This Year’s Best-Paid Female Musicians

Forbes counted the money brought in by this year’s pop superstars, and while anybody half paying attention can probably guess every name on the list, you might be surprised by the order…

The 31-year-old pop star [Britney Spears] pulled in $58 million over the past year, more than any other woman in the music industry. Her latest album, Femme Fatale, was certified platinum in the U.S. and the ensuing tour accounted for the bulk of her bucks. Endorsements and a fragrance line with Elizabeth Arden added millions more to her coffers. Not too bad, considering Spears’ troubles just a few years ago.

“I think people love the comeback story—Britney never really finished her run as a superstar,” says marketing guru Steve Stoute, author of The Tanning of America. Adds music attorney Lori Landew, who helped sign Spears to her first record deal as a teenager: “Britney has an electricity that connects with audiences on screen and off, and it is that intangible quality that always seems to leave her fans, old and new, breathless.”

Spears barely edged No. 2 Taylor Swift, who earned $57 million. Like this year’s cash queen, the country-crossover star boosted her take heavily on the road, grossing over $1 million per night. She also earns big from endorsements with the likes of CoverGirl and Sony, and there’s more cash on the way: her latest album, Red, moved 1.2 million units its opening week this fall, the best debut by any artist since 2002.

Check out this article on Forbes for the full list.

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