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Pop Heroes, Rappers Top Savvy Earners List

Pop heartthrobs ‘N Sync have conquered the pop charts, and now they’re the No. 1 act on a new chart detailing the savviest earners in the music industry.

Other top money-making acts on music cable network VH1’s inaugural “Music Money Power” list include rival vocal group Backstreet Boys, the rap combo of Dr. Dre and Eminem, teen pop singer Britney Spears, and husband-and-wife country stars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.

VH1 joined forces with Money magazine to analyze the commercial power of music’s big guns, calculating gross revenues from album and concert ticket sales, and assessing their star and money power based on such factors as fan loyalty, crossover appeal, licensing and merchandising deals.

The top 25 money-making acts will be revealed to the viewing public on the Feb. 22 installment of VH1’s “All Access” series.

‘N Sync, with an estimated $267 million in combined album and ticket sales last year, topped the list, which was supplied to Reuters by VH1. Along with Spears at No. 3, Backstreet Boys at No. 5 and Christina Aguilera at No. 10, ‘N Sync benefited from the continuing teen pop phenomenon.

Dr. Dre and his protege Eminem came in at No. 2, thanks largely to their album sales, while country crossovers McGraw and Hill were No. 4.

The show’s executive producer, Bill Brand, said the list was weighted toward album and tour revenues.

Acts benefiting from the more subjective calculations included rock singer Sting at No. 12, on the basis of his lucrative endorsement deals with Jaguar and Compaq; rock band KISS (No. 12), the kings of merchandising; and veteran crooner Jimmy Buffett (No. 20), whose empire encompasses restaurants, clothing and books.

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