The Highest-Paid Women in Music
Taylor Swift may have gotten the most press over the past year, but it’s Katy Perry who claims the honor of being the highest-paid woman in music. Read on to see our full list of the top ten.
1. Katy Perry ($135 million)
Our Celebrity 100 cover star also claims the top spot on this list, largely because of her Prismatic World Tour. During our scoring period, Perry grossed more than $2 million per city over the course of 126 shows. She adds to her total through deals with Coty, Claire’s and Covergirl. (Photo: Jamel Toppin/Forbes)
2. Taylor Swift ($80 million)
More than a year after the launch of 1989–the top release of 2014 with over 3.6 million copies sold—Swift is still selling. Her latest single, “Wildest Dreams,” has ascended to the top of the charts, boosted by a music video featuring Swift and Scott Eastwood. With her 1989 Tour grossing some $4 million per city, she’s got the early edge for the No. 1 spot on our list next year. (Photo: 2015 Invision)
3. Fleetwood Mac ($59.5 million)
Though the band contains three men, it also boasts two high- profile ladies—Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie—rendering Fleetwood Mac eligible for this list. The group’s On With The Show tour included 86 concerts during our scoring period; it also boasted a staggering secondary ticket price of over $300. (Photo: 2014 Invision)
4. Lady Gaga ($59 million)
Gaga has remained one of the biggest names in the music industry for nearly a decade, pushing limits with her over-the-top performances and fashion choices. Aside from playing 66 shows during our scoring period, Gaga also cashed in from deals with Versace and MAC, as well as her own Fame fragrance. (Photo: 2015 Getty Images)
5. Beyoncé ($54.5 million)
Last year’s On The Run tour with husband Jay Z grossed over $100 million for 19 North American dates, giving music’s first couple a nightly average comparable to that of the Rolling Stones. Deals with Pepsi, L’Oréal and her own Heat fragrance add considerable cash to her plentiful coffers.
Photo: Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
6. Britney Spears ($31 million)
The cyborg pop star continues to release new songs like “Pretty Girls,” her collaboration with Iggy Azalea, but it’s her Planet Hollywood residency in Las Vegas that accounts for the bulk of her bucks. She also cashes in on The Intimate Britney Spears, a lingerie line that sells globally.
Photo: Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed
7. Jennifer Lopez ($28.5 million)
Though she began her career as Jenny from the Block, she’s as nearly as far from music as she is from the Bronx these days: she played only five concerts during our scoring period. Lopez made double-digit millions as a judge on American Idol; recent acting roles include the film The Boy Next Door. With a residency at Las Vegas’ Planet Hollywood due to start in early 2016, though, a partial return to her roots is imminent. (Photo: 2015 Invision)
8. Miranda Lambert ($28.5 million)
The country star scored Female Vocalist of the Year, Song of the Year and Album of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards, part of a huge year full of diverse income streams. Lambert boasts partnerships with Red55 Wine, Pink Pistol and Dixie Darlin, as well as her own line of clothing and pet accessories. (Photo: 2015 Getty Images)
9. Mariah Carey ($27 million)
In May 2015 the golden-voiced diva joined a long line of cash queens in taking her talents to Las Vegas for a residency. Dubbed Mariah Carey’s #1’s, the series is set to stretch into 2016, making her an early favorite to land on next year’s list. (Photo: 2015 Forbes)
10. Rihanna ($26 million)
After seven albums in eight years through 2012, Rihanna has gone quite some time without a full-length release, and she only played nine dates in our scoring period—resulting in a lower-than-usual finish on our list. That’s set to change with the launch of new album Anti, and likely a tour, in the coming months. (Photo: 2015 Getty Images)
There are plenty of female musicians who earned double-digit millions, but not quite enough to make our list. Among them: Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj, Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Celine Dion and Carrie Underwood. (Photo: 2015 Getty Images)
Our list of the highest-paid women in music measures pretax income from June 1, 2014 to June 1, 2015 before subtracting management fees. Figures are based on data from Nielsen, Pollstar, Box Office Mojo and IMDB, as well as interviews with agents, managers, lawyers—and some of the stars themselves.