An annual boon to those who want to ensure their ears are not besmirched by the grubbing, guttural wailings of the poor, Forbes has released its 2016 list of the world’s richest entertainers. This year, the top honor went to Taylor Swift, the brilliant young inventor of a machine that quickly and easily sifts the nuance out of emotions, leaving behind only a strong, fibrous, versatile sense of empowerment that can then be woven into all manner of song and textile. Huzzah to this captain of industry, whose ingenuity and vigor serves as inspiration to us all, once it is properly paid for in accordance with copyright law!
Indeed, Taylor Swift is rich—rich in friends, rich in happiness, rich in Hiddleston, but mostly, rich in $170 million of money. Most of that can be attributed to Swift’s successful 1989 Tour, which grossed close to a quarter of a billion dollars worldwide. To put that in perspective, it’s a quarter of a fucking billion dollars.
Also adding to Swift’s cat-stickered coffers were her endorsement deals with brands like Apple, Keds, and Diet Coke, whose streaming music services, secretary sneakers, and saccharine water now also have the added boost of being associated with the world’s top-earning celebrity, so consumers can take comfort that they’re not some bindle-humping drifter just for consuming them. And presumably Swift’s savvy registering of various trademarks related to her lyrics has only solidified her fortunes, a bulwark against it being raided by bootleg “This Sick Beat”-branded pantyhose and wind chimes.
Swift’s usurping of Forbes’ top-earner spot is especially notable for the fact that she beat out Katy Perry, who previously beat out Taylor Swift on some other Forbes bullshit list of rich people that we’re supposed to care about for some reason, thus adding fuel to a long-simmering feud over which wealthy person is wealthier that is inexplicably cheered on by idiots. This year, Perry ranked a distant 63rd with a mere $41 million, which some Swift fan who’s barely above the poverty line is no doubt gloating about on Twitter.
Anyway, coming in at No. 3—behind Swift and One Direction—is novelist James Patterson, who better set up a caricature-style booth at the airport where he churns out crime thrillers if he wants to top this list next year.