These 10 superstars are country music’s highest paid artists, earning unbelievable paychecks in 2014.
One thing is for sure; country music is more popular than ever and these artists’ bank accounts show it. In 2014, Forbes released a list of the top paid country musicians, and the results are not surprising. Gone are the days when record sales equal major success; clearly the ticket is massive touring and branching out past the music with endorsements and other business ventures. Here are country music’s top 10 earning musicians of 2014.
10. Florida Georgia Line – $24 million
Since their debut single, “Cruise,” released in 2012, it has been nothing but up for the boys of Florida Georgia Line. In 2014, they earned seven awards, including the CMA ‘Vocal Duo of the Year’ and grossed $24 million. Mixed critic reviews aside, Florida Georgia Line has taken country music by storm. They hold the record for the longest charting No. 1 song on Billboard’s Hot Country Charts with “Cruise,” which stayed on top the charts for 24 weeks.
9. George Strait – $26 million
King George embarked on the “Cowboy Rides Away Tour” as his final tour before retirement, and he went out with a bang. One show alone, the final performance in Arlington, TX, broke records for attendance and gross sales at 104,793 fans bringing in $18 million.
8. Rascal Flatts – $27 million
For a couple of years, Rascal Flatts seemed to be off country music’s radar, but they are back and more successful than ever bringing in $27 million last year. The release of Rewind put the band back on the top of the charts, and they recently kicked off a 9-show run at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas in February.
7. Keith Urban – $28 million
With his own signature line of guitars and accessories, his successful album Fuse and a recurring spot on the judging panel for American Idol, 2014 saw great success for Keith Urban to the tune of $28 million.
6. Zac Brown Band – $29 million
The eight-man band brought in $29 million last year thanks to a solid touring schedule in support of their album Uncaged. With a new strategic partnership with Southern Ground Artists record label, Big Machine Label Group, Republic Records and John Varvatos Records, there are even bigger things on the horizon for 2015.
5. Luke Bryan – $34 million
The 2014 CMA Entertainer of the Year comes in at number 5 with a modest $34 million. His 2013 release, Crash My Party, continued to be a monster success in 2014, bringing him 6 No. 1 singles and gaining double-platinum credit.
4. Jason Aldean – $37 million
Ten years into his career and Jason Aldean shows no sign of slowing down. With his upcoming stadium tour side by side with Kenny Chesney this summer, it’s likely that he can go ahead and reserve his spot on the list for 2015.
3. Kenny Chesney – $44 million
Unlike many artists on the list Kenny Chesney did a minimal number of shows (only 29), but that won’t keep him off the Top 10 list of 2014 earners. The few shows he did do raked in the dough and combined with the success of Blue Chair Bay Rum he lands at the number three spot.
2. Taylor Swift – $64 million
If the only thing taken into consideration was touring, there is no doubt that Taylor Swift would be on top. She has dominated touring worldwide and now at only 25, she partnered with Keds, Diet Coke and CoverGirl to help skyrocket her earnings to $64 million last year.
1. Toby Keith – $65 million
Bringing in $65 million, Toby Keith is the king of multitasking and comes in at number 1 as country music’s top earner of 2014. With his successful chain of I Love This Bar and Grill restaurants, his Show Dog Record Label, Wild Shot Mescal and his ongoing partnership with Ford, Keith is one busy man! An entrepreneur second and musician first, he still maintains a jam-packed touring schedule and has coast-to-coast dates set for 2015.