The American singer - who suffered a highly publicised breakdown in 2008 - took home a staggering $58m (€42m) in just 12 months, according to Forbes magazine.
The singer -- who shot to fame with her hit single Baby One More Time in 1998 -- has topped the rich list, despite neither releasing an album nor going on tour in 2012.
The singer reportedly received a staggering $15m (€11m) for signing up to the X Factor juggernaut - she's been installed as a judge on the US version of the show.
But the majority of the 30-year-old's profits come on the back of her successful 2011 Femme Fatale tour that grossed $86.7m (¤65m) and her Elizabeth Arden fragrance line.
Britney beat off competition from last year's top earner Lady Gaga.