How is Taylor Swift Billboard's Highest Paid Entertainer of 2014?

Christina Drill
March 11, 2014

THAT'S MY GIRL! Country-pop crossover/beautiful soul/almost-Kennedy Taylor Swift tops Billboard's Money Makers Rich List this year, and when you break down the gigs she's had in the past year, it makes sense why she comes out at number one.

From her 2012 platinum album "RED" to her worldwide "RED" tour to sponsorships from gigantic American brands like Keds, Elizabeth Arden, and Diet Coke, our girl Tay brought in a whopping $39.7 million last year. Sit on that for a second.

The success of Taylor Swift is pretty unprecedented and I want to talk about it for a minute. Starting "country" on an indie label (Scott Borchetta's Big Machine Records, which she is still under), it was an easy to crossover to pop-- Tay isn't really country, guys, she grew up in Pennsylvania and her dad worked on Wall Street. Her songs, at the core of them, were always country-ISH, but only because of the arrangements put on them by production. Her songs are all melody and can really be transformed into whatever sound you want-- even dubstep.

And then there is like, her image. Her entire being. The fact that she wears Oxford shirts under sweaters almost every day of the week year-round. When was the last time a pop star had an image as palatable as Taylor Swift's? (When I say palatable, I mean palatable to the entirety of America-- @badgalriri's Instagram is very palatable to me, but maybe not to everyone.) Probably never in the history of America. She is a gigantic family-friendly company's endorsement dream. That's how you make $40 million in a year.

Second on the list was Kenny Chesney with $32.9 million raked in last year (the country circuit, I'm telling you). Third was Justin Timberlake with $31.4 million. May seem surprising, but then you remember, right! Justin Timberlake toured twice this year.

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