Earning a living as a musician is no easy feat. Even the most talented artists with the top record labels behind them work major overtime to earn their paycheck. Most of their revenue isn’t earned from album sales but taking their music on tour. And more tour dates means more money.
Some of these women are sacrificing time with their young children, while others launched fashion brands and took up residency in Las Vegas to satisfy their money-making goals. We’re about to reveal how the highest paid women in music are actually making their fortunes. You’ll be surprised to learn just how busy they really are and may even wonder… is it worth it?
Britney Spears: $30 Million
Last year, Britney Spears completed her Las Vegas residency at Planet Hollywood and embarked on an arena tour. She also has several commercial deals with brands such as Pepsi, Elizabeth Arden, and Kenzo. Her tour grossed $54.3 million and sold over 260,000 tickets. It was the sixth highest-grossing female tour of 2018.
Spears then returned to Sin City with a new show at Park MGM. Her paycheck? A whopping $507,000 per show, making her the highest paid act on the Las Vegas Strip at the time. Unfortunately, Spears was forced to cancel her residency due to family problems.
Spears’ Personal Life Is Interfering With Her Career
When Spears’ father was hospitalized for health problems, she went on hiatus in January 2019. She put her career on hold to spend more time with her dad and the rest of her family. Then Spears herself reportedly sought treatment at a mental health facility for what many believe is bipolar disorder (something she’s never disclosed).
Fans thought she was forced against her will into the facility, but Spears assured fans she was fine. She then attended a conservatorship hearing in May. It’s unclear how her income is being affected by her and her family’s health problems.
Taylor Swift: $80 Million
In spring 2018, Taylor Swift embarked on a tour to support her album Reputation, which sold two million copies during its opening week and was 2017’s top-selling album in the country. The tour broke numerous attendance and grossing records in the United States. The tour made over $266 million, and two million tickets were sold.
Swift broke her own record for the highest-grossing domestic tour by a woman and beat the Rolling Stones’ $245 million-grossing A Bigger Bang Tour, which took place from 2005 to 2007. Swift’s tour grossed $345.7 million globally.
Swift’s New Music Is Also A Success
In late 2018, Swift signed a new multi-album deal with Universal Record Group using the Republic Records imprint. The agreement allows her to keep ownership of her master recordings (ka-ching!). She also released a concert film on Netflix based on her Reputation stadium tour.
In spring 2019, she released the single “Me!” from her seventh studio album, Lover, and it became the biggest single-week jump in the Hot 100’s history (from 100 to number two). Her music video broke her personal record and drew 65.2 million views on its first day of release.
Celine Dion: $31 Million
Las Vegas is clearly a money maker for the artists who take up residency there. Celine Dion, like Spears, made about $500,000 a night when she performed there. In 2018, she also went on tour and played in several European arenas. In the the Asia-Pacific region alone she grossed $56.5 million from 22 shows.
Celine discontinued her Las Vegas residency in June 2019, and she is currently working on a new album that will be released in November 2019. Dion announced she will be embarking on a 2019-2020 Courage World Tour, beginning in Quebec City in September.
Celine’s Las Vegas Residency Lasted 16 Years
After 16 years, Céline Dion completed her residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace on June 8, 2019. She marked the occasion by releasing the song “Flying On My Own.” “There are lots of wonderful memories, you know, but it’s kind of strange at the same time,” Dion told the audience.
She added, “I thought I was going to be here for three months or something like this, and here we are 16 years later. Maybe we have saved the best for last.” With a new tour on the horizon, Celine is sure to continue earning a good paycheck.
European Songstress Helene Fischer: $32 Million
Many Americans may not recognize the name Helene Fischer. She’s a German singer and entertainer, and she made her singing debut in 2005. She has won 17 “Echo” awards, the “Goldene Henne” award seven times, and the “Krone der Volksmusik” prize four times. She has sold at least 15 million records.
In 2013, her multi-platinum album Farbenspiel became the most downloaded album by a German artist of all time. Recently, she’s made most of her money through touring, earning seven figures at each tour stop. She is one of the world’s biggest touring musical acts.
Rihanna: $37.5 Million
Rihanna hasn’t gone out on tour in a while, but that hasn’t prevented her from making millions of dollars. The singer/fashionista is raking it in with her Fenty Beauty and Savage Lingerie collections. In 2018, she also starred in Ocean’s 8 alongside established actresses such as Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, and Mindy Kaling.
Rihanna is currently working on her ninth studio album, which is sure to rise quickly up the charts and give her some well-earned cash. The album is scheduled to be released in 2019 and will be a reggae project.
Rihanna’s Stock Continues To Rise
But these days, what’s really getting Rihanna the most attention is her Fenty fashion brand, which launched in May 2019. What makes it most notable is she’s the first woman of color to create her own brand. It includes clothing, shoes, and accessories.
Let’s not forget that this is in addition to her critically acclaimed cosmetics company Fenty Beauty, which was launched under LVMH’s Kendo Brands in 2017 (the partnership alone was worth $10 million). So when you add a new album with a fashion line and a cosmetics company, it’s clear Rihanna will soon rise in the ranks of the highest-paid female musicians.
Jennifer Lopez: $47 Million
In 2018, Jennifer Lopz released the single “Dinero” with DJ Khaled and Cardi B, and at the time her earnings jumped 24 percent from the previous year. She also launched a Las Vegas residency, created a limited-edition makeup collaboration, and inked several endorsements, including World of Dance.
Last year she starred in and produced the film Second Act, and it did rather well at the box office. She also announced that she would be going out on tour for the first time in seven years to celebrate her 50th birthday.
J.Lo Has Multiple Money-Making Projects Up Her Sleeves
JLo is currently active in several money-making endeavors. She and her fiancé Alex Rodriguez launched a line of sunglasses in March 2019. She also released another single, “Medicine,” featuring French Montana. She is producing and starring in the upcoming film Hustlers, which is scheduled for release in September.
That’s not all. Lopez is working on an untitled legal drama for CBS that takes place in the future. She will also appear in the film My Spy, a spin-off to Second Act. When you combine her musical and acting jobs, Lopez is certainly working hard for her gigantic paycheck.
Lady Gaga: $50 Million
If it isn’t already clear, diversifying is a great way to make money when you’re a pop star. Music isn’t enough to earn you the really big bucks. You also need endorsements and other projects to bring in the money. Lady Gaga killed it in the 2018 film A Star Is Born, which made her even more popular than she already was.
She also participated in 66 concerts over the last year while simultaneously inking deals with brands such as Versace and MAC. Gaga also released her own fragrance called Fame.
Gaga’s Las Vegas Residency & Upcoming Album Are Certain To Bring In Lots Of Cash
In addition to starring in A Star Is Born, Gaga and co-star Bradley Cooper co-wrote and produced most of the songs on the soundtrack (ka-ching!). She also started her own two-year Las Vegas residency in late 2018, which centers on songs from the Great American Songbook as well as her own tunes.
In the meantime, Gaga is busy working on her sixth studio album. She has been spotted working with a variety of producers, including Boys Noize, DJ White Shadow, BloodPop, and Sophie. When Gaga drops her next album, it’s sure to be a big hit and a big money maker.
Pink: $52 Million
In March 2018, Pink launched her seventh concert tour, the Beautiful Trauma World Tour, with stops in North America and Oceania. It was so successful, she extended it to include some European locations as well. She was then featured on the cover of People magazine’s “Most Beautiful” list.
That same year, one of her songs, “A Million Dreams,” appeared on “The Greatest Showman– Reimagined” album. She also sang the national anthem before Super Bowl LII, despite being quite sick, and was featured on Elton John’s Revamp & Restoration, singing the song “Bennie and the Jets” with him and Logic.
Pink Makes A Lot Of Sacrifices To Have A Successful Career
It’s obvious that Pink has many fans, so much so that in February 2019 she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She also released her eighth album, Hurts 2B Human, in April. The lead single, “Walk Me Home” was released in February. She was awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Music Award at the BRIT Awards.
In a recent video clip, Pink revealed how difficult it can be to go on tour and leave her husband and their children Willow, eight, and Jameson Moon, two, behind. So while she’s earning a mighty good salary, she’s making some sacrifices to do so.
Beyoncé: $60 Million
2018 started out pretty mellow for the Queen Bee after she had her twins. Then things started to amp up after she performed at the Coachella music festival. Over 125,000 festival-goers attended the event, and Beyonce’s show immediately cemented itself as one of the best of all time.
In June, she and her husband Jay-Z kicked-off the On the Run II Tour in England. Ten days later, they announced their new joint studio album, Everything Is Love. It debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200. The pair also headlined the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
A Netflix Deal & The Lion King Is Generating Even More Money For Beyoncé
2019 has also been kind to Beyonce. In April, she released a documentary and concert film, Homecoming, on Netflix which was released in conjunction with a live album of the same name. The Netflix deal reportedly involved three separate projects worth $60 million.
Beyonce is also starring in the remake of the hugely popular animated Disney film The Lion King. She plays Nala in the movie and is involved in creating a new song for the end credits. She’s also featured in many other popular songs from the movie. With these additional credits to her resume, there’s no doubt her income will increase even more.
Katy Perry: $83 Million
Between 2017 and 2018, Katy Perry embarked on Witness: The Tour. She earned a whopping $1 million a night for each gig, and she played 80 tour dates (you do the math). In the meantime, she also released a lot of new music, including a cover of the Dear Evan Hansen song “Waving Through a Window” and “Cozy Little Christmas”, which was exclusively for Amazon Music.
Perry also makes money through her shoe line titled “Katy Perry Collections”. The footwear is available on her website as well as at stores such as Dillard’s and Walmart.
American Idol Helped Fatten Perry’s Paycheck
In spring 2018, Perry signed a deal with ABC to star as a judge on the American Idol revival. Her paycheck? It was reportedly a cool $25 million. When you add up her touring pocket change with her new music, judging duties, and footwear collection, it’s clear that Perry knows how to bring in the dough.
But she gives herself enough time off to enjoy her life. In early 2019 she got engaged to actor Orlando Bloom. Things are so good between them, she hangs out with his ex-wife Miranda Kerr. Perry also recently appeared in a music video with her one-time frenemy Taylor Swift.
Female Musicians Making Lots Of Money: What’s Not To Like?
Katy Perry and Taylor Swift famously had a falling out a couple of years ago. In June 2019, Perry posted a photo of the two of them hugging while wearing hamburger and french fries costumes. Perry captioned the pic, “This meal is BEEF-free,” indicating they are no longer feuding.
If the world’s richest female musician can make amends, she’s doing something right. In fact, all the women on this list are doing MANY things right to make the kind of bucks they take home each year. There’s no doubt most of them will continue to succeed for many years to come.