Early on in my musical journey I was more enamored with making a decent living with music than ever being famous, which is something I talked about in my book, The Local Music Journey.
Fast forward to today with more access and distribution across the internet (and a declining old-school record label model), 80-90% of musicians are independent of a major label -- even those formerly on a major label.
That said, it's a long road to the middle. Most musicians I know simply want to make a reasonably comfortable living doing what they're most passionate about and motivated to do.
This article, does a nice job offer further details about the dream of the middle-class musician. Check it out -- it's an interesting entrepreneurial case study, even if you're not a musician.
Posted by: Nick Venturella