2014’s Top-Earning Women in Music

Beyonce and JLo
While the music industry may be struggling in the age of digital, some musicians — and those who work for and with them — are still making big bucks via the biz of catchy tunes (and the theatrical hubbub that surrounds them).

If not so much via recorded music — with platinum records scarce in the modern era — the biggest pop stars are still earning bread by the truckload via concert tickets, merchandise, endorsements, licensing, and other income streams.

Forbes has been, as is their custom annually, blessing we of the (at least relatively) broke and curious class with their annual “top paid” lists for this profession or that. Just a couple of weeks ago they bestowed upon us mere fiscal mortals their list of the year’s highest paid female musicians. As we live in a bit a heyday for the female pop star — one of many that will come and go throughout the ages, no doubt — it seems a crowd-pleasing list.

As we’ve done previously with other such lists — and will likely do until there’s no internet left for us to do it upon/within — we’ve arranged these fabulous popsters not by their heights, weights, ages, or numbers of records sold, but according to the sizes of their digital footprints — meaning the breadth and scope of their online impact, presence, prominence, and activity — as measured by our always excellent PeekScore scale.

This list omits some names who also did earn big in the past year; Madonna Louise Ciccone of Detroit, Michigan, for example. Or, of course, the women of the moment Nicki and Ariana. All netted millions, just not quite enough of them to make the top 10.

There are a lot of mega-stars on this list, which finds us with a statistical eight-way tie for first place. But, the tippy-top of our scale does allow for the subtlest of variations within the maximum score; with some of these cyber-giants ever-so-slightly more “10” than others. With that in mind, the eight-way-tie itself is sorted according to digital footprint size; with Queen Beyoncé and the Ms. Germanotta the biggest wheels of the bunch.

Rank Picture Name Earnings for Last

Beyoncé $115 million 10.00 / 10.00

Lady Gaga $33 million 10.00 / 10.00

Britney Spears $20 million 10.00 / 10.00

Miley Cyrus $36 million 10.00 / 10.00

Taylor Swift $64 million 10.00 / 10.00

Jennifer Lopez
$37 million 10.00 / 10.00

$52 million 10.00 / 10.00

Katy Perry
$40 million 10.00 / 10.00

Rihanna $48 million 9.53 / 10.00

Céline Dion $36 million 9.22 / 10.00