Taylor Swift tops Forbes' 2016 list of highest paid women in music

Taylor Swift performs during the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas.
Taylor Swift performs during the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas.PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (Reuters) - With earnings of US$170 million (S$235 million), pop singer Taylor Swift was 2016's highest-paid woman in music, Forbes magazine said on Wednesday.

Swift, 26, smashed the Rolling Stones' North American touring record, pulling in a total of more than US$200 million on the North American portion of her 1989 world tour. Last year, she came in second to Katy Perry with an estimated US$80 million.

Swift was honoured with the first-ever Taylor Swift Award at the BMI Pop Awards in May, quipping that she "would be kind of bummed" if the award had gone to someone else.

British singer Adele, 28, was ranked second on Forbes' list with US$80.5 million in earnings, her highest total yet. Adele, whose album 25 swiftly became the biggest seller of 2015, enjoyed continued success with album sales this year and grossed millions per night for her arena shows.

Madonna, who was named the highest-paid woman in music in 2013, was ranked third this year. Her recent Rebel Heart tour grossed US$170 million, bringing her career total on the road to US$1.4 billion pretax, according to the magazine.

In the past 12 months, the 58-year-old earned a total of US$76.5 million. That was slightly more than Barbados-born Rihanna, who earned US$75 million and also received a lifetime achievement award at the MTV Video Music Awards in August. Beyonce, who was 2014's top earner, was at No.5 with US$54 million.

Collectively, the 10 women on Forbes' list earned more than US$600 million this year.

Forbes compiled the list after estimating pretax income for the 12 months from June 2015 to 2016 based on interviews with managers, agents, lawyers and some of the stars. It also looked at data from Pollstar, the Recording Industry Association of America and tracking firm Nielsen SoundScan.