has done well with that one big hit that he wrote.
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