How Did Taylor Swift Beat Beyonce and Justin Timberlake?

The singer overcame some stiff competition on Billboard's list.

March 11, 2014, 10:31 AM

March 11, 2014 — -- intro: It might be up for debate whether Taylor Swift is the latest princess of pop or country. But there's no doubt she's the queen of the music business. She just came out on top of Billboard's list of the biggest money-makers in music, earning an estimated $39.7 million last year, beating out Queen Bey herself, who earned $24.4 million.

Here's Billboard's top 10 list of the highest performing earners in the music industry, based on Nielsen SoundScan, Nielsen BDS and Billboard Boxscore, but excluding sponsorship and merchandising.

quicklist:title: Taylor Swift, 23category: 2013 Earnings: $39,699,575 media: 22860553text: Swift beat the rest of the heap through album sales and touring, appealing to a wide range of fans: ranging from country, pop and a little bit of angsty youth. Billboard's estimated earnings for album and track sales of all artists in this list assumed a royalty rate of 20 percent of retail, minus producers’ fees. Billboard said it didn't include merchandising and sponsorship because of the lack of data, which would have brought a windfall for Swift, who has deals with Diet Coke, Elizabeth Arden and Keds.

quicklist:title: Kenny Chesney, 45category: 2013 Earnings: $32,956,240 media: 22861695text: Country singer Kenny Chesney is second to only Garth Brooks among country performers with the most No. 1 hits on the Billboard 200.

quicklist:title: Justin Timberlake, 33category: 2013 Earnings: $31,463,297 media: 22861743text:Timberlake released his first album since 2006 last year, earning more than $31.4 million for album sales and touring with Jay Z.

quicklist:title: Bon Jovi, 52category: 2013 Earnings: $29,436,801 media: 22861886text: Bon Jovi is not only a staple in the U.S., but around the world, at least according to his global touring performances. According to Billboard, Bon Jovi's "Because We Can Tour" was the top-grossing tour of 2013, the third time in six years the band has worn that crown.

quicklist:title: The Rolling Stones category: 2013 Earnings: $26,225,121 media: 22861271text: Mick Jagger (age 70), Keith Richards (70), Charlie Watts (72), and Ronnie Wood (66) celebrated their 50th anniversary with a limited tour in North America, selling out every show.

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quicklist:title: Beyonce, 32category: 2013 Earnings: $24,429,176media: 22861027text: Remember when Beyonce surprised everyone with a fifth album on Dec. 13? That album debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 chart. Would Beyonce Knowles Carter have ranked higher in the list had she released her album earlier in the year, back when she was busy rocking the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans for Super Bowl XLVII, traveling for the Mrs. Carter Show World Tour, or lip-syncing at President Barack Obama's inauguration?

Read More: Beyonce Explains Why She Released New Album All At Once

To calculate labels’ direct deals with interactive services, Billboard used a blended rate of $0.00525 for audio and $0.005 for video streams and subtracted a manager’s fee of 10 percent.

Again, Billboard's estimate for Beyonce doesn't include her endorsement deals, such as that of Pepsi.

quicklist:title: Maroon 5category: 2013 Earnings: $22,284,754media: 22861648text: Despite frontman Adam Levine's (age 34) busy schedule due to judging on NBC's "The Voice," he and James Valentine (age 35), Jesse Carmichael (34), Matt Flynn (43), Mickey Madden (34) still managed to earn millions while touring and selling albums.

quicklist:title: Luke Bryan, 37 category: 2013 Earnings: $22,142,235 media: 22861555text: Billboard calls him the "fastest-rising country star since Taylor Swift." He co-hosted the Academy of Country Music Awards with singer Blake Shelton last year and the duo will team up again for the same gig in April. His hits include "That's My Kind of Night," from his 2013 album "Crash My Party."

quicklist:title: P!nk, 34category: 2013 Earnings: $20,072,072 media: 22861438text: P!nk, or Alecia Beth Moore Hart was Billboard's 2013 Woman of the Year back in December. And she did have a banner 2013 with her money-making global tour that she kicked off in February after her "The Truth About Love" album release in 2012.

quicklist:title: Fleetwood Mac category: 2013 Earnings: $19,123,101 media: 22861978text: Legendary band Fleetwood Mac warmed up last year with a tour that is a prelude to their 2014 Reunion Tour. Also, the band released its first new studio recording in a decade, "Extended Play."

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