Prince (search) is now king. The high-energy rocker was the top-earning music act of 2004.
The oddball hit-maker, who once changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol and was considered washed up, took $56.5 million to the bank from concerts and CD sales, according to Rolling Stone's (search) list of Top 50 moneymakers of 2004.
"With $90.3 million in ticket sales, Prince returned to center stage after a decade in the commercial wilderness," says the mag, which based its findings on ticket and record sales, publishing and other related revenue.
Prince, whose smashes include "Purple Rain" and "1999," beat out perennial cash cow Madonna (search), who came in at No. 2, with $54.9 million, thanks to her "Re-Invention Tour," four children's books and the "American Life" CD.
Madonna actually grossed more on tour, but Prince took home a bigger piece of the pie because of lower production costs — it took 24 trucks to haul the Material Girl's tour around, while Prince's relatively bare-bones show needed only 12.
Also on the comeback trail was Metallica (search). The heavy-metal dinosaurs were No. 3, with $43.1 million, thanks to their "Madly in Anger With the World Tour," and sales of 1.4 million copies of their old records.
At No. 4 was Elton John (search), who carted away $42.9 million from his splashy act, including his debut on the Las Vegas Strip.
And don't make fun of Parrotheads — they stash their green where Jimmy Buffet (search) is. The "Margaritaville" man, in fifth place, took home $36.5 million from concerts, his "License to Chill" album and his chain of retail stores, nightclubs and restaurants.
Rod Stewart (search) likes his girlfriends younger and younger, but it's the older and older hits that bring in the bacon.
The raspy-voiced crooner earned $34.6 million, thanks to his sold-out shows, his latest album of standards, "Stardust: The Great American Songbook, Vol. 3," and publishing revenue.
At No. 7 is country beauty Shania Twain (search), with $33.2 million.
And Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel (search) can still strum up a fortune. The duo reunited to split a $1 million-per-night guarantee in the United States to win the 10th spot.
The top rap act was 50 Cent (search), who at No. 19, grabbed $24.9 million.