According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, young people entering the workforce face a slowly improving job market that still has a long way to go.
“From April to July 2015, the number of employed youth 16 to 24 years old increased by 2.1 million to 20.3 million,” the Employment and Unemployment Among Youth Summary released on August 18 said. “Unemployment among youth rose by 654,000 from April to July 2015, compared with an increase of 913,000 for the same period in 2014.”
While regular joes in this age group should exercise cautious optimism, one group of young people is doing great – female pop singers aged 25 and under. A cursory glance at your 11-year-old daughter’s YouTube account is lousy with Meghan Trainors and Iggy Azaleas, all of whom are making more money than the average employed youngster.
The data also shows that they’re probably doing better than you, too. According to the most recent U.S. census report, the average male between the ages of 45 and 54 earns an average annual salary of $71,661. By contrast, the New York Post reported in 2014 that 23-year-old Selena Gomez had a net worth of $15 million.
Youth is fleeting and fame fickle. Today’s wealthy young sensation is tomorrow’s washed-up has-been. Until that day comes, Fortune invites you to enjoy our list of female pop singers aged 25 and under that are statistically likely to make more money than you do.
If the only thing Miley Cyrus had ever done was appear on the very successful Disney Channel series “Hannah Montana,” she still would have done well for herself. Instead, she did what so many teen and child stars have failed to do – successfully crossed over to become a grown up star.
According to the Conde Nast publication Parade, she earned $77 million after her appearance on MTV’s 2013 Video Music Awards. Parade said that the twerking-heavy performance was immediately followed by a 124 percent increase in downloads of her “Wrecking Ball” single. The MTV Video Music Awards performance is also credited with inspiring the addition of the verb “twerk” to the Oxford Dictionary.
Taylor Swift has come a long way since 2009, when she was known as that nice girl that Kanye West took the microphone away from at the MTV Video Music Awards. Her most recent album, “1989,” was the top-selling album of 2014, and in July, Billboard reported that it had sold faster than any other album released in the previous 10 years. Forbes reported that her estimated net worth is $200 million.
She owes much of her fortune to the fact that she is a more ruthless businesswoman than anyone realized. In November she removed her entire catalog from the streaming service Spotify, claiming that it paid insufficient royalties, so when she criticized the Apple Music streaming service for not paying royalties during its free trial period, Apple knew she meant business. Senior Vice President Eddy Cue took to Twitter the next day to say that the company would fork over royalties during the trial period. Don't mess with Tay-Tay!
Singer Ella Yelich-O'Connor, better known as Lorde, broke into the U.S. charts in 2013 with her single “Royals,” which spent nine weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100. When she turned 18 last November, she gained legal control over her finances, which The New Zealand Herald said was worth over $7 million.
The Herald attributed the majority of her wealth to her 2013 debut album, “Pure Heroine,” which sold 2.7 million copies, and to sales of 10 million copies of “Royals.” The Herald said that “Pure Heroine” was the third most downloaded album of 2014, beaten only by Taylor Swift's “1989” and the soundtrack to the Disney movie, “Frozen.”
For some people, their introduction to 22-year-old pop singer Ariana Grande came not through her music, but via closed-circuit footage that appeared on the gossip site TMZ in July. The footage caught the singer as she appeared to lick a donut in a southern California bakery, only to leave it there for some poor customer to come in and buy afterwards. She has since apologized.
Grande has been in the public eye for several years. She appeared on two Nickelodeon programs, “Victorious” and “Sam & Cat,” and released the albums “Yours Truly” and “My Everything” in 2013 and 2014 respectively. The first debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, and the second did as well. In 2014, MTV reported that she had an estimated net worth of $5 million, but it remains to be seen if her donut crisis will have a deleterious effect on her future earnings.
22-year-old Demi Lovato entered the public eye as a child, when she appeared on “Barney & Friends” alongside Selena Gomez. She broke through with her 2009 sophomore album, “Here We Go Again,” which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200.
The New York Post reported that she had a net worth of approximately $15 million as a result of her record sales, touring revenue and her stint as a Disney star. This included appearances in such films as “Camp Rock,” “The Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience” and “The Princess Protection Program.”
Daniel Bukszpan is a New York-based freelance writer.