Top of the charts

Taylor Swift highest-grossing artist of 2015

Taylor Swift onstage during The 58th GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 15, 2016 in Los Angeles. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images for NARAS)

Topping Billboard’s annual list of highest-earning artists in 2015 — perhaps unsurprisingly — Taylor Swift. The 25-year old superstar grossed  $73.5 million in 2015 — and that’s just from her music, it doesn’t even count sponsorship deals with brands like Keds, Diet Coke, and Apple Music. The bulk of her chart-topping cash comes from her massive 1989 world tour ($61.7 million), along with $7.2 million from album sales, $4.1 million for publishing and magazine rights and the relatively small sum of $564,00 from streaming (remember when she pulled her music off Spotify in 2014, saying music shouldn’t be free? Or went after Apple Music last year for not paying artists during their free trials — a position they reversed after she publicly called them out?)

It’s pretty lonely at the top, too: Taylor made almost twice as much as the artists closing out the top 3: Kenny Chesney, who earned $39.8 million and the Rolling Stones at $39.6 million. The only other woman on the list is Adele — in ninth position — who made $20.5 million dollars without even touring thanks to 25, which sold 5.5 million copies and became the world’s best-selling album in 2015, in part because she refused to release the record on any streaming services. The popular British singer made some $16.3 million dollars in album sales, twice as much as TayTay. There’s a decent chance we might see her top Billboard’s list for 2016 — as she is doing an enormous world tour this year, which kicked off in February.

Read the full story at Billboard.


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