Toby Keith Is Country Music's Richest Man, According to Forbes

Image: Toby Keith Is Country Music's Richest Man, According to Forbes

Friday, 28 Jun 2013 07:15 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Toby Keith is country music's richest man, raking in $500 million over the course of his 20-year career, according to Forbes.

Keith, 51, best known for songs like "Beer for My Horses" and "As Good as I Once Was," earned $65 million in the last 12 months, more than any other country artist, Forbes reported.

Keith isn't just a country singer; he also boasts a long list of endorsements from his own brand of mezcal (Wild Shot) to his own restaurant chain ("I Love This Bar"). He has a 10 percent stake in Big Machine Records and sells out stadiums across the country whenever he tours.

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According to Forbes, in the last five years Keith has never earned less than $48 million a year. He has also written a No. 1 country hit every year for the past two decades.

"He's built this little empire, and he did it kind of quietly," concert promoter Louis Messina told Forbes. "Not many people have been able to pull it off as long as he has."

Forbes also named Keith No. 43 on its list of "world's most powerful celebrities." Oprah topped the list at No. 1, and the other top 10 celebrities included Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Madonna, and Taylor Swift.

Keith's new album is due out this fall, and its first single, "Drinks After Work," is already scoring radio playtime and drawing rave reviews for its originality.

"When you've been around 20 years, it gets more difficult to reach the youth," Keith told in a recent interview, "so I step out of the box every once in a while to reach them." 

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