Los Angeles -
"It takes a really big man to fill my shoes," Madonna once quipped. Apparently, it also takes a really rich man to fill those formidable size eights. The 49-year-old pop superstar tops Forbes' first-ever Cash Queens of Music list of the top-earning female musicians, banking $72 million between June 2006 and June 2007.
Madonna earned much of that from her landmark Confessions tour, the highest-grossing tour for a female artist, earning $260 million worldwide. During that time-frame, Madonna also enjoyed income from record sales, her deal with hipster retailer of choice H&M and payment from NBC for rights to broadcast her concert performance at London's Wembley Stadium.
The Material Mom isn't slowing down one bit as she swings toward her 50th birthday this August. In October, the famously shrewd musician ditched Warner Music Group (nyse: WMG - news - people ), her record label of 20 years, for an unprecedented 10-year deal with concert promoter Live Nation (nyse: LYV - news - people ) worth an estimated $120 million.
The 20 women on Forbes' Cash Queens list earned a combined $420 million between June 2006 and June 2007. The vast majority collected hefty paychecks from sell-out tours. Barbra Streisand, who at 65 is the list's oldest member, earned the No. 2 spot with $60 million thanks to her comeback tour, her first in since she announced her retirement in 2000. Hard-to-get tickets to see Babs live fetched on average $300 apiece, the highest ticket price for any concert that year. Compare that with tickets to see the Rolling Stones live last year, which sold for $137 apiece on average.
To compile the list, Forbes examined concert grosses, merchandising revenue, album sales and additional revenue streams from ancillary businesses: clothing lines, fragrance deals and endorsements. Only "active" artists were considered--those who had released an album or film or toured during the specified period. These are gross income figures, with no deductions for taxes, management or agent fees.
Rounding out the top three is Celine Dion, 39, who banked $45 million, largely from her hugely successful A New Day concert series at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. The long-running show, opened in 2003 and housed in the Coliseum Theater built specifically for the spectacle, had been seen by an estimated 3 million fans before it wrapped in December. Dion's groundbreaking deal ushered in a cadre of big-name music acts (Elton John, Bette Midler) signing exclusive contracts in Las Vegas.
Landing the No. 4 spot is Shakira, 30, the Colombian-born crossover phenom who earned $38 million. The multiple-Grammy-winning star swiveled those famously nimble hips on an astonishing 98 tour stops during the period. (She made headlines when she audited history classes at UCLA on the West Coast leg of the tour.) In November, Shakira appeared on the soundtrack for the film adaptation of Love in the Time of Cholera.
Country stars fared well on the list. Faith Hill (No. 8) earned $19 million touring with her husband, country singer Tim McGraw. The Dixie Chicks (No. 9) trailed close behind with $18 million. Martina McBride (No. 13) earned $12 million, while American Idol winner Carrie Underwood (No. 15) rode her country sound to $7 million.
Licensing deals buttressed the earnings of several Cash Queens, including Gwen Stefani and Jennifer Lopez, who boast their own clothing lines and have stamped their names on popular fragrances. Beyoncé is the list's endorsement darling, having bagged contracts with A-list sponsors like L'Oreal, American Express (nyse: AXP - news - people ) and Samsung. Hilary Duff, who at 20 is the youngest member of the Cash Queens list, presides over a tween merchandising empire--spawned from her days as Disney's Lizzie McGuire--that pocketed her $12 million.
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