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Taylor Swift and the tough art of making money

Jeffrey Remz  |  March 9, 2012

The Taylor Swift machine was huge in 2011. The superstar had a take home pay of almost $35 million million. Not bad for someone who's 21 herself.

This is the annual Billboard magazine listing of the top 40 music money makers in 2011. Swift was first with $35,719,902, about $3.5 million ahead of U2 with Kenny Chesney third with $29,837,103 and Jason Aldean ninth at 13,409,011.

What seemed surprising - and this is without a ton of analysis - is that for all the seeming commercial success of the CD "Speak Now" and her huge international tour, which started in Asia and Europe and made it to the U.S. where Swift played stadiums, Swift didn't make as much as I thought she would have.

Now, Swift is not going to cry poverty. We'd all be happy - well most of us would anyway - making $35 million a year. This seems to underscore the fact that there is not a tremendous amount of money to be made in music. Touring is about the only way, and I guess the way Swift did it, that was ultra-expensive.

Congrats to Swift and the others for making it financially - at least in '11 because there are no future guarantees - but it also makes you realize that the folks who aren't superstars - and everyone on the list is - music is not an easy life.

©Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher •
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