Madonna Smacks Down Lady Gaga And Taylor Swift To Take Top Spot Among Female Music Acts In 2013

  @natrudy on December 12 2013 8:40 AM
Madonna
Madonna made headlines left and right this summer, and it seems to be paying off. Reuters

Longtime heavyweight Madonna pulled in more income than anyone in the music business in 2013, regardless of gender, genre or age, according to a Forbes report on Wednesday.

The 55-year-old pop singer's $125 million income from June 2012 to June 2013 was based largely on her MDNA tour, which grossed $305 million in total. The rest came from merchandise sales, her Material Girl clothing line, and her 2012-launched Truth or Dare perfume.

Lady Gaga clocked in at second, with $80 million in income last year. Gaga and Madonna ensured that the top two earners in the whole music industry were women, though there were only seven female artists in the top 25 earners for 2013 overall.

Gaga’s earnings were boosted by recent touring, while third-place Taylor Swift, with $55 million, raked it in thanks in large part to the 1.2 million sales of her new album "Red." Beyoncé came in fourth, with $53 million, partly from her Mrs. Carter World Tour.

Jennifer Lopez counted as the fifth-highest-earning female in music in 2013, with $45 million. Previously she earned a $12 million salary from her role as a judge on Fox's hit "American Idol," among other income.

Forbes compiled data from Pollstar, the Recording Industry Association of America, and Nielsen SoundScan, as well as celebrity managers and attorneys. They accounted for concert tickets sales, royalties, merchandise sales, endorsement-related income and miscellaneous business ventures. The totals represent pretax income, before deducting expenses for agents, managers and lawyers.

That there are fewer women than men among top music-industry earners may be because there are double standards about women’s looks versus their musical talents, said entertainment attorney Lori Landew, a partner at Fox Rothschild. Women may also “choose to opt out of the musical rat race before men do for personal reasons,” she told Forbes.

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(Note: Photo by Shutterstock.com.)

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