Put on your surprised face, Taylor Swift, ‘cause you’re not the top earner in town. Instead, Britney Spears took the lead — although, not by much — in Forbes' list of the top-earning women in music for 2012.

To form their list, Forbes looked at income from record sales, touring, endorsements, merchandise sales and other ventures from May 2011 to May 2012, not including management fees, legal costs and taxes. As they note, "Of the industry’s top female earners, only eight rank among the world’s 25 highest-paid musicians. Part of the reason: women often take time off from showbiz careers when starting a family – and, says [music attorney Lori] Landew, they’re judged more harshly than their male peers as they grow older."

Rough! But don't cry too hard for them, since they are still making quite a bit.

Here's the top 10:

1. Britney Spears ($58 million)
2. Taylor Swift ($57 million)
3. Rihanna ($53 million)
4. Lady Gaga ($52 million)
5. Katy Perry ($45 million)
6. Beyoncé ($40 million)
7. Adele ($35 million)
8. Sade ($33 million)
9. Madonna ($30 million)
10. Shakira ($20 million)

Source: Forbes

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