Girls, they run the world. Just take a look at the Forbes list of highest-paid stars under 30 and you can't help but notice that it is dominated by some of the biggest female performers on the planet, from Taylor Swift to Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Katy Perry.
Topping the list is 22-year-old Swift, who Forbes estimates pulled down $57 million between May 2011 and May 2012. At a time when singles rules, Swift is the rare artist who can be counted on to sell millions of albums, with each of her three releases to date moving at least 4 million copies apiece. The bulk of her cash, though, comes from her sold-out concerts, which take in an average of $1 million per night, as well as her endorsement work for CoverGirl makeup.
Hot on her heels is Justin Bieber, 18, who banked $55 million thanks to 12 million in album sales since 2009 and is the only male in the top five. Not only does his bankroll grow from his album sales, concert appearances and endorsements for Proactiv, but Bieber is also a savvy entrepreneur who has made investments in a number of tech start-ups including Spotify, Enflick, Tinychat and Stamped.
Though she recently
filed suit against her former accountants, Rihanna, 24, reportedly raked in $53 million, much of it as a result of her 85-show world tour and sales from the Talk That Talk album. She also gets paid via endorsement deals with Vita Coco coconut water and Nivea lotion and took in millions more through her Reb'l Fleur fragrance.
One of the hardest-working women in show business, Lady Gaga, 26, hit the #4 slot with $52 million. With fewer live dates over the months tabulated in the survey, Mother Monster dropped down from her #1 position last year ($90 million), but still made serious dough thanks to payments from her past hits, sales of Born This Way and endorsement deals with everyone from Polaroid to Virgin Mobile and Viva Glam.
Katy Perry, 27, rounded out the top five with $45 million through a combination of strong album and single sales and $60 million in grosses from her California Dreams Tour.
The rest of the top 10: Adele ($35 million), Kristen Stewart ($34.5 million), Lil Wayne ($27 million), Taylor Lautner ($26.5 million) and Robert Pattinson ($26.5 million).
Forbes calculated the stars' earnings by taking into account album and concert sales, movie gigs, endorsement and ad work and profit participation. The estimates were tabulated by talking to managers, agents, lawyers and other entertainment industry experts.