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Taylor Swift beats U2, Lady Gaga as top music money maker

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Taylor Swift is music's queen of moneymaking, according to Billboard.

Taylor Swift doesn't wrap up her "Speak Now" World Tour until August, but the pop-country singer and six-time Grammy winner can celebrate with her team a little early: Swift topped the Billboard Top 40 Money Makers list of 2012, earning a reported $35,719,902 in 2011.

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In 2010, Swift probably thought she had hit her peak with her award-winning "Fearless" album and subsequent tour. But the superstar couldn't stop writing. Swift released her third studio album, "Speak Now," in October 2010 and was an instant smash; the album sold approximately 1,047,000 units in its first week. The record catapulted Swift into her accompanying tour, and grossed $88.5 million in the U.S. alone, according to Billboard. As of 2012, the album has been certified quadruple platinum by the RIAA, selling 4,005,000 copies in the U.S.

Swift netted a staggering $29.8 million from her tour in 2011, according to Billboard, but perhaps what really launched her to the top of the Money Makers list is her songwriting abilities. Because Swift wrote all 14 songs on "Speak Now," her income benefited with songwriting royalties.

Billboard’s top money makers of 2012:

1. Taylor Swift: $35.7M
2. U2: $32.1M
3. Kenny Chesney: $29.8M
4. Lady Gaga: $25.3M
5. Lil Wayne: $23.1M
6. Bon Jovi: $19.8M
7. Sade: $16.3M
8. Celine Dion: $14.2M
9. Jason Aldean: $13.4M
10. Adele: $13M
11. "Glee" Cast: $12.6M
12. Journey: $12.3M
13. Elton John: $11.9M
14. Katy Perry: $12M
15. Toby Keith: $10.4M
16. Britney Spears: $10.1M
17. Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band: $10M
18. Rascal Flatts: $9.6M
19. Tim McGraw: $9.3M
20. Michael Buble: $9M
21. Brad Paisley: $8.6M
22. Rihanna: $7.7M
23. Enrique Iglesias: $7.5M
24. The Beatles: $6.7M
25. Paul McCartney: $6.7M
26. Lady Antebellum: $6.7M
27. Keith Urban: $6.6M
28. Zac Brown Band: $6.5M
29. Rod Stewart: $6.4M
30. Usher: $6.3M
31. Foo Fighters: $6M
32. Rush: $5.8M
33. Backstreet Boys: $5.7M
34. Sugarland: $5.6M
35. Justin Bieber: $5.5M
36. New Kids on the Block: $5.5M
37. Steely Dan: $5.4M
38. Motley Crue: $5.4M
39. Kanye West: $5.4M
40. Linkin Park: $5.2M

Is Swift the person you'd expect to see at the top of this list? Are you a fan? Tell us on Facebook.

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