Women Dominated The Grammy Awards, But They Still Make Much Less Than Men In Music

highest-paid women in music
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What’s normally a male-heavy lineup, women dominated the Grammy Awards this year. Hosted by Alicia Keys, we witnessed monumental wins by Cardi B, Lady Gaga, Dua Lipa, and Kacey Musgraves, to name a few, and showstopping performances by female performers like Jennifer Lopez, Dolly Parton, and Diana Ross. Not to mention the surprise appearance by former FLOTUS, Michelle Obama. Music’s biggest night was no doubt fueled by female energy. All this got me thinking, how much do these hardworking women make — and is comparable to the men in the music industry?

According to Forbes, only five of the 30 top earning musicians in 2018 were female. Five. While it’s no secret that the music business is a boy’s cub, the starkness of this statistic is disappointing, suggesting gender equality in entertainment still has a long, long way to go. The good news: Female vocalists show no signs of slowing down. The highest-paid women in music last year released chart-topping albums, sold out stadium tours, starred in critically-acclaimed films, and some even made history in the process.

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Topping the chart for women was Katy Perry, who raked in $83 million last year. According to Forbes, her “Witness” tour grossed around $1 million per show, with 80 in total during the scoring period. She also appeared as a judge on ABC’s American Idol, reportedly earning over $20 million. The multi-hyphenate star has a number of endorsements, too, including CoverGirl, Proactiv, and OPI, as well as a collection of shoes sold at retailers like Nordstrom and Dillards. Between her album sales, tours, merchandise sales, and endorsements, Perry’s net worth is an estimated $330 million.

Trailing right behind Perry at $80 million was Taylor Swift, whose “Reputation” album sold 2 million copies worldwide in its opening week. Beyoncé, who fell from the top spot in 2017 after taking time off to welcome twins Rumi and Sir, came in at third place. She earned $60 million from her historic Coachella performance, her first-ever joint album with husband Jay-Z, titled ”Everything Is Love,” and her second marital stadium tour, “On The Run II.” Also making the list was Pink, who earned $52 million thanks to her “Beautiful Trauma Tour,” and Lady Gaga, who earned $50 million, much of which can be credited to her role in the critically-acclaimed film, A Star Is Born.

One name we were shocked to see didn’t make the list: Rihanna, who has seen huge success from her collections, including Savage x Fenty lingerie, Fenty Beauty, and Fenty x Puma athleisure. According to Forbes, the songstress nearly missed mark, making around $30 million in 2018. But with new music dropping in 2019 and a luxury fashion label with LVMH to come, I can only imagine what she’ll be worth by the end of the year. Plus, with women like Cardi B becoming the biggest stars in music right now, there are sure to be new names on the list next year — I hope.

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