After a three year creative hiatus and recovery Britney Spears came back full force with her seventh studio album Femme Fatale in March 2011. The album was followed by a tour of the same name, and she has since become a judge on the US X Factor, all of which has pushed her to become the highest paid woman in music, according to Forbes' rich list, reports the LA Times. 

Throughout her lucrative ventures Spears has earned $58m, which as well as her album, tour and forays in television, also includes her Elizabeth Arden fragrance and other product endorsements. Second on the list comes Taylor Swift, with $57m. However, this number doesn't include sales from her newest album 'Red' which broke sale records in its first week of release.

Folling not too far behind is Rihanna with earnings of $53 million a number that also doesn't include her 777 tour or her seventh studio album Unapolagetic. At number four is last years #1 Lady GaGa at $52 million. Katy Perry's $45 million brings her in at fourth. Rounding out Forbes' top 10 are Beyonce ($40 million), Adele ($35 million), Sade ($33 million), Madonna ($30 million) and Shakira ($20 million). 

None of these numbers even comes close though to Lady Gaga's fortune from last year in which she amassed $90m.