Country artists are bringing in the money. Music Row reported on July 28, 2014 that Toby Keith is sitting in the No. 1 spot on Forbes list of country music’s highest paid artists. Keith is holding onto the top money maker title in country music for a second year running for earning an estimated $65 million, which puts him at the top of the 2014 Forbes World's Top Paid Country Acts list. Taylor Swift was a close second, bringing in $64 million to secure the No. 2 position on the list, and Kenny Chesney bringing in $44 million, landing him in the No. 3 spot.
Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan saw the largest income increases on the list, with Aldean earning an additional $20 million putting him in the No. 4 position with a total of $37 million; while Bryan added $17 million to his earnings bringing in $34 million, to land in the No. 5 spot. The No. 6 slot was claimed by Zac Brown Band who brought in $29 million, and Keith Urban made the jump into the No. 7 position, earning $28 million to make his way onto the Forbes list.
Rascal Flatts tallied $27 million to land right behind Urban in the No. 8 position, with the George Strait coming in at No. 9 with $26 million. Florida Georgia Line closed out the top ten with $24 million, making their way onto the list for the first time. Tim McGraw was just outside of the top ten coming in close behind Florida Georgia Line with his $23.5 million. Blake Shelton and Brad Paisley also just missed out on making the list for earning $23 million apiece, respectively.
The top two artists on the list brought in additional money on top of their singing and touring efforts. Swift adds to her income with endorsement deals she has with CoverGirl, Keds and Diet Coke. While Keith scored his own endorsement deal with Ford and also expanded his brand by opening the I Love This Bar And Grill restaurant chain, creating Wild Shot tequila and opening the Show Dog record label.
So how does the man in the top spot on the Forbes list of country music’s highest paid artists reach the No. 1 spot? Keith explained how the money-making happens for him by stating:
I can put them on that 30-city tour. I don’t have to look for a place to play. It’s cost-effective as crap,” adding “They’re in Toby’s house. They’re drinking Toby’s liquor. That’s Toby’s act. And then we’re moving to the next town.”