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Forbes Celebrity 100: World's most powerful musicians of 2013

Zack O'Malley Greenburg

There aren't many industries in which one can endure a season-ending injury and still finish the year on top. But that's what happened to Lady Gaga, who ranks highest of all musicians on the 2013 edition of Forbes' Celebrity 100 power list.

Bing: Lady Gaga unhappy with Cher duet

The Queen Monster earned $80 million over the past 12 months and would have banked even more had it not been for a hip injury that cut her Born This Way Ball tour short. The excursion grossed $168 million through January. Had Gaga been able to finish the tour, she would have likely topped $200 million. Even so, her massive social media presence, including 38 million Twitter followers and 58 million Facebook fans, helps make her the top musician on our list.

Gaga is one of six musicians in the Celeb 100's top 10 this year. She's followed by Beyoncé, who returns to the upper reaches of our list thanks to her Mrs. Carter world tour -- a nod to husband Jay-Z, whom she outranks once again. In addition to grossing more than $2 million in every city she plays, she still collects cash from old hits and nonmusical ventures, including new deals with Pepsi and H&M, as well as her House of Dereon clothing line.

See the list: In Pictures: The World's Most Powerful Musicians

The No. 3 musician on our list is Madonna. Though the Material Girl earned more than any other member of the Celeb 100, she didn't rank quite as highly as Gaga or Beyoncé when it came to press and social media, hence her overall standing. But with income of $125 million over the past 12 months, she's laughing all the way to the proverbial bank.

Perhaps nobody grasps the importance of social media better than Justin Bieber, the sixth-ranked musician on our list.

"It used to be there was a mystery to the artist," Bieber told Forbes in an interview for last year's Celeb 100 cover story. "Now there's, like, no mystery -- the fans want the connection, they want to see you Instagramming at a coffee shop in the morning."

The Celebrity 100 measures money and fame, which includes estimated earnings over the last 12 months, and how often each celebrity is mentioned in print and on TV. Our formula also considers marketability and social networking strength across 11 social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Earnings consist of pretax income between June 1, 2012, and June 1, 2013, before taxes and fees for managers, agents and attorneys.

Of course, social media status and press mentions aren't everything. Despite a middling power rank, Toby Keith earned $65 million and a spot on our cover.

"I'm not running for president," says the country superstar. "I wouldn't want that job. I wouldn't want to take the cut in pay, either."

Additional reporting by Monica Nickelsburg.

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Aug 26, 2013 2:53PM
Freddie Mercury was both a Great Singer and He Could play the Piano!!! They don't seem to produce them anymore. Just show us your junk!!! YUK!!!!
Aug 26, 2013 11:09AM
Being a singer and being a musician is not the same thing.Lady Gaga is not a musician,she's just a singer like many in today's music industry who can't play any music instruments.Madonna is also not a musician.musicians are Elton John,Dave Matthew,Paul McCartney among other who do both music and singing.   
Aug 8, 2013 10:18AM
As far as I'm concerned, the greatest singer in the world today is Placido Domingo. You see, he has a real (not electronically enhanced) VOICE!
Aug 8, 2013 10:17AM
She actually rips off the former lead singer from the band Missing Persons, Dale Bozzio (not sure I spelled that correctly). She had a lot more vocal range and talent. Plus she stole her look. Check it out on Youtube and see the comparison.
Aug 8, 2013 9:05AM
It's truly a shame that "singers" are listed as "MUSICIANS".  For the record, musicians are individuals who learn how to play music on a musical instrument.  That is what a musician is, whether trained or not, a PLAYER.  Most of the people listed as "powerful musicians" can't really sing without the aid of electronic studio devices.  Just another statement of what the media is doing to the world.
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