After a successful 2012, Madonna has progressed from being just your average millionaire to the first female billionaire of pop music. But the addition of the Material Girl into the billionaire (mostly) boys club is more than just a culmination of one good year. It’s the result of a cleverly strategized career that has spanned three decades, 12 albums and more than a handful of business ventures that allowed Madonna to take her career — and more importantly, her money — into her own hands.
Calling 2012 a good year for Madonna is clearly an understatement. The singer was the top-earning pop star thanks to her record-breaking MDNA world tour, which made over $300 million dollars in ticket sales, according to Pollstar. Not to mention, as the The New York Post reported, she made $75 million in merch sales over the course of the 88 shows and pulled in another $10 million in TV rights and DVD sales.
Madonna doesn’t just rely on her music to bring in money, though. Last year she raked in an estimated $10 million for her Material Girl clothing line and shoe line. She also earned $60 million from sales of her debut perfume, Truth or Dare, exclusive to Macy’s, a store that your average Madonna fan can afford to shop at.
The icon also makes good business choices. She teamed up with Smirnoff Vodka and made $10 million dollars. And even though no exact numbers have been released, it’s been reported that her investments in Vita Coco coconut water and gym chain Hard Candy have earned her a good chunk of change.
Throughout her career, Madonna has also taken chances to ensure she made a pretty penny off of her music, even when the industry was dying a slow death.