The Rolling Stones have been named as the biggest earners in US music for the second year in a row.

Mick and the boys appear at number one in Forbes' annual list of music's money makers, netting a staggering $150.6 million (£76.7 million) in 2006 thanks to a smash-hit tour and ongoing record sales.

Fans flocked to the tour, A Bigger Bang, as earnings on the road accounted for over 90 per cent of the money generated by the veteran rockers during the year, according to Forbes.

Second on the list were country stars Tim Mcgraw and Faith Hill, with $132 million dollars (£67.3 million) for the year, while another country act, Rascal Flatts took third spot with $110.5 million (£56.3 million).

American female singers Madonna and Barbra Streisand completed the top five, with $96.8 million (£49.3 million) and $95.8 million (£48.8 million) respectively.

Madonna's Confessions tour was another big draw for fans, with Forbes highlighting the financial potential of major tours.

Forbes used trade publications and market researchers to calculate the gross earnings on tour, album sales and also digital music earnings.

Collectively the top ten earners in music made almost $1 billion in 2006, with a staggering $973 million (£495.7 million) generated.

Forbes Top Five US Music Moneymakers

1 Rolling Stones - $150.6 million (£76.7 million)
2 Tim McGraw/Faith Hill - $132 million (£67.3 million)
3 Rascal Flatts - $110.5 million (£56.3 million)
4 Madonna - $96.8 million (£49.3 million)
5 Barbra Streisand - $95.8 million (£48.8 million)

26/01/2007 10:57:08