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Forbes: The 10 Top-Earning American Idols

Methodology

These numbers are based on estimated pretax income earned from May 2010 to May 2011, before subtracting agent and manager fees. The totals were compiled with the help of data from Pollstar, RIAA and others, as well as extensive interviews with industry insiders including managers, concert promoters, publicists, agents and, in some cases, the musicians themselves. For more on the business of music, check out Zack's Jay-Z biography, "Empire State of Mind."

(Getty Images)

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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