Swift Tops “Money Makers” List

Touring was a big boost to the bottom line for artists including Taylor Swift.

Taylor Swift leads Billboard’s 2012 list of “Top 40 Money Makers.” The blonde superstar made about $35.7 million last year according to the magazine’s estimates, more than any other act in any genre. U2 followed closely with earnings of about $32 million, and Kenny Chesney‘s $29.8 million landed him at No. 3 on the list. Country artists scored 11 of the 40 slots.

The data is based on net U.S. income from touring, sales, and publishing. Not included is income from sponsorships, merch, or synch deals. See the complete list and more on the methodology here.

By comparison, similar rankings from Forbes magazine include sponsorship and endorsement deals and are based on gross income. See those here.

Billboard’s Country Money Makers
1. Taylor Swift, $35.7 million
2. U2, $32.1 million
3. Kenny Chesney, $29.8 million
9. Jason Aldean, $13.4 million
15. Toby Keith, $10.4 million
18. Rascal Flatts, $9.6 million
19. Tim McGraw, $9.3 million
21. Brad Paisley, $8.6 million
26. Lady Antebellum, $6.7 million
27. Keith Urban, $6.6 million
34. Sugarland, $5.6 million


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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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