Tags: highest | paid | country | stars | toby keith | taylor swift | kenny chesney

Highest Paid Country Stars: Toby Keith, Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney

Image: Highest Paid Country Stars: Toby Keith, Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney
(L-R) Toby Keith, Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney. (dreamstime, file)

By    |   Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 07:51 AM

The list of highest paid country stars over the past year, released by Forbes on Monday, includes singing veteran Toby Keith, female starlet Taylor Swift and touring king Kenny Chesney, who combined to make $173 million between them.

The top 10 country money makers pulled in $378 million over the past year, according to Forbes, highlighting the increasing popularity of the genre.

"When it comes to commercial success, country acts are outpacing the biggest names in mainstream pop music," wrote Zack O'Malley Greenburg, of Forbes. "Luke Bryan was the No. 2 best-selling artist of 2013 behind only Justin Timberlake, while Florida Georgia Line's 'Cruise' was the No. 4 most downloaded song."

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Florida Georgia Line's co-lead Brian Kelley told Forbes he can see the country popularity increasing in front of his eyes.

"I think country is just getting bigger in general," Kelley said. "Pop music isn't really a sound, it's just what’s popular."

Keith led the list with $65 million, boosted more by his diversified business interest that continues to draw in big bucks for him.

"It's been an amazing ride," Keith told MyCentralNewJersey.com last week about his career in which he has released 17 albums in 20 years. "I love every day of my career. I've had a great deal of things go my way. But, it all goes back to my music. If I didn't have this career, I'd be in an oil field or someplace like that."

"Keith doesn't get as much mainstream acclaim as Diddy or Jay Z, but out-earned both this year with the help of a bevy of entrepreneurial ventures including his Show Dog label, a growing list of I Love This Bar And Grill restaurants, a multimillion-dollar endorsement deal with Ford, and his own Wild Shot mescal," wrote Greenburg of Forbes.

Taylor Swift was on Keith's heels, pulling in $64 million, based on her touring, along with her endorsement deals with Diet Coke, Keds and CoverGirl, according Forbes. Chesney made $44 million over the past year, averaging more than 30,000 fans at each of his 29 concerts over Forbes scoring period, the magazine stated.

Forbes' top 10 country money earners also include Jason Aldean ($37 million), Luke Bryan ($34 million), the Zac Brown Band ($29 million), Keith Urban ($28 million), Rascal Flatts ($27 million), George Strait ($26 million) and Florida Georgia Line ($24 million).

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The list of highest paid country stars over the past year, released by Forbes on Monday, includes singing veteran Toby Keith, female starlet Taylor Swift and touring king Kenny Chesney, who combined to make $173 million between them.
highest, paid, country, stars, toby keith, taylor swift, kenny chesney
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2014-51-29
Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 07:51 AM
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