The Material Girl was the year's highest-paid musician, besting Lady Gaga by $40 million

By Alex Heigl
Updated November 21, 2013 08:00 AM
Kevin Kane/WireImage

Well, the dust has cleared, the money’s been counted, and the results are in: Madonna was the highest-paid musician of the past year, according to Forbes magazine.

Though Madge’s most recent album, MDNA, failed to dent the zeitgeist in a significant way, her tour supporting the album raked in the cash, grossing over $300,000,000. Madonna’s earnings for the year were $125 million.

Lady Gaga came in at a distant second, pulling in $80 million this year. Proving that you can never, ever count New Jersey out, Bon Jovi was right behind her at No. 3 with $79 million, and Bruce Springsteen made $62 million – largely on the strength of his Wrecking Ball tour – coming it at No. 6.

Toby Keith and Coldplay made strange bedfellows at No. 4 and No. 5, with $65 million and $64 million, respectively. Young whippersnappers Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift were No. 7 and No. 8, netting 2013 paychecks of $58 million and $55 million.

Elton John made $54 million in 2013, snagging him the No. 9 spot, and Beyoncé rounded out the top 10 with a $53 million payroll, though she tied for that figure with Kenny Chesney.

Weirdly, Diddy was the highest-paid rapper of 2013, having made $50 million without actually ever seeming to rap. The same goes for Dr. Dre, whose Beats by Dre headphones made him a cool $40 million in 2013 without the hassle of having to tour or release an album.

Some of 2013’s more visible musicians actually failed to earn up to the standards of their public profiles: Rihanna, Jay Z and Katy Perry were all at the back end of the list, with $43 million, $42 million and $39 million, respectively. While those numbers are obviously nothing to sneeze at, maybe they could learn a thing or two from Madonna and realize that all the tabloid appearances in the world don’t help your bank account if you’re not out there working.