Country Stars Make Latest “Forbes” List

Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood on the red carpet at the BMI Country Awards this fall.

Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood represent Nashville on Forbes’ new list of Top-Earning Women in Music.

Swift came in second place on the all-genre list with an estimated $45 million in earnings between May 2010 and May 2011. Lady Gaga scored the top spot with $90 million. Underwood raked in $20 million, securing the No. 7 spot. Pop starlet Katy Perry rounded out the top three with $44 million.

Contributing to the totals are album sales, touring, publishing royalties, endorsement deals and more.

Forbes methodology: Pretax income earned from May 2010 to May 2011, before subtracting agent and manager fees. Compiled with the help of data from Pollstar, RIAA, interviews with lawyers, managers, concert promoters, agents and, in some cases, the musicians themselves.


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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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