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Taylor Swift had a good year in 2015, but that's probably stating the obvious. The country-turned-pop singer has been riding a wave of success for quite a while now, and that apparently includes besting her fellow musicians in the earnings department by a sizable margin. Between album sales and her other musical earnings, the artist raked in more than $70 million, which is tens of millions more than the talented and popular dude who came in second on Billboard's list (said dude being Kenny Chesney.)
Billboard posted their list of highest-paid musicians of the past 12 months, and Taylor Swift topped it with a whopping $73.5 million. That's $7.2 million for album sales, $564,000 for streaming, $4.1 million for publishing and a massive $61.7 million for her concert tour. As mentioned, she beat out #2 on the list, country singer Kenny Chesney, whose total revenue for 2015 topped out at $39.8 million.
Here's the top 10 breakdown:
1) Taylor Swift - $73.5 million
2) Kenny Chesney - $39.8 million
3) The Rolling Stones - $39.6 million
4) Billy Joel - $31.7 million
5) One Direction - 24.2 million
6) Grateful Dead & Company - $23.8 million
7) Luke Bryan - $23.1 million
8) U2 - $21.8 million
9) Adele - $20.5 million
10) Maroon 5 - $19.2 million
I need to pause on the Swift conversation for a moment here, because it seems well worth noting that Adele managed to land a spot in the Top 10 despite no reported earnings for touring, which is ultimately the big money-maker for musicians. It helps that Adele earned $16.3 million in album sales alone. Had she gone on tour, it's a safe bet that she would've had a much higher spot on this list, if not the top spot, considering her album sales are more than double Swift's. Adele is the only artist in the Top 10 with no touring income.
Getting back to Taylor Swift, Billboard's list only cites income related to their musical endeavors. There's no mention of money made on endorsements, of which Swift has had numerous in recent years, including Keds, Diet Coke, and more recently, those Apple Music ads that have been cracking us up. So theres a good chance she reported a bit more on her 2015 taxes than the figure mentioned above.
Taylor Swift has been inching further and further away from country music with each album, and 1989 took her into full-on pop territory, with much success. As Billboard points, her publishing royalties had some help, thanks to Ryan Adams' releasing a cover of her 1989 album. The singer-songwriter capped off her album release with a massive tour, which included drop-ins by various celebrities and musical acts. Based on the numbers, it's evident that Swift's hard work and talent have paid off.