Toby Keith has topped Forbes list of Worlds Highest Paid Country Musicians of 2014 for the second consecutive year.
Besides being a country music superstar, Keith earned $65 million from a variety of business ventures including his I Love This Bar And Grill restaurants, a multi-million dollar endorsement deal with Ford, his own Wild Shot mescal and the acts he signs to his own Show Dog record label.
“I can put them on that 30-city tour. I don’t have to look for a place to play. It’s cost-effective as crap,” he explained to Forbes last year. “They’re in Toby’s house. They’re drinking Toby’s liquor. That’s Toby’s act. And then we’re moving to the next town.”
Keith has tallied a cumulative total of $335 million over the past six years making him one of the most wealthy country stars period. In 2005, he invested a small amount into Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine Records which has Taylor Swift signed to their roster. Swift comes in at number two on the list with $64 million from touring and endorsement deals for Diet Coke, Kes and CoverGirl, on their roster and every time Swift gets paid, Keith does as well as he still retains that investment stake.
Despite taking much of 2014 off, Kenny Chesney comes in third place with $44 million. While Forbes’ scoring period tracks the tail end of Chesney’s No Shoes Nation Tour with 29 shows, the country star averaged a crowd in excess of 30,000 each night. He also earns millions from endorsements and is likely to score an even bigger payday down the road with his Blue Chair Bay rum.
Rounding out the top five are Jason Aldean with $37 million from 88 shows during the scoring period and all five of his studio albums scoring Platinum status, and Luke Bryan with $34 million by infusing country with hip hop and the release of the double Platinum Crash My Party in August 2013.
Zac Brown Band places sixth with $29 million while Keith Urban comes in at number seven with $28 million. Rascal Flatts score at number eight with $27 million as George Strait places ninth with $26 million on his Cowboy Rides Away Tour. Country duo Florida Georgia Line made an impressive $24 million by selling roughly two million copies of its debut album, Here’s To The Good Times, since its launch a year and a half ago. Those sales were boosted by 7x platinum single “Cruise” which holds the feat of the Top Selling Country Digital Song of All Time.
Our predictions for the Number One World’s Highest Paid Country Musician for 2015:
Garth Brooks with a massive payday from his comeback tour and sale of digital catalog exclusively at garthbrooks.com.
Author: Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.