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Taylor Swift Is Billboard’s Top Money Maker

Taylor Swift photo courtesy of Big Machine Records.

Country stars are making big bucks. Billboard released its annual list of Money Makers, ranking the Top 40 wealthiest artists of 2011 based on U.S. income from tours, albums sales and publishing royalties. Country stars took up 11 of the 40 slots, with Taylor Swift coming in on top, earning $35.7 million — 17% more than last year’s top earner, Lady Gaga.

U2 came in behind Taylor with Kenny Chesney taking the third spot. Lady Gaga and Lil Wayne rounded out the Top 5. Other country stars making the list include Jason Aldean, Toby Keith, Rascal Flatts and Tim McGraw, all of who were listed in the Top 20, as well as Brad Paisley, Lady Antebellum, Keith Urban, Zac Brown Band and Sugarland.

Other notable artists on the list include Bon Jovi, Adele, the Glee cast, Katy Perry, Britney Spears, Rihanna, Paul McCartney and Usher.

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