Garth, Luke, Dolly, Kenny, Toby, FGL Top ‘Forbes’ Highest-Paid Country Artist List

Garth Brooks pulled in a pretty hefty paycheck over the past 12 months, making a whopping $60 million in pretax pay from his ongoing comeback tour which launched in 2014 and has logged 300 dates so far. That number landed him at the top of Forbes Magazine‘s Highest-Paid Country Musicians for 2017, which ranks the biggest earners in the format. Other artists making the elite list and rounding out the Top 5 include Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, Dolly Parton, Toby Keith, and Florida Georgia Line.

Chesney filled his coffers with $42.5 million this year not only with touring but also with his affiliations with Apple, Corona, and his own Blue Chair Bay rum. Bryan took in his $42 million chunk from the road but also makes a bundle from his Outdoor Channel reality show Buck Commander as well. Dolly cashed in on her 63-city tour during Forbes‘ scoring period but also enjoys lucrative paychecks from publishing as well as her theme park Dollywood to make her cool $37 million. And Keith and FGL both hauled in $34.5 million from music, touring and various endeavors.

The list was evaluated by compiling touring numbers from Pollstar and record sales data from Nielsen along with independent research on outside business ventures and endorsement deals. The estimates represent pretax income from June 1, 2016 through June 1, 2017; fees for managers, agents and lawyers are not deducted.

The list reflects a slight downswing in earnings across the top ten earners, from $393 million last year to $366 million in 2017, but the difference can be attributed to some artists playing fewer shows in the scoring period this year than last. However, income is apparently more evenly distributed this year. In 2016, only five acts topped the $30 million mark, in 2017, nine topped that mark.

The list can be viewed here.



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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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