Being successful in the music business takes more than just a great voice. If you want to rake in the big bucks you have to have (or write) the ultimate song. It’s almost vital to survival that artists learn how to write their own songs, but not just any song, a hit song.
Artists have actually been able to retire early and live lavish lifestyles off of the royalties from their few popular songs.
The music business is like any other business; you produce a product and hope that there is a high demand for it.
Songwriters are entitled to a portion or percentage of each product that they create.
Whenever a record sells, the songwriter receives 9.1 cents in mechanical-royalty payments. There are also residual
royalties from other markets. There are also more ways that songwriters rake in the cash from their writing skills.
If the songwriter’s song appears in a movie, TV show, video game or commercial, the artist’s record label will
make a deal and the songwriter will get a large amount of the licensing royalties. While some songs are short lived, others go on for years and rake in millions. Here is a look at the 12 highest earning songs of all times.
12. I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU BY DOLLY PARTON (1973)
I Will Always Love You was written and recorded by Dolly Parton, in 1973. Dolly wrote the song for her partner at the time, Porter Wagoner. The song had good commercial success and it reached number one on the Billboard Hot Country Songs Chart two times in 1974 and again in 1982.
The song helped Dolly win Female Vocalist of the Year in 1975 at the CMA Awards.
In 1992, it topped the charts again when Whitney Houston covered it for her 1992 movie, The Bodyguard. Houston’s version quickly became one of the best-selling singles of all time. It was only the second single to reach top 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 on three separate chart runs. The song has earned Dolly millions.
11. CANDLE IN THE WIND BY ELTON JOHN AND BERNIE TAUPIN (1973)
Candle in the Wind was written in 1973 by the pairing of Elton John and Peter Taupin. The song was originally written about the death of Marilyn Monroe. In 1997 Elton did a rewrite on the song as a memorial for his close friend Princess Diana. The new version of the song was
released as a single. It reached number one on music charts across the globe.
The rewritten version had greater success than the original version.
The rewritten version was also known by the title Goodbye England’s Rose. The song won Elton John a Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Performance in 1988. The song is listed as the second best-selling single of all time.
The exact amount of money the song has made for John isn’t known, but there is no doubt John could retire on the royalties alone.