America’s most congenial country star has stolen the crown from Mother Monster. Taylor Swift reigns supreme as this year’s highest-paid star under the age of 30. Having pulled in $57 million in the past 12 months, she coolly ousted Lady Gaga on Forbes magazine’s annual list. Their Highest-Paid Celebrities Under 30 list, that jealousy-inducing index, allows us commoners to gaze upon the good fortunes of those telegenic household superstars that face the same issues as any other 20-something — except they’re far richer.
Taylor Swift, who chronicles time spent with her cat and discusses the tribulations of home ownership, managed to bring in $57 million between May 2011 and May 2012 thanks to a sold-out world tour, a still-successful album and a number of endorsement deals. That estimate, though, includes a clause saying the figure doesn’t take into account things like agent fees, but we can’t imagine that put too large a dent into her sum.
(MORE: Taylor Swift – The 2010 TIME 100)
Not quite as rich as Swift but still pocketing big bucks is current Believe chart-topper and teen idol Justin Bieber, who clocks in as the runner-up with $55 million in earnings. Rihanna shows as the bronze-medal winner with $53 million, edging out last year’s title-holder Lady Gaga who took in $52 million in the past year, down from $90 million in 2011. And Katy Perry follows at number five with a not-so-paltry $45 million.
Forbes‘ Dorothy Pomerantz notes that, aside from Bieber, it’s a female-led list this year. And they’re overwhelmingly music stars. That’s quite a departure from last year’s list, which counted four sports stars in the top 10, among them LeBron James and Lionel Messi. This year, top six highest-paid celebs under 30 are all pop-music veterans — sure, some have branched out to multi-platform success with spin-off movies, clothing lines, and even perfumes — but truly, their music identities are the key to their overall brands.
Perhaps Hollywood should take a hint. The first non-musical celeb peaks at number seven on this year’s list: Kristen Stewart, Twilight‘s Bella Swan, who earned $34.5 million this year mostly from the lucrative vampire franchise. Not surprisingly, Stewart was recently named this year’s highest-paid actress in Hollywood by the same data-crunching magazine. The full highest-paid celeb list, including the two other Twilight stars who reached the top ten, can be found here.