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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 February 2006, 12:05 GMT
Stones 'top-selling act of 2005'
Rolling Stones
The Stones made $168m (96.7m) from their records and concerts
The Rolling Stones were the top-selling musical act in the US last year, according to business magazine Forbes.

The rockers generated $168m (96.7m) in record and concert ticket sales during 2005 - $18m (10m) more than their nearest rivals, Irish band U2.

Country singer Kenny Chesney came third in the list with $110m (63m) in sales.

The Stones perform a free concert this weekend on Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana beach. Almost two million people are expected to attend.

Officials in the Brazilian city said police would occupy slums next to the beach to prevent any clashes and robberies.

More than 2,600 police officers will patrol Copacabana and oversee the crowd from 23 purpose-built towers.

Copacabana Beach
A giant stage has been erected in Rio for Saturday's free concert
The Forbes poll is based on data provided by concert trade magazine Pollstar and music analysts Nielsen Soundscan.

Punk band Green Day came fourth with combined sales of $99m (57m), followed by the Eagles with $84m (48m).

Sir Paul McCartney, Celine Dion and rapper 50 Cent also feature in the line-up.

"In the Stones' case, as with many of the acts that made the year's Top 10, the fact that the group doesn't sell much music is irrelevant," said a Forbes spokesman.

"Their big money came almost entirely from touring."

Its comments are borne out by the inclusion of Sir Elton John, who generated $66m (38m) in 2005, despite not releasing a new album.

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