A poison pen proved to be a fine business model for Taylor Swift, the 22-year-old country-pop artist who topped Forbes’ annual list of the highest paid celebrities under 30.
Swift, who reportedly raked in around $57 million between May 2011 and May 2012, leads a top 10 packed with female pop singers. Rihanna came in third at an estimated $53 million for the same period, while Lady Gaga was fourth at $52 million (though a significant drop from her No. 1 slot last year at $90 million, due to a gap in touring) and Katy Perry rounded out the top five with $45 million.
Only Justin Bieber, whose album “Believe” earned strong sales and reviews but who remains under the cloud of a variety of recent scuffles and traffic incidents, represented the dudes in the top five, landing at No. 2.
Rounding out the musicians in the top 10 are Adele at No. 6 with $35 million and the 29-year-old Lil Wayne at No. 8 with $27 million. The only nonmusicians on the list were a trio of “Twilight” stars: Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner and Robert Pattinson.
The list is based on a variety of income sources, including concert tours, album and single sales, merchandise and endorsements. If there’s any larger takeway from the list, it only cements the fact that when it comes to pop music, girls definitely run the world in 2012.