Conspicuously absent from our 2011 list due to limited touring, Britney blasts back to the top this year with over 75 shows in the past 12 months. She also earns millions from endorsements and a fragrance line with Elizabeth Arden. Her latest album, Femme Fatale, earned platinum certification in the U.S. The Princess of Pop still attracts plenty of tabloid attention, especially in the wake of her December 2011 engagement.
#2 Taylor Swift
PAY: $57 million
Swift benefited from a huge tour this year, grossing over $1 million per night on more than 65 dates. She continues to cash in on her 2010 album Speak Now, which has now sold over 5 million copies worldwide. The young singer-songwriter also earns big as one of the faces of CoverGirl. Her fourth album is due this fall.
PAY: $53 million
The Barbados-born diva lands on our list for the first time thanks to hits including "We Found Love" and "Talk That Talk," as well as endorsements with the likes of Vita Coco and Nivea. Her fragrance, Reb'l Fleur, adds millions more to her coffers, as does her heavy touring schedule that included over 85 shows in the past 12 months. With over 53 million Facebook fans, she's second only to Eminem.
#4 Lady Gaga
PAY: $52 million
Last year's top celeb slides from No.1 on our list due to a lack of touring, but stays near the top because of her tremendous social media influence. With over 24 million followers, she's the world's most popular Twitter user; her 50 million Facebook fans are more than any other celebrity aside from Eminem and Rihanna. Thanks to multiple older hits as well as her latest album, Born This Way, the singer-songwriter still makes plenty of money off of music sales.
#5 Katy Perry
PAY: $45 million
Quick, who are the only two musicians in history to have five No. 1 singles from the same album? Michael Jackson and Katy Perry. The latter accomplished that feat with 2010 smash Teenage Dream, which continues to garner considerable airplay, and dollars, for the "Firework" singer. Her California Dreams Tour grossed nearly $60 million. Perry also got plenty of attention from the media for her personal life this year. She split from comedian husband Russell Brand in December.
#6 Beyoncé Knowles
PAY: $40 million
After giving birth to baby Blue Ivy in January, the female half of music's first couple took a break from her hectic touring schedule. But she still earns big from her old hits and new album 4, which went platinum in the U.S., as well as non-musical ventures like her House of Dereon clothing line and endorsement deals with companies like L'Oreal and DirecTV.
PAY: $35 million
The big-voiced Brit has sold over 23 million copies of her smash album 21, even more amazing in an era when selling 500,000 copies is a strong showing. With hits like "Rolling in the Deep" and "Rumor Has It," the singer-songwriter continues to reap the rewards of heavy airplay and digital downloads.