Forbes has released their annual break down of the highest paid women in music and once again, Katy Perry has topped the list. Rounding out the Top 10 are many of the usual suspects, including Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga and Rihanna, but some of the names on the list, and how these artists pulled in their huge pay cheques, may surprise you. Even if you’re a great singer, diversifying your offerings into lingerie isn’t a bad idea.
Looking at artists’ revenue between June 2017 and June 2018, Forbes listed Perry’s pre-tax income at $83 million thanks to her worldwide Witness Tour and $20 million payday as a judge on American Idol. Exorbitant as that amount might seem, this year’s income is a big drop for Perry, who made $135 million back in 2015. We’re pretty sure she’ll still be able to survive.
Coming in right behind Perry is former nemesis and current frenemy Taylor Swift, who earned $80 million and will likely claim first place next year when the scoring period includes more dates for Swift’s Reputation Stadium Tour. Cue “Bad Blood.”
The big money is definitely in touring, with Beyoncé coming in at third place and earning $60 million largely in part to her On The Run II Tour with husband Jay Z. Pink and her gravity-defying Beautiful Trauma Tour clinched the fourth spot with $52 million, with the singer adding more shows to the North American and Oceania leg of the tour due to high demand for tickets.
The Forbes list also included singers who have branched out into other careers/revenue streams, with Lady Gaga and Rihanna making the Top 10 without touring or releasing an album in the past two years. Lady Gaga ($50 million) became a bona fide movie star in 2018 thanks to her role opposite Bradley Cooper in A Star Is Born, while Rihanna’s Fenty makeup and lingerie line are continuing to make bank, earning the musician $37.5 million.
Las Vegas residencies are also proving to be huge money makers, with Jennifer Lopez ($47 million), Celine Dion ($31 million) and Britney Spears ($30 million) all making the Top 10.
Aside from Canadian Celine Dion, the list included one other non-American. German singer Helene Fischer (we had to look her up as well) brought in $32 million this year from album sales and concert tickets. We’re not sure which is more interesting, that most of the list consists of American women, or that there’s an artist in the Top 10 who we’ve never heard of before. Maybe we should start listening to German music.
For those of you who like your lists in list format, voila:
- Katy Perry ($83 million)
- Taylor Swift ($80 million)
- Beyoncé ($60 million)
- Pink ($52 million)
- Lady Gaga ($50 million)
- Jennifer Lopez ($47 million)
- Rihanna ($37.5 million)
- Helene Fischer ($32 million)
- Celine Dion ($31 million)
- Britney Spears ($30 million)