Looking at How Britney Became Forbes’ Highest Paid Female Musician in 2012

When a Britney Spears biopic is produced in a decade or two, the writers will face a challenge attempting to fit her career into a conventional running time. She is the opposite of the typical teen idol, who fades into obscured normality after their youngest days pass them by. Whereas a conventional music biopic will paint the picture of a rise and fall, Britney’s has remained entrenched in the spotlight – and on top of the charts – despite a personal life that would derail many other pop stars. Several years ago, it looked as if Britney might pursue the path of post-stardom, with drug treatment and lost custody battles among the obstacles that plagued Britney’s personal life in 2007. Still, despite the adversity Britney faced that year, she released an album in Blackout that shot to the top of the charts. It proved that, even when Britney’s personal life is struggling, her music and star power remain invigorated.

Britney’s tendencies to persevere, remain relevant, and continuously align herself with talented producers who push the envelope are reasons why she was Forbes’ highest paid female musician in 2012, earning an estimated $58 million. For better and for worse, she has remained in publications for reasons pertaining to both her music and personal life. Some pop stars pay a hefty sum to PR firms to keep their names in the news when there is not an album release or tour to promote, but Britney never had that problem. We were always reminded she was still in the biz, some way or another. Her business savvy truly shows when attempting to trace the specifics of her $58 million in earnings for 2012. Endorsement deals have already netted Britney a pretty penny; she has earned over $1 billion from her line of fragrances. Profits from the fragrances contributed substantially to her $58 million in earnings from 2012.

In addition to Britney’s line of fragrances, which she has released annually since 2004 and occasionally with bonus CDs, her 2012 earnings were positively impacted by her role on the second season of reality show The X Factor. Britney netted $15 million in 2012 salary by serving as a judge on the show, becoming The X Factor’s highest-paid judge. She didn’t return for the third season of The X Factor, but it’s not because she didn’t enjoy it. Britney has had a full slate for 2013, which includes working on her eighth album and performing a residency in Vegas. Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino will host the residency, which will likely take place right around the release of her upcoming album. With her newest “Island Fantasy” fragrance line, which follows up 2012’s “Fantasy Twist” line, and new album she may even surpass her 2012 earnings this year.

Business savvy with her fragrance line, a willingness to appear on television shows and Vegas residences, and a generally tabloid-less persona these days are reasons why Britney continues to gross so much revenue. A few years back, it looked as if she may travel off the deep end, either to fade away in obscurity or in tragedy. But the past few years she has appeared re-invigorated, and with the continuing success of both her product lines and music career, there’s no doubting that the success won’t continue. Even as her initial fan base grows older, her sound and product lines continue to see success among demographics beyond the typical teen-pop audience. Britney is proving more than ever why she is considered a pop idol.

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