Adele may be the one who walked away with all the hardware on Grammy night, but Sade won the money race in 2011.

The 53-year-old, reclusive soul music icon earned in an impressive $16.4 million in 2011, making her the United Kingdom’s highest-earning female act according to Billboard’s latest list of Music’s Top 40 Money Makers. She ranked #6 overall.

Her highly successful 2011 tour of North America – which ranked 10th on the magazine’s Top 25 Tours list – and sales of The Ultimate Collection, a two-disc collection of some of her biggest hits, propelled the stellar earnings.

Adele, the only other Brit in the top ten, pulled in $13.1 million. Her earnings were primarily from the staggering sales of her debut album 21, whose more than 17 million units moved made it the highest-selling album of 2011.

Atop the list is country superstar Taylor Swift, who raked in a staggering $35.7 million.

Other women in the top ten include Lady Gaga at #4 ($25.3 million) and Celine Dion at #8 ($14.2 million).

[Source: The Guardian]