Whatever bad blood Taylor Swift may have with former associates, her credit is certainly good. Swift tops Forbes’ Celebrity 100, the magazine’s annual list of top-paid entertainers, with estimated 2019 earnings of $185 million. It’s the second time she’s come in at No. 1 — after she previously led the pack for 2016 — making Swift the first music artist to take the Forbeslead twice.
Forbes noted that Swift’s 2018 “Reputation” stadium trek was the highest grossing tour in U.S. history at $266.1 million, and also that the artist benefitted from a new deal with Universal’s Republic label and the sharing of proceeds from Universal’s sale of its Spotify stake.
Speaking of sharing, Swift shares the upper ranks of the list with an intermittent nemesis, Kanye West, coming in at No. 3 with $150 million. Landing the spot between these two musicians at No. 2 is Kylie Jenner, who hauled an estimated $170 million; Jenner topped the list last year. At No. 5, the rankings return to Swift allies with Ed Sheeran, her former opening act and duet partner, who earned $110 million.
In November 2018, Swift parted ways with her long-time home, Big Machine Label Group, to join Universal Music Group’s Republic Records, a deal that according to multiple Forbes sources, could be worth up to $200 million.
Swift alleges that BMLG offered her a chance to earn back her albums piecemeal—one album for every new album she put out—but says she declined with fears that BMLG chief Scott Borchetta would sell the label. Meanwhile, Borchetta wrote in a letter that Swift “had every chance in the world to own not just her master recordings, but every video, photograph, everything associated to her career.”
Starting with Lover’s planned Aug. 23 release, Swift stated that she’ll retain ownership of “anything” she creates with UMG, which bodes well for her continued inclusion on the Celebrity 100 list.