Beyoncé Just Topped Taylor Swift in One Big Way
Beyoncé has once again been named this year’s highest-earning woman in music. The superstar beat out Taylor Swift to nab the top spot on the annual Forbes ranking, despite that the country-turned-pop artist has been garnering most of the attention lately for the release of her new album.
Forbes organizes the yearly list by calculating a combination of factors like touring, record and merchandise sale, endorsement deals, publishing, and other ventures, and without deducting any management or legal fees. This is the second year in a row that Beyoncé has earned the title over some of Hollywood’s most popular artists. In 2013, the singer topped the list with an earned salary of $53 million. According to Forbes, she managed to more than double that number this year, raking in a whopping total of $115 million and officially making 2014 her biggest career year yet.
Beyoncé’s continued reign at the top of the list probably won’t come as much of a surprise to most, given what a splash she made this year with the surprise release of her self-titled album. The record hit iTunes last December without any prior promotion and quickly started a public frenzy, eventually becoming one of the top-selling albums of the year. It also spurred a hugely successful tour. According to Forbes, the singer played a total 95 shows, earning an average of $2.4 million per city. All of that, combined with endorsement deals with H&M and Pepsi, made for a significantly heftier bank account for the artist.
While Beyoncé may have topped her, Swift isn’t exactly hurting while sitting at No. 2 on the list. Forbes reports that the singer also garnered a career-high salary this year, with $64 million in earnings. In addition to the significant revenue from her Red tour, the pop star also holds endorsements with Diet Coke, Keds, and CoverGirl. Right now, the singer is also enjoying the spotlight following the release of her latest album, 1989, which already become the best-selling album released in 2014. As Billboard just confirmed, the album has officially gone platinum, selling 1.287 million copies in its debut week and marking the largest sales week for an album since 2002. Swift is now the only act to earn three million-selling debut weeks for an album, having previously pulled off the same feat with 2012’s Red and 2010’s Speak Now.
Following Beyoncé and Swift at No. 3 on the list is Pink, who earned $52 million this year. Per Forbes, the singer played more than 85 concerts in the considered time frame and grossed more than $1 million per city. Closing out the top five spots are Rihanna and Katy Perry, with $48 million and $40 million in earnings, respectively. In addition to boasting one of the largest social media followings among the industry’s top artists, Rihanna continues to churn out radio hits, including collaborations with artists like Eminem. Meanwhile, Perry continues to be a top earner despite having only played 20 concerts during the measured period. In addition to earning big revenue by playing private gigs, the singer holds endorsement deals with brands like CoverGirl and Pop Chips, and also gains from side ventures like her fragrances.
Jennifer Lopez, Miley Cyrus, Celine Dion, Lady Gaga, and Britney Spears round out the top 10 of the highest female earners in music. Other notable names like Nicki Minaj and Miranda Lambert also earned big, but didn’t quite make the cut for this year’s ranking.