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Taylor Swift Tops Billboard Money Maker List

Taylor Swift
Paul Kane, Getty Images

Billboard released their official ‘Music’s Top Money Makers 2012‘ list last week and sitting atop the celebrity-packed lineup was none other than country pop princess Taylor Swift. With a mind-boggling $35 million takeaway from 2011, Swift is sitting pretty just above some huge names — U2 came in second with $32 million — due primarily to her ‘Speak Now’ record and the accompanying world tour.

According to to the trade publication, Swift grossed more than $88 million in the U.S. alone during the tour, netting the megastar just shy of $30 million. And all this came just after her overwhelmingly successful Fearless Tour. Even in an industry where album sales remain somewhat shaky, Swift sold 1.8 million units in 2011, and when you add that to her booming digital sales and the royalties that come from an album she wrote entirely on her own, you start to see how the money comes rolling in.

Other artists in the Top 5 included Kenny Chesney at No.3 with $29 million, Lady Gaga with $25 million and Lil Wayne, who brought in a total of $23 million last year. Jason Aldean came in ninth on the list with $13 million, and international superstar Adele landed at No.10 with $13 million, which is pretty impressive for someone who had to cancel so many tour dates for throat surgery. Other country acts in the Top 40 included Toby Keith at No.15; Rascal Flatts at No. 18; Tim McGraw at No.19; Brad Paisley at No.21; Lady Antebellum at No.26; Keith Urban at No.27; Zac Brown Band at No.28 and Sugarland at No.34.

Billboard based the list on U.S. income sources from publishing royalties, tours and album sales, though they didn’t take into account any sales of merchandise, sponsorships or synchronization deals. Even as this list goes public, Swift is off finishing up her Speak Now World Tour in Australia, hitting Sydney this weekend and then heading for Melbourne next week.

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