The line from the famous song teaches that this is, in fact, a man's world. The artists who have been named by Forbes as the highest paid women in music for 2015 would probably have something to say about that. First on the list is a singer and entertainer who checked in with earnings of over $25 million during the scoring period that was used by Forbes. That is not a figure to sneeze at, particularly when you realize that the woman who made that massive amount of money was not nearly as busy as she has been in prior years. She very well may climb in next year's edition of this list.
The two highest paid women in music for 2015 have allegedly been involved in a public feud for some time. This is the entertainment industry that we are talking about, of course, so it is possible that those two intelligent women are merely looking for ways to generate headlines and buzz as have many others before them. Regardless of whether or not those two women do have “bad blood” between them, there is no denying that both of them have earned small fortunes since bursting onto the scene. There can be only one winner in this list, and she has bragging rights over the singer-songwriter who may be her foe.
10 Rihanna: $26 Million
As was pointed out by the Forbes piece, Rihanna had somewhat of a quiet year compared to what she has been used to in the past. The website states that Rihanna played a total of nine dates during the scoring period utilized to determine the highest paid women in music for 2015. Do not plan on seeing Rihanna in the basement of such a list for long. Her new album Anti should help her cause and then some. Rihanna is also expected to hit the road for shows that will help her promote her new project and also bring in some cash along the way. Still, $26 million isn't shabby for a “down” year.
9 Mariah Carey: $27 Million
Are you looking to see Mariah Carey live? You may have to travel to one of two cities in order to do so these days. Carey, as have many other performers who have looked to make large amounts of money without having to travel around the world, has found a home putting on shows in Las Vegas. She is also, as of the posting of this piece, slated to be the star of multiple shows in New York City. Mariah Carey in New York City during the most wonderful time of the year? It is only fitting. Speaking of, try to count the amount of times you hear “All I Want For Christmas Is You” on the radio during December.
8 Miranda Lambert: $28.5 Million
Miranda Lambert is the only artist among the highest paid women in music for 2015 to be recognized mostly as a country music star. Along with picking up numerous awards and honors that she truly earned, Lambert has done well to acquire multiple business relationships. Forbes lists Red55 Wine, Dixie Darlin and Pink Pistol as three of the endeavors that can be found on Lambert's impressive resume. Lambert was in the headlines in the fall of 2015 when it was learned that Blake Shelton, her ex, was romantically involved with Gwen Stefani. It is almost as if Shelton has never heard Miranda's music before.
7 Jennifer Lopez: $28.5 Million
You can insert your own comment about “Jenny From The Block” here. Jennifer Lopez continues to be one of the queens of the music industry even if her touring schedule is lighter than it was in the past. This is not to suggest that Lopez was not busy during the scoring period that was utilized by Forbes. She served as a judge for the “American Idol” competition. Lopez also continued picking up acting gigs. Lopez, like the previously mentioned Carey, will be performing shows in Las Vegas starting in 2016. Lopez and Carey on the same card: Somebody make this happen and fast.
6 Britney Spears: $31 Million
Not that Carey or Lopez need advice as it pertains to making money, but they could always look to Britney Spears as an example of what it takes to be successful in Las Vegas. Here is a fun fact that may make you feel as old as reading it made us feel: It has been 17 years – yes, 17 years – since a young Britney Spears began her ascension up the music charts with a tune known as “Hit Me Baby, One More Time.” How far Spears has come since dancing in the hallway of a school in the late 1990s. Spears has aged spectacularly over the years, and she continues to be a top star in the industry.
5 Beyonce: $54.5 Million
If you are anything like us, you probably have one reaction upon seeing Beyonce at this point of the list: “Queen Bey only made $54.5 million over the past year?” That is quite the statement to make about the perceptions that are had about one of the most successful women in all of the music world. Beyonce is more than just an entertainer who happens to be married to Jay-Z. She is a brand all on her own. When you are not watching Beyonce work as an entertainer and artist, you are probably seeing her in television commercials and other advertisements.
4 Lady Gaga: $59 Million
Those comparisons that put Lady Gaga side-by-side with entertainment royalty Madonna are not going to be disappearing anytime soon. Fans of Gaga, affectionately known as “Little Monsters,” have been able to see a new side of the brilliant artist in 2015. Gaga has been featured on the cable television program “American Horror Story.” Along with making money from that and from the business relationships that she has forged since becoming a megastar, Gaga also played dozens of shows during the Forbes scoring period. She is a true once-in-a-generation talent, and everything that Gaga touches seemingly turns into gold.
3 Fleetwood Mac: $59.5 Million
All of the artists who are showcased among the highest paid women in music for 2015 are obviously talented at what they do. The women of Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie, are simply at another level because of what that group has accomplished over the decades. Those of you who know a diehard Fleetwood Mac fan could consider picking up the Tusk reissue as a Christmas gift for that person. That box set is being released at just the right time. Fleetwood Mac continues to make new fans with tours and hits of old. The group also happens to be a money-making machine.
2 Taylor Swift: $80 Million
As is explained in the Forbes piece, it seems that it is a matter of when and not if Taylor Swift will be atop the list of the highest paid women in music. That “when” could be as soon as 2016. Swift has gone from being a budding country music star who was strumming on her guitar to an empire all her own. Whether she is performing and partying with the United States Women's National Team that won the 2015 World Cup or she is bringing supermodels up on stage, Swift continues to set new standards. For 2015, however, Swift falls behind only one woman, an artist she may consider to be a foe these days.
1 Katy Perry: $135 Million
Is there actually a feud between Taylor Swift and Katy Perry? If there is, Perry has quite a victory over Swift in at least one department: Perry, per Forbes, made $55 million more than Swift during the scoring period. Michelle Coffey of MarketWatch explained Perry's dominance in this category:
Perry’s overall success is often attributed to her ability to connect with fans on a personal level and tap into what they might be feeling.
“They have hopes. They have frustrations. Perry turns those feelings into anthems,” writes Chris Matyszczyk, a marketing expert and owner of Howard Raucous, for Inc. The singer “might surround herself with clever songwriters and marketers, but at the core is her ability to identify a personal feeling that can be shared. And from that she makes money.”