Highest-Paid Musician? Madonna Beats Out Lady Gaga, Says Forbes

Image: Highest-Paid Musician? Madonna Beats Out Lady Gaga, Says Forbes Madonna, left, and Lady Gaga.

Wednesday, 20 Nov 2013 08:30 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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Madonna and Lady Gaga may not be snipping about ripping off songs anymore, but the material girl has beaten out her contemporary as 2013's highest-paid musician, according to Forbes list released Tuesday.
Madonna raked up $125 million, according to the magazine, based the closing round of her MDNA Tour, merchandise sales at the concerts, her Material Girl clothing line and Truth or Dare fragrance. The tour brought in $305 to help make Madonna the highest-paid musician, reported Forbes.
 
Forbes said Lady Gaga, whose real name is Stephanie Germanotta, came in second place for top-earning musicians with an $80 million take in 2013. The magazine pointed out that the singer grossed more than $160 on her latest tour that was cut short because of a hip injury.
 
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If Lady Gaga would have been able to finish, the tour could have grossed more than $200 million, wrote Forbes. The magazine said her ARTPOP album, which came out at the end of Forbes's scoring period; along with future concert dates will make her a strong contender for the top spot next year.
 
Lady Gaga received negative press in 2011 to charges that her hit song "Born This Way" sounded much like Madonna's 1989 hit "Express Yourself," according to E! News.
 
In a January 2012 ABC News interview, Madonna called the "Born This Way" song "reductive," meaning minimal or crude, also claiming that the song sounded "very familiar."
 
Lady Gaga, to her credit made fun of the controversy during a skit when she hosted "Saturday Night Live" on Nov. 16, in an episode called "WHAAAT? The Worst Cover Songs of All Time," reported Access Hollywood.
 
Forbes listed the band Bon Jovi as No. 3 with $79 million, country singer Toby Keith at No. 4 with $65 million and Coldplay No. 5 with $64 million – all benefiting from live performances throughout the year.
 
The magazine said Keith became one of the top artists to capitalize on his product extensions, including his own record label, mescal line and restaurant chain with each having its own stage for him to perform.
 
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Rounding out Forbes' the top 10 best earning musicians in 2013 were Justin Bieber, with $58 million; Taylor Swift, with $55 million; Elton John, with $54 million; while Beyonce Knowles and Kenny Chesney each pulled in $53 million.
 
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