Taylor Swift Was the Top-Earning Female Entertainer of the Decade

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  • Taylor Swift
    Taylor Swift
    American singer-songwriter

Taylor Swift had a better decade than (almost) everyone. According to Forbes, the 30-year-old was the highest-earning female entertainer of the decade, bringing in an estimated $825 million over the last 10 years.

Overall, Swift was the second highest-earning entertainer, coming in just behind Dr. Dre, who raked in an estimated $950 million due to his stake in the headphone company, Beats, which Apple purchased in 2014 for $3 billion. (It only takes into account living celebrities; As Forbes noted, had it added in Michael Jackson, he'd easily rank as first considering his estate pulled in an estimated $2.37 billion over the last decade.)

According to the outlet, Swift earned the second-place spot because just about everyone loves her music. Her millions reportedly came from her multiplatinum albums, her brand partnerships, and several sold-out tours. But the singer's accomplishments went far beyond making money. In December, Swift was also honored with Billboard's first-ever Woman of the Decade Award. She was chosen due to her massive influence on music and pop culture, which we here at Glamour recognized as well.

"Taylor isn't the first country artist to dabble in pop—both Shania Twain and Faith Hill have done it, to varying degrees—but she is the first to do it in its totality. And, along the way, she broke new ground," Glamour writer Christopher Rosa penned. "When she dropped 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together' and 'I Knew You Were Trouble' in 2012, for example, top 40 radio short-circuited. Both songs were stunning, seamless marriages of genres: country, pop, rock, even elements of dubstep. It was a precursor, if not the jumpstart, to the genre-bending hits that would define the latter half of the decade."

Beyond music, in the last decade, Swift also became a crusader for the rights of artists. In December of 2019, Swift publicly called out mega-manager, Scooter Braun, who acquired her back catalog of music as part of his purchase of Scott Borchetta's Big Machine Label Group. Swift, who was once under the Big Machine label, said she "pleaded" to purchase her music back from Borchetta, however, Borchetta only said she could "earn" back one album for each new one she produced.

"I walked away because I knew once I signed that contract, Scott Borchetta would sell the label, thereby selling me and my future," Swift said at the time. "I had to make the excruciating choice to leave behind my past. Music I wrote on my bedroom floor and videos I dreamed up and paid for from the money I earned playing in bars, then clubs, then arenas, then stadiums."

Of the sale, Swift said during her Billboard acceptance speech, “The fact is that private equity enabled [Braun] to think, according to his own social media post, that he could ‘buy me.’ I’m obviously not going willingly. Yet the most amazing thing was to discover that it would be the women in our industry who would have my back and show me the most vocal support at one of the most difficult times and I will never, ever forget it. Like, ever.”

Swift wasn't the only woman to make it into the top 5 of the Forbes list. She was trailed closely by Beyoncé, who pulled in $685 million, again, thanks to her brand partnerships, tours, and record-selling albums. The next highest-earning female to make the list was Katy Perry. She came in at number seven with an estimated $530 million; Forbes reported Perry took home all that cash after to hitting "the road aggressively over the past decade, with two separate tours grossing nine figures."

Lady Gaga closed out the top 10 with her $500 million earned over the last decade. "Despite some pauses to pursue film and TV projects, Gaga’s live music prowess and wildly successful albums landed her on our list," the outlet noted.

Originally Appeared on Glamour