Pursuing a career in singing can be tough. There are late nights, unpaid gigs and endlessly pestering labels, not to mention the hours spent perfecting your social media presence; but when it pays off, it pays off big!
These top 10 ladies are living proof of being able to make it in the big, bad world of music. In fact, between the period of June 2017 and June 2018, these women with their killer vocals have collectively made pre-tax earnings of over $500 million (£389 million).
They’ve advanced to the top in the music industry and are recognised for their every little success – and they’re paid generously for it, too.
So, without further ado, here are the 10 highest-paid singers in the world!
10. Britney Spears
Personal earnings: $30 million (£23.3 million)
If you’re a fan-girl, like me, you’ll remember Britney from her 'Oops! I Did it Again!' days and her teen-dream relationship with Justin Timberlake (followed by her spiralling out of control, shaving her head and effectively side-lining her own career).
But in recent years, the Princess of Pop has regained control and rebuilt her Britney brand, mainly due to her history-making Vegas stint (which ended in December 2017 after a three-year run) and a position on the X Factor panel. Sales from her European tour Piece of Me, as well as a number of endorsement deals and her recent announcement to return to Sin City with her Domination show in February 2019, has seen her salary soar.
9. Céline Dion
Personal earnings: $31 million (£24.1 million)
Following the loss of both her husband of 22 years, René Angélil, and her brother Daniel within the space of just 2 days (both to cancer), 2016 proved to be a tough time for Céline Dion. However, the French-Canadian singer has focused on other achievements to help get her through the struggle.
Those successes included her Vegas residency at the Colosseum at Ceasar’s Palace (which is sadly coming to an end in 2019), as well as her new kids’ clothing line, Celinununu. The venture is set to make a positive change in children’s fashion with a gender-neutral pallet and has sizes for infants all the way up to 14-year-olds.
The diva with the killer vocals isn’t going anywhere soon, either, with rumours of a new English language album in 2019. In fact, who’s to say that she won’t trade places on this list and rank even higher next year?
8. Helene Fischer
Personal earnings: $32 million (£24.9 million)
In the eighth spot, there’s a newcomer to the list - and while Helene Fischer may be a name that you’ve never heard of before, the German-Russian superstar is popular among the Schlager scene and is often described as the German Taylor Swift.
With over $13 million in album sales and a Cirque de Soleil-inspired tour, the pop-folk queen has been filling stadiums throughout the German-speaking world since September 2017. And that’s not all: with hints of a Vegas residency being thrown into the mix in 2019, who knows what’s to come from the tight-lipped singer?
Personal earnings: $37.5 million (£29.2 million)
Hailing all the way from Barbados, Rihanna shot to fame back in 2005 with a series of top 10 successes (‘Pon de Replay’, ‘SOS’ and ‘Unfaithful’) and has been releasing hit after hit ever since. Today, she is one of the best-selling artists of all time, with more than 230 million record sales to her name.
However, in 2018, RiRi set her sights on her own empire by launching Fenty Beauty, a range of makeup products for women of all skin tones. It was such a success that people were queuing in stores across the nation, waiting to grab their own Fenty product. Since then, she’s also launched her own lingerie line, known as Savage, and featured in the 2018 blockbuster Ocean’s 8 alongside Sandra Bullock, Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway.
6. Jennifer Lopez
Personal earnings: $47 million (£36.6 million)
A 10-time Billboard Latin Music Award winner, Lopez actually started her career as an actress, garnering international acclaim for her lead performance in the 1997 biopic Selena; in fact, she didn’t venture into the music industry until two years later with the release of her debut studio album On the 6, a top 10 hit which went on to sell over 8 million copies worldwide.
Triple-threat Lopez has since dabbled in a number of ventures, including her own clothing line (which features swimwear, eyewear and fragrances), appearances on the panel of American Idol and World of Dance, as well as a record-breaking Las Vegas residency at Planet Hollywood. Along with the income from her new projects, including her makeup range with Inglot and her starring role in the upcoming film Hustlers, Jenny from the Block has consistently bagged the big bucks and lands sixth spot on the world’s highest-paid singers list.
5. Lady Gaga
Personal earnings: $50 million (£38.9 million)
Having achieved fame overnight with her hit single ‘Just Dance’ in 2008, Lady Gaga has been making headlines ever since with her crazy outfits (such as the famous meat dress) and her highly entertaining stage performances. In 2018, the superstar also showed the world her acting chops as Ally, the eponymous struggling singer in A Star is Born, alongside Bradley Cooper.
Through her breath-taking performance and touching lyrics, Lady Gaga has transformed herself from an over-exaggerated character to a wiser and stripped-back version of herself, with the role not only increasing her wealth but also opening up new opportunities. From 28 December, the Mother Monster will return to the stage for her Vegas residency, Lady Gage Enigma, for 74 shows at MGM Resorts International.
Personal earnings: $52 million (£40.5 million)
Having been in the spotlight for close to two decades, earning countless awards and six-digit figures from a series of successful albums and sold-out tours, P!nk seems to have one thing many artists can’t quite grasp: a balance between vulnerability and power.
The singer and songwriter doesn’t seem to be going anywhere soon, either. In fact, she’s at the top of her game, having performed at the Super Bowl, toured the USA with her Beautiful Trauma gig and received the Michael Jackson Vanguard Award at 2018’s MTV EMAs. The punk-rock celeb’s earnings also come from endorsement deals with the likes of CoverGirl, T-Mobile, Sony, Ericson and Volkswagen.
Personal earnings: $60 million (£46.7 million)
Despite being knocked off her throne in 2018 (after a relatively quiet year in which she gave birth to her twins Rubi and Sir), it’s safe to say that Beyoncé is still one of the most successful women in music history. With half a dozen Billboard No 1 singles and a jaw-dropping 22 Grammy Awards safely tucked under her belt, it’s easy to see why.
It hasn’t been all nappies and bottle changes, though; Beyoncé blew up a storm with her comeback Coachella performance in April 2018, followed in June by the release of her joint album Everything Is Love (with her husband, Jay Z) as well as a supporting tour, On the Run 2. Sadly, the latter half of this year’s earnings fell outside of the articulate calculations, so we may see Queen B regain top spot in next year’s rankings.
2. Taylor Swift
Personal earnings: $80 million (£62.2 million)
At the age of 28, Taylor Swift is already a 10-time Grammy Award winner and one of the world’s best-selling female vocalists ever, as well as one of the most influential women in entertainment today.
Her latest release, Reputation, produced the No 1 single ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ and went on to become the top-selling album of 2017 in the US, with over 1.2 million sales in the first 7 days of release alone. The bulk of her earnings this year are thanks to her 53-date Reputation tour, which concluded in Tokyo in November.
1. Katy Perry
Personal earnings: $83 million (£64.6 million)
Katy Perry started her lucrative music career by singing about kissing girls – and look where it got her! Almost a decade later, she’s been crowned the best-selling female vocalist and has unseated Queen Bey from the top spot.
Although her most recent album, Witness, wasn’t a smash, Perry’s earnings this year come mostly from her album tour, reportedly bringing in over $1 million per night. Her seat on ABC’s Americal Idol panel also raised her earnings by a cool $20 million, boosting her profile and turning the soulful singer into the nation’s sweetheart!
What would you do with that kind of money? Join the conversation down below and let us know!
Want to see how much the guys earned? Check out our list of the highest-paid male singers!
If you still want to read more about girl power, though, check out who make up the top 10 highest-paid actresses in the world!
Celebrity earnings are based on pre-tax income data compiled and published by Forbes for the period June 2017 to June 2018. Currency conversions are based on rates supplied by XE.com on 23 November 2018.
This article is an updated version of an earlier article originally published on 16 February 2018.