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Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney Are Top Earners in Music

Kenny Chesney Taylor Swift
Theo Wargo / Jamie McCarthy, Getty Images

There’s apparently money to be made in country music. Billboard magazine has released their list of the Top Music Money Makers of last year, and not surprisingly, Taylor Swift and Kenny Chesney claimed the top two spots.

Swift easily took the No. 1 slot, making $39,699,575.60 in 2013. Her hefty paycheck is thanks to her 2012 multi-platinum album, ‘Red,’ and the record’s accompanying global tour. She also scored sponsorships from three major companies — Keds, Elizabeth Arden and Diet Coke — for the worldwide trek. In addition, the songtress claims almost 10 million downloads and makes an estimated $17 per head from each concert attendee in merchandise.

Chesney came in about six million dollars behind Swift at $32,956,240.70. The Tennessee native’s impressive earning are thanks to his sold-out tours, which boast more than one million in attendance for ten consecutive tours, including 2013’s No Shoes Nation trek. In addition, Chesney’s ‘Life On a Rock’ album soared to the top of the charts, and continued his reign as one of the highest digital and physical sellers of all time.

Swift and Chesney aren’t the only country artists raking in the big bucks. Luke Bryan came in at No. 8, making just over $22 million, thanks to his 2.7 million albums and 7.6 million digital downloads sold, as well as his sold-out Dirt Road Diaries Tour.

Bryan’s former tour boss, Jason Aldean, came in at No. 14, with just under $18 million. Aldean’s impressive revenue is at least partly due to his streak of No. 1 hits, including the title track of his platinum-selling album, ‘Night Train,’ and his own run of sold-out shows on his Night Train Tour, including filling every seat in several stadium venues.

Country music icon George Strait came in at No. 15 with $16 million. While the 61-year-old landed behind several artists half his age, he certainly still made a respectable earning in 2013, due largely to his farewell The Cowboy Rides Away Tour, which netted him almost $14 million alone.

Blake Shelton also landed on the list, with his earnings of just over $10 million ranking him at No. 27. The singer-songwriter filmed two seasons of ‘The Voice’ last year, as well as spent the summer on his Ten Times Crazier Tour, and released the No. 1 record, ‘Based On a True Story…’

Other country artists who made it in the Top 40 include the Zac Brown Band, Rascal Flatts and Miranda Lambert. Swift and Chesney beat out Justin Timberlake, who came in at No. 3 with $31,463,297.03, Bon Jovi at No. 4 with $29,436,801.04, and the Rolling Stones rounding out the Top 5 with $26,225,121.71.

See the complete list here.

Next: The Top 10 Taylor Swift Songs

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