Ever since Taylor Swift and Kanye West’s infamous run-in at the MTV Video Music Awards a decade ago, they’ve had a relationship that could be best described as star-crossed, according to the official web-site of Forbes. Now they’re duking it out for the title of music’s highest-paid act. This year, Swift wins.
The superstar songstress earned $185 million thanks to a new record deal, a bevy of endorsements and the tail end of her most recent tour, landing in the top spot on the Forbes list of Highest-Earning Musicians for the second time in five years. West was not far behind, with $150 million, thanks to a surge in sales of Yeezy sneakers.
“I am a product guy at my core,” explained West, No. 2 on the list, in an interview with Forbes for the cover of our August issue. “To make products that make people feel an immense amount of joy and solve issues and problems in their life, that’s the problem-solving that I love to do.”
Two other acts entered nine-figure territory this year: British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran (No. 3, $110 million) and California rock band The Eagles (No. 4, $100 million), who both made the cut thanks to a heavy slate of gigs. The No. 5 spot is claimed by another venerable rocker, Elton John, who collected $84 million in 2019 in the midst of his farewell tour. Jay-Z and Beyoncé are tied at No. 6 with $81 million apiece. In all, the 10 highest-paid musicians in the world earned just over $1 billion pretax during our June-to-June scoring period, up from $886 million last year.