Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith Are Top Country Moneymakers
Forbes magazine has published its latest list of the top-earning country music artists, and Kenny Chesney is at the top for a second straight year with $50 million earned over the past year.
Toby Keith comes in a close second with $48 million, due in large part to his Ford Trucks endorsement deal, his own record label and his I Love This Bar & Grill restaurant chain. Taylor Swift and Rascal Flatts are in a tie for third place with $45 million each. Taylor, who was the most played artist on radio last year, made the biggest leap in estimated earnings, jumping from making $18 million in 2009.
In putting together this year's list, Forbes looked at the estimate of gross earnings from June 2009 to June 2010, originating from concert box office receipts, merchandise revenue, album sales, publishing royalties and income from endorsements or licensing deals.
Rounding out the Top 10 are Tim McGraw ($30 million), Keith Urban ($28 million), George Strait ($25 million), Brad Paisley ($22 million), Alan Jackson ($15 million) and Carrie Underwood ($13 million).