IT HAS been a long way to the top, but AC/DC has rocked to the top of the entertainment rich list, with annual earnings of about $105 million.
The Oz rockers knocked the Wiggles from the top of BRW’s top 50 entertainers list for the first time in four years.
AC/DC owes its position on top of the list to the success of the album Black Ice and its 17-month world tour, which is due to come to Australia in early 2010.
The Wiggles slumped to third with a not-too-shabby $45 million, behind a resurgent Kylie Minogue, who scraped into second place with $47 million.
Rounding out the top five were Russell Crowe ($25m) and Keith Urban ($20m).
Crowe has starred in various films over the past 12 months and is working on his next movie, The Next Three Days, and Australian television series Secret Millionaire.
Fourteen stars fell off this year’s list, making way for some new talent such as radio stars Hamish Blake and Andy Lee, and Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O’Neill. Other newcomers to the list include Australian actors Luke Ford, Hugo Weaving, Toni Collette and Mia Wasikowska.
BRW says AC/DC’s success is not only based on its cult rocker status, but also the tough economic environment. During tough times, people will pay for light relief and an escape from their problems, the magazine says.