Billboard has counted up just how much cash music’s biggest stars have earned over the past year to compile its “Top 40 Money Makers” list, and Taylor Swift comes out on top.
Taylor’s sold-out “Speak Now” tour helped fill her coffers with $29.8 million bucks, while sales of her albums and digital tracks were in the millions. Songwriting royalties also added to her total, because she wrote all the songs on “Speak Now” herself — no sharing the money with anyone.
Overall, Billboard estimates that Taylor netted $35,719,902 in the U.S. over the past year — and that’s not counting her lucrative endorsement deals, merchandise sales or overseas earnings, which the publication didn’t make part of its equation.
Coming in second on the list is U2, thanks to their super-successful U2 360° tour, and not much due to their album sales. Of all the artists in the top 10 on the list, they actually sold the fewest number of albums and singles, proving that for bands, it’s all about concert earnings. Billboard puts Bono and the boys’ net U.S. revenue at $32,116,315. Of course, they have to split it four ways!
Country superstar Kenny Chesney came in third, and Lady Gaga was fourth, with earnings of $23,353,039, thanks to her Monster Ball tour, and strong sales of her albums and singles. Rap superstar Lil Wayne was fifth, while Sade, who hit the road for her first U.S. tour in 10 years, came in sixth.
Bon Jovi, perennial fixtures on such lists, came in seventh with earnings of $19,813,232, thanks to the band’s Circle tour, and sales of a greatest hits package, back catalog and DVDs. Celine Dion came in eighth place, with her new Las Vegas show at Caesars Palace helping her rake in the bucks. Her net U.S. earnings totaled $14,261,515.
Country star Jason Aldean came in ninth, and in at 10 was Adele, with net U.S. earnings of $13,081,909. That number came almost entirely from her amazing record sales, since she was forced to cancel several tours due to her throat issues.