Katy Perry pulled in $US135 million ($A177 million) in the past year to be the world’s top-grossing musician.
Forbes magazine said the 30-year-old, who is on a 150-date world tour for her album Prism, narrowly edged out One Direction for income in the year through June 1.
The British boy band, whose future and image were thrown into doubt in March when member Zayn Malik left, grossed $US130 million, according to the magazine.
They were followed at $US90 million by Garth Brooks, the 1990s country star who has returned to the road for a comeback album, and fellow pop singer Taylor Swift at $US80 million.
Perry’s dominance over Swift is not surprising considering that Forbes looks at earnings during the year, not total income.
Similarly, Beyonce – who was the highest-paid among all celebrities on last year’s list – slipped to number 29 as she ended a major tour in March 2014.
Swift in October released 1989, which was the fastest-selling US album in 13 years, but she did not go on tour until May, near the end of the period analysed by Forbes.
1989 includes the song Bad Blood in which Swift complains about a rival who “hit me where I’m weak” and warns that “time can heal, but this won’t”.
Swift told Rolling Stone magazine that the song was about a rival who tried to “sabotage” her tour by poaching the people working for her, leading to wide speculation she was speaking about Perry.
Perry was the third highest-earning celebrity overall, behind boxers Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao who fought a highly anticipated match in May in Las Vegas.