Pop is a woman's game. And a pseudonym is apparently a girl's best friend, since Forbes has named Madonna and Lady Gaga music's first and second highest earners, respectively.
Though Madonna has announced she tired of being a Material Girl years ago, her actions belie her words. Forbes reports:
[Madonna] pulled in $125 million over the past year, making her the highest-paid musician in the world. The bulk of Madge's millions came from the tail end of her MDNA Tour, which grossed $305 million. She augments her income with heady merchandise sales at concerts, as well as her Material Girl clothing line and Truth or Dare fragrance.
A year away from the spotlight was a boon to Lady Gaga, who returned two weeks ago with her third album, ARTPOP:
Gaga ranks second with $80 million; she grossed over $160 million on her latest tour before succumbing to a hip injury. Had she been able to finish, she would have likely topped $200 million. Her ARTPOP album was released after the end of our scoring period, but should give her a boost on next year's list. She could easily reach the No. 1 spot with a successful set of concerts, the main driver for most major artists' earnings.