Beyonce ranks second on the list behind Taylor Swift, while Rihanna is third

By Eric Todisco
August 26, 2019 11:56 AM
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Taylor Swift‘s domination continues.

With the release of her latest (and instantly successful) album Lover, Swift, 29, is adding yet another remarkable bullet point to her resume: she is officially the highest paid woman in music.

The “Me!” singer takes the top spot on Forbes‘ list after earning a whopping $185 million pretax over the past year, which puts her well above runner-up Beyoncé, who ranks at $81 million.

Most of Swift’s earnings came from her Reputation stadium tour. Running from May to November 2018 worldwide, the tour grossed a U.S.-record $266 million, and was easily her most successful tour to date.

The pop star, who is opening the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards, rounds out the money to her name with her nine-figure deal with Republic Records and the sales of Lover.

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“Taylor and her team understand the subtle yet important art of creating substantial moments,” said Kim Kaupe, a Forbes 30 Under 30 alum. “These moments are not only perfectly captured by fans and media outlets, but they are the perfect bite-sized, PR-ready morsel that the news cycle loves.”

Runner-up Beyoncé’s $81 million mostly comes from last year’s On The Run II stadium tour, as well her live album and Netflix film, both named Homecoming.

Rihanna comes in third on the list with $62 million. The majority of her recent earnings come from Fenty Beauty, the popular cosmetics line she launched in 2017.

Following the release of Lover last week, Swift explained that she was especially “proud” of the record because “it’s the first album of mine that I’ve ever owned,” a reference to Scooter Braun buying out her masters for $300 million, which has led to a feud between the two.

Lover is complete with touching tributes to her boyfriend Joe Alwyn, a heartbreaking song about her mom Andrea Swift’s battle with cancer, and even cameos from her Cats costars Idris Elba and James Corden.

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“There are so many ways in which this album feels like a new beginning,” Swift previously told Vogue. “This album is really a love letter to love, in all of its maddening, passionate, exciting, enchanting, horrific, tragic, wonderful glory.”

As well as opening the show, Swift will be honored at the MTV VMAs for her 12 nominations, tied with Ariana Grande as the most this year. Among her nominations are best pop video, video of the year, and song of the year, all for her hit single “You Need to Calm Down.”