Music & Musicians

Taylor Swift named Billboard's top earner of 2015

Taylor Swift performing
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No other musician came close to what pop sensation Taylor Swift raked in during 2015.

The 26-year old musician garnered around $73.5 million last year thanks to massive touring revenue, according to Billboard's list of highest-paid musicians. The country singer turned pop star earned $61.7 million from concerts alone during 2015.

The young starlet's income was almost double of the second highest-paid musician, Kenny Chesney, who brought in and estimated $39.8 million last year, according to Billboard. The Rolling Stones were a close third, garnering $39.6 million in 2015.

In addition, Swift's album sales reached $7.2 million and her publishing sales — all those times her tunes have been on the radio — hit $4.1 million.

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Representatives of Taylor Swift did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.

For the majority of the 40 artists listed on Billboard's highest-paid musicians, revenue from concerts was far greater than revenue from album sales. The exceptions were Drake, Ariana Grande, The Weeknd and Adele.

Adele, in particular, saw staggeringly large album sales in 2015. The singer was the top-selling act last year, having earned $16.3 million just from sales of "25", according to Billboard.

Swift and Adele have similar publishing and streaming revenue, but where they truly differ is based on their concert revenue. Adele did not tour in 2015. Thus, the musician brought in less than half of Swift's revenue, garnering about $20.5 million.

Representatives of Adele declined comment.

Adele's 2016 tour could generate as much as $150 million, according to Forbes.