The numbers are in and Garth Brooks is once again the highest paid artist in country music. According to Forbes’ annual Celebrity 100 list — the 100 highest-paid celebrity entertainers, authors, athletes and models in the world — the G-man has raked in $70 million in the last year to land at Number 15 overall. That’s actually down from last year’s Number 6 ranking when he pulled in $90 million, and was built mostly through ticket sales of his ongoing world tour comeback extravaganza.
Kenny Chesney is the next highest-paid country star on the list, coming in at Number 26 with an income of $56 million and gaining 23 spots from last year’s Number 49 mark. His paydays also come from a ginormous touring presence, as well as endorsement deals with Corona beer and Costa sunglasses. Just today, in fact, he announced a partnership with Engel Coolers.
Arriving in the Number 37 spot overall and third in country music is Luke Bryan, who brought in $53 million based on touring and deals with Miller Lite beer and outdoor retailer Cabela’s. He’s also up this year, having placed at Number 49 in 2015.
Meanwhile, perennial list-maker Toby Keith did well again, nabbing $47.5 million from touring, his restaurant chain and a lucrative deal with Ford Motor Company to put him at Number 47 among all celebrities. Still, he slipped a bit from Number 32 last year.
And rounding out the list of country stars for 2016 is newly crowned ACM Entertainer of the Year Jason Aldean, coming in at Number 75 with receipts of $36 million made mostly from ticket sales. He was at 47 in 2015.
All in all, country music is looking pretty good in terms of cultural clout and total value, but then again it takes a combination of the genre’s top three moneymakers to equal the income of the Number 1 spot — ex-country superstar Taylor Swift. The one who got away brought in a staggering $170 million.
Here’s the breakdown of country’s million-dollar men:
Number 15: Garth Brooks, $70 million
Number 26: Kenny Chesney, $56 million
Number 37: Luke Bryan, $53 million
Number 47: Toby Keith, $47.5 million
Number 75: Jason Aldean, $36.5 million