‘Forbes’ Names Nashville Artists Among World’s Highest-Paid Musicians

Forbes Magazine recently released its list of the World’s Highest-Paid Musicians, and country was well-represented among the impressive list.  Garth Brooks ranked at the top of the country stack at No. 6 with a whopping $70 million for the year, thanks to a lucrative comeback tour, which kicked off in 2014 and extends into 2017 and has now grossed well into the nine-figure territory.

Kenny Chesney lands on the list at No. 13, tying Justin Bieber with $56 million for the year thanks to his ability to sell out stadiums across the country repeatedly and his new Blue Chair Bay Rum enterprise.

Luke Bryan comes in at No. 19 on the list at $53 million, raking in tons on his Kill The Lights Tour along with endorsement deals with Miller Lite and Cabela’s, among others.

Toby Keith also makes the list at No. 22 with $47.5 million from his tour, Ford Truck spokesman cash, and his Wild Shot Mezcal and I Love This Bar And Grill enterprises.

The Top 5 Highest-Paid Artists in ascending order include Rihanna ($75 million), Madonna ($76.5 million), Adele ($80.5 million), One Direction ($110 million), and the drumroll please…country’s own now pop-superstar Taylor Swift, who pulled down a cool $170 million, smashing the Rolling Stones’ previous touring record with a gross of over $200 million in North America alone, not counting her endorsement dollars. She was not only the highest-paid musician on the list, but ranks as the highest-paid celebrity of any type according to the magazine.

Forbes compiled the list by measuring pre-tax income from June 1, 2015-June 1, 2016 before management fees. Numbers are based on data from Pollstar, Nielsen, and the RIAA, and interviews with managers, agents, attorneys, and some stars themselves.

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About the Author

Hollabaugh, a staff writer at MusicRow magazine, has over 20 years of music business experience and has written for publications including American Profile, CMA Close Up, Nashville Arts And Entertainment, The Boot and Country Weekly. She has a Broadcast Journalism and Speech Communication degree from Texas Christian University, (go Horned Frogs), and welcomes your feedback or story ideas at [email protected]

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