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Taylor Swift has been crowned the highest paid female singer of 2016

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Taylor Swift has just been crowned the highest paid female musician of 2016 by Forbes, beating Adele, Beyonce, Madonna and Rihanna to the top spot, despite not releasing a new album since 2014, and only performing live once this year.

While her counterparts have been touring, dropping surprise albums, churning out hit singles and performing back-to-back gigs, Swift, who has had a rather more relaxed year, has raked in a cool £139 million ($170 million).

Adele came in second place with a considerable lower (but still, mighty impressive) pay packet of £65 million, Madonna ranked third with £62 million, followed by Rihanna with £61 million, and Beyonce with £44 million.

Katy Perry, who topped the 2015 earnings list, came in at number six with £33 million—less than a quarter of Swift’s 2016 fortune.

Taylor Swift performing live

So how did she do it? Well the first point of confusion to clear up, is that the Forbes calculation actually runs June 2015 to June 2016, rather than by the calendar year.

That means that although Swift hasn’t taken to the stage more than once in the past 11 months, the North American leg of her 1989 World Tour (which smashed records for ticket sales, pulling in $200 million in the US alone) has contributed heavily to her total.

By the same tack, a large portion of Queen B’s $250 million Lemonade tour haven’t been included, meaning that she’ll likely rank far higher on the same list in 2017.


Read more: Taylor Swift accused of “false feminism” by Pretty Little Liars star


After the ticket sales, come Swift’s cash-heavy endorsements with Diet Coke, Apple and shoe brand Keds, for whom she has starred in several adverts, while more than three million albums (or download equivalents) sold during the period, brings up the rear.

Even Adele, who thanks to 25 had the best selling album of 2015, and broke all manners of sales and download records, couldn’t come close to catching up with the Bad Blood star.

Adele performing live

Adele came in second place with a considerable lower (but still, mighty impressive) pay packet of £65 million

Further down the list, Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, Shania Twain (the highest paid woman in the country music arena this year) and Celine Dion all made the top 10 too, thanks to their lucrative Las Vegas residencies.

The tail end of Katy Perry’s Prismatic tour meanwhile, plus a string of clothing and make-up endorsements, kept her in the rankings for another year.


Read more: Adele on postnatal depression and ‘brave’ child-free women


The World's Highest-Paid Women In Music 2016

  1. Taylor Swift - £139 million ($170m)
  2. Adele - £65 million ($80.5 million)
  3. Madonna - £62 million ($76.5 million)
  4. Rihanna - £61 million ($75 million)
  5. Beyoncé - £44 million ($54 million)
  6. Katy Perry - £33 million ($41 million)
  7. Jennifer Lopez - £32 million ($39.5 million)
  8. Britney Spears - £25 ($30.5 million)
  9. Shania Twain - £22 million ($27.5 million)
  10. Celine Dion - £21 million ($27 million)

Images: Rex 

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