Beyonce, Rihanna, Adele and Alicia Keys Richest in R&B

Though we usually hear about how much earnings our male counterparts rake in yearly, there is no denying that female artists are equally as successful and dominating in the music industry. Ranging from Lady Gaga to Adele and Beyonce, 2011 was a strong year for female artists. Luckily, Forbes compiled a list of the industry’s top-earning female artists consisting of revenue from album sales, touring, and even endorsement deals (from May 2010 to May 2011).

Coming in at the top of the list is Lady Gaga, followed by Taylor Swift and pop singer Katy Perry. In at the fourth spot is the mother-to-be herself, Beyonce Knowles, taking in #35 million. Much of her earnings came from her latest album, ‘4,’ as well as her fashion line House of Dereon, coupled with her new fragrances Heat and Pulse.

Following behind her is Rihanna with $29 million. The Barbadian princess spent much of the year touring, grossing roughly $1 million per night in concert. On top of that, with the success of her ‘Loud’ album and its singles, “Only Girl (In The World),” “What’s My Name,” and “S&M,” there’s no questioning why she is on the list. And let’s not forget her endorsement deals with CoverGirl and Secret as well.

Meanwhile, next up is the woman who single handedly controlled the charts for the entire year – Adele. The British soul singer took in roughly $18 million easily with the huge success of her sophomore album, ’21,’ along with touring revenue.

And in at the number ten spot is the Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Alicia Keys, who took in $10 million. Though Alicia was relatively quiet for the year, let us not forget the success of her collaborative pop smash “Empire State of Mind” with Jay-Z this year. In addition, Alicia spent much of her time behind the scenes co-directing a short film called ‘Five,’ and co-producing the Broadway play ‘Stick Fly,’ which generated nearly $700,000 a night. Aside from working, Alicia also contributed time to her charity, Keep A Child Alive.

“A lot of times, people make far more money than they could probably ever even think about what to do with,” she told Forbes. “If you have the opportunity to be able to encourage someone to do something great for somebody else … I think that’s the right way to do business.”