Madonna Named Richest Female Musician, But Earnings Could Be Underestimated

Madonna was named the top-earning female musician in Forbes. Zack O’Malley Greenburg described why Madonna is on the list.

“The Material Girl’s recently wrapped Rebel Heart tour grossed $170 million, contributing to Madonna’s career total of an estimated $1.4 billion on the road. The latest cash infusion adds to a fortune already rich with royalties and real estate, including a town house on Manhattan’s Upper East Side apparently purchased at the bottom of the market and an art collection reportedly featuring works by the likes of Picasso, Kahlo and Man Ray.”

Madonna was No. 25 on the list of overall female moneymakers. However, the $560 million that Forbes lists may be underestimating the Queen of Pop. According to the Huffington Post, in 2013, Madonna became a billionaire.

Madonna Billionaire
“Madonna’s a billionaire now. Her net worth jumped after her MDNA Tour brought in a whopping $305,158,363, making it the highest-grossing tour of 2012. That’s not counting the $75 million in merch sales, nor does it include the $10 million in TV and DVD rights that came with the 88-stop jaunt around the globe,” said Kia Makarechi, who was then the lead writer for the entertainment section of the Huffington Post.

However, Forbes, a magazine not known for their positive coverage on Madonna, fought back at the reports of her being a billionaire.

“There’s a reason Madonna isn’t on our Billionaires list: simply put, she’s not a billionaire. We estimated the singer’s net worth at $325 million six years ago. Since then, our wealth team has chronicaled the scads of cash she earned via our Celeb 100 list, and while she’s earned a ton of money, the numbers don’t add up to anything near $1 billion.”

Many people in the comments section after the article thought that Forbes’ estimation of Madonna’s earnings was purposely misleading.

“Certainly quite an interesting piece of article. Would you mind telling me though why her income and assets are only being considered AFTER 2007? I mean if the woman has made 500M in just six years, then she’s been around for 3 decades — she must easily be a billionaire,” claimed Steve O.

“That was a lot of effort and resources smacked down to ‘clear up’ Madonna’s finances. Why don’t you just write an article titled ‘Why We Hate Madonna!’ Forbes never has anything kind to say about Madonna, ever, but when they get the chance to put her down, they sure do,” said Jason Jones.

However, the author also commented and assured that he’s actually a Madonna fan. He said the numbers simply just don’t add up. Since Madonna doesn’t talk much about her finances, we simply won’t know — at least anytime soon.

Madonna wasn’t the only female artist that Forbes denied was a billionaire. In March of 2016, Us Weekly officially announced Janet Jackson was somehow a billionaire, despite not having a hit record or a hit tour in more than a decade. Many people said the report was a pure publicity stunt, and they could have been right. Dorothy Pomerantz from Forbes wrote an article saying the claims, just like they were for Madonna, were completely false.

“This is the same kind of situation. The word billionaire generates plenty of hits (we know) and so reporters, who don’t obsess about people’s wealth 12 months out of the year, don’t bother to check the facts, they just regurgitate.”

Janet Jackson Unbreakable
Given that Janet’s recent album Unbreakable was a flop (when compared with Janet’s past albums) and her Unbreakable World Tour disappointed at the box office, it’s doubtful she became a billionaire soon after that. Do you think either Janet Jackson or Madonna is truly a billionaire? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]