The publication has compiled the 30 "brightest stars" across 15 categories after working with "a panel of expert judges" to decide on the final listings.
"In sum they represent the entrepreneurial, creative and intellectual best of their generation," Forbes stated. "Individually, they are engaging, surprising and incredibly hardworking."
Adele made the list for the success of her widely-popular album 21, which has sold over 23 million copies worldwide.
One Direction have been honoured following the global success of 'What Makes You Beautiful' and Rihanna makes the cut after a string of sold-out shows and lucrative endorsement deals.
Justin Bieber, Drake, Lady GaGa, Calvin Harris and Marcus Mumford are among the other acts listed.
Forbes's 30 Under 30 music stars list is as follows:
Tom Lehman, Ilan Zechory
Elias Roman, Peter Asbill, Elliott Breece, Eric Davich
James 'J' Sider
Sam Tarantino, Josh Greenberg
Watch the music video for One Direction's 'What Makes You Beautiful' below: