This week, Forbes named Katy Perry the highest-paid woman in music, causing a worldwide phenomenon as queers across the globe all said, "Really?" in exasperated unison. Raking in a whopping $84 million, Perry edged out Taylor Swift ($80m), Beyonce ($60m), P!nk ($52m),and even Lady Gaga by a significant margin.
It's been a lucrative year for Perry, who reportedly made $1 million a night on her Witness tour, which seemed to never end -- but I've said several times that if "Roulette," Deja Vu" or "Tsunami" had been the first single from Witness we'd be living in a different world, but apparently we already are. She also took home a reported $25 million salary for her role as a judge on the rebooted American Idol. Perry, along with countless other pop stars at her level, is likely to receive million in royalties and licensing, including everything from her Maybelline line to fashion deals.
Perry narrowly beat nemesis Taylor Swift for the top slot in what we're sure is a delicious victory -- although they seemingly squashed their beef earlier this year, and let's celebrate that! The newly-woke country-turned-pop star earned $80 million this year, mostly from her Reputation stadium tour, although much of the income from her late 2018 dates will actually earn her coin in 2019. Swift also signed a new contract with Republic Records and Universal Music Group, the financial details of which are a mystery. Between the tour, album sales, and all those snake rings, Swift's fortune continues to grow to Scrooge McDuck levels.
In third place, Beyonce walked away with around $60 million in 2018, which Forbes attributes to her "quiet year" after giving birth to twins in 2017 and only, you know, going on a worldwide stadium tour with her husband and delivering the most epic Coachella performance the world has ever seen. The On the Run II tour is said to have earned Queen B a pretty penny, solidifying her spot in Forbes' top five.
Lady Gaga earned herself fifth place thanks to her new era as a Hollywood ingenue in A Star is Born, making a reported $50 million, and yet somehow she's been wearing the same wig for the entire ASIB press tour. Rihanna wasn't far behind at $37.5 million thanks to her status as a beauty and fashion mogul -- Fenty Beauty is a huge moneymaker, while lingerie line Savage x Fenty is helping shift the industry's attention away from the transphobic mess that is Victoria's Secret.
In other news, I have a pair of jeans I really need to return to Forever 21 and a jar full of quarters to take to Coinstar. Congrats to the top-earning ladies of 2018!