The top-earning woman in the music business has been cashing in on a massive world tour, a constant stream of hit singles and a string of endorsements with a slew of major companies, while occasionally throwing thinly veiled barbs at her chief rival.
Sounds like Taylor Swift—but, in fact, it’s her frequent competitor, Katy Perry. Largely because of her Prismatic World Tour, which is now winding down, Perry pulled in $135 million this year. She grossed more than $2 million per city over the course of 126 shows in our scoring period, and added to her total through deals with Coty, Claire’s and Covergirl.
“I am proud of my position as a boss, as a person that runs my own company,” Perry told FORBES for our Celebrity 100 cover story this past summer. “I’m an entrepreneur. … I don’t want to shy away from it. I actually want to kind of grab it by its balls.”
Swift has also been having quite the year, claiming the No. 2 spot with $80 million. More than a year after the launch of 1989—the top release of 2014 with over 3.6 million copies sold—her latest single, “Wildest Dreams,” has ascended to the top of the charts, boosted by a music video with Scott Eastwood. But it was the beginning of her epic 1989 World Tour that placed her so close to the top of this list.
Rounding out the top three is Fleetwood Mac at $59.5 million. Though the band contains three men, it also boasts two high-profile ladies—Stevie Nicks and the recently-returned Christine McVie—rendering the group eligible for this list. Its On With The Show tour included 86 concerts during our scoring period, grossing well over $1 million per city.
“Fleetwood Mac is out there slogging it on the road,” says Gary Bongiovanni, chief of concert data outfit Pollstar. “From a fan perspective, I think that Fleetwood’s core fan base recognized that Christine McVie being back in the group was something special, and worth coming out for.”
Lady Gaga ranks fourth with $59 million, followed by Beyoncé at $54.5 million. The former played 66 shows during our scoring period, also cashing in on deals with Versace and MAC, as well as her own Fame fragrance. The latter’s On The Run tour with husband Jay Z grossed over $100 million for 19 North American dates, giving music’s first couple a nightly average comparable to that of the Rolling Stones.
Other big names on the on the list include Britney Spears (No. 6, $31 million), who makes the bulk of her bucks on a lucrative Planet Hollywood residency in Las Vegas, and Rihanna (No. 10, $26 million), who only played nine dates in our scoring period but is set to release new album Anti in the coming months; more touring will likely follow.
Though a pay gap regrettably pervades the music business—albeit not as badly as other parts of the entertainment world—this year the top most high-earning ladies in the industry boast earnings competitive with their male counterparts, as FORBES will reveal with its overall list of the highest-paid musicians in December.
Our list of the highest-paid women in music measures pretax income from June 1, 2014, to June 1, 2015, before subtracting management fees. Figures are based on data from Nielsen, Pollstar and the RIAA, as well as interviews with agents, managers, lawyers—and some of the stars themselves.
Given the nature of our scoring period, Perry will have some stiff competition for next year’s list: Swift’s 1989 Tour is grossing well over $4 million per city, and shows no signs of slowing down.
“It’s a stadium tour, it’s enormous,” says Bongiovanni. “I would imagine that she’s going to dwarf what everybody else does.”
source: forbes.com by Zack O’Malley Greenburg