Money Monster: Lady Gaga Tops List of Highest-Earning Female Musicians

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Lady Gaga performs at the Nokia Theatre on November 30, 2011 in Los Angeles.

There’s no disputing this Forbes article: Lady Gaga is the top-earning
woman in music.  Racking up more than $90 million in earnings between
May 2010 and May 2011, Gaga is, as usual, setting herself far apart
from her competition. On the edge of glory? That might just be the
understatement of the year. Let’s face it: Gaga has reached epic
stardom. The second place earner, Taylor Swift, notched a paltry $45

(PHOTOS: All-Access: Lady Gaga On Tour by Terry Richardson)

Over the past two years, “Mother Monster” has drawn an estimated 2.5
million of her “Little Monster” fans to her Monster Ball tour,
cementing her status as a pop icon. The tour helped her take in more
than $227 million, according to Billboard, selling out venues from
Auckland to Atlanta. Taking notice of her devoted fan base was a slew
of advertisers like Polaroid and Virgin Mobile, paying her handsomely
to endorse their products.

And because the tally only ran through May, proceeds from her
double-platinum album Born This Way, released that month (8 million
copies sold and counting) aren’t even included in this total, meaning
Gaga could well top Forbes’ list again in 2012. But competition will
be stiff – or should we say Swift – as Taylor continues her Speak Now
World Tour, culminating in March.

Katy Perry took third on Forbes’ list, raking in $44 million, just a
notch below Swift. Her five #1 singles from Teenage Dream makes her
only the second person to reign in such an achievement, preceded by
the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson.

Beyonce and Rihanna rounded out the top five, earning $35 million and
$29 million, respectively. But few of the highest-earners come as a
surprise. All it takes is a listen to top 40 radio to determine the
most-played – and therefore most-paid – artists. But Forbes notes
these mainstream artists could see a challenger next year: newcomer
Adele, whose acclaimed album 21 launched in January, pulled in $18

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