Taylor Swift tops Gaga, Adele in music earnings

Country star Taylor Swift racked up the biggest US earnings last year, followed by Irish rockers U2 — while British sensation Adele made it into the top 10 despite her health woes.

The Grammy-winning Swift made a cool $35.7 million from all sources of US income, including touring and music sales, according to annual 2011 rankings in industry paper Billboard.

In second place were stadium veterans U2, who earned $32.1 million, including north American revenues from their monumental two-year “360 degree Tour,” which ended in July last year.

Underlining the strength of country music in North America, third place was taken by Kenny Chesney — who had taken the year off from touring in 2010. He made $29.8 million.

Lady Gaga came in fourth with $25.4 million, followed by Lil Wayne at $23.2 million and returning British soul/jazz singer Sade with $16.4 million. Rockers Bon Jovi were seventh at $15.8 million, with Celine Dion at $14.3 million.

Another country act, Jason Aldean, made ninth spot after earning $13.4 million, while Britain’s Adele rounded out the top 10 at $13.1 million — despite canceling live shows from October to undergo throat surgery.

Adele, who won a clean sweep of six Grammys in February, has smashed a series of records with her album “21,” which spent 23 weeks at the top of the Billboard charts.

“Adele made a top 10 showing despite vocal cord problems limiting her ability to perform publicly before she was forced to cancel 10 sold-out US dates in the fall,” noted Billboard in its sixth annual Money Makers rankings.

Swift, 22, has won six Grammys, including four last year and two this February, when she was rewarded for best country solo performance and best country song.

Other big names in the Billboard top 40 earners include Elton John in 13th place with $12 million, a whisker ahead of Katy Perry at 14. The Beatles made no 24 after the Fab Four’s catalogue finally became available on iTunes.

Justin Bieber, who took time off from US touring in 2011, saw his earnings ranking slip to 35th place with $5.5 million, although he still made number nine on Billboard’s year-end Top Artists chart.

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