Madonna tops Forbes list of highest-paid musicians

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Madonna is music's top earner of any genre or gender and the highest-paid celebrity of any stripe, according to Forbes. Madonna is music's top earner of any genre or gender and the highest-paid celebrity of any stripe, according to Forbes.
SummaryPop diva easily surpasses Lady Gaga and country-pop singer Taylor Swift to top Forbes list.

With earnings of $125 million, pop singer Madonna is the highest-paid woman in music, easily surpassing Lady Gaga and country-pop singer Taylor Swift, Forbes said on Wednesday.

Her income for the 12-month period used by the magazine also made her the highest-earning celebrity overall, it said.

Much of Madonna's earnings from June 2012 to June 2013 were from her worldwide MDNA Tour, which pulled in $305 million. But the 55-year-old singer, who jumped from ninth place in 2012, also made money with merchandising sales, her fragrance and from her Material Girl clothing line.

She is "music's top earner of any genre or gender and the highest-paid celebrity of any stripe," according to Forbes.

Lady Gaga, with $80 million, jumped from No. 4 to No. 2 this year, despite her Born This Way Ball tour being cut short due to an injury. Gaga, 27, released her album "ARTPOP" after the cut off date for Forbes' annual earnings calculations.

Swift, 23, dropped from second place in 2012 to third this year. Her $55 million in earnings came from sales of her latest album "Red" as well as endorsement deals, records sales and touring.

Forbes compiled the list after estimating pre-tax income based on record sales, concert tickets, touring information merchandise sales and interviews with concert promoters, lawyers and managers. It also looked at data from the Pollstar trade magazine, the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) and tracking firm Nielsen SoundScan.

Singer Beyonce, 32, came in fourth, not far behind with $53 million. The R&B star, who rose two places from last year, was also on the road with her Mrs. Carter World Tour, and earned cash from her House of Dereon clothing line and endorsement deals.

Jennifer Lopez, 44, rounded out the top five women with $45 million. Although her earnings dropped after she left her spot as a judge on the TV singing competition show "American Idol," she still earned plenty of money from her world tour and the Latin singing competition show "Q'Viva" for the Fox television network.

Country singer and 2005 "American Idol" winner Carrie Underwood, 30, was a newcomer to the list at No. 9. Underwood, who played the lead role of Maria in a live version of "The Sound of Music" for television earlier this month, earned $31 million from her latest album "Blown Away" and touring.

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