Nashville Artists Claim Five Spots On ‘Forbes’ Highest-Paid Musicians List

Pictured (L-R): Taylor Swift, Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith, Luke Bryan

Pictured (L-R): Taylor Swift, Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith, Luke Bryan

At $170-million, Taylor Swift is Forbes’ highest paid musician—and celebrity for that matter—from June 2015-2016. Based in Nashville is Swift’s record label (Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine Label Group), management (Swift-owned 13 Management), music publisher (Sony/ATV) and PR (Tree Paine’s Premium PR).

Additional Nashville-based entertainers on the annual list include Garth Brooks at No. 6 at $70 million, with touring totals soaring into the nine-figure territory.

Outside of the Top 10 are Kenny Chesney at No. 13 with $56 million, tied with Justin Bieber. Luke Bryan takes No. 19 with $53 million from touring, and endorsement deals. Toby Keith sits at No. 22 with $47.5 million from touring, a Ford endorsement deal and his chain of restaurants and brand of Mezcal.

The Forbes list measures pretax income before deducting management fees. Numbers are based on data from Pollstar, Nielsen and the RIAA, as well as interviews with managers, agents, lawyers—and some stars themselves. See the full list at


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Eric T. Parker oversees operations and contributes editorial for MusicRow's print magazine,, the RowFax tip sheet and the MusicRow CountryBreakout chart. He also facilitates annual events for the enterprise, including MusicRow Awards, CountryBreakout Awards and the Rising Women on the Row. [email protected] | @EricTParker

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