The weekly tabloid Kroonika ranked top five Estonian musicians by retained earnings.
1. Maarja-Liis Ilus
Ilus started her career at a tender age of 4 in front of tens of thousands of Estonians, when having a part in a musical film "Õnneseen". She later frequently performed on ETV and in mid-90s was one of the first Estonian artists to get a record deal with an international record company, Universal Music Sweden. Ilus represented Estonia at the Eurovision in 1996 and 1997, achieving fifth and seventh places, respectively.
2. Hendrik Sal-Saller
Former punk musician turned local rock star, Sal-Saller is the lead singer and songwriter behind a soft rock band Smilers, which has entertained the Estonian public since the 1990s. Sal-Saller has also written for others, penning “Partners in Crime”, a song that was sung by Gerli Padar at the Eurovision in 2007.
3. Tanel Padar and Danel Pandre
Padar took the grand stage in 2001, when winning the Eurovision Song Contest in Denmark with “Everybody”, a duet with Dave Benton who is originally from Aruba island. Performing in a band called Tanel Padar & The Sun, with his band mate, bassist Danel Pandre.
4. Koit Toome
Starting singing in a duo called Code One when just 16, Toome is among the Estonian pop stars who has been constantly in front of the public eye for the last 20 years. He represented Estonia at Eurovision in Birmingham in 1998, finishing 12th with "Mere Lapsed". In recent years, Toome has somewhat struggled to refresh his musical image, experimenting with various styles and trying his hand by performing in musicals, as well as the popular TV show, "Your Face Sounds Familiar".
5. Anne Veski
The grand lady of Estonian pop, Veski hit the local pop stardom in the early 1980s and was one of the handful of Estonian artists, along with Jaak Joala and Tõnis Mägi, who became successful in the Soviet Union. Unlike the others, however, Veski continued to perform in Russia, after Estonia regained independence. She also received a prize from the then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in 2011.