Three cheers for a young female artist who beat out a slew of veteran musical giants last year! Taylor Swift was named Billboard's top money-making musician in 2015. The Wildest Dreams singer raked in an astonishing $73.5 million, and $61.7 million of that revenue was generated from her wildly successful 1989 World Tour. Considering how often one of Swift's incredible shows made headlines this year, thanks in part to Swift inviting surprise guests like Lena Dunham, The Weeknd, Justin Timberlake and Selena Gomez on stage, it's not totally shocking. But just wait until you read how far ahead she leads the Billboard pack.
The second highest earner of the year was country music star Kenny Chesney, who generated $39.8 million in revenue, followed by the Rolling Stones ($39.6 million), Billy Joel ($31.7 million) and One Direction ($24.2 million). If you're curious about where all the women are on this list, Adele represents at No. 9 with $20.5 million in revenue. Considering that Adele didn't even tour in 2015, you have to give her props for selling an incredible number of records — 5.5 million copies of 25, to be exact.
Other standout female artists on the list include Shania Twain (at No. 12 with $14.4 million), Madonna (No. 14 at $12.7 million) and Britney Spears (No. 22 at $10.6 million).
It's important to remember that Swift is topping this list without the help of streaming services like Spotify. And, up until this year, she didn't allow Apple to stream her music, either. She's one of the rare artists these days whom fans love so much, they're willing to throw down their credit cards for the pleasure of enjoying 1989 and her four earlier albums. Swift obviously hasn't been performing as long as the Rolling Stones or Billy Joel, yet she commands such respect that Mick Jagger himself appeared on her tour as a guest.
Swift's net worth in 2015 was just short of $200 million, according to Forbes. Sure, she's living the high life and enjoying celeb perks like a $20 million SoHo loft in New York City, but Swift is also a giver. She reportedly supports 30 causes and has donated big sums of money to charities like the Red Cross. Most recently, she donated $250,000 to help singer Kesha with any financial needs as Kesha fought to be released from her Sony contract with Dr. Luke.
Congrats to Swift for topping this list and working hard to achieve her goals. The money is, I'm sure, just a (very) sweet bonus.
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