Which musicians made the most money in 2013?

2013 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show - Show
Taylor Swift made roughly $40 million in 2013. Not too shabby for a 24-year-old.
Credit: Getty Images

Musicians may be complaining that illegal downloading is cutting into their profits, but plenty of artists still took home big paychecks last year, according to Billboard’s list of the 40 most lucrative musicians of 2013.

The songstress at the top of the list should come as no surprise: Taylor Swift made nearly $40 million last year, primarily from her “Red” tour, which grossed $30 million in just six months. She also has some very lucrative sponsorships to thank for her wealth, including Keds, Diet Coke and Elizabeth Arden.

Sliding in at second place is country star Kenny Chesney, who made roughly $32.5 million in 2013. Chesney doesn’t plan to tour in 2014, but considering his “No Shoes” tour brought in $90 million last year, we think he’ll be OK. Justin Timberlake is the third most lucrative musician of the moment, making $31 million last year. He’s one of the musicians who did the best as far as digital sales go, making $5 million from selling music and streaming services.

Others on the list include Bon Jovi, The Rolling Stones, Beyonce, Maroon 5 and Luke Bryan. The bulk of the money made by anyone on the list came from touring, followed by sponsorships. Some musicians still made an impressive amount from royalties and digital sales, but it’s apparent that to make this list, an artist can’t depend on music sales alone.

Some of the list’s biggest surprises are Celine Dion (who brought in almost $13 million thanks to her Caesars Palace performances in Las Vegas), the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (which made $12.5 million from live shows) and New Kids on the Block (the guys made almost $10 million from touring and their 10th album.) Rap, R&B and hip-hop are noticeably less present on the list than mainstream pop and country. Kanye West, Rihanna, Lil Wayne and Eminem are the only artists on the list representing these genres.

The list was compiled using data from Nielsen SoundScan, Nielsen BDS and Billboard Boxscore. The list didn’t take money from sponsorships, merchandising and synchronization into account because there wasn’t enough data to include this information. To see the full list, head to Billboard.com.

Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmLaurence


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