The Billboard list of highest-paid musicians for 2016 is out courtesy of Yahoo. The list confirms without a doubt that Taylor Swift did make a huge fortune from her 1989 album. If 1989 were a cow, it got milked real good for all its worth in 2015, both record- and tour-wise. Yahoo’s take on the Billboard list underscores just how important it is for an artist not only to produce the record album, but to also subsequently put it on tour, just like smart girl Swift did.
Earlier estimates pegged Taylor Swift’s earnings at $80 million, but after Billboard did the actual arithmetic, Swift’s final figure fell to $73.5 million. So far, no one has heard Taylor complain about that; after all, that figure is still a lot of money.
The oddest thing is, it wasn’t all about the money when Taylor started to conceive the lay of the land for her fifth album. Beyoncé just released her fifth album and it is simply titled, Lemonade. Of course, no one knows how well Beyoncé’s latest work will do in the long run — not until about this same time next year.
But to take the cue from Taylor Swift, when it comes to crafting a successful music album, never, ever, think of the profits upfront. The trick is to enjoy the experience. Of all the songs that the 1989 album has, nothing represents the entire work better than the single “New Romantics.”
It’s classic Taylor Swift. In addition, watching the music video does give fans a feel of how it is to take Swift’s incredible material on tour. For those who couldn’t afford Swift’s 1989 concert ticket, the music video is the next best thing and will always be there to watch. No doubt, it can teleport the viewer to the tour stages in order to witness the music unfold along with Girl Power.
After 1989, nobody can ever afford to underestimate the influence of Girl Power, which has catapulted Taylor Swift to superhero status. It is no doubt Taylor’s light saber. But of course, without outstanding material to back it up, 1989 would have been a flop. Aside from “New Romantics,” Shake It Off” and “Bad Blood ” are definitely standouts from the album.
Taylor admits to certain influences in the 1980s that inspired the making of her top-notch album, namely Annie Lennox, Phil Collins, and Madonna. And of course, 1989 is the year Taylor was born. During the promotional stages of her work, Taylor Swift told Vox Media that she “woke up every single day not wanting, but needing to make a new style of music than I’d ever made before.”
Who else made it to the 2016 Billboard list? Well, after Taylor Swift, there’s Kenny Chesney making $40 million in 2015, followed by “Just The Way You Are” singer Billy Joel at $30 million. The oddball in the Billboard top 10 list is Adele, who didn’t go on tour until February of this year, yet has already raked in $16 million in sales for her album 25, in comparison to Taylor Swift’s haul of $7.2 million for 1989. Go figure.
All in all, 2015 is the best year ever for Taylor Swift, when it comes to making money and achieving 100 percent job satisfaction for her work with the 1989 album. So perhaps the most important lesson of all is to love what one is doing. This is the best antidote to summon gargantuan earnings? As for the efficacy of making music and taking it on tour, this is assailable based on the Adele experience. On second thought, however, can anyone imagine how much more money Adele will be making by the time she finishes her 25 tour this year?
So much for the what-ifs in life. However, everyone lives only once, and with the legendary Prince being taken away from the music industry so early and so unexpectedly, it is best to take a stab at whatever comes one’s way. After all, no one knows for sure what tomorrow will bring.
It is Beyoncé’s attitude to make Lemonade when life throws a lot of lemons in her direction. But perhaps, making hay while the sun shines will be a helpful advice to those who intend to beat Taylor Swift at her own game for the Billboard 2017 list.
[Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images]